The Malta Independent 2 April 2020, Thursday

€8m surplus by end November, NSO says

Friday, 20 December 2019, 13:05 Last update: about 4 months ago

By the end of November 2019, a surplus of €8.0 million was registered under the Government’s Consolidated Fund, the NSO said today.

Between January and November 2019, recurrent revenue rose by €463.4 million and amounted to €4,389.4 million. This reflected an 11.8 per cent increase from the €3,925.9 million reported in revenue during the comparative period of 2018. Rises in Income Tax (€137.0 million) and Grants (€121.0 million) were the main catalysts for the increased revenue.

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Further increases were also registered under Social Security (€72.3 million), Value Added Tax (€63.1 million), Miscellaneous Receipts (€40.3 million), Customs and Excise Duties (€20.9 million), Licences, Taxes and Fines (€11.5 million), Rents (€5.5 million), Reimbursements (€2.6 million) and Fees of Offi  ce (€1.2 million). Conversely, drops in revenue were recorded under Central Bank of Malta (€7.0 million) and Dividends on Investment (€4.9 million). Total expenditure by the end of November 2019 amounted to €4,381.3 million, a 10.6 per cent increase over the same period in 2018. Recurrent expenditure stood at €3,755.8 million, €386.7 million higher than the comparable amount registered from January to November 2018.

The main contributor to this increase was a €232.7 million rise reported under Programmes and Initiatives. Furthermore, rises in outlay were also registered by Contributions to Government Entities (€74.8 million), Personal Emoluments (€64.0 million) and Operational and Maintenance Expenses (€15.2 million).

The main developments in the Programmes and Initiatives category involved added outlays due to social security benefits (€43.1 million), EU own resources (€36.6 million), state contribution (€28.1 million that also features as revenue), medicines and surgical materials (€23.1 million), extension of school transport network (€21.7 million), residential care in private homes (€8.6 million), church schools (€8.2 million), cancer treatment (€7.0 million), landscaping - Malta (€6.8 million), electoral commission activities (€6.0 million), hospital concession agreements (€5.5 million), child care for all (€5.4 million), solid waste management strategy (€4.2 million), summoning and expenses of witnesses, jurors and experts in criminal court trials (€3.9 million) and allocation to regional committees (€3.2 million).

The interest component of the public debt servicing costs totalled €173.7 million, €11.4 million lower than the same period in 2018.  By the end of November, Government’s capital spending amounted to €451.9 million, resulting in an increase of €44.9 million over 2018. The rise in outlay was due to increased expenditure reported on road construction and improvements (€44.3 million), improvements to buildings and equipment (€26.9 million) and acquisition of property for public purposes (€6.9 million).

Such rise in capital expenses was partially off set by drops in structural funds 2014 - 2020 (€17.0 million), investment incentives (€11.0 million) and EU Internal Security Fund - Borders and Visa (€4.1 million). The difference between total revenue and expenditure resulted in a surplus of €8.0 million being reported in the Government’s Consolidated Fund by the end of November 2019, a €43.2 million rise from the deficit of €35.2 million witnessed during the same period in 2018. The main driver of the difference was a higher reported increase in recurrent revenue (€463.4 million), in comparison  to the increase in total expenditure, consisting of recurrent expenditure (€386.7 million), interest (-€11.4 million) and capital expenditure (€44.9 million).

At the end of November 2019, Central Government Debt stood at €5,305.3 million, a €105.7 million rise over the same month in 2018. This was primarily the result of an increase reported under the 62+ Malta Government Savings Bond (€97.4 million). Malta Government Stocks and Euro coins issued in the name of the Treasury also rose by €37.4 million and €4.9 million respectively. On the other hand, there were decreases recorded under Treasury Bills (€10.8 million) and Foreign Loans (€0.1 million). Higher holdings by government funds in Malta Government Stocks also resulted in a decrease in debt of €23.0 million.

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