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Erdogan to cut power and natural gas prices and increase wages

Audience, Person, Crowd REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said electricity prices will be reduced by 15% in April

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan has pledged to cut electricity and natural gas prices and increase the minimum wage.

Electricity prices will be reduced by 15 percent, while gas prices for industrial users will be lowered by 20 percent in April, Daily Sabah newspaper reported the president as saying in the parliament on Wednesday.

The presidential and parliamentary elections will be held on May 14.

Erdogan added that the government plans to announce a mid-year increase in the minimum wage.

Over the past year, the government has tripled the minimum wage, hiked salaries, provided debt relief and increased pensions to relieve the economic pressure on households.

Turkey’s annual inflation fell to 55.18 percent in February from the peak of 85.5 percent, hitting a 24-year high in October 2022.

The government increased the minimum wage by 55 percent for 2023 in January, with Erdogan stating that another hike was possible during the year if necessary.

The president said the government plans to increase monthly minimum pension payment to 7,500 lira ($390) from 5,500 lira, the newspaper said.

Last week, Turkey’s central bank held its policy rate at 8.5 percent, saying it had become even more important to keep financial conditions supportive to preserve growth momentum after last month’s devastating earthquakes.

In February, the central bank had cut its policy rate by 50 basis points to provide a stimulus in the wake of the earthquakes which killed more than 50,000 people in Turkey and left widespread destruction across ten provinces.