Turkish income gap still over average

Turkish income gap still over average

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish income gap still over average

Poor people in the southeastern province of Gaziantep receive coal aid. DHA photo

Turkey’s income gap is still high despite a slight recovery from 30 years ago, according to a report issued by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released yesterday.

Turkey currently stands at the same level with the United States and Israel, the OECD report “Divided We Stand: Why inequality keeps rising,” said.

The income gap is 10 to one in Italy, Japan, Korea and the United Kingdom, and higher still at 14 to one in Turkey, Israel and the U.S., according to figures published yesterday.

According to the report, the income gap has even risen in traditionally egalitarian countries such as Germany, Denmark and Sweden, from 5 to one in the 1980s to 6 to one today. The report, which compared country figures in 1985 to those of 2008, said governments must tackle this record gap between rich and poor.

The division between rich and poor in OECD countries has reached its highest level in over 30 years and governments must act quickly to tackle inequality, according to the report. It finds the average income of the richest 10 percent is now about nine times that of the poorest 10 percent across the OECD.

In Chile and Mexico, incomes of the richest are still more than 25 times those of the poorest – the highest in the OECD – but this gap is finally reducing. Income inequality is much higher in some major emerging economies outside the OECD area.

At 50 to one, Brazil’s income gap remained much higher than in many other countries, although it has been falling significantly over the past decade.