CHP’s pensioner program receives union backing

Opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal KIlIcdaroIlu’s pledge to grant two months’ pension bonus to retirees has received the support of Retired Workers, Self-Employed and Civil Servants Association (IMBED) President Hamdi Oz. “We are hopeful that the CHP’s pledge will remind the AK Party [Justice and Development Party] of the miserable state that retirees are in,” said Oz in a statement this week.

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Opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal KIlIccedildaroIlu’s pledge to grant two months’ pension bonus to retirees has received the support of Retired Workers, Self-Employed and Civil Servants Association (IMBED) President Hamdi Oumlz.

We are hopeful that the CHP’s pledge will remind the AK Party [Justice and Development Party] of the miserable state that retirees are in, said Oumlz in a statement this week.

KIlIccedildaroIlu pledged to provide retirees with a pension bonus prior to the holy month of Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr holiday. If you can convince retirees, you can win an election, said Oumlz, pointing to the fact that there are 10.

8 million retirees in Turkey. Noting that pension amounts vary widely from retiree to retiree, Oumlz said it would be preferable if all retirees received a fixed bonus.

Some get TL 3,000 a month, some get TL 550, meaning that some would get bonuses of TL 6,000 while others would get around TL 1,000. As such, the bonus should be a fixed amount of TL 1,500, he said.

High food prices, which were the root cause of unexpectedly high inflation rates last year, have continued into 2015 and thinned out the wallets of those living on fixed incomes. Consumer Rights Association (THD) Chairman Turhan Ccedilakar said last month that the purchasing power pertaining to 62 food items has decreased in the past year for retirees and civil servants.

Unions have frequently criticized annual raises granted to civil servants and pensioners as being insufficient and subject to inflation. Meanwhile, current deputies in Parliament will see their monthly salaries increase from TL 14,000 to TL 15,000 this year, while retired parliamentary deputies will receive monthly wages of TL 8,190, an increase from their existing pensions of TL 7,479.

SOURCE: TODAY’S ZAMAN