Turkey, Economy

Incentives to boost birth rate to cost Turkey $400 mln

'Turkey’s population will age at a fast pace if we do not take measures,' says finance minister

Incentives to boost birth rate to cost Turkey $400 mln


The cost of a recently announced reform aimed at increasing Turkey’s birth rate will cost approximately $400 million, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said on Monday.

Last Thursday, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced new incentives for working women.

For instance, new mothers will be paid 300 Turkish lira ($130) for a first child, 400 Turkish lira ($174) for second child and 600 ($261) for the third one, according to new regulation.

In a television interview, Simsek said that one of most vital problems ahead of Turkey was the aging of the population.

 "Turkey’s population will age at a fast pace if we do not take measures. I think this reform is meaningful and its cost of $404 million is very small in the budget.” Simsek said.

Simsek said that the Program on Protection of Family and Dynamic Population Structure is a part of a much larger reform program, which consists of 1,300 reforms. All costs and possible effects related to the regulations have been calculated in advance, he added.

“Our budget is very strong at the moment. Budget deficit to GDP ratio in emerging economies is 2.1 percent while it is only 0.8 percent in Turkey,” Simsek said.

Regarding Turkey’s inflation outlook, Simsek said the current price of oil would certainly help lower it.

“If prices stay at $50-60 per barrel, inflation can hit even below 5 percent supposing all other factors remain same,” Simsek said.

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