A campaign for basic income has been launched by multiple unions in Turkey

Photo by Fatih Yürür

“Social assistance provided as charity rather than rights do not prevent poverty but perpetuate it,” 92 groups have said in a joint statement.

Several unions, political parties and rights groups have launched a campaign for the introduction of a basic income guarantee against increasing income inequality during the coronavirus pandemic.

The campaign was first initiated by the Union for Democracy (DİB) and supported by 92 groups, including the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which has the third-largest group in the parliament.

The Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK) and the
The Confederation of Public Employees’ Unions (KESK) also announced support for the campaign.

At a joint press conference yesterday (March 3), Nesteren Davutoğlu from the DİB said:

“The real agenda of the country is unemployment, poverty and livelihood. The demand for an income guarantee is on the table. Our goal is to realize it.”

“Social aids don’t prevent but perpetuate poverty”

A joint statement by the 92 groups reads, “The income inequality has reached a terrible extent. Both poverty and the number of millionaires and billionaires is increasing.

“Poverty is not only individuals’ inability to access shelter, healthcare and education services and their deprivation of adequate food but also their exclusion from the society.

“Social assistance provided as charity rather than rights do not prevent poverty but perpetuate it.

“… Especially in the pandemic conditions, it is the state’s primary to provide people’s most basic needs such as food, shelter and heating. If the aim is not to enrich the richest but to share the social wealth fairly and to prevent hunger and poverty, our country has resources to use for basic income security.”

Selin Sayek-Böke, the secretary-general of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said at the conference that the pandemic revealed the corruption of the existing order.

“There is a deep, severe and deepening poverty. It affects millions of insecure people the most,” she said.

“We need to create an order in which all segments of the society can live in security. The basic income guarantee is a building block of such an order.”

Garo Paylan, the HDP’s deputy co-chair responsible for economic affairs, pointed out the unfair distribution of public resources: “They say there are no resources. We have a lot of evidence to refute their claim that while there are resources for palaces, wars, partisans, interest rates but there are no resources for citizens’ basic needs.”


To see original article please visit: https://m.bianet.org/english/labor/240296-labor-groups-opposition-politicians-call-for-basic-income-guarantee-amid-high-ineuqality

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