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By the end of September 2023, the Government’s Consolidated Fund reported a deficit of €52 million, official data by the National Statistics Office shows.

Between January and September 2023, Recurrent Revenue amounted to €4.74 billion, €670.0 million higher than the figure reported a year earlier. The largest increases were recorded under Income Tax (€411.1 million), Social Security (€80 million) and Grants (€77.2 million). On the other hand, the main drops in revenue were reported under Central Bank of Malta (€22.2 million) and Miscellaneous Receipts (€17.3 million).

Total expenditure by the end of September 2023 stood at €4.79 billion, €219.1 million higher than the previous year.

During the reference period, Recurrent Expenditure totalled €4.16 billion, an increase of €144.3 million compared to the €4.01 billion reported at the end of September 2022.

The main contributor to this increase was a €55.6 million rise reported under Contributions to Government Entities. Higher contributions were, among others, made towards the Malta Tourism Authority (€10.9 million), Mental Health Services (€8.6 million) and Resource Support and Services Ltd (€6.8 million). Furthermore, increases were also recorded under Operational and Maintenance Expenses (€47.0 million), Personal Emoluments (€39.3 million) and Programmes and Initiatives (€2.4 million).

The main developments in the Programmes and Initiatives category involved higher outlays towards Social security benefits (€77.2 million), Medicines and surgical materials (€28.7 million) and Energy support measures (€21.3 million). The rise in outlay was mainly offset by drops witnessed under pandemic assistance schemes (€107.5 million) and Economic stimulus payment (€47.7 million).

The interest component of the public debt servicing costs totalled €154.2 million, an increase of €28.0 million when compared to the previous year.

Capital expenditure

Between January and September 2023, Government’s capital spending amounted to €482.1 million, €46.8 million higher than the amount for the year 2022. This increase resulted from higher expenditure towards the REPowerEU initiative (€20.0 million), Property, plant and equipment (€18.9 million) and National Identity Management Systems (€6.6 million).

The difference between total revenue and expenditure resulted in a deficit of €52 million being reported in the Government’s Consolidated Fund at the end of September 2023. Compared to the same period in 2022, there was a decrease in deficit of €450.8 million. This difference mirrors an increase in total Recurrent Revenue (€670.0 million), partly offset by a rise in total expenditure, which consists of Recurrent Expenditure (€144.3 million), Interest (€28.0 million) and Capital Expenditure (€46.8 million).

At the end of September 2023, Central Government debt stood at €9.368 billion, an increase of €842.3 million when compared to 2022. The increase reported under Malta Government Stocks (€1.35 billion) was the main contributor to the rise in debt.

Higher debt was also reported under Euro coins issued in the name of the Treasury (€4.9 million). This increase in debt was partially offset by drops in Treasury Bills (€463.1 million) and the 62+ Malta Government Savings Bond (€23.7 million). Finally, higher holdings by government funds in Malta Government Stocks resulted in a decrease in debt of €28.2 million (Table 6).

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