An unemployment insurance fund established in 2000 by former Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit in order to support the jobless has transformed into a mechanism that supports employers. Figures indicate amount of money from the fund going to employers has doubled that of the amount going to unemployed people
According to a report in the daily Sözcü newspaper that cited the latest figures from a monthly bulletin prepared by the Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR), in spite of heavy use by both the government and employers, the fund has reached a total of 131 billion lira as of November of this year.
Official figures indicate that in 2017, 4.8 billion TL was distributed to unemployed people while in the same year 2.5 billion was given to support employers. However due to a major economic downturn, employers began to increasingly seek help from the fund as of last year. In 2018, while 5.8 billion TL was granted to unemployed people, 10.8 billion TL was given to employers, while during the first 11 months of this year, 9 billion TL was allocated for the unemployed while 14.7 billion TL went to employers.
According to main opposition Republican People’s Party deputy head Veli Ağbaba, eight out of ten unemployed people in Turkey do not benefit from the fund, which he says has turned into a remedy not for the unemployed but for employers. He said that during the first 11 months of this year, out of just over 4 million unemployed people registered at İŞKUR, only 595,000 benefitted from the fund.
Ağbaba said that the conditions concerning insurance requirements that are necessary for people to benefit from the fun were too severe, resulting in millions of people missing out, and he recommended that these conditions be loosened. He also requested that the funds stop being transferred to employers and to the state coffers.