Record increase in Turkey’s social security spending in first half of 2019

The burden of social security in Turkey’s budget has reached an alarming level with more than 100 billion liras ($17.5 billion) transferred by the government to the Social Security Institution (SGK) in the first six months of 2019, left-wing newspaper BirGün reported on Friday.

Transfers from the budget to the SGK have increased to 150 billion liras ($26 billion) in 2018 from 35 billion ($6 billion) in 2008. The transfers made by the government in the first half of the year indicates that the year-end amount of transfers will be significantly higher than 2018.

The SGK is also responsible of 93.6 percent of duty losses by public institutions in the first seven months of 2019, which totalled 66.3 billion liras ($11.5 billion). The transfers for the duty losses of the institution reached to 16.1 billion liras ($2.8 billion) in May and August, when the Turkish government paid pensioners’ bonuses for religious holidays.

State-owned banks recorded the next highest duty losses in the first seven months of 2019, with 3.1 billion liras ($540.000).