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Government revenue, expenses up

Government debt and the deficit grew in the first four months of 2012, figures show.

Although the government raked in €25 million more than in the same period in 2011, its expense rose by €115.5 million compared to January-April 2011, a €90 million shortfall. The government expects national deficit to fall to 2.3 per cent by the end of 2012, against 2.7 per cent in 2011. National debt also rose by more than nine per cent on last year, which the National Statistics Office attributed to higher long-term borrowing.

A significant €40.8 million rise in income tax revenue led to VAT proceeds and social security increases, meaning government revenue rose by 3.5 per cent over last year. But recurrent and capital expenditure rose at higher rates, offsetting the revenue.

Recurrent revenue was up €80.3 million, mostly down to a €25.1 million rise in social security benefit initiatives and €12.7 million in contributions to government entities. The government’s capital expenditure was €37.3 million higher than in January-April 2011, mainly because of a €20 million capital injection at Air Malta.

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