Government year on year debt up 11.3%
In the latest in its releases on government finance, the National Statistics
Office reports that over this years first eight months, ordinary
revenue has increased by Lm26.4 million, while total expenditure also
increased by 36.6 million. Following are the full details.
The National Statistics Office reported yesterday that, compared to
the first eight months of last year, Ordinary Revenue this year increased
by Lm26.4 million, or 6.8 per cent, and amounted to Lm416.2 million.
This increase was however offset by an increase of Lm36.6 million in
Total Expenditure - as a result of less contributions to the Sinking
Fund which this year amounted to Lm6.2 million compared to Lm6.4 million
contributed last year. The shortfall between Ordinary Revenue and Total
Expenditure, resulting from less contribution to the Sinking Fund in
respect of local and foreign loans, during the period under review this
year amounted to Lm71.7 million; up from a comparable shortfall of Lm61.4
million reported during the same period last year.
During the January to August period, revenue from Consumption Taxes
(VAT) increased by Lm6.3 million or 9.2 per cent. At the same time,
revenue from Income Tax and Social Security increased by Lm9.2 million
and Lm8.1 million respectively. Revenue from profits on lotteries has
to date increased by Lm1.2 million. On the other hand, revenue from
Customs and Excise declined by Lm2.8 million or 7.7 per cent.
Total Ordinary Revenue to date makes up 62.5 per cent of this years
original budgeted revenue forecast.
During the January to August period of last year, Government was also
in receipt of Lm12.0 million by way of proceeds from asset sales, and
of Lm6.0 million in the form of grants. During the same period this
year, no revenue from asset sales was reported, while the revenue from
grants from the EU amounted to Lm0.44 million.
When compared to the same period last year, Total Expenditure increased
by Lm36.4 million or 7.9 per cent, and amounted to Lm494.1 million.
However, Total Expenditure during the first eight months of 2000 and
2001 were both within the 66.7 per cent benchmark when comparing this
years data with the budgetary estimates, and last years
data with the actual final outturn. The comparative figures of expenditures
are listed hereunder.
A comparative increase of Lm10.4 million or 5.3 per cent was reported
under the Programmes and Initiatives category (Lm204.7 million in 2001,
Lm194.3 million in 2000). Although within this category last year Government
paid a one-off budgetary compensation payment of Lm4.0 million, this
year excess expenditures were reported in respect of Treasury Pensions
(+Lm4.7 million), the State Grant (+Lm2.5 million), Social Security
Benefits (+Lm3.2 million), and Church Schools financing (+Lm1.6 million).
On account of this years contributions to the University of Malta
and the Junior College, the Contribution to the Government Entities
category this year registered a comparative increase of Lm2.1 million.
The above additions to the recurrent expenditure were in part offset
by a reduction of Lm3.7 million within the Operational and Maintenance
Expenses category (Lm28.7 million this year as against Lm32.4 million
last year). This reduction was brought about by less expenditure on
materials and supplies at the Health Division; as well as on transport
costs under certain Recurrent votes as a result of drivers taking up
regular employment with Government, thereby shifting the expenditure
on their remuneration to the Personal Emoluments category.
Public debt servicing interest
The interest portion of public debt servicing costs has increased by
Lm0.9 million this year, from Lm38.8 million last year to Lm39.7 million
during the period under review. This increase was mainly the result
of loans borrowed during the second half of 1999 and the resort to Treasury
Bills. Government transferred practically the same amount (just over
Lm6.0 million) both this year and during the same period last year to
sinking funds in respect of foreign and local loans.
As far as the Capital expenditure is concerned, this years outlay
has exceeded last years by Lm11.5 million or 22.7 per cent, from
Lm50.7 million last year to Lm62.2 million this year. While Lm1.6 million
more has been spent this year on road works, an additional Lm4.5 million
has been incurred this year over the amount spent last year under the
Ministry for Economic Services (mainly by way of public entities
debt servicing costs). At the same time additional capital outlays of
Lm4.1 million and Lm2.2 million were respectively reported in respect
of expenditure on the New Hospital Project, and on acquisition of property.
Provisional statistics supplied by the Central Bank of Malta report
that Government Debt outstanding at the end of August stood at Lm1,007.3
million; up by Lm101.9 million, or 11.3 per cent, from Lm905.4 million
outstanding at the end of August last year. Treasury Bills and Malta
Government stock accounted for Lm179.3 million or 17.8 per cent, and
Lm791.7 million or 78.6 per cent respectively. The remaining share of
Lm36.3 million or 3.6 per cent was made up of foreign borrowing. At
the end of August, Government debt was Lm82.3 million more when compared
with the end of last year. Compared to one month earlier, Government
debt was higher by Lm13.5 million.