During the first nine months of 2012, Central Government recorded a deficit of €282.2 million, from €188.4 million registered in the corresponding period of 2011, the National Statistics Office (NSO) confirmed.
An increase in recurrent revenue of €99.3 million was offset by a rise in total expenditure of €193.1 million, widening the government deficit by €93.8 million.
During January-September 2012, recurrent revenue stood at €1,921.4 million, a rise of 5.4 per cent over last year. This increase was triggered mainly by higher proceeds from Income Tax (+€76.7 million), Miscellaneous Receipts (+€20.8 million), Value Added Tax (+€16.4 million) and Social Security (+€12.7 million). These were partly outweighed by lower returns from Customs and Excise Duties (-€29.8 million) and the Central Bank of Malta (-€6.0 million).
Compared to 2011, total expenditure amounted to €2,203.6 million, up by 9.6 per cent, as a result of added spending on all expenditure components.
Recurrent expenditure rose by €124.6 million. The major increase was recorded in Programmes and Initiatives by €97.3 million, mainly as a result of higher social security benefits (+€35.9 million), medicines and surgical materials (+€11.6 million), EU own resources (+€7.0 million) social security state contributions (+€5.7 million), which also feature as revenue, contribution to church schools (+€3.9 million) and assistance to help the elderly live independently (+€3.6 million). Added expenditure was also recorded in Personal Emoluments (+€13.6 million), Operational and Maintenance Expenditure (+€8.9 million) and Contributions to Government Entities (+€4.8 million).
NSO added that the Government’s Capital Expenditure for the period under review amounted to €243.4 million.
When compared to the corresponding period in 2011, the increase of €59.9 million was mainly triggered by an equity injection of €20.0 million to the national air carrier and an increase of €16.3 million in EU funds related to the Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport and Communication, which included works on Roads Infrastructure. Expenditure financed by EU funds related to the Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs went up by €8.0 million, while the contribution towards the Treasury Clearance Fund added €7.0 million. Moreover, higher outlays were recorded in the ICT core services agreement (+€6.0 million) and film industry incentives (+€3.3 million).
During the period under review, an increase of €8.5 million was registered in the interest component of the public debt servicing costs. At the end of September, Central Government debt stood at €4,683.2 million, up by €315.0 million, or 7.2 per cent, over the corresponding period last year. This increase was the result of higher long-term borrowing, which added €328.7 million, and a rise in short-term securities by €15.0 million. On the other hand, foreign borrowing declined by €12.5 million.
Moreover, as a result of consolidation, higher holdings by government funds in MGSs resulted in a reduction of €20.7 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 September 2011, and totalled €48.9 million.
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