Malta’s debt rises to nearly €9.4 billion in July – NSO

Last Updated on Friday, 25 August, 2023 at 12:17 pm by Andre Camilleri

By the end of July 2023, the Government’s Consolidated Fund reported a deficit of €302.4 million, the NSO said Friday. The country’s debt rose to €9,396.2 million, an increase of €838.4 million when compared to 2022.

Between January and July 2023, Recurrent Revenue amounted to €3,431.4 million, €417.0 million higher than the figure reported a year earlier. The largest increases were recorded under Income Tax (€240.8 million), Grants (€87.6 million) and Social Security (€46.3 million). On the other hand, the main drops in revenue were reported under Miscellaneous Receipts (€29.7 million) and Central Bank of Malta (€22.2 million).

Total expenditure by the end of July 2023 stood at €3,733.8 million, €204.1 million higher than the previous year.

During the reference period, Recurrent Expenditure totalled €3,243.0 million, an increase of €129.6 million compared to the €3,113.5 million reported at the end of July 2022. The main contributor to this increase was a €58.0 million rise reported under Contributions to Government Entities. Higher contributions were, among others, made towards the Malta Tourism Authority (€9.0 million), Resource Support and Services Ltd (€5.8 million) and Court Services Agency (€5.7 million). Furthermore, increases were also recorded under Operational and Maintenance Expenses (€39.8 million) and Personal Emoluments (€31.9 million).

Conversely, Programmes and Initiatives fell by €0.2 million. The main developments in the Programmes and Initiatives category involved lower outlays towards Pandemic assistance schemes (€107.5 million) and Economic stimulus payment (€48.2 million), mainly offset by increases witnessed under Energy support measures (€73.0 million), Social security benefits (€60.4 million) and Medicines and surgical materials (€13.2 million).

The interest component of the public debt servicing costs totalled €119.3 million, an increase of €18.4 million when compared to the previous year.

Between January and July 2023, Government’s capital spending amounted to €371.5 million, €56.1 million higher than 2022. This increase resulted from higher expenditure towards the REPowerEU initiative (€20.0 million), Property, plant and equipment (€19.8 million) and National airline restructuring assistance (€15.0 million).

The difference between total revenue and expenditure resulted in a deficit of €302.4 million being reported in the Government’s Consolidated Fund at the end of July 2023. Compared to the same period in 2022, there was a decrease in deficit of €212.9 million. This difference mirrors an increase in total Recurrent Revenue (€417.0 million), partly offset by a rise in total expenditure, which consists of Recurrent Expenditure (€129.6 million), Interest (€18.4 million) and Capital Expenditure (€56.1 million).

At the end of July 2023, Central Government debt stood at €9,396.2 million, an increase of €838.4 million when compared to 2022. The increase reported under Malta Government Stocks (€976.5 million) was the main contributor to the rise in debt. Higher debt was also reported under Euro coins issued in the name of the Treasury (€5.0 million). This increase in debt was partially offset by drops in the 62+ Malta Government Savings Bond (€117.1 million) and Treasury Bills (€25.3 million). Finally, higher holdings by government funds in Malta Government Stocks resulted in a decrease in debt of €0.4 million.

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