Government reports €80.7 million deficit by end February – NSO

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 March, 2022 at 3:00 pm by Andre Camilleri

By the end of February 2022, the Government’s Consolidated Fund reported a deficit of €80.7 million, the National Statistics Office said in a statement on Friday.

In the first two months of 2022, Recurrent Revenue amounted to €797.5 million, 13.8 per cent higher than the €701.0 million reported a year earlier. The largest increase was recorded under Income Tax (€39.9 million), Grants (€25.5 million), Social Security (€18.2 million), Customs and Excise Duties (€7.3 million), Licences, Taxes and Fines (€5.7 million), Value Added Tax (€5.6 million), Rents (€3.4 million), Miscellaneous Receipts (€2.0 million) and Reimbursements (€1.7 million). The rise in revenue was partially offset by decreases under Central Bank of Malta (€10.0 million), Fees of Office (€1.9 million) and Dividends on Investment (€1.0 million).

By the end of February 2022, total expenditure stood at €878.2 million, 14.6 per cent lower than the previous year.

During the reference period, Recurrent Expenditure totalled €802.4 million, a decrease of €111.7 million in comparison to the €914.1 million reported by the end of February 2021. The main contributor to this drop was a €52.6 million decrease reported under Programmes and Initiatives. Furthermore, decreases were also witnessed under Contributions to Government Entities (€22.8 million), Operational and Maintenance Expenses (€22.6 million) and Personal Emoluments (€13.7 million). The decrease in the Programmes and Initiatives category was mainly the result of lower Pandemic assistance schemes (€33.0 million) and EU own resources (€16.6 million).

The interest component of the public debt servicing costs totalled €23.1 million, a decrease of €7.3 million when compared to the previous year.

By the end of February 2022, Government’s capital spending amounted to €52.6 million, €31.5 million lower than 2021. This drop resulted from a reduction in expenditure towards Investment incentives (€12.5 million), Acquisition of property for public purposes (€6.0 million), Road construction and improvements (€5.0 million), Gozo Aquatic Centre (€3.5 million), Distribution centre at Ricasoli Smart City (€2.5 million) and Property, plant and equipment (€2.3 million).

The difference between total revenue and expenditure resulted in a deficit of €80.7 million being reported in the Government’s Consolidated Fund at the end of February 2022. Compared to the same period in 2021, there was a decrease in deficit of €247.0 million. This difference mirrors an increase in total Recurrent Revenue (€96.5 million), coupled with a decrease in total expenditure, which consists of Recurrent Expenditure (€111.7 million), Capital Expenditure (€31.5 million) and Interest (€7.3 million). Changes in expenditure and revenue reflect developments related to COVID-19.

At the end of February 2022, Central Government debt stood at €8,393.9 million, a €1,227.2 million rise from 2021. Increases reported under Malta Government Stocks (€932.4 million) and Foreign Loans (€299.9 million) were the main contributors to the rise in debt. Higher debt was also reported under the 62+ Malta Government Savings Bond (€94.2 million) and Euro coins issued in the name of the Treasury (€3.5 million). This increase in debt was partially offset by a decrease in Treasury Bills (€85.8 million).

Finally, lower holdings by government funds in Malta Government Stocks resulted in a decrease in debt of €16.9 million.

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