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UPDATE 1-Turkey plans higher taxes on the wealthy-FinMin

Friday, 5 Oct 2012 | 7:01 AM ET

* FinMin signals higher taxes on the wealthy

* Budget deficit in line with officials comments

* Recent measures not enough to completely reduce the deficit

(Adds quote, details, background)

By Orhan Coskun

ANKARA, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Turkey plans to impose higher taxes on the rich to try to narrow its budget deficit, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said on Friday after officials announced Ankara would miss its budget deficit target this year by one percentage point.

In other attempts to shrink the deficit, Turkey's state energy company Botas raised natural gas prices for consumers by 9.8 percent this month and energy watchdog EPDK said electricity prices would also rise; for industry by 4 percent and for households by 9.8 percent.

The government also raised its special consumption tax on new car purchases to 40 percent from 37 percent late in September and raised the tax on petrol and diesel, pushing up average prices by 8 to 8.9 percent.

"The latest measures haven't been sufficient to offset the budget deficit completely. We have already launched initiatives to impose taxes on wealthier people," Simsek told a news conference without giving any further details.

In its medium term programme, the government had forecast a budget deficit target of 1.5 percent of GDP for 2012, but officials said in recent weeks the country would miss this target by one percentage point, as tax revenues decline due to a slowdown in the economy.

"We hadn't anticipated that the growth composition would change that much in the medium-term programme," Simsek said.

(Writing by Seltem Iyigun; Editing by Jon Hemming)

((seltem.iyigun@thomsonreuters.com)(+90 212 350 70 62)(Reuters Messaging: seltem.iyigun.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: TURKEY SIMSEK/