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The National Statistics Office said that during 2011, the shortfall between recurrent revenue and total expenditure of Central Government registered a decline of €60.6 million when compared to 2010, and amounted to €218.6 million.

The increase recorded in recurrent revenue of €118.5 million outweighed the rise in total expenditure of €57.9 million. During the period under review, recurrent revenue stood at  €2,643.8 million. The comparative increase of 4.7 per cent was mainly triggered by higher returns from Value Added Tax (+€42.5 million), Social Security (+€33.5 million), Grants (+€29.2 million) and Customs and Excise Duties (+€20.4 million).

Conversely, proceeds from Income Tax went down by €25.1 million. In 2011, total expenditure reached €2,862.4 million, up by 2.1 per cent, as a result of more outlays on recurrent expenditure and interest payments. Lower capital expenditures partly offset this increase.

Recurrent expenditure went up by €64.9 million to €2,361.3 million. The main contributors to the increase in recurrent expenditure were contributions to government entities (+€15.1 million), personal emoluments (+€14.0 million), social security state contributions (+€10.8 million), which also features as recurrent revenue, and contribution to church schools (+€7.7 million). Moreover, an increase in public service obligations (+€7.0 million) and a higher administration fee to Transport Malta (+€3.3 million) added to recurrent expenditure.

Conversely, Social Security Benefits declined by €3.4 million.

Capital expenditure was recorded at €288.7 million compared to €311.5 million in 2010. The lower expenditure on capital projects, by €22.8 million, was triggered by the completion of the Malta South Sewage Infrastructure (-€36.7 million) and the additional €11.4 million transferred to the Treasury Clearance Fund in 2010.

These were partly offset by higher outlays on the upgrade and embellishment of industrial estates (+€8.9 million), Tourism Zone Upgrading (+€8.3 million) and the EU Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (+€6.9 million).

The interest component of the public debt servicing costs for the year under review rose by €15.7 million to €212.5 million.

At December 2011, Central Government debt stood at €4,484.5 million, a rise of €314.6 million, or 7.5 per cent, compared to 2010. The increase in government debt was the result of higher long-term borrowing which added €442.7 million. On the other hand, short-term securities and foreign borrowing declined by €119.9 million and €13.1 million respectively.

The euro coins issued in the name of the Maltese Treasury rose by €4.8 million when compared to the coin stock as at the end of 2010, and totalled €45.8 million.

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