Central Government shortfall down by €36.9m, Government debt up €378.5m

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Central Government shortfall down by €36.9m, Government debt up €378.5mIn the first ten months this year, the shortfall between recurrent revenue and total expenditure of Central Government amounted to €285.7 million, down from €322.5 million in the corresponding period last year, the National Statistics Office said today.

The decline of government deficit by €36.9 million was the result of higher recurrent revenue by €177.4 million, while total expenditure increased by €140.6 million.

At the end of October, Central Government debt stood at €4,998.3 million, up by €378.5 million over the corresponding period last year. This was the result of higher long-term and short-term borrowing, which added €213.9 million and €186.9 million respectively.

During January-October 2013, recurrent revenue stood at €2,316.1 million, up by 8.3 per cent over last year. The main contributors to this increase were Income Tax (+€76.8 million), Grants (+€51.8 million), Value Added Tax (+€31.8 million), Social Security (+€29.1 million) and Customs and Excise Duties (+€24.5 million). Conversely, declines were registered in Miscellaneous Receipts by €37.0 million.

Total expenditure was recorded at €2,601.8 million, up by 5.7 per cent when compared to the corresponding period in 2012. This was primarily due to added outlays on recurrent and capital expenditures.

Recurrent expenditure increased by €103.7 million, mainly as a result of higher spending on programmes and initiatives (+€61.1 million) and on personal emoluments (+€32.8 million). The programmes and initiatives category advanced by 4.8 per cent, primarily on account of a rise in social security benefits by €27.3 million.

In addition, the social security state contribution, which also features as revenue, went up by €9.7 million while EU own resources rose by €6.2 million. Increases were also registered in the feed-in tariff (+€4.4 million) and in expenditure on the electoral commission (+€3.6 million). Moreover, contributions to government entities added €8.0 million, while operational and maintenance expenditure went up by €1.9 million.

Expenditure on Government’s capital projects amounted to €303.7 million. The increase of €33.5 million over the corresponding period last year includes an equity injection of €40.0 million to the national air carrier, compared to €20.0 million in 2012.

This rise was partially offset by declines recorded in the contribution towards the Treasury Clearance Fund (-€4.0 million) and in the ICT core services agreement (-€2.4 million).

During the period under review, the interest component of the public debt servicing costs rose by €3.4 million and was recorded at €189.0 million.

Foreign borrowing went down by €11.0 million. As a result of consolidation, higher holdings by government funds in MGSs brought about a decline in debt of €16.6 million.

The euro coins issued in the name of the Maltese Treasury went up by €5.3 million when compared to the coin stock as at the end of October 2012, and totalled €54.6 million.

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