The Malta Independent 20 October 2019, Sunday

Government nets €83.9 million surplus by end August – NSO

Friday, 27 September 2019, 11:25 Last update: about 22 days ago

By the end of August 2019, Government’s Consolidated Fund reported a surplus of €83.9 million, the NSO said today.

Between January and August 2019, recurrent revenue rose by €446.1 million and amounted to €3,190.2 million. This represented a 16.3 per cent increase from the €2,744.1 million reported in revenue during the corresponding period in 2018. Reported rises in Income Tax (€150.3 million) and Grants (€117.6 million) were the main catalysts for the increased revenue. Further increases were also registered under Value Added Tax (€98.5 million), Social Security (€63.5 million), Miscellaneous Receipts (€11.8 million), Customs and Excise Duties (€9.3 million), Licences, Taxes and Fines (€7.8 million), Rents (€5.7 million), Fees of Office (€1.0 million) and Reimbursements (€0.4 million). Conversely, drops in revenue were recorded under Dividends on Investment (€11.9 million) and Central Bank of Malta (€8.0 million).

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Total expenditure by the end of August 2019 stood at €3,106.3 million, a 13.1 per cent increase from the corresponding period in 2018. Recurrent expenditure stood at €2,666.8 million, €271.4 million higher than the corresponding amount registered by the end of August 2018. The main contributor to this increase was a €163.3 million rise reported under Programmes and Initiatives. Furthermore, rises in outlay were also registered by Contributions to Government Entities (€48.1 million), Personal Emoluments (€44.0 million) and Operational and Maintenance Expenses (€16.0 million).

The main developments in the Programmes and Initiatives category involved added outlays due to EU own resources (€33.3 million), social security benefits (€21.4 million), state contribution (€21.3 million that also features as revenue), extension of school transport network (€18.1 million), contingency reserve (€12.9 million), medicines and surgical materials (€9.5 million), feed-in-tariff , landscaping - Malta (both €6.8 million), cancer treatment (€6.1 million), solid waste management strategy (€5.6 million), hospital concession agreements (€5.2 million), residential care in private homes (€4.9 million), child care for all (€4.8 million), electoral commission activities (€4.5 million) and eco reduction (€2.8 million).

The interest component of the public debt servicing costs amounted to €126.5 million, €12.6 million lower than the same period in 2018.  Government’s capital expenditure registered an increase of €100.2 million from the same period last year and added up to €313.0 million. The rise in outlay was due to increased expenditure reported on road construction and improvements (€34.9 million), cohesion funds 2014-2020 (€21.1 million), structural funds 2014-2020 (€16.8 million), EU Internal Security Fund - Borders and Visa (€15.0 million), connecting Europe facility (€3.8 million), acquisition of property for public purposes (€3.0 million), Wasteserv Malta Ltd (€2.4 million), national ID management systems (€2.3 million) and ICT (€2.1 million).

The difference between total revenue and expenditure resulted in a surplus of €83.9 million being reported in the Government’s Consolidated Fund by the end of August 2019, compared to a deficit of €3.1 million in the same period in 2018. The main driver in the difference was a higher reported increase in recurrent revenue (€446.1 million) than that in total expenditure, consisting of recurrent expenditure (€271.4 million), interest (-€12.6 million) and capital expenditure (€100.2 million).

During August 2019, Central Government Debt stood at €5,419.4 million, a €83.3 million rise from the same month in 2018. This was primarily the result of an increase reported under the 62+ Malta Government Savings Bond (€98.0 million). Malta Government Stocks and Euro coins issued in the name of the Treasury also rose by €54.5 million and €4.4 million respectively. On the other hand, there were decreases recorded under Treasury Bills (€57.2 million) and Foreign Loans (€0.2 million). Higher holdings by government funds in Malta Government Stocks also resulted in a decrease in debt of €16.2 million.

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