Recurrent Revenue during the first quarter of the year totalled Lm172.1 million, and made up 18.1 per cent of this year’s budget forecast. Compared to the same period last year, this represented an increase of Lm8.0 million, or 4.9 per cent according to the National Statistics Office.
Revenue for the comparative period in 2005 amounted to Lm164.1 million. At the same time, total expenditure, amounted to Lm232.6 million, an increase of Lm7.3 million, or 3.2 per cent, from Lm225.3 million expended in 2005. The total expenditure for the first three months amounted to 22.8 per cent of this year’s approved budget estimates.
The shortfall between recurrent revenue and total expenditure during the period under review amounted to Lm60.6 million this year, compared to Lm61.2 million for 2005.
During the first three months of this year, as well as in the corresponding quarter last year, there were no proceeds from sinking funds on converted loans, no contributions to the sinking funds, and no direct loan repayments. During the January-March 2006 period, local loans amounting to Lm25 million were taken up, whilst the figure for the corresponding 2005 period was Lm40 million. There was no resort to foreign borrowing in either of the comparative periods.
Furthermore, no proceeds from disposal of Government shares have been forthcoming during the period under review, as well as in the comparative period in 2005.
The increase of Lm8.0 million in recurrent revenue during the first quarter of this year, when compared to the same period last year, was registered mainly under Licences,
Taxes and Fines (+Lm3.5 million), Income Tax (+Lm3.2 million), Customs and Excise
(+Lm2.9 million), Value Added Tax (+Lm2.9 million) and Social Security Contributions
(+Lm1.7 million). On the other hand decreases were registered under Central Bank of Malta (-Lm1.0 million) and under Grants (-Lm5.8 million).
Recurrent expenditure this year (excluding Public Debt Servicing) amounted to Lm181.3 million. This figure represents an increase of Lm0.9 million, or 0.5 per cent. Recurrent expenditure for the period under review makes up 23.2 per cent of the budget estimates for 2006.
The outlay on personal emoluments for the first quarter amounted to Lm47.4 million, and made up 23.1 per cent of the budget forecast (Lm205.3 million). This represents an increase this year amounting to Lm1.4 million when compared to the amount expended in the same period last year (Lm46.0 million).
Expenditure under the Operational and Maintenance Expenditure category amounted to Lm10.4 million between January and March 2006. This represents an increase of Lm0.9 million or 9.5 per cent.
Expenditure under the Programmes and Initiatives category this year amounted to Lm108.7 million and stood at 23.1 per cent of this year’s budget estimates. Last year’s outlay under this category amounted to Lm107.7 million, thus giving rise to a net increase, in absolute terms, of Lm0.9 million, or 0.9 per cent.
Outlay under the Contributions to Government Entities category during the first three months of 2006 decreased by Lm2.2 million, and amounted to Lm14.9 million, down from last year’s figure of Lm17.1 million. The main reasons for the net decrease under this category were lower expenditure in respect of Water Services Corporation (-Lm1.2
million), Heritage Malta (-Lm0.3 million) and Employment and Training Corporation (-Lm0.4 million).
The interest component of the public debt servicing costs this year increased by Lm7.0 million, from Lm16.4 million last year to Lm23.5 million in 2006.
During the first three months of 2006, Capital Expenditure amounted to Lm27.9 million, registering a decline of Lm0.6 million or 2.1 per cent, when compared to the expenditure of Lm28.5 million for the same period last year.
Higher expenditure was registered under the Ministry of Finance (+Lm4.9 million). Lower expenditure was registered under Office of the Prime Minister (-Lm1.1 million), Justice and Home Affairs (-Lm2.5 million), due to less payment on expropriation of land, Tourism and Culture (-Lm0.4 million), Investment, Industry and Information Technology (-Lm0.5 million) and Rural Affairs and the Environment (-Lm0.8 million).
The Central Government debt outstanding at the end of March amounted to Lm1,417.3 million, an increase of Lm30.4 million or 2.2 per cent on the Lm1,386.9 million outstanding at the end of March 2005. This total includes the current balance (Lm24.9 million) of Government’s assumption of debts of the ex-Malta Drydocks and of the ex-Malta Shipbuilding. The Sinking Fund investments in Government debt (Lm1.9 million) are deducted from the total outstanding balance.