Last Updated on Thursday, 30 March, 2023 at 5:53 pm by Andre Camilleri
By the end of December 2022, the Government’s Consolidated Fund reported a deficit of €900.3 million, statistics published by the National Statistics Office on Thursday show.
Between January and December 2022, Recurrent Revenue amounted to €5,845.2 million, 8.0 per cent higher than the €5,413.2 million reported a year earlier. The largest increase was recorded under Value Added Tax (€261.2 million), followed by Social Security (€106.0 million), Income Tax (€49.1 million), Grants (€25.0 million), Licences, Taxes and Fines (€14.9 million), Fees of Office (€10.9 million), Reimbursements (€5.7 million) and Interests on loans made by Government (€0.2 million). The rise in revenue was partially offset by decreases under Customs and Excise Duties (€15.7 million), Miscellaneous Receipts (€13.7 million), Central Bank of Malta (€10.9 million), Dividends on Investment (€0.4 million) and Rents (€0.4 million).
By the end of December 2022, total expenditure stood at €6,745.5 million, €99.8 million higher than the previous year.
During the reference year, Recurrent Expenditure totalled €5,832.5 million, an increase of €117.8 million compared to the €5,714.7 million reported in 2021. The main contributor to this increase was a €107.8 million rise reported under Contributions to Government Entities. Higher contributions were, among others, made towards Resource Support and Services Ltd (€66.2 million), Running expenses of the parliamentary services (€10.6 million), Malta Tourism Authority (€7.6 million) and University of Malta (€4.2 million). Furthermore, an increase was also witnessed under Personal Emoluments (€34.5 million). This rise in expenditure outweighed lower outlay reported under Operational and Maintenance Expenses (€18.1 million) and Programmes and Initiatives (€6.3 million). The main development in the Programmes and Initiatives category was a €260.3 million decrease exhibited under the Pandemic assistance schemes. On the other hand, additional outlays went towards Social security benefits (€81.1 million), Energy support measures (€53.4 million), Economic stimulus payments (€51.3 million), Covid 19 supplies (€40.4 million) and Carbon credits (€40.0 million).
The interest component of the public debt servicing costs totalled €173.6 million, a decrease of €10.7 million when compared to the previous year.
By the end of December 2022, Government’s capital spending amounted to €739.3 million, €7.4 million lower than 2021. This decrease resulted from lower expenditure towards Road construction and improvements (€37.2 million), Property, plant and equipment (€10.8 million), Gozo Aquatic Centre (€8.0 million) and Wasteserv Malta Ltd (€6.2 million). The drop in capital outlay was partially offset by a €54.0 million increase witnessed under National airline restructuring assistance.
The difference between total revenue and expenditure resulted in a deficit of €900.3 million being reported in the Government’s Consolidated Fund at the end of December 2022. Compared to the same period in 2021, there was a decrease in deficit of €332.2 million. This difference mirrors an increase in total Recurrent Revenue (€432.0 million), partly offset by a rise in total expenditure, which consists of Recurrent Expenditure (€117.8 million), Interest (-€10.7 million) and Capital Expenditure (-€7.4 million).
At the end of December 2022, Central Government debt stood at €8,829.9 million, an increase of €732.5 million from 2021. The increase reported under Malta Government Stocks (€669.4 million) was the main contributor to the rise in debt. Higher debt was also reported under Treasury Bills (€247.3 million) and Euro coins issued in the name of the Treasury (€5.3 million). This increase in debt was partially offset by a decrease in the 62+ Malta Government Savings Bond (€99.8 million), higher holdings by government funds in Malta Government Stocks (€89.6 million) and less Foreign Loans (€0.1 million).