In January, the shortfall between recurrent revenue and total expenditure of Central Government amounted to €58.1 million, down from €129.3 million according to the National Statistics Office (NSO).

According to data obtained from the Consolidated Fund of Government, during January recurrent revenue registered an increase of €61.0 million while expenditure went down by €10.2 million, thereby narrowing the deficit between recurrent revenue and total expenditure to €58.1 million.

During the first month this year, recurrent revenue was recorded at €218.5 million, up from €157.6 million last year. As shown in Table 1, the comparative increase of 38.7 per cent was mainly the result of higher returns from Grants (+€34.0 million), Income Tax (+€17.6 million), Social Security (+€7.8 million) and Value Added Tax (+€3.3 million). These increases were partly outweighed by a fall in Rents (-€1.5 million).

Conversely, compared to January last year, lower spending was registered in all expenditure components resulting in a fall in total expenditure of €10.2 million, to €276.7 million.

Recurrent expenditure declined by €9.3 million, totalling €222.4 million. Lower outlays were mainly registered in operational and maintenance expenditure (-€5.6 million) and in contributions to government entities (-€4.1 million). Moreover, programmes and initiatives went down by €1.5 million mainly due to lower social security benefits (-€8.0 million) and street lighting (-€4.4 million).

These were partially outweighed by added expenditure on medicines and surgical materials (+€6.0 million) and EU Own Resources (+€3.7 million).

Conversely, an increase was registered in personal emoluments (+€1.8 million). The interest component of the public debt servicing costs for the period under review declined marginally to €18.3 million from €18.4 million last year.

In addition, Government’s Capital Expenditure for January stood at €36.0 million from €36.7 million last year. Major declines were registered in PC leasing (-€2.7 million), direct investments (-€1.2 million) and in the acquisition of property (-€0.6 million). Conversely, higher outlays were recorded in the EU agriculture guarantee fund (+€2.7million) and road construction improvements (+€1.1 million).

At the end of January, Central Government debt stood at €4,765.5 million, up by €322.8 million over the corresponding period last year. This increase was the result of higher long-term and short-term borrowing, which added €297.5 million and €53.7 million respectively. On the other hand, foreign borrowing went down by €12.5 million.

Moreover, NSO added, 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 €4.9 million when compared to the coin stock as at the end of January 2012, and totalled €50.2 million.

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