The Malta Independent 15 April 2024, Monday
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2023 deficit at €808m, debt climbs to €9.7 billion - NSO

Thursday, 28 March 2024, 11:13 Last update: about 17 days ago

By the end of December 2023, the Government’s Consolidated Fund reported a deficit of €808.0 million, the NSO said Thursday. The country’s debt has now reached €9.7 billion.

Between January and December 2023, Recurrent Revenue amounted to €6,413.0 million, €545.1 million higher than the figure reported a year earlier. The largest increases were recorded under Income Tax (€319.7 million), Social Security (€106.1 million) and Licences, Taxes and Fines (€54.2 million). On the other hand, the main drops in revenue were reported under Miscellaneous Receipts (€31.1 million), Central Bank of Malta (€22.2 million) and Fees of Office (€18.6 million).

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Total expenditure by the end of December 2023 stood at €7,220.9 million, €468.3 million higher than the previous year.

During the reference period, Recurrent Expenditure totalled €6,008.1 million, an increase of €168.5 million compared to the €5,839.6 million reported at the end of December 2022. The main contributor to this increase was a €68.2 million rise reported under Personal Emoluments. Furthermore, increases were also recorded under Operational and Maintenance Expenses (€54.0 million) and Programmes and Initiatives (€52.1 million). On the other hand, lower contributions towards Resource Support and Services Ltd. (€54.6 million) and Housing Authority (€3.2 million), among others, resulted in a €5.8 million drop being reported under Contributions to Government Entities.

The main developments in the Programmes and Initiatives category involved higher outlays towards Social security benefits (€97.7 million), Medicines and surgical materials (€26.4 million) and Tal-Linja card (€22.6 million). The increase in outlay was partially offset by a decrease registered under Pandemic assistance schemes (€117.8 million).

The interest component of the public debt servicing costs totalled €214.3 million, an increase of €40.7 million when compared to the previous year.

Between January and December 2023, Government’s capital spending amounted to €998.6 million, €259.1 million higher than 2022. This increase resulted from higher expenditure towards Contribution towards Capital projects (€44.3 million), Investment incentives (€40.7 million) and the Property, plant and equipment (€25.0 million).

The difference between total revenue and expenditure resulted in a deficit of €808.0 million being reported in the Government’s Consolidated Fund at the end of 2023. Compared to 2022, there was a decrease in deficit of €76.9 million. This difference mirrors an increase in total Recurrent Revenue (€545.1 million), partly offset by a rise in total expenditure, which consists of Recurrent Expenditure (€168.5 million), Interest (€40.7 million) and Capital Expenditure (€259.1 million).

At the end of December 2023, Central Government debt stood at €9,739.9 million, (€9.7 billion) an increase of €909.9 million when compared to 2022. The increase reported under Malta Government Stocks (€1,037.1 million) was the main contributor to the rise in debt. Higher debt was also reported under Foreign Loans (€71.9 million) and Euro coins issued in the name of the Treasury (€3.9 million). This increase in debt was partially offset by drops in Treasury Bills (€175.1 million) and the 62+ Malta Government Savings Bond (€23.4 million). Finally, higher holdings by government funds in Malta Government Stocks resulted in a decrease in debt of €4.5 million.

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