Low-earning workers reduce their purchasing power by 3.3 percent as the Turkish economy is still in doldrums

The purchasing power of more and more Turkish minimum wage workers is fast slipping down as the latest data points out.

A report by the Research Center of the United Metal Workers’ Union (BISAM) shows the latest figure standing at a paltry reduction of 3.3 percent since last February.

The BISAM report covered the period between February 2018 to February 2019, based on the data accessed from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) and the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services.

According to the report, the minimum wage workers experienced the biggest purchasing loss. In this group, people who bought spinach and potato are 46 percent less, pepper by 43 percent, eggplant by 38 percent and garlic by 21 percent less as compared to 2017.

Minimum wage workers were nourished 5-kilogram chicken and 135 eggs.

Besides poultry and vegetables, Turkish people tightened their belts and not spent much for kitchenware and electronics. The income from the Teflon kitchenware reduced by 38 percent, refrigerators by 18.5 percent, computers by 17.5 percent, the school notebook by 12
percent, the pen by 11.25 percent and coal by 9.7 percent.

More games bought for escapism The BISAM report shows Turkish people spent more amount on games of chance to get rid of their desperate situations. Minimum wage workers invested 246 percent more on chance games.

The first five products in which the minimum wage workers increased the purchasing power listed as chance games, cable private TV services, courier fees, health insurance, and chickpeas.
The purchasing power of the minimum wage for chickpeas increased by 96 kilograms compared to the same month of the previous year.

As the inflation rate has reached double-digits in Turkey, due to ongoing political and economic crises, food price effected most negatively compared to other goods.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan directly interferes by ordering the municipalities to launch direct sale points (Tanzim) which temporarily lowered the prices of vegetables and fruits.
Erdogan has accused stallholders of being terrorist as they are selling foods at a high price. However, stallholders criticize Erdogan for the bad economic rule as the petrol, taxes and the cost of living has become too expensive.

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