The Ministry for Finance welcomes the latest public finance data published by the NSO, which shows that during the first ten months of this year, the Government recorded a surplus of €10.2 million, which is a significant improvement over the previous year.
The surplus reflected an impressive increase in recurrent revenue whilst the increase in expenditure was contained within established budgetary parameters.
Indeed, recurrent revenue increased by €444.1 million as a result of buoyant tax revenue fuelled by a broad base increase encompassing all categories of tax revenue. This positive result reflects the robust economic growth exhibited by the Maltese economy in recent years which is expected to be sustained in the coming years as corroborated by the latest European Commission and international credit rating agencies’ forecasts. Nonetheless, total non-tax revenue also increased with the main contributor being a €121.6 million increase in grants.
Recurrent expenditure increased by €342.6 million in the period January to October of this year. The highest contributor to this increase was expenditure on programs and initiatives. The latter reflected expenditure related to the implementation of budget measures including the free school transport for all, the free childcare centres, health-related expenditure including the free medicine and treatments for patients suffering from cancer, social expenditure and expenditure on elderly care as well as additional expenditure to enhance the environment and solid waste management. The increase also reflected added outlays on EU own resources.
Capital expenditure increased by €78.4 million with the main contributors being the record investment channelled for the upgrading of the road infrastructure and improvements to buildings and equipment.
Interest on Government expenditure decreased by €11.3 million or 6.4 per cent during the same period.
“These positive developments in public finances for the first ten months augur well for the attainment of a fiscal surplus for the fourth consecutive year in 2019, sustaining the consistent decrease in the debt-to-GDP ratio attained by this Government,” stated Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna.