30 May- 5 June , 2001

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Ordinary Revenue up by Lm30.1 million, Government expenditure up Lm8.8m

According to a report issued by the National Statistics Office yesterday, a major increase of Lm8.8 million was registered in Government Expenditure for this year’s first four months. But Government revenue was up by Lm30.1 million or 16.8 per cent.

The NSO adds that this increase was largely made up of made up of increases in personal emoluments, resulting from the increase in the salary scales following the new civil service collective agreement, the Lm1.50 per week cost of living adjustment, and normal incremental steps in wages and salaries.

Meanwhile, for the same period, government debt increased by Lm14.9 million, or 1.5 per cent.

The National Statistics Office reports that, compared to the same period last year, Ordinary Revenue increased by Lm30.1 million, or 16.8 per cent, and amounted to Lm209.1 million during the first four months of 2001. Ordinary Revenue during the period under review amounted to 31.4 per cent of the Approved Budget Estimates, marginally up from 28.8 per cent of the final out turn in respect of the year 2000.
The NSO reports that one of the main determinants of the comparative increase in recurrent revenue this year was the Lm15.9 million more that the Central Bank of Malta has passed on to the government this year, on account of its 2000 profits.
VAT and Social Security Contributions, meanwhile, both yielded a comparative increase of Lm4.3 million. Receipts from Income Tax to date have exceeded those for the same period last year by Lm5.5 million. On the other hand, the yield from Customs and Excise Duties was marginally lower (down Lm0.7 million) compared to last year.

When placed against the same period last year, recurrent expenditure increased by Lm8.8 million, or 4.7 per cent. With the exception of Capital Expenditure for 2000 which, for the first four months of the year accounted for only 23.7 per cent of the actual final out turn, the other main components of Total Expenditure were, by and large, in line with the 33 per cent benchmark one would expect when comparing this year’s data with the budgetary estimates and last year’s data with the actual final out turn.

In fact, recurrent expenditure during the first four months of this year amounted to Lm194.6 million, up from Lm185.8 million expended in the same period last year. The major increase within this category is made up of increases in personal emoluments, resulting from the increase in the salary scales following the new civil service collective agreement, the Lm1.50 per week cost of living adjustment, and normal incremental steps in wages and salaries.

Almost Lm2 million has been expended less this year under the Programmes & Initiatives Category (owing to last year’s Government Compensation Payment). At the same time Lm1 million has been spent this year in excess of the amount spent last year under the Contributions to Government Entities Category, i.e. Lm11 million against Lm10 million, mainly owing to more funds being passed on to the University.

The Public Debt Servicing costs for the period under review amounted to Lm20.3 million, an increase of Lm0.5 million or 2.5 per cent. Increases in interest payments (on account of the loans borrowed during the second half of 1999 and the resort to Treasury Bills) accounted for this increase. To date this year no contributions to the Sinking Fund were made.

The outlay on capital expenditure during the first four months of this year showed a comparative increase of Lm6.3 million, or 25.2 per cent. The Malta Tourism Authority has utilised Lm1 million more this year than the amount withdrawn during the same period last year. Expenditure on road works has this year increased by a further Lm1.0 million while capital outlays on the New Hospital project increased by Lm4.0 million.

Provisional statistics supplied by the Central Bank of Malta report that Government Debt outstanding at the end of April stood at Lm938.9 million; up by Lm44.5 million, or 5.0 per cent, from Lm894.4 million outstanding at the end of April last year. Treasury Bills and Malta Government stock accounted for Lm158.7 million or 16.9 per cent, and Lm742.7 million or 79.1 per cent respectively. The remaining share of Lm37.4 million or 4.0 per cent was made up of foreign borrowing.



The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt