Deficit shoots up
The deficit increased by €85.1 million in the first seven months of this year going up to €368.6 million, the National Statistics Office said.
It said that according to data obtained from the government's consolidated fund of Government, recurrent revenue exhibited a decline of €16 million, while an increase of €69.1 million was recorded in total expenditure.
Recurrent revenue amounted to €1,145.2 million, a decline of 1.4 percent due to lower customs and excise duties (-€40.3 million) and value added tax (-€13.5 million) which outweighed the higher returns from income tax (+€21 million) and social security (+€10.9 million).
Conversely, when compared to the same period last year, all the expenditure categories registered increases, resulting in higher total expenditure by €69.1 million.
Recurrent expenditure exhibited an increase of €54.3 million, totalling €1,258.5 million, as a result of higher spending in all its components, mainly programmes and initiatives.
The increase in the latter constituted higher social security benefits (+€24.6 million), the shipyards’ voluntary retirement schemes (+€19.4 million) and medicines and surgical materials (+€4.7 million) which were partly offset by a fall in energy support measures (-€20.8 million).
Moreover, the interest component of the public debt servicing costs for the period increased by €8.3 million and amounted to €116.3 million.
Government’s capital expenditure for the first seven months amounted to €139 million from €132.4 million last year, an increase of €6.5 million, or 4.9 percent.
The central government debt outstanding at the end of July amounted to €3,876.6 million, an increase of €389.7 million compared to July last year.
Short-term and long-term borrowing increased by €154.9 million and €240.8 million respectively, while foreign borrowing declined by €13.8 million.
The euro coins issued in the name of the Maltese Treasury, which are considered as a currency liability pertaining to the Central Government, amounted to €35.7 million, an increase of €7.5 million over the euro coin stock as at end July last year.