By the end of March 2019, Government’s Consolidated Fund registered a deﬁcit of €134.2 million, the NSO said in a statement today.
During the ﬁrst quarter of 2019, recurrent revenue rose by €99.7 million over the same period last year and amounted to €1,014.5 million. This represented a 10.9 per cent increase from the €914.8 million reported during the corresponding quarter in 2018.
The increase was primarily the result of a €29.8 million rise in Grants. Further increases were also registered under Value Added Tax (€21.6 million), Social Security (€21.3 million), Income Tax (€18.9 million), Customs and Excise Duties (€6.8 million), Licences, Taxes and Fines (€4.2 million), Rents (€2.5 million), Fees of Oﬃce (€1.7 million), Miscellaneous Receipts (€0.6 million) and Reimbursements (€0.1 million).
Conversely, drops in outlay were recorded under Central Bank of Malta (€6.0 million) and Dividends (€1.8 million). Total expenditure by the end of March 2019 stood at €1,148.8 million, a 17.7 per cent increase from the ﬁrst quarter of 2018. Recurrent expenditure stood at €993.1 million, €120.5 million higher than the corresponding amount reported by the end of March 2018. The main contributor to this increase was a €68.8 million rise reported under Programmes and Initiatives. Furthermore, rises in outlay were also registered by Contributions to Government Entities (€21.4 million), Personal Emoluments (€20.7 million) and Operational and Maintenance Expenses (€9.6 million).
The main developments in the Programmes and Initiatives category involved added outlays due to EU own resources (€25.9 million), state contribution (€9.7 million that also features as revenue), extension of school transport network (€7.8 million), social security beneﬁts, cancer treatment (both €5.7 million), church schools (€5.2 million), medicines and surgical materials (€5.1 million), landscaping – Malta (€4.0 million), eco reduction (€2.8 million), feed in tariﬀ (€2.5 million), solid waste management strategy (€2.1 million), street lighting (€1.8 million), child care for all, health concession agreements (both €1.7 million) and allocation to regional committees (€1.3 million). Conversely, drops of €8.6 million in allocation in respect of local councils and €5.4 million in treasury pensions slightly oﬀ set this rise in outlay.
The interest component of the public debt servicing costs amounted to €49.7 million, a €6.2 million drop from 2018. Government’s capital expenditure registered an increase of €58.7 million from the same period last year and amounted to €106.0 million. The rise in outlay was due to added expenditure reported on road construction and improvements (€14.8 million), EU Internal Security Fund – Borders and Visa, investment incentives (both €14.6 million), EU structural funds 2014-2020 (€9.4 million), EU cohesion fund 2014-2020 (€2.5 million), connection Europe facility – EU funds (€2.1 million) and cattle sheds (€1.8 million). The diﬀerence between total revenue and expenditure resulted in a deﬁcit of €134.2 million being reported in the Government’s Consolidated Fund by the end of March 2019, compared to a deﬁcit of €60.8 million in the same period in 2018. The main catalysts in the diﬀerence were increased outlays in both recurrent and capital expenditure #
During March 2019, Central Government Debt stood at €5,502.5 million, a €41.8 million rise from the corresponding month last year. This was primarily the result of an increase reported under the 62+ Malta Government Savings Bond (€192.3 million) and Treasury Bills (€71.8 million). Euro coins issued in the name of the Treasury also rose by €6.0 million. On the other hand, Malta Government Stocks and Foreign Loans decreased by €201.5 million and €7.9 million respectively. Higher holdings by government funds in Malta Government Stocks also resulted in a decrease in debt of €18.8 million.
Original article found on The Malta Independent