CHP leader says gov’t support for unpaid leave ‘important’ but will not make citizens ‘happy’
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader has said that the government’s financial aid to workers who had been laid off or put on unpaid leave is “important” but will not be enough for the citizens’ living expenditures.
“The [payments] are 1,170 Turkish Liras per month. There are 131 billion liras in the unemployment insurance fund. When will this money be paid to the workers? [It will be paid] when things like this happens. You are paying a daily 39.24 liras to workers. The [figure] is below the hunger line,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said in an interview with daily news site Duvar.
“The [worker] will have to make ends meet with their families for three meals [a day.] There is also rent, natural gas, electricity and water [expenditures]. So how will [the people] support themselves?” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
The CHP leader also said the payment is “not enough” for citizens to make ends meet. “You need to be realistic.”
The Turkish government is planning to ban layoffs for three months in a bid to protect those lacking job security and to ease damages to the economy due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a draft legislation.
The bill would apply to anyone who had been laid off or put on unpaid leave as of March 15 and is not eligible for unemployment benefits. They would be paid daily 39.24 liras ($5.80) by the government.
“This payment is, of course, important, but it will not make the [workers] or their families happy,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
He also said that citizens who are currently staying at their homes may have payments due for their credit cards or consumer loans, yet the banks “did not give up on these or the interest rates.”
If payments were done on the basis of short-time working, the workers would have received at least 1,752 liras, Kılıçdaorğlu said.
He also conveyed that millions of people are working unregistered or are not working and not receiving any payments.