Money for early retirement, wage hike ready, says Nebati

Money for early retirement, wage hike ready, says Nebati

Money for early retirement, wage hike ready, says Nebati

The government is prepared for the financial burden of the new retirement scheme and the hike in the wages of civil servants and retirees, Treasury and Finance Minister Nureddin Nebati has said.

“I held a meeting with the bureaucrats of the ministry last May, and I stated that an election period will be entered in which the demands of the society increase, and EYT [early retirement scheme] will come first. I have instructed them to be prepared,” Nebati told Ankara bureau chiefs of media outlets.

“The cost of 1 point improvement to the wages of the retirees and civil servants is 19 billion Turkish Liras, a cost close to 15 points has added 270 billion liras,” he said.

“We have taken very strict measures for the 2023 budget for the EYT regulation. We have calculated the cost of EYT to the budget as 255 billion liras for this year. So, 255 billion liras for EYT and 270 billion liras for pensioners and civil servants are ready, sitting in the safe.”

Nebati stated that Türkiye did not deserve the exchange rate attacks until Dec. 20, 2022, and none of the macroeconomic indicators provided an infrastructure that would require Türkiye to fall into that situation.

When asked if he saw any risk of economic operations that will affect the upcoming elections, Nebati said the country’s economic infrastructure was strong.

“Türkiye’s macroeconomic indicators are not open to any operation, the operations carried out will not yield any results,” said the minister.

“We sought debt in January and we borrowed $2.75 billion. We continue our borrowings. Our Central Bank reserves are very strong. We do not have a problem with macroeconomic indicators. There is no area where they can operate in monetary terms.”

Nebati, on questions about the planned debt restructuring, said that there are public receivables that have not been collected for 40-50 years, and this creates a burden on the budget.

For this reason, arrangements will be made to clear the receivables under 2,000 liras in the restructuring plan, and this regulation only concerns 7.9 million people, Nebati said.

The minister also argued that there was no reason to keep food prices rising.

“There is no reason to increase the price of food,” he said.

“Fertilizer and diesel prices are below last year. There is no increase except for personnel expenses. We foresee that the increase in food prices can be controlled.”

Nebati also criticized the opposition Nation Alliance’s recently announced election program.

“I looked at the program of the opposition; they do not have a roadmap on how to prevent inflation,” he said.

“I make an open call to the economists of opposition: You say that we will reduce inflation, what are your instruments for this? Will you raise interest rates or not? If you are going to increase the interest rate, how much do you want to increase?”

“If you are planning to borrow from the IMF [International Monetary Fund] in foreign currency, how much will you receive? How much interest will you pay on this? How much will this affect the import-export balance? They never talk about these topics.”