Gov’t to raise savings via new taxes

Gov’t to raise savings via new taxes

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
The Turkish government’s primary economic goal is to increase savings and hiking taxes could facilitate our target, Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek hinted yesterday.

“We prefer private sector projects that finance themselves,” Şimşek said in a press conference following the announcement of 2011 central administration budget figures. “But in the absence of private sector interest, he said the second best option would be joint private sector public sector projects, while the last alternative would be projects that rely solely on government funding.

“If we have to build the bridge ourselves and have to allocate budgetary resources we weren’t planning for, then we’ll have to look for alternative sources of funding,” Şimşek said about the possibility of the government having to undertake the building of Istanbul’s third bridge over the Bosphorus.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s 2011 central administration budget deficit shrank by 56.6 percent to 17.4 billion liras from 40.8 billion liras in December 2010.

“There was a 16.4 percent increase in budget revenues compared to last year,” said Şimşek, adding that tax revenues in 2011 increased 20.5 percent. The EU Commission also praised Turkey’s budget performance in its report yesterday. “There has been an improvement in Turkey’s budget balance. Budgetary revenues have rapidly exceeded budgetary spending,” it said.