LIFE IS HARD!
It has been pointed out that 15% of the population in Turkey were below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold and that living conditions would only get worse due to low income. Based on the Income and Living Conditions Survey, 2013 by Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK), there is a 8 times difference between the 20% population that has the highest income rate and the 20% population that has the lowest income rate. It has been reported that Turkey needed to support its middle class and that it would contribute to a steady development and healthy economic growth.
Prof. Dr. Hakan Yetkiner, Vice Dean of IUE Faculty of Business, who commented about the TUIK data, stated that there was income inequality and he said, “there is an 8 times difference between the highest income and the lowest income. While a portion gets half of the income generated by Turkish economy, the other has to live with 6% of it. Furthermore, not a significant progress has happened in terms of a fair division of income from 2012 to 2013.”
‘Early retirement is an issue’
Prof. Dr. Yetkiner indicated that the employees failed to make savings when they were actively working and the retirement and survivors benefits covered more than 90% of social transfers. Yetkiner stated the following:
“We believe that the extent of social transfers is one of the major reasons of not being able to fix income inequality. State cannot make its employees save money when they are actively working and then have to assume responsibility and care for them when they retire. Past governments practiced ‘early retirement’ policy. This causes high early retirement rate and when dealt with limited public resources, it causes high social transfers rate and explains the reason for not improving income inequality.”
‘Goal for 2023 should be ending poverty’
Prof. Dr. Yetkiner pointed out that living conditions were not fair due to low income, and approximately 40% of the population had some problems with their dwellings such as leaking roof, damp walls/floors/foundation, rot in window frames/floors, 65% had instalments and loans/arrears (other than mortgage -for the main dwelling- and housing cost). He said that 80% hadn’t have the capacity to afford paying for one week holiday away from home, 75% hadn’t have the capacity to afford paying for “replacing worn-out furniture“ due to economic reasons. “A strong middle class is existent in economies with fair income distribution. Many economists believe that a strong middle class contributes to steady macro-economic balances and healthy development and economic growth. In fact, based on the statistics, the income share of the third 20% group in Turkey can be interpreted as going round in circles at best. If Turkey wants to achieve its 2023 targets poverty should definitely come to an end. Income levels of the poor should be increased and middle class should be supported more,” said Prof. Dr. Yetkiner.
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