Government says finances for first half of 2019 in line with targets

The Finance Ministry said that government expenditure in the first half of the year took care of the country's economic, social and environmental needs but that this would be kept in check to guarantee a modest surplus

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna
Finance Minister Edward Scicluna

The Finance Ministry welcomed the latest government finance data published by the National Statistics Office (NSO), which had reported this week that the government's Consolidated Fund registered a €156.2 million deficit in the first six months of 2019.

In a statement released on Saturday, the government insisted that this was in line with its targets and that "government revenue continued to be buoyant with the increase in tax revenue rising by €218 million or 12.5 per cent, reflecting an increase in employment income coupled with a record low unemployment rate."

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The ministry said that while expenditure growth will take care of the country’s economic, social and environmental needs, it would be kept in line so as to provide a modest surplus.

"Expenditure on public investment projects increased by €77 million for the first half of this year reflecting the various government projects currently being undertaken, in particular the projects to upgrade Malta’s infrastructure," Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said.

The government highlighted how the recurrent expenditure increased by 11.7% with the highest contributor being expenditure on programs and initiatives.