According to the National Statistics Office (NSO) in the first nine months this year, the shortfall between recurrent revenue and total expenditure of Central Government amounted to €271.4 million, compared to €282.2 million in the corresponding period last year.
The decrease in the government deficit of €10.8 million was the result of higher recurrent revenue by €134.8 million, which outweighed the increase in total expenditure of €124.0 million.
During January-September 2013, recurrent revenue stood at €2,056.2 million, up by 7.0 per cent over last year. The main contributors to this increase were Income Tax (+€88.1million), Grants (+€30.2 million), Social Security (+€29.2 million) and Customs and Excise Duties (+€23.8 million).
Moreover, Value Added Tax went up by €15.7 million, whereas declines were registered in Miscellaneous Receipts and Licences, Taxes and Fines.
Total expenditure was recorded at €2,327.6 million, up by 5.6 per cent when compared to the corresponding period in 2012. This was primarily due to added outlays on recurrent and capital expenditures, NSO said.
Recurrent expenditure increased by €113.3 million, mainly as a result of higher spending on programmes and initiatives and on personal emoluments, by €74.5 million and €29.6 million respectively. The programmes and initiatives category advanced by 6.6 per cent, primarily on account of a rise in social security benefits by €62.5 million.
In addition, the social security state contribution, which also features as revenue, went up by €8.6 million while EU own resources rose by €7.6 million. Increases were also registered in the feedin tariff (+€4.4 million) and in expenditure on the Electoral Commission (€3.7 million).
Conversely, a lower allocation in respect of Local Councils of €8.0 million was recorded.
Moreover, contributions to government entities added €9.9 million, while operational and maintenance expenditure declined by €0.8 million.
Expenditure on Government’s capital projects amounted to €256.7 million. The increase of €13.3 million over the corresponding period last year includes a higher equity injection of €40.0 million to the national air carrier (€20.0 million in 2012). This increase was partially offset by declines recorded in the ICT core services agreement and in the investment incentives given to enterprise.
During the period under review, the interest component of the public debt servicing costs was recorded at €165.5 million, a decline of €2.6 million.
At the end of September, Central Government debt stood at €5,155.5 million, up by €472.3 million over the corresponding period last year. This was the result of higher long-term and short-term borrowing, which added €434.2 million and €102.3 million respectively. On the other hand, foreign borrowing went down by €12.0 million. As a result of consolidation, higher holdings by government funds in MGSs brought about a decline in debt of €57.7 million. The euro coins issued in the name of the Maltese Treasury went up by €5.4 million when compared to the coin stock as at the end of September 2012, and totalled €54.3 million.
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