Last Updated on Friday, 26 March, 2021 at 12:16 pm by Andre Camilleri
In the first two months of 2021, Recurrent Revenue amounted to €701.0 million, 1.6 per cent lower than the €712.2 million reported a year earlier. The largest decrease was recorded under Licences, Taxes and Fines (€23.1 million), followed by Customs and Excise Duties (€12.2 million), Grants (€9.8 million), Rents (€7.5 million), Reimbursements (€1.0 million), Miscellaneous Receipts (€0.8 million) and Dividends on Investment (€0.7 million).
Conversely, increases in revenue were reported under Income Tax (€21.9 million), Value Added Tax (€16.0 million), Social Security (€4.0 million) and Fees of Office (€1.8 million).
By the end of February 2021, total expenditure stood at €1,028.7 million, 26.9 per cent higher than the previous year.
During the reference period, Recurrent Expenditure totalled €914.1 million, a rise of €200.6 million in comparison to the €713.5 million reported in 2020. The main contributor to this increase was a €123.1 million rise reported under Programmes and Initiatives. Furthermore, increases were also witnessed under Personal Emoluments (€34.3 million), Operational and Maintenance Expenses (€22.5 million) and Contribution to Government Entities (€20.8 million). The largest development in the Programmes and Initiatives category related to the Pandemic assistance scheme (€72.0 million), which includes the COVID-19 Business Assistance Programme1. Other increases under Programmes and Initiatives were reported in Hospital concession agreements (€18.8 million), Medicines and surgical materials (€14.9 million), EU own resources (€13.9 million) and Social security benefits (€7.1 million).
The interest component of the public debt servicing costs totalled €30.4 million, a €0.1 million rise from the same period in 2020.
By the end of February 2021, Government’s capital spending amounted to €84.1 million, €17.6 million higher than 2020. The rise largely resulted from increased expenditure towards Road construction and improvements (€9.5 million), Acquisition of property for public purposes (€6.0 million), Investment incentives (€4.5 million) and the Gozo Aquatic Centre (€3.7 million).
The difference between total revenue and expenditure resulted in a deficit of €327.7 million being reported in the Government’s Consolidated Fund by the end of February 2021. This represented an increase in deficit of €229.5 million from a deficit of €98.2 million witnessed during the same period in 2020. This difference mirrors an increase in total expenditure, consisting of Recurrent Expenditure (€200.6million), Interest (€0.1 million) and
Capital Expenditure (€17.6 million), in addition to a drop in Recurrent Revenue (€11.2 million). Decreases in revenue and increases in expenditure reflect developments related to COVID-19.
At the end of February 2021, Central Government debt stood at €7,166.8 million, a €1,623.1 million rise from 2020. Increases reported under Malta Government Stocks (€1,073.5 million) and Treasury Bills (€328.8 million) were the main contributors to the rise in debt. Foreign Loans registered an increase of €119.9 million, largely reflecting the €120.0 million EU loan from the temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE) instrument. Higher debt was also reported under the 62+ Malta Government Savings Bond (€90.5 million) and Euro coins issued in the name of the Treasury (0.6 million). Finally, lower holdings by government funds in Malta Government Stocks resulted in an increase in debt of €10.0 million