A surplus of €30 million was recorded in July of this year according to the latest Government Finance Data, published by the National Statistics Office (NSO). This reflected a buoyant increase in revenue which outweighed the contained increase in expenditure during the month.
“This positive fiscal result complements the latest research note, published by DBRS earlier this week,” commented Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna.
In the first seven months, government revenue continued to be strong with the increase in tax revenue rising to €260 million. The significant increase in both direct and indirect tax revenues continued to reflect the record employment growth rates being recorded in recent years. This was coupled by the consistent increases in the take home pay, resulting in higher expenditure on consumption by Maltese and Gozitan families. Total recurrent revenue increased by 16.9 per cent.
Expenditure on public investment continued to increase significantly during July such that in the period January to July of this year the increase rose by €95 million. The 7-year road infrastructure project, together with other significant public investment projects, are expected to continue to boost capital expenditure in the coming months.
Recurrent expenditure increased by €306 million during January to July, with the highest contributor being expenditure on programs and initiatives. This category of expenditure reflected mainly the implementation of the 2019 Budget measures as well as the extension of previous Budgets’ successful measures, including the free childcare centres, free school transport, the tax relief measure, free medicine and treatment for chronic illnesses, and increases in social security benefits for the vulnerable.
In total, interest on government debt decreased by €12.0 million for the period January to July of this year.