Finance Minister highlights record low general government deficit

The third quarter of 2015 has recorded the lowest third quarter deficit since data on the General Government Deficit started being compiled, the Finance Ministry said.

Figures published by the National Statistics Office (NSO) show that the general government deficit for July-September 2015 stood at €6.5 million, down from the €41.5 million of the same quarter in 2014.

“These positive fiscal figures continue to confirm that this Government is succeeding in putting our public finances on a sustainable path by gradually but consistently reducing the deficit while fostering economic growth,” Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said.

The significant reduction in the deficit was mainly driven by a notable increase in revenue, which grew by €88.5 million during the same period.

Revenue from current taxes on income and wealth was the main factor behind this revenue increase, reflecting the record increases in employment as well as higher labour market participation of women and older workers.

Higher proceeds were also recorded in other revenue components including market output, net social contributions and production and imports, the latter reflecting the positive effect of higher economic growth on Government revenue.

Total expenditure also increased during the same quarter, the main contributor being expenditure on investment, mainly EU-funded, which rose by €20.9 million. This represents a 32.2 per cent increase in investment spending over the third quarter of 2014.