The National Statistics Office (NSO) said that during the first four months of 2012, the shortfall between recurrent revenue and total expenditure of Central Government amounted to €232.2million, an increase of €90.4 million compared to the corresponding period in 2011.
The €25.0 million increase in recurrent revenue was outweighed by a rise in total expenditure of €115.5 million, widening the government deficit.
During January-April 2012, recurrent revenue stood at €748.7 million, a rise of 3.5 per cent over last year. The main contributors were Income Tax (+€40.8 million), Social Security (+€10.1 million) and Value Added Tax (+€6.0 million). These were partly offset by a decline in proceeds from Customs and Excise Duties (-€11.3 million), Miscellaneous Receipts (-€8.2 million) and the Central Bank of Malta (-€6.0 million).
Compared to 2011, total expenditure was recorded at €980.9 million, up by 13.3 per cent, resulting from higher outlays on recurrent and capital expenditures.
Recurrent expenditure increased by €80.3 million, due to higher outlays on Programmes and Initiatives mainly in social security benefits (+€25.1 million), EU Own Resources (+€6.6 million), medicines and surgical materials (+€6.1 million), social security state contributions (+€4.1 million), which also feature as revenue, assistance to help the elderly live independently (+€3.4 million), public service obligations (+€2.9 million) and electoral activities (+€2.0 million). Added expenditure was also recorded in Contributions to Government Entities (+€12.7 million), Personal Emoluments (+€5.9 million), and Operational and Maintenance Expenditure (+€5.0 million).
NSO added that the Government’s Capital Expenditure for the period under review reached €107.2 million. The comparative increase of €37.3 million was mainly the result of an equity injection of €20.0 million to the national air carrier. Other expenditures on capital projects included an increase in EU funds related to the Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport and Communication (+€7.5 million) and the Office of the Prime Minister (+€1.8 million). Higher outlays were also recorded in investment incentives (+€2.8 million) and in the acquisition of property for public purpose (+€1.6 million).
Conversely, the interest component of the public debt servicing costs for the period under review declined by €2.2 million.
At the end of April Central Government debt stood at €4,676.1 million, up by €388.8 million, or 9.1 per cent, over the corresponding period last year. This increase was the result of higher long-term borrowing, which added €610.8 million. On the other hand, short-term securities and foreign borrowing declined by €165.3 million and €13.0 million respectively. Moreover, as a result of consolidation, higher holdings by government funds in MGSs resulted in a reduction of €48 million in Government Debt. The euro coins issued in the name of the Maltese Treasury went up by €4.4 million when compared to the coin stock as at the end of April 2011, and totalled €45.8 million.
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