Increase in government shortfall
The shortfall between the government's recurrent revenue and total expenditure for the first five months this year amounted to €294.4 million, an increase of €58.6 million.
The National Statistics Office said that according to data obtained from the consolidated fund, the shortfall was brought about by an increase in total expenditure of €54.3 million and a decrease in recurrent revenue of €4.3 million.
Between January and May, recurrent revenue amounted to €811.3 million, down from €815.6 million last year. The main contributors to this decline were customs and excise (-€26.6 million) and value added tax (-€11.9 million).
Conversely, improvements were observed in social security (+€21.5 million) and income tax (+€17.3 million).
The increase in total expenditure - om €1,051.4 million in January-May 2008 to €1,105.7 million in the comparable period this year, was mainly caused by increases in the components of recurrent expenditure.
Recurrent expenditure increased by €58.5 million over the relative period last year due to higher expenditure on social security benefits (+€20.9 million), the shipyards’ voluntary retirement schemes (+€18.9 million) and medicines and surgical materials (+€11.9 million).
The interest component of the public debt servicing costs for the period under review increased by €4.3 million and amounted to €89.8 million.
Government’s outlay on its capital programme for the first five months amounted to €99.6 million, down from €108.1 million last year. The decline was mainly due to lower expenditure on Mater Dei Hospital (-€9.3 million).
The central government debt outstanding at the end of May amounted to €3,774.7 million, an increase of €457.1 million compared to May last year.
Short-term and long-term borrowing went up by €253.3 million and €209 million, respectively, while foreign borrowing declined by €14.0 million.
The euro coins issued in the name of the Maltese Treasury, which are considered as a currency liability pertaining to the government, amounted to €34.4 million, an increase of €9.1 million over the euro coin stock as at end May last year.