Şimşek’s ‘Austerity package’ is a declaration of intent, more is needed

Treasury and Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek and Vice President Cevdet Yılmaz announced the ‘public savings package’ programme.

Speaking at the meeting held at the Presidency, Mehmet Şimşek made the following statements:

-Our top priority is to remove the cost of living from the agenda.
-Except for the compulsory needs in areas such as ambulance, defence and security, we will stop purchasing and renting new vehicles for three years.
-We will liquidate vehicles that have completed their economic life.
-We will abolish personnel shuttles in places where public transport is available, except for defence and security.
-We are ending the use of foreign-origin vehicles in the public sector.
-For three years, new personnel will be employed as many as those who retire.
-Flexible and remote working model will be developed in the public sector.
-We stop the purchase and construction of new buildings for three years, except for those with earthquake risk. We will not allow the leasing of new buildings, and we will gradually terminate the existing leases.
-We are launching a comprehensive study that will be based on efficiency in administrative organisation. We will prevent duplicate organisations. For example, we will merge notary offices and tax offices.

-Overseas organisations of the ministries will be reviewed in line with the needs. All provincial organisations will be reviewed on the basis of efficiency.
-In-service trainings will be held only in public facilities, not in hotels. We are limiting temporary assignments abroad.
-In other current expenditures, we are making a 25 percent cut in 2024 representation and promotion allowances. Excluding international meetings and national holidays, trips and cocktails will not be allowed.
-Another area after savings in the public sector is spending discipline in the budget. We are making a 10 percent cut in goods and service procurement allowances and a 15 percent cut in investment allowances.
-The other heading is public investments. Projects with a physical progress of more than 75 percent, projects required due to earthquake risk, projects planned after the earthquake, projects that increase food supply, especially agricultural irrigation, green projects and OIZ-railway connection projects will be priority projects.
-We will not include any new projects in the public investment programme except in cases of necessity.
-Public institutions will carry out investment projects according to the budget allocation. In 2024, expenditures will be reviewed and inefficient expenditures will be terminated starting from 2025.
-Permissions for open appointments will be determined in the budget law.
-We are limiting the board fees of public employees. Only one place will be able to receive board fees, and we will set an upper limit on fees.
-LED transformation in street and avenue lighting will be accelerated. Energy efficiency will be increased in public buildings.
-Transition to e-correspondence system will be completed. Electronic system will be used for notifications. Corporate archives will be transferred to electronic environment. Publications, reports and other promotional documents will not be printed.
-In the upcoming period, we will complete our work in areas such as public procurement reform, governance reform in SEEs, fairness and efficiency in taxation, and fight against informality.
-Those who do not comply with the measures will be fined.