Serkan Alan – Duvar

Turkey’s Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak has denied misuse of budget, saying that the money is used for paying salaries of public employees.

“Some 333,9 billion Turkish Liras are paid as salaries and social security premium payments for 3,4 million public employees,” Albayrak said on Dec. 11, upon criticism from Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Garo Paylan.

Saying that the people gave the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) the authority to prepare the budget for the 18th time due to the resources being spent in line with people’s needs, Albayrak noted that 16 million people will benefit from the budget directly via payments done to the public employees.

When asked about the reason for why the 853,8 billion lira tax revenue target that was determined for 2019 was not met, Albayrak pointed to tax rate discounts that were made to “support economic revival and the fight against inflation.”

“With these practices, decreases in tax revenues occurred and with the policies based on the limitation of foreign financing needs stemming from current account deficit and the poor course in economic activity necessitated a revision of anticipated revenue target in the budget. That’s why, it was stated in the New Economy Program that 667,6 billion liras of revenue is expected by the end of 2019,” Albayrak said.

The minister was also asked to comment on the 2020 budget, which foresees a loose monetary and finance policy and the meeting of the inflation target.

“Inflation has entered a downward trend with the precautions taken in economy, uncertainties and the decrease in risk premium,” Albayrak said, adding that the expected inflation is around 8.5 percent.

“We are in strong coordination with the Central Bank to reach low and single-digit inflation levels at the end of the program period and we’re expecting inflation to meet the target of 4.9 percent,” he also said.