The Malta Independent 24 September 2023, Sunday
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Government registers €359 million deficit in first eight months

Friday, 30 September 2022, 11:26 Last update: about 13 months ago

By the end of August 2022, the government's consolidated fund reported a deficit of €359 million, the National Statistics Office (NSO) said.

In the first eight months of 2022, government's recurrent revenue amounted to €3,623.9 million, 12% higher than the €3,235.0 million reported a year earlier.

The largest increase was recorded under Value Added Tax (€177.7 million), followed by income tax (€126.9 million), social security (€80.9 million), reimbursements (€9.7 million), licences, taxes and fines (€8.9 million), rents (€2.8 million), dividends on investment (€2.6 million), Central Bank of Malta (€2.2 million) and grants (€0.5 million), the NSO said.

"The rise in revenue was partially offset by decreases under miscellaneous receipts (€10.2 million), fees of office (€7.9 million) and Customs and Excise Duties (€5.3 million)."

"By the end of August 2022, total expenditure stood at €3,982.8 million, €1.3 million lower than the previous year. During the reference period, recurrent expenditure totalled €3,517.7 million, an increase of €39.7 million in comparison to the €3,477.9 million reported in the first eight months of 2021. The main contributor to this increase was a €38.4 million increase reported under programmes and initiatives. Furthermore, increases were also witnessed under personal emoluments (€15.2 million) and contributions to government entities (€3.6 million)."

This rise in expenditure outweighed a decrease under operational and maintenance expenses (€17.5 million), the NSO said.

The NSO said that the main developments in the Programmes and Initiatives category involved added outlays towards Energy support measures (€62.2 million), Economic stimulus payments (€48 million), social security benefits (€35.9 million), tax relief measures (€26 million), gas stabilisation fund (€10 million), extension of school transport network (€6.3 million).

This rise in Programmes and Initiatives was partly offset by a decrease under the pandemic assistance schemes (€149.9 million).

The interest component of the public debt servicing costs totalled €112.4 million, a decrease of €10.7 million when compared to the previous year.

By the end of August 2022, Government's capital spending amounted to €352.8 million, €30.3 million lower than 2021. This decrease resulted from lower expenditure towards road construction and improvements (€12.5 million), Property, plant and equipment (€11.1 million), Gozo Aquatic Centre (€8.0 million), among others.

This decrease in Capital Expenditure was partially offset by increases under film industry incentives (€10.3 million) and Ta' Qali National Park (€7.9 million).

The difference between total revenue and expenditure resulted in a deficit of €359 million being reported in the Government's Consolidated Fund at the end of August 2022. Compared to the same period in 2021, there was a decrease in deficit of €390.1 million. This difference mirrors an increase in total recurrent revenue (€388.8 million), coupled with a decrease in total expenditure, which consists of recurrent expenditure (€39.7 million), interest (-€10.7 million) and capital expenditure (-€30.3 million), the NSO said.

"At the end of August 2022, central government debt stood at €8,559.0 million, an increase of €874.5 million from 2021. The increase reported under Malta Government Stocks (€657.2 million) was the main contributor to the rise in debt. Higher debt was also reported under treasury bills (€163.5 million), the 62+ Malta Government Savings Bond (€93.3 million) and Euro coins issued in the name of the treasury (€5.7 million). This increase in debt was partially offset by a decrease in Foreign Loans (€0.1 million). Finally, higher holdings by government funds in Malta Government Stocks resulted in a decrease in debt of €45.1 million (Table 6)."

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