The National Statistics Office (NSO) revealed that between January and November 2011, the shortfall between recurrent revenue and total expenditure of Central Government narrowed by €29.6 million to €278.2 million, when compared to the corresponding period in 2010.
In the first eleven months this year, the increase of €88.5 million registered in recurrent revenue outweighed the rise of €58.8 million in expenditure, resulting in an improvement in the government deficit when compared to the corresponding period last year.
During January-November 2011, recurrent revenue stood at €2,234.0 million, up by 4.1 per cent over last year. Higher returns were mainly registered from Social Security (+€36.9 million), Value Added Tax (+€35.5 million) and Customs and Excise duties (+€28.5 million). Conversely, a reduction in proceeds was recorded from Income Tax (-€28.2 million).
Total expenditure was recorded at €2,512.3 million, up from €2,453.5 million when compared to last year. This resulted from higher outlays on recurrent expenditure and interest payments, partly outweighed by a decline of 5.2 per cent in capital expenditure.
The main contributors to the increase of €62.5 million in recurrent expenditure were, among others, contributions to government entities (+€20.2 million), social security state contributions (+€9.7 million), which also feature as revenue, personal emoluments (+€9.4 million), contributions to church schools (+€4.7 million) and medicines and surgical materials (+€4.6 million). Moreover, an increase in public service obligations (+€3.6 million) and a higher administration fee to Transport Malta (+€2.9 million) added to recurrent expenditure.
Conversely, Social Security Benefits declined by €3.2 million during the period under review. Capital expenditure was recorded at €249.2 million. The lower expenditure on capital projects, by €13.6 million, was triggered by the completion of the Malta South Sewage Infrastructure (-€33.5 million). This was partly offset by higher outlays on the EU Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (+€6.7 million), EU Cohesion Fund in the Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport and Communication (+€6.3 million), the promotion of renewable energy (+€4.6 million) and Tourism Zone Upgrading (+€4.1 million).
The interest component of the public debt servicing costs for the eleven months under review went up by €9.9 million and amounted to €192.7 million.
At the end of November, Central Government debt stood at €4,555.7 million, up by €345.5 million, or 8.2 per cent, over the corresponding period last year. This was the result of higher long-term borrowing, which added €444.8 million. On the other hand, shortterm securities and foreign borrowing decreased by €90.1 million and €13.2 million respectively.
The euro coins issued in the name of the Maltese Treasury went up by €4.3 million when compared to the euro coin stock as at the end of November 2010, and totalled €44.7 million.
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