Turkish gov’t vows not to slash minimum wage due to taxes
ANKARAThe Turkish cabinet has pledged to not decrease the minimum wage due to the increasing cuts in incomes, said a leading official on Sept. 19.
Turkey raised the minimum wage by 30 percent to 1,300 Turkish Liras ($436) for over 8 million workers at the beginning of the year.
Due to the increasing income rate cut system in Turkey on a monthly basis, this figure was supposed to decrease by around 70 liras as of September.
“The minimum wage was supposed to decline to 1,230 liras as of September. As our former labor and social security minister, Süleyman Soylu, had promised earlier, we will not make this cut,” said current Labor Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu in a televised interview on CNN Türk on Sept. 19.
He also noted that the issue would be discussed by the cabinet members soon.
Soylu was recently named the new interior minister after Efkan Ala resigned. Müezzinoğlu was then appointed as the new labor and social security minister to replace Soylu.
The government also promised to cover some 40 percent of the cost of a hike in the minimum wage for all employees due to come into effect on the first day of the new year, but only for 2016.
There are around 12 million employees in Turkey, at least on paper. However, some companies illegally show wages as lower in order to avoid higher fees.
The annual growth in real wages has averaged 5 percent over the last five years, while labor productivity increased by 1.5 percent a year during the same period, state statistical data showed.