President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced a set of measures wednesday designed to release the pressure on households and businesses struggling pay the energy bills after slashing the prices on basic foods to fight inflation days before.
In a televised address following a Cabinet meeting, Erdoğan said authorities would readjust the level below which higher electricity tariffs for households using more energy kick while some 4 millions of homes in the country of more over 84 millions people would receive state subsidies for help with high natural gas and electricity bills.
Civil society organizations would no longer pay higher energy tariffs that apply to businesses, he said, adding that some small companies would be also to be able to benefit from adjusted rates.
Inflation in Turkey climbed to 20-year official high of nearly 49% in January eats away at savings.
Households and businesses have also been hit with sharp hikes in energy prices after authorities increased electricity tariffs on January 1, soaring prices of more more than 50 % for many homes and up to 127% for businesses and high-consumption households.
Protests broke out out against high electricity bills and many small companies, like restaurants, have high electricity bills on shop windows at show how they are close to being driven out of business.
“We continue to support households in electricity and natural gas. We listen to the voice of our nation and find solutions to their problemsaid Erdoğan.
the government will supply natural gas support in amounts ranging from 450 TL ($33) to 1,150 TL, payable twice a year, for 4 millions of hearths.
For households with the chronically ill and people life on life support appliances, an additional subsidy of 5% will be added to this figure.
Apps for natural gas support for families in need will be start Friday by the ministry of Social and family services, and payments will be made after the second the week of March.
Natural gas payments will be made twice a year, in March and October.
The president reaffirmed that the high inflation was “temporary” and that the new economic path will be reap results.
Erdoğan said that the government consistently and resolutely implemented the economic plan program targeting investment, employment, production, exports and current account surplus.
“Not only did we quickly compensate for the loss in the first month of the pandemic but went beyond. While the world was shrinking in terms of employment and exports, we left behind a period in that we have grown and broken records,” Erdoğan said.
“The tourism, construction and agricultural sectors, which will be revived with spring, will increase employment even moresaid Erdoğan. He added that they made an effort to reduce load of the top cost of life on citizens by supporting merchants and craftsmen with loan originations, increasing income of all wage earners from minimum wage to civil servants and pensions.
“Our most important problem is high inflation. Hope we get over it and see it go down month after month,” he said.
the government kissed a model based on reduce borrowing costs, saying that credit, exports and investment help the country weather inflation.
Erdoğan has previously said that new economic path will be also ultimately help Turkey solve it’s chronic current account deficit problem and help stabilize the Turkish lira.
AT support the drivethe center of Turkey bank had brought down the key policy rate per 500 points since September at 14% but interrupted the easing cycle in January.
NGOs are welcome new measures
Cihad Terzioglu, secretary-general of Association of Independent Industrialists and Businessmen (MÜSIAD) told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Thursday that there are more over 120,000 active non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Turkey and that electricity costs, including distribution costs, decrease by almost 50% as the tariffs of those public organizations transferred from commercial to residential.
Terzioğlu reiterated that energy prices have increased all over the world, especially electricity and natural gas, due to energy supply shortages and capital-based cost increases.
Pointing out that energy prices have increased by more more than 100% same in European markets, where stable prices have dominated for many years, Terzioğlu said: “We also experimented price increases in Turkey due to inflationary pressure. It’s very positive step for our country, which focuses on fight inflation, to improve reflected energy bills on the user final.
In addition to these, I find the support and incentives announced for renewable energy power plants to be built to respond to electricity demands, very positively for the future of the sector,” he said, noting “I believe these stepswhich we view as part of of the green development revolution, will also to raise awareness on the use of renewable energies and energy independence.
Bülent Çebin, President of the Energy Consumers Association, also said that the conversion of electricity subscriptions of NGOs from commercial to residential is a positive element step.
He recalled that NGOs, including associations, foundations and places of veneration of the country’s Alevi minority, called Cemevis, had previously paid their dues under commercial status.
At the start of the week, the government lower the value-added tax (VAT) on basic food supplies at 1% versus 8%.
During this time, more municipalities across Turkey, including central Malatya, northern Samsun, northwest Yalova and Kırıkkale, western Balıkesir and eastern Kilis and Bingöl, have decided to reduce VAT rate on water consumption from 8% to 1%. Central Konya Municipality cut prices by 14% with an additional 7% discount on VAT rate.
Erdogan on Thursday called on the municipalities of the Party of the justice and Development (AKP) in power support the government is fight against inflation “by reducing water tariffs, with at least one discount in VAT”
Within the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Board (IBB), the proposal for a gradual increase in water tariffs by the Istanbul Water and Sewerage Administration (ISKI) had been rejected by a majority of votes of the People’s Alliance, made up of the AK Party and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
Giving a statement to reporters after the General Assembly meeting, AK Party Group Deputy Chairman Tevfik Göksu said that BWI came to the board with a proposal to raise between 90% and 175% and that the Popular Alliance requested a revision between 43% and 55%.