Deficit at €283 million in September

Social benefits and PSOs boost government spending during January-September 2014

In the period January-September 2014, the deficit of the Government’s Consolidated Fund amounted to €283.9 million.

Recurrent revenue registered an increase of €171.1 million, offset by higher expenditure of €183.6 million, when compared to the corresponding period last year, thereby widening the shortfall between recurrent revenue and total expenditure by €12.5 million.

During the first nine months, recurrent revenue was recorded at €2,227.3 million, up by 8.3 per cent over last year. The main contributors to this increase were Value Added Tax (€50.0 million), Income Tax (€45.7 million), Grants (€41.8 million) and Social Security Contributions (€37.6 million). Conversely, Customs and Excise Duties registered a decline

of €30.0 million.

Recurrent expenditure increased by €154.5 million, mainly as a result of higher spending on Programmes and Initiatives (€82.3 million). The major increases registered in the Programmes and Initiatives category were recorded in the public service obligations (€18.1 million), social security benefits (€14.9 million), social security state contributions, which also feature as revenue (€11.0 million), medicines and surgical materials (€8.3 million), allocations in respect to Local Councils (€8.2 million) and the ex-gratia grant scheme for motor vehicles (€3.2 million), among others. In addition, Personal Emoluments and Contributions to Government Entities increased by €36.8 million and €31.2 million respectively. Operational and Maintenance Expenditure went up by €4.3 million.

The interest component of the public debt servicing costs for the period under review amounted to €172.0 million, an increase of €6.5 million over last year.

Expenditure on Government’s capital projects amounted to €279.2 million. The increase of €22.5 million was mainly brought about by added outlays on roads (€21.1 million), the procurement of a helicopter (€11.9 million) and higher outlays towards the ICT core services agreement (€2.8 million), among others. Conversely, a lower equity injection to the national air carrier was registered.

At the end of September, Central Government debt stood at €5,347.4 million, up by €192.0 million over the corresponding period last year. This was the result of higher Long-term Borrowing, which added €271.3 million. On the other hand, Short-term and Foreign Borrowing went down by €114.1 million and €10.6 million respectively. As a result of consolidation, lower holdings by government funds in MGSs brought about an increase in debt of €40.1 million. The euro coins issued in the name of the Maltese Treasury went up by €5.2 million when compared to the coin stock as at the end of September 2013, and totalled €59.5 million.

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