January 27, 2006
Türk-İş (the largest labor confederation, the Confederation of Labor Unions of Turkey) Research Center published the numbers for hunger and poverty as of January 2006. According to this research, in order for a family of 4 to have balanced nutrition, their food expenses had to be at least 548 YTL (around US $420.00). For a healthy life style other expenses were calculated to be at minimum 1,785 YTL (US $1,373.00).
The same research calculated that the drop in the inflation rate did not bring any benefit to the workers and the income levels stayed well below the necessary required income figures.
It was noted that the increases in the wages at the same rate as the inflation still did not help and the poverty prevailed.
In these researches, done every month, the calculation of the border lines on poverty and hunger are reviewed for different age and gender groups and the scientific figures for balanced nutrition are used to calculate the base figures.
The calculated figure for the border for hunger represents the food expenses of a family of four.
Together with food expenses, other costs of rent, transportation, heating, electric, water, communication, clothing, education, health and culture are also included in a family’s income and expense level calculations.
According to the figures published by the Statistical Institution of Turkey, the food expenses take up 30.70% of t a family’s total expenses between the years 2003-2004.
The Türk-İş Research Center’s calculation shows the following trends when the change in the basic food expenses are viewed in the month of January:
“The minimal expense of a family of 4, living in Ankara, has increased 0.96% compared to the previous month. This increase corresponds to 5.41% if the last 12 months is taken into consideration. The yearly increase is 8.47%.”
The minimum wage, including the recent increase has stayed at 380YTL (US $292.00). In order for a family of 4 living with minimum wage, not to experience hunger, at least two people in the family must work.
With the most basic necessities like Education and Health being turned over to the market, these figures mean only perpetual poverty and hunger for the laboring masses.