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Turkey’s public budget swings to surplus after July tax increases: report

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Turkey’s public budget swung to a surplus in July, after tax increases on a wide range of essential goods boosted the government’s revenues, Bloomberg reported.

Income grew 156 percent last month from a year earlier, driven by a surge in value-added taxes on domestic consumption, which rose more than fivefold during the same period. Spending climbed 74.7 percent from last year, allowing the government to record a surplus of 48.6 billion liras ($1.8 billion), from a deficit of nearly 220 billion liras a month earlier.

The rapid improvement in the budget shows Treasury and Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek’s policies might be paying off. Şimşek pledged better public finances after taking over in June, when the budget gap was widening due to increased spending before President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s reelection in May as well as two devastating earthquakes that took place in February. The government last month tripled taxes collected from fuel and raised the value-added levy by two percentage points.

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