Finance ministry

At the end of January, Central Government debt stood at €6832.1 million, a €1.439.4 million rise from the year before, according to Government finance data published by the National Statistics Office on Friday.

This constitutes an increase in Government debt by 26.7 per cent year on year, as COVID restrictions limit economic activity, and requires increased Government spending.

The report also revealed that for the month of January, Government expenditure stood at €618.4 million, representing a 62.1 per cent increase against the €338.4 million recorded in January 2020.

The main contributor to this increase was a €159.3 million rise reported under “Programmes and initiatives”.

The two main developments in this category involved €36 million for the pandemic assistance scheme (including the COVID-19 Business Assistance programme), and €49.3 million towards social security benefits including two regular payments of retirement pensions made in the month.

The report also reflects a decrease in recurrent revenue. In January, this figure amounted to €294 million, a 3.8 per cent decrease on the €305.7 million reported a year earlier.

The difference between total revenue and expenditure resulted in a deficit of €324.4 million being reported in the Government’s Consolidated Fund at the end of January 2021. This resulted in a major (€248.7 million) increase in monthly deficit, compared to January 2020’s deficit contribution of €75.7 million.

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