20 - 26 June , 2001

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Government revenue up 5.4%
Expenditure up 10.5%, government debt up 11%

The National Office of Statistics yesterday reported that, during the first five months of the year, government revenue increased by 5.4 per cent, while the government’s expenditure increased by 10.5 per cent. Meanwhile, according to the NSO, government debt grew by 11 per cent over the period – due mainly to the issue of Treasury Bills and Malta Government stock.

Compared to the same period last year, Ordinary Revenue during the first five months of 2001 increased by Lm13.3 million, or 5.4 per cent, and amounted to Lm258.2 million. Ordinary Revenue during the period under review made up 38.7 per cent of the Approved Budget Estimates for this category, from 40.3 per cent of the final out turn reported for the year 2000.

Revenue from VAT increased by Lm5.3 million, or 12.7 per cent. At the same time receipts from Income Tax added Lm2.3 million or 4.3 per cent. On the other hand, the yield from Customs and Excise Duties declined by Lm1.5 million or 6.6 per cent in respect of the first five months of last year.

Expenditure
When compared to the same period last year, Total Expenditure increased by Lm29.7 million or 10.5 per cent and amounted to Lm312.9 million. However, Total Expenditure during the first five months of 2000 and 2001 were both within the 41.67 per cent benchmark when comparing this year’s data with the budgetary estimates and last year’s data with the actual final out turn. The comparative figures of expenditures are listed hereunder.

Recurrent expenditure during the first five months of this year amounted to Lm237.9 million, up from Lm227.5 million expended in the same period last year.

As expected, within this category Personal Emoluments increased by Lm10 million due to 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.

Under the Programmes & Initiatives Category, Lm1.9 million more has been expended this year when compared to last year.

Last year’s budgetary compensation payments of Lm3.8 million were offset by excess expenditure under the Treasury Pensions and the Social Security state grant (respectively Lm2.7 million and Lm1.9 million more this year) and Social Security benefits and Church Schools financing (each Lm1 million more this year).
At the same time the Operational & Maintenance Expenses Category reported a decrease of Lm2 million during the first five months of this year, when compared to last year’s outlay for the same period. This reduction was mainly due to less expenditure on materials and supplies at the Health Division.

The Contributions to Government Entities Category has maintained the same level of expenditure for the period under review for both 2000 and 2001 (Lm12 million).

The Public Debt Servicing costs for the period under review amounted to Lm32.1 million, an increase of Lm6.9 million or 27.4 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.

As far as the Capital budget is concerned, this year’s outlay of Lm42.9 million is higher by Lm12.4 million, or 40.7 per cent compared to the first five months of last year. The Malta Tourism Authority has utilised Lm1.2 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 Lm1.2 million while capital outlays on the New Hospital project increased by Lm4 million. At the same time Lm5.1 million more has been incurred this year over the amount spent last year under the Economic Services Ministry.

The shortfall between total expenditure and ordinary revenue for the first five months of this year was Lm54.7 million; up from a comparable shortfall of Lm38.2 million during the same period last year.

Government debt
Provisional statistics supplied by the Central Bank of Malta report that Government Debt outstanding at the end of May stood at Lm962.3 million; up by Lm95.6 million, or 11 per cent, from Lm866.7 million outstanding at the end of May last year. Treasury Bills and Malta Government stock accounted for Lm154.5 million or 16.1 per cent, and Lm770 million or 80 per cent respectively. The remaining share of Lm37.7 million or 3.9 per cent was made up of foreign borrowing. During the first five months of this year Government debt increased by Lm37.3 million, or four per cent.

At the same time the Operational & Maintenance Expenses Category declined by Lm2.6 million during the first five months of this year, when compared to last year’s outlay for the same period. This reduction was mainly due to less expenditure on materials and supplies at the Health Division.

The Contributions to Government Entities Category has maintained the same level of expenditure for the period under review for both 2000 and 2001 (Lm12 million and Lm12.7 million respectively.

The Public Debt Servicing costs for the period under review amounted to Lm32.1 million, an increase of Lm6.9 million or 27.4 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.

As far as the Capital budget is concerned, this year’s outlay of Lm42.9 million is higher by Lm12.4 million, or 40.7 per cent compared to the first five months of last year. The Malta Tourism Authority has utilised Lm1.2 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 Lm1.2 million while capital outlays on the New Hospital project increased by Lm4 million. At the same time Lm5.1 million more has been incurred this year over the amount spent last year under the Economic Services Ministry.

The shortfall between total expenditure and ordinary revenue for the first five months of this year was Lm54.7 million; up from a comparable shortfall of Lm38.2 million during the same period last year.

Provisional statistics supplied by the Central Bank of Malta report that Government Debt outstanding at the end of May stood at Lm962.3 million; up by Lm95.6 million, or 11 per cent, from Lm866.7 million outstanding at the end of May last year. Treasury Bills and Malta Government stock accounted for Lm154.5 million or 16.1 per cent, and Lm770 million or 80 per cent respectively. The remaining share of Lm37.7 million or 3.9 per cent was made up of foreign borrowing. During the first five months of this year Government debt increased by Lm37.3 million, or four per cent.



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