Deficit of €12.8 million registered in Government’s Consolidated Fund
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In the first three months of this year the Government’s Consolidated Fund registered a deficit of €12.8 million. The National Statistics Office said that, when compared to the first quarter of last year, recurrent revenue registered an increase of €128.9 million and total expenditure went up by €18.4 million.
The NSO added that this resulted in a positive change in the Government’s Consolidated Fund by €110.5 million.
Recurrent revenue was recorded at €873.7 million from January to March, up from €744.9 million last year. The comparative increase of 17.3 per cent was primarily the result of higher Grants and Value Added Tax which increased by €33.6 million and €21.3 million respectively.
Moreover, the NSO said, increases were also recorded for Income Tax (€19.6 million), Licences, Taxes and Fines (€16.9 million), Social Security (€12.2 million), Customs and Excise Duties (€9.7 million) and Fees of Office (€8.8 million) among others. Conversely, decreases were recorded in Dividends on Investment (€0.6 million).
When compared to the same period last year, total expenditure stood at €886.5 million up from €868.2 million, mainly as result of added outlays on recurrent expenditure which outweighed lower spending on interest payments and capital expenditure.
The NSO said that recurrent expenditure stood at €787.4 million from €758.1 million last year. The main contributors to this increase were Programmes and Initiatives and Personal Emoluments with a rise of €26.7 million and €6.3 million respectively.
It also said that the main developments in the Programmes and Initiatives category involved added outlays due to Health Concession Agreements (€5.7 million), higher EU Own Resources (€4.5 million), provision of spare capacity electricity (€3.5 million), EU Presidency 2017 (€3.4 million), state contribution (€3.3 million which also features as revenue), public service obligations (€2.5 million), social security benefits (€1.8 million), residential care private (€1.6 million) and Child Care for all (€1.5 million).
On the other hand, lower outlays for Medicines and Surgical Materials were recorded (€7.2 million). Decreases were registered in Operational and Maintenance Expenses (€3.9 million).
The NSO noted that the interest component of the public debt servicing costs stood at €55.3 million, down from €58.0 million last year.
Government’s capital expenditure witnessed a decrease of €8.3 million, and was recorded at €43.8 million. This, the NSO said, was mainly the result of lower spending on EU internal security borders and VISA (€5.1 million), acquisition of property for public purposes (€3.2 million), Identity Malta Agency – ICT (€3.2 million) and EU external borders fund (€2.8 million). On the other hand higher outlays related to road construction improvements were recorded (€2.2 million).
Central Government Debt at the end of March, stood at €5,625.4 million, up by €66.7 million over the corresponding month last year. This was the result of higher Malta Government Stocks and Euro coins issued in the name of the Treasury, which added €233.9 million and €4.4 million respectively.
On the other hand, the NSO said, Treasury Bills and Foreign Loans went down by €142.5 million and €10.4 million respectively. Higher holdings by government funds in Malta Government Stocks resulted in a decrease in debt of €18.8 million.