In the first seven months this year, the shortfall between recurrent revenue and total expenditure of Central Government amounted to €333.3 million, an increase of €95.1 million compared to the corresponding period in 2011 the National Statistics Office (NSO) confirmed.
The increase in recurrent revenue of €72.4 million was outweighed by a rise in total expenditure of €167.5 million, widening the government deficit.
During the period under review, recurrent revenue stood at €1,397.4 million, a rise of 5.5 per cent over last year. The main contributors were Income Tax (+€66.4 million), Miscellaneous Receipts (+€28.7 million), Value Added Tax (+€20.7 million) and Social Security (+€16.9 million).
These were partly offset by a decline in proceeds from Grants (-€44.9 million), Customs and Excise Duties (-€15.8 million) and the Central Bank of Malta (-€6.0 million).
Compared to 2011, total expenditure was recorded at €1,730.7 million, up by 10.7 per cent, as a result of higher outlays on all expenditure components.
NSO added that recurrent expenditure increased by €118.7 million. The major increase was recorded in Programmes and Initiatives by €80.4 million, mainly as a result of higher social security benefits (+€29.8 million), medicines and surgical materials (+€12.1 million), social security state contributions (+€5.3 million), which also feature as revenue, and EU own resources (+€5.0 million). Moreover, contributions to church schools and Mater Dei Hospital non-medical equipment both increased by €3.7 million while assistance to help the elderly live independently contributed €3.6 million. Added expenditure was also recorded in Contributions to Government Entities (+€17.3 million), Operational and Maintenance Expenditure (+€11.3 million), and Personal Emoluments (+€9.7 million).
Government’s Capital Expenditure for the period under review amounted to €182.0 million. When compared to the corresponding period in 2011, the increase of €42.4 million was mainly triggered by an equity injection of €20.0 million to the national air carrier and an increase of €11.2 million in EU funds related to the Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport and Communication, which included works on Roads Infrastructure. Concurrently, higher outlays were recorded in the ICT core services agreement (+€6.0 million), EU funds related to the Office of the Prime Minister (+€3.8 million), the Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs (+€3.6 million) and higher investment incentives (+€2.7 million). These were partially offset by a reduction of €5.0 million in the contribution towards the Treasury Clearance Fund.
During January-July 2012, the interest component of the public debt servicing costs recorded an increase of €6.4 million.
At the end of July, Central Government debt stood at €4,816.8 million, up by €391.7 million, or 8.9 per cent, over the corresponding period last year. This increase was the result of higher long-term borrowing, which added €505.0 million. On the other hand, short-term securities and foreign borrowing declined by €50.8 million and €12.6 million respectively. Moreover, as a result of consolidation, higher holdings by government funds in MGSs resulted in a reduction of €54.2 million. 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 July 2011, and totalled €48.2 million.
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