The Malta Independent 10 December 2022, Saturday
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Government debt rose by €771 million from 2021

Friday, 25 November 2022, 12:41 Last update: about 14 days ago

At the end of October 2022, Central Government debt stood at €8,738.0 million, an increase of €771.4 million from 2021, the National Statistics Office said.

The increase reported under Malta Government Stocks (€729 million) was the main contributor to the rise in debt. Higher debt was also reported under Treasury Bills (€186.4 million) and Euro coins issued in the name of the Treasury (€5 million). This increase in debt was partially offset by a decrease in the 62+ Malta Government Savings Bond (€99.6 million) and Foreign Loans (€0.1 million). Finally, higher holdings by government funds in Malta Government Stocks resulted in a decrease in debt of €49.3 million.

Between January and October, Recurrent Revenue amounted to €4,528.5 million, 12.3% higher than the €4,031.9 million reported a year earlier. The largest increase was recorded under Value Added Tax (€199.1 million), followed by Income Tax (€195.3 million) and Social Security (€112.2 million).

The rise in revenue was partially offset by decreases under Dividends on Investment (€14 million), Fees of Office (€13.6 million), Customs and Excise Duties (€7.4 million), Central Bank of Malta (€2.8 million) and Miscellaneous Receipts (€2.5 million).

By the end of October 2022, total expenditure stood at €5,141.9 million, €59.8 million higher than the previous year. During the reference period, Recurrent Expenditure totalled €4,532.7 million, an increase of €107.8 million in comparison to the €4,424.9 million reported during the corresponding period in 2021, the NSO said.

The main contributor to this increase was a €74.2 million rise reported under Programmes and Initiatives. Furthermore, increases were also witnessed under Contributions to Government Entities (€32.6 million) and Personal Emoluments (€21.9 million). This rise in expenditure outweighed a decrease under Operational and Maintenance Expenses (€20.7 million).

The main developments in the Programmes and Initiatives category involved added outlays towards Energy support measures (€180.9 million), Economic stimulus payments (€47.5 million), Social security benefits (€41.9 million), Gas stabilisation fund (€12.7 million) and Tax relief measures (€7.8 million). This rise in Programmes and Initiatives was partly offset by decreases under the Pandemic assistance schemes (€182.7 million), Hospital concession agreements (€16.5 million) and Waiting lists for medical services (€14.9 million).

 The interest component of the public debt servicing costs totalled €145 million, a decrease of €7.8 million when compared to the previous year.

By the end of October 2022, Government's capital spending amounted to €464.2 million, €40.2 million lower than 2021. This decrease resulted from lower expenditure towards Road construction and improvements (€20.5 million), Gozo Aquatic Centre (€9.2 million), Property, plant and equipment (€8.0 million) and National Identity Management Systems (€3.2 million).

The difference between total revenue and expenditure resulted in a deficit of €613.4 million being reported in the Government's Consolidated Fund at the end of October 2022. Compared to the same period in 2021, there was a decrease in deficit of €436.8 million. This difference mirrors an increase in total Recurrent Revenue (€496.6 million), partly offset by a rise in total expenditure, which consists of Recurrent Expenditure (€107.8 million), Interest (-€7.8 million) and Capital Expenditure (-€40.2 million). 

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