Turkey’s budget gap widens but government relaxed over year-end target
Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek sweats during the annual Embassies' Tennis Tournament in Ankara, Sept. 14. Şimşek has expressed no concern regarding the widening budget gap. AA PhotoTurkey’s eight-month budget performance deteriorated compared to the same period last year, new official data has shown, but the government says it sees no imminent threat to reaching its year-end targets.
According to figures announced by the Finance Ministry, the government’s budget deficit increased to 2.7 billion Turkish Liras in the first eight months of 2014, marking a sharp rise from last year’s 231 million-lira surplus.
In particular, the slide in domestic demand that curbed tax revenues collected from consumption took its toll on budget revenues. For example, the value-added tax (VAT) income of the government plunged by 17 percent on an annual basis, the data announced on Sept. 15 showed.
The government foresees a budget deficit of 33.3 billion liras for the end of 2014, and Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek said the eight-month performance is compatible with this aim.
“This first eight months’ budget deficit equals 8.2 percent of the year-end target of 33.3 billion liras. Therefore, these figures indicate that we can attain the year-end budget deficit target easily,” Şimşek said.