Furious retirees and expats in Thailand slam government’s proposals to attract wealthy foreigners
The Thai government’s ambitious proposals to attract a million foreigners in the next five years and get a trillion baht into the ailing economy – as reported by Daily News and many other Thai sites – have been roundly slammed by retirees and foreigners with Thai families already living and contributing to the kingdom.
They are shouting from the rooftops throughout the nation: What the hell about us?
They feel the government don’t care about people who have committed to Thailand for years. They say the cabinet’s decision is just a cynical ploy to try and get money in taxes – especially from other Asians.
They feel that they will have to continue to jump through numbing hoops like 90 day reporting because they don’t have a million dollars to invest and don’t work in Thailand.
They say they bring money in, support the local economy, support Thai people like wives and children but are treated like second class citizens as they are not the cash cows favored by the government.
In fact they feel they are being treated more like buffaloes.
They think they deserve residence not people with more money who will leave after a few years anyway.
ASEAN NOW posters led the way in swift condemnation of the plans even though those plans have been in the air for months and some of the finer details like the hot chestnut of land ownership, for decades.
Djayz summed it up well with: “What about those foreigners who have lived here for years, have families, jobs, cars, houses, stay out of trouble, support the local community and are here long term, not just to move money about, invest then (leave) as things get ugly?”
Almer said: “I’m lacking in all their requirements, but I spend my pension here and help the needy in the village – if that counts for anything”.
Clearly he thought it didn’t.
Starky said: “What about those that live here and spend over a million baht a year”.
Some pointed out that the answer to that was that a million baht was not much in the grand scheme of things and the government were trying to make things easier for foreigners with much more wealth.
Others called it greed and mentioned the targets for the scheme were more likely Chinese nationals and even Indians.
Dg1980 summed up this feeling with: “Top earners in, broke-ass dudes out”.
InThailand said: “These clowns don’t get it. The Land of Smiles is becoming less attractive each year”.
Others pointed to better and more trustworthy schemes to attract foreigners in Malaysia, even Singapore.
Still more suggested that the plans were a sneaky way to turn an Elite Card – Thailand’s expensive long term visa style scheme – into a way to get residence.
While more drew attention to the words “lure” and “attract” and the heavy connotations of each.
Yet more pooh-poohed the notion that the Thai authorities would ever change the rules on land ownership as has been muted for years.
And even if they did, shouldn’t those who live in Thailand already be first in line for benefits rather than those with a fat checkbook who know little about and care not a jot about the country and its people.
Emdog an expat in Jomtien summed it up in a final, devastating one liner:
“What am I chopped liver?”
He answered that question himself with an emphatic “yes”.