Erdogan may cut a key election pledge due to pressure on budget -report

Erdogan may cut a key election pledge due to pressure on budget -report
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The government in Turkey is about to make a U turn in plans to retire 1,5 million people who were hindered from retirement due to age.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may dial down plans for an early retirement to employees in the state and private sector because of concerns about strain on the budget, Bloomberg reported on Thursday citing senior Turkish officials.

Early retirement is a key pledge for a group of people known with an acronym EYT, roughly translated into English as "those hindered from retirement due to age," ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections that will be held by June.

The original plans have been estimated to cover 1.5 million people,

who do not qualify for retirement despite having paid the required premiums in light of a resolution passed by the parliament in 1999,

but now Erdogan is considering an alternative which would affect fewer employees, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Erdogan could make a decision as early as Monday during a cabinet meeting, the officials said.

The promise to meet demands for early retirement has helped Erdogan bolster his support base.

But the Turkish government is now considering a plan that would only cover about 60% of those eligible. The cost of the original plan, which included severance payments, could surpass 250 billion liras ($13 billion), the people said. That’s three times more than what the country’s social security system paid to about 14 million pensioners through October this year, they said.

The alternative plans would offer early retirement to the oldest employees, the officials said.