“We are proud to announce a cash surplus in our public finances for a second consecutive year. We are confident that when the same figure is accounted on an accrual basis for general Government, this surplus would be maintained. As a Government, we intend to maintain this momentum in drastically reducing the national debt, which was accumulated over the years through runaway irresponsible expenditure.” This was stated by the Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna, with regards to the latest Government Finance Data issued by the National Statistics Office (NSO) for the twelve months of January to December 2017. The Consolidated Fund registered a surplus of €182.7 million during the said year.
The remarkable surplus reflected an effort by the Government to contain the increase in expenditure below the increase in revenue. A number of Comprehensive Spending Reviews were carried out to ensure effective public spending. Indeed, recurrent revenue registered an increase of €484.2 million or 12.7 per cent, while total expenditure went up by €310.4 million or 8.2 per cent. This brought about a positive change of €173.8 million in the Government’s Consolidated Fund.
PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR FINANCE
The remarkable increase in recurrent revenue was a result of robust economic and employment growth translating into higher compensation of employees and business profits. Indeed, all categories of tax revenue recorded increases with the highest contributors being Income Tax and Value Added Tax.
Government’s capital expenditure was recorded at €350.2 million, witnessing an increase of €39.9 million. Higher spending on investment incentives, the restoration of the Triton Fountain, road construction improvements together with an integrated health information system were a few of the main contributors.
At the end of December 2017, Central Government Debt went down in absolute terms by €103.1 million over the corresponding month the previous year confirming that the Government is indeed reducing the debt burden on the Maltese and Gozitan families.
-29th March 2018