The minimum wage for workers older than 16 years was raised by TL 28.99 (€15) to TL 658.95 (€330) net. According to a report on Hunger and Poverty Line in June 2011 prepared by the Turkish Confederation of Labour Unions (Türk-İş), TL 878 (€440) is needed just to feed a four-person family. The poverty line was defined at TL 2,861 (€1,430). The increase of the minimum wage will start as of 1 July.
Workers younger than16 years: TL 25 increase
The minimum wage for workers older than 16 years was raised by 4.7 percent in the first six months of 2011 and now increased by a further 5.1 percent for the second half of the year. Accordingly, the minimum gross wage of a worker was 796.50 (€400) / TL 629,92 net (€315) in the first half of the year. With the 5.1 percent raise it will increase to TL 837.00 gross (€420) /658.95 net (€330).
The minimum wage for workers younger than 16 years will increase by TL 25.77 (€13). Hence, the minimum gross wage of TL 679.50 (€340) / 546.20 net (€273) will increase to TL 715.50 gross (€363) / TL 571.97 net (€285).
TL 219.23 short of poverty line
As determined by the TÜRK-İS report, a four-person family needs TL 878.18 (€440) of food expenditure (hunger line) for a healthy, balanced and sufficient nutrition. Even with the latest raise, the minimum wage falls short of the poverty line by TL 219.23 (€110).
TÜRK-İŞ has been doing this research since 1987 on a monthly base. The latest report reveals that workers need an additional TL 33.83 (€17) compared to the beginning of 2011 mainly due to price increases in consumer goods and services. The additional load on kitchen spending amounts to 10.38 (€5).
4,7 million workers on minimum wage
According to data compiled by the Revenue Administration of the Ministry of Finance, 4.738.433 people worked on the minimum wage in 2010. The TÜRK-İŞ report describes the situation: "Millions of people on minimum wage get by with TL 22 (€11) per day for themselves and their families. It is not possible to maintain a living standard that corresponds to human dignity".
The report also draws attention to the fact that based on data of TÜRK-İŞ and the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), the food price index has been increasing over the past three months.
Food expenditures cut for rent
"It is clear that the revenues from low-income families do not even meet the level of expenditures necessary for an adequate and balanced diet", the TÜRK-İŞ report stated.
The report said that low-income families can only afford non-food expenditures such as rent, transport, fuel or electricity by cutting their food expenditures. The report warned, "Low and insufficient income levels lead to an unhealthy and unbalanced diet of people and families with low incomes". (AS/VK)