The minimum wage in the north is set to rise by 40 per cent after the ‘minimum wage committee’ met on Wednesday following a rollercoaster week for the Turkish lira.
The Turkish Cypriot press on Thursday morning focused on the announcement, with Avrupa’s headline reading: ‘Surprise! Present from Father Christmas!’ – in reaction to the wage hike.
Newspaper Kibris stated that the policy is set to come into force from January 1, 2022, with a headline of “Gross salary ₺7,000, net salary ₺6,090”.
The media reported that employers are concerned over now having to pay higher wages while also facing higher import costs.
The increase of the minimum wage follows a similar announcement made in Turkey last week, in which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the minimum wage for 2022 would rise by 50 per cent (a base of ₺4,250, about $360).
But Thursday’s announcement comes as the Turkish lira made dramatic gains over the past two days following a week of highs and lows, a notable feat for the currency which has had a manic year – peaking at €1 to ₺20.68 on Monday.
In Tuesday trading it rose as much as 15 per cent, after soaring 25 per cent on Monday.
The recovery was made as Erdogan announced measures to strengthen the currency, after a plan last week had set out to hit the “panic button” if the “absurd” threshold of ₺18 to the dollar was passed.
The team of Treasury bureaucrats decided that lira depreciation beyond that level would damage the economy in ways that are “hard to repair”, one senior Turkish official told Reuters, so they needed a scheme to avoid that if needed.