Nearly half of flood-hit victims have sought loan shark for restoration funds for their flood-ravaged homes, while more than half said the governments financial aid should be higher than the current scheme at Bt5,000, according to a survey released by ABAC Poll on Sunday.
The poll for “Expenses on rehabilitation of flood-damaged houses and assets after floodwater recedes” was conducted on 1,738 respondents in Thailand between Dec 15, 2011 – Jan 7, 2012 in nine provinces including Bangkok, Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Ayutthaya, Angthong, Nakhon Pathom, Supanburi, Lop Buri and Nakhon Sawan.
Some 86.5 percent of respondents were flood victims who said their daily cost of living has elevated, while 81.6 percent said their houses were damaged by floodwater and 61.7 percent said their assets, such as cars, electronic devices and furniture were damaged by flood.
More than two-thirds, or 68.4 percent, stated the average cost for house restoration was around Bt37,022, while the highest repair cost answered in the poll was at Bt500,000.Furthermore, 40.6 percent said they spent approximately Bt20,745 to fix electronic devices and furniture, while another 20.6 percent said the average cost for restoration of houses infrastructure was at Bt7,096.
The Thai Cabinet, during its meeting on January 4, approved more projects involving a budget of 11 billion baht for post-flood rehabilitation. It also endorsed additional tax-relief measures to help people affected by the recent flooding.
The 11-billion-baht budget was proposed by the Flood Recovery and Restoration Committee on Infrastructure, headed by Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Yongyoot Wichaidit.
Out of the budget, 5.69 billion baht was allocated for the rehabilitation of transport infrastructure, 3.2 billion baht for the irrigation system and reservoirs, 1.38 billion baht for rebuilding schools and other educational institutions, and 137 million baht for renovating religious structures and historical sites.
As for tax measures, the Cabinet approved ministerial regulations, proposed by the Ministry of Finance, to assist and rehabilitate flood victims. In the first measure, affected people will be entitled to tax deductions of up to 100,000 baht for repairing homes damaged by floods from 25 July to 31 December 2011. The property must be located in disaster zones declared by the Government. The second measure offers tax deductions of up to 30,000 baht on auto repairs. Damage to the cars must have been caused by the flooding from 25 July to 31 December 2011, and the owners must be residents in declared disaster areas.