Central Government debt up by €313.1 million on last year

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Central Government debt up by €313.1 million on last yearIn the period January-February 2014, the deficit of the Government’s Consolidated Fund amounted to €74.5 million, the National Statistics Office said today.

The NSO said that at the end of February, Central Government debt stood at €5,095.0 million, up by €313.1 million over the corresponding period last year. This was the result of higher long-term and short-term borrowing, which added €266.5 million and €69.5 million respectively.

During the first two months, recurrent revenue increased by €45.8 million while expenditure went up by €16.4 million, when compared to the corresponding period last year, thereby narrowing the shortfall between recurrent revenue and total expenditure by €29.4 million.

During these two months, recurrent revenue was recorded at €482.8 million, up by 10.5 per cent over last year. The main contributors to this increase were Income Tax (€35.4 million), Value Added Tax (€29.9 million), Social Security (€6.1 million) and Customs and Excise Duties (€4.8 million). Conversely, Grants registered a decline of €28.4 million.

Compared to January-February last year, higher spending was registered in recurrent expenditure, which was only partially offset by lower outlays on capital projects, resulting in an increase in total expenditure of €16.4 million.

Recurrent expenditure increased by €27.2 million, mainly as a result of higher spending on Contributions to Government Entities (€9.9 million), Operational and Maintenance Expenditure (€7.4 million), Programmes and Initiatives (€5.3 million) as well as Personal Emoluments (€4.7 million).

The major increases registered in the Programmes and Initiatives category were recorded in medicines and surgical materials (€8.5 million), the assistance to help the elderly live independently (€7.6 million), feed-in tariff (€5.0 million) and eco-reduction (€3.4 million), among others. These increases were partially offset by a decline in social security bene? ts of €27.0 million.

The interest component of the public debt servicing costs for the period under review edged up to €36.4 million, from €36.2 million last year.

Expenditure on Government’s capital projects amounted to €61.7 million. The drop of €11.1 million over the corresponding period last year was mainly the result of a lower equity injection to the national air carrier.

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 Treasury went up by €4.7 million when compared to the coin stock as at the end of February 2013, and totalled €54.8 million.

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