The Malta Independent 16 December 2019, Monday

Government reports surplus of nearly €38m by end of third quarter – NSO

Friday, 25 October 2019, 11:28 Last update: about 3 months ago

By the end of the third quarter of 2019, Government’s Consolidated Fund reported a surplus of €37.9 million, the NSO said today.

Between January and September 2019, recurrent revenue rose by €435.0 million and amounted to €3,563.7 million.

This represented a 13.9 per cent increase from the €3,128.7 million reported in revenue during the corresponding period in 2018. Reported rises in Income Tax (€156.7 million) and Grants (€117.4 million) were the main catalysts for the increased revenue.

Further increases were also registered under Social Security (€71.0 million), Value Added Tax (€56.4 million), Miscellaneous Receipts (€19.3 million), Rents (€9.2 million), Licences, Taxes and Fines (€4.8 million), Reimbursements (€4.2 million), Customs and Excise Duties (€4.1 million) and Fees of Office (€0.8 million).

Conversely, drops in revenue were recorded under Dividends on Investment (€5.9 million) and Central Bank of Malta (€3.0 million). Total expenditure by the end of September 2019 stood at €3,525.8 million, a 12.8 per cent increase from the corresponding period in 2018. Recurrent expenditure stood at €3,024.8 million, €323.7 million higher than the corresponding amount registered by the end of September 2018.

The main contributor to this increase was a €199.1 million rise reported under Programmes and Initiatives. Furthermore, rises in outlay were also registered by Contributions to Government Entities (€59.9 million), Personal Emoluments (€51.0 million) and Operational and Maintenance Expenses (€13.7 million).

The main developments in the Programmes and Initiatives category involved added outlays due to EU own resources (€34.4 million), social security benefits (€26.9 million), state contribution (€25.9 million that also features as revenue), extension of school transport network (€18.3 million), hospital concession agreements (€15.0 million), medicines and surgical materials (€13.0 million), contingency reserve (€12.9 million), church schools (€9.6 million), feed-in-tariff , landscaping - Malta (both €6.8 million), cancer treatment (€6.6 million), solid waste management strategy (€4.9 million), electoral commission activities (€4.6 million), child care for all (€4.3 million), allocation to regional committees (€3.1 million) and eco reduction (€2.8 million).

The interest component of the public debt servicing costs amounted to €147.1 million, €11.4 million lower than the same period in 2018.  Government’s capital expenditure registered an increase of €87.7 million from the same period last year and added up to €353.9 million.

The rise in outlay was due to increased expenditure reported on road construction and improvements (€39.4 million), cohesion funds 2014-2020 (€15.2 million), EU Internal Security Fund - Borders and Visa (€15.0 million), structural funds 2014-2020 (€7.4 million), connecting Europe facility (€5.8 million), acquisition of property for public purposes (€4.6 million), ICT (€4.2 million) and WasteServ Malta (€3.8 million). The biggest drops in capital outlay were recorded under the health information system (€3.9 million) and grand harbour regeneration corporation (€3.4 million).

The difference between total revenue and expenditure resulted in a surplus of €37.9 million being reported in the Government’s Consolidated Fund by the end of September 2019, a €35.0 million rise from the surplus of €2.9 million witnessed in the same period in 2018. The main driver in the difference was a higher reported increase in recurrent revenue (€435.0 million), than that in total expenditure, consisting of recurrent expenditure (€323.7 million), interest (-€11.4 million) and capital expenditure (€87.7 million). During September 2019, Central Government Debt stood at €5,255.4 million, a €16.1 million rise from the same month in 2018. This was primarily the result of an increase reported under the 62+ Malta Government Savings Bond (€97.8 million). Euro coins issued in the name of the Treasury also rose by €4.5 million. On the other hand, there were decreases recorded under Treasury Bills (€46.2 million), Malta Government Stocks (€20.2 million) and Foreign Loans (€0.2 million). Higher holdings by government funds in Malta Government Stocks also resulted in a decrease in debt of €19.7 million.

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