Government Finance Data issued today by the National Statistics Office (NSO) shows that Government’s finances for January to November of this year are in line with projections. Figures show that the consolidated fund deficit continued to decline, underpinned by the higher revenue which was spurred by strong economic growth, while expenditure in priority sectors was maintained.
The figures show that, for the first eleven months of 2015, the consolidated fund deficit decreased by €27.9 million, as recurrent revenue increased by €240.2 million, or 8.3 per cent on the back of strong increases in both direct and indirect tax revenue. Indeed, direct tax revenue increased by €130.5 million, with revenue from income tax recording a significant increase of €97.1 million despite lower income tax rates for three consecutive years. Revenue from social security contributions increased by €33.4 million. Such positive developments reflect the continuous increase in labour market participation rates, coupled with a record low unemployment rate. Private consumption, spurred by consumer confidence, boosted revenues from VAT which increased by €54.4 million. On the other hand, there was a decline of €9.7 million in revenue from customs and excise duties over the same period last year when a significant payment of arrears was made.
PRESS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY FOR FINANCE
On the expenditure side, total expenditure increased by €212.3 million or 6.9 per cent during the same period, with the highest contributor being expenditure on programmes and initiatives, which increased by €114.4 million. The latter increase was mainly the result of added expenditure in Malta’s contribution to the EU, as well as increased expenditure towards budget initiatives, including the provision of free child care services.
Over the same period, capital expenditure increased to almost €380 million. This was mainly the result of a significant increase in infrastructural expenditure reflecting this Government’s commitment to increasing investment in the country’s infrastructure.
Commenting on the figures, Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna said that:“These latest fiscal updates indicate that our ambitious fiscal targets are close to being reached by the end of this fiscal year.”
– 26th December, 2015