Government deficit narrows by €99 million

The deficit of the Government’s Consolidated Fund last year amounted to €263.2 million, the National Statistics Office said.

It said recurrent revenue registered an increase of €276.4 million, outweighing the added expenditure of €177.3 million, consequently narrowing the government deficit by €99.1 million.

Recurrent revenue stood at €2,992.1 million, up by 10.2 per cent over the previous year. The main contributors to this increase were income tax (€101.7 million), grants (€80.9 million), value added tax (€53 million), social security (€35.6 million) and customs and excise duties (€22.6 million).

Compared to 2012, higher spending was registered in recurrent and capital expenditures, resulting in an increase in total expenditure of €177.3 million.

Recurrent expenditure went up by €144.2 million, primarily as a result of higher spending on programmes and initiatives (€81.7 million) and on personal emoluments (€41.2 million).

EU own resources rose by €19.7 million, while the social security state contribution, which also features as revenue, went up by €11.3 million. Increases were also registered in medicines and surgical materials (€5.3 million) and in expenditure on the Electoral Commission (€3.2 million).

The interest component of the public debt servicing costs for the period under review rose by €2.1 million to €227.9 million.

Expenditure on government’s capital projects amounted to €394.7 million. The increase of €30.9 million includes an equity injection of €40 million to the national air carrier, compared to €20 million in 2012.

Contribution towards the treasury clearance fund and the ICT core services agreement went down by €4 million and €3.1 million respectively.

At the end of December, central government debt stood at €4,980 million, up by €330.4 million over 2012.

This was the result of higher long- and short-term borrowing, which added €259.2 million and €94 million respectively.

On the other hand, foreign borrowing went down by €11 million. As a result of consolidation, higher holdings by government funds in MGSs brought about a decline in debt of €16.6 million.

The euro coins issued in the name of the Treasury went up by €4.8 million when compared to the coin stock as at the end of December 2012, and totalled €55.3 million.


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