Debt up by €518 million in six months under Labour – Busuttil

Opposition leader claims debt was 'never as high' since Malta joined the EU • data analysis however shows higher quarter-on-quarter increase in debt in March 2013

Labour’s first full year in power has seen Malta’s national debt rise by a record €370 million, Opposition leader Simon Busuttil said today on PBS’s Dissett.

Busuttil said the data published by the NSO showed a record increase in debt over the past 12 months.

He said that the rate of increase in debt was “never as high since we joined the EU”.

Busuttil said that under the EU’s Maastricht criteria, which sets debt ceilings and limits deficits to 3% of a country’s gross domestic product, Malta’s national debt had increased by €518 million in the first six months of 2014.

According to the data from the last quarter of 2014, national debt increased from €5.24 billion at end-2013, to €5.75 billion by the second quarter of 2014, an increase of €518 million over six months.

Increments of debt and deficit are usually measured in quarter-on-quarter increases. Busuttil is right in pointing out that on a six-month basis, this the highest ever chunk of debt ever registered. But as historic data shows, the debt can be decreased over successive quarters throughout the year.

According to the same NSO data, the highest recorded increase in debt came at the end of the first quarter of 2013, at over €300 million - at the end of the March 2013 election.

 

The NSO said that the increase in government debt was underpinned by more government stocks of €3738 million and an increase of €71.3 million in short-term debt securities. Long-term loans went up by €65 million, while short-term loans declined by €51 million.

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