Erdoğan announces discounts on residence electricity and natural gas prices ahead of Turkey's elections

Erdoğan announces discounts on residence electricity and natural gas prices ahead of Turkey's elections

ANKARA
Erdoğan announces discounts on residence electricity and natural gas prices ahead of Turkeys elections

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Dec. 25 announced a set of moves ahead of local elections including a discount on household natural gas prices and an increase in the minimum wage rate.

“Using the feasibility of our budget in the best way, we, as Turkey, will continue to grow,” Erdoğan told lawmakers of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in parliament.

The country is in a rapid recovery process in its economy, Erdoğan said, pledging to alleviate Turkey to 12th largest economy in the world in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) in 2019, noting that it is currently the world’s 13th largest economy.

As of the new year, the government will make a 10 percent discount on household electricity, and the same rate will apply for natural gas for both households and small to mid-sized enterprises, he announced.

Turkey will continue to support the business world in terms of employment and extend regional employment incentives, he added.

In the upcoming period, the government will review tax policies in a “holistic and fair manner,” he said. For the first time in 2019 and 2020, the state will assume all insurance and tax expenses of an employee over the minimum wage and the government will increase the employment incentive period for women, young and disabled persons from 12 months to 18 months.

The government has allocated a 62.1 billion lira resource for social assistance projects, Erdoğan said, recalling discounts in value added tax on several goods such as food and medicine. The government has given up 8 billion liras worth of special consumption tax for citizens, he added.

Erdoğan said they plan to bring unemployment rate to single digits and were determined to reduce the inflation rate to the targeted level in 2019. The president added that the current account deficit will drop below $30 billion by the end of 2018.

Unemployment rate in Turkey stood at 11.4 percent in September, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK).

The Turkish Central Bank had said the 12-month rolling deficit fell to $39.4 billion as of October. In 2017, Turkey’s annual current account deficit was some $47.5 billion — around 5.6 percent of the country’s GDP.

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