In 2022, total General Government expenditure increased by €287.7m over 2021

Last Updated on Thursday, 1 February, 2024 at 12:22 pm by Andre Camilleri

Social protection remained the core function of government expenditure in 2022, representing 25.6% of total General Government expenditure, followed by expenditure on Economic affairs and Health, the NSO said Monday.

In 2022, total General Government expenditure increased by €287.7m over 2021, amounting to €6,866.2m. Social protection was the primary expenditure function amounting to €1,759.5m, an increase of €110.2m over 2021 with the main increase reported in social benefits (€100.7m).

A total of €1,550.8m was spent on Economic affairs, an increase of €113.3m over 2021. The expenditure on energy support initiatives, intended to lessen the effects of the energy crisis, stood at €312.2m, while a further €105.2m was spent on government measures related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, €144.7m was directed towards initiatives supporting the restructuring of the national airline. These three government measures were recorded as subsidies.

Total outlay on Health stood at €966.1m, a decline of €31.9m, mainly as a result of lower expenditure on public health when compared to the previous year. This was followed by expenditure on Education and General Public Services, which amounted to €872.9m and €839.9m, respectively. The increase in Education expenditure was mainly on account of higher compensation of employees (€19.8m), gross capital formation (€10.5m) and intermediate consumption (€9.5m).

In 2022, the highest share of General Government expenditure was spent on Social protection, which accounted for 25.6% of the total outlay, registering an increase of 0.6 percentage points over 2021. This was followed by Economic affairs (22.6%), Health (14.1%), Education (12.7%) and General Public Services (12.3%). Defence accounted for the lowest share of total expenditure, followed by Housing and community amenities, amounting to 1.2% and 1.6%, respectively.

Similar to previous years, when considering the components of General Government expenditure by function for 2022, a considerable share of government outlay was in the form of Wages and salaries (26.7%), Social benefits in cash or in kind (21.7%), Intermediate consumption (19.5%) and Subsidies (12.2%).

Table 5 provides a detailed breakdown of General Government expenditure by examining the second level function of the COFOG classification. The largest share of government expenditure was spent on Old age (€1,081.7m), which represents 15.8% of total General Government expenditure. This was followed by expenditure on Hospital services, which amounted to €563.2m or 58.3% of expenditure on Health. Furthermore, a considerable share of General Government outlay was spent on Executive and legislative organs, financial, fiscal and external affairs (€481.3m), followed by a total of €451.6m and €428.7m on General economic, commercial and labour affairs, and Fuel and energy, respectively.

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