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Business • March 28 2004

Government debt up 8.3 per cent

Provisional statistics supplied by the Central Bank of Malta indicate that Government Debt outstanding at the end of February stood at Lm1,213.9 million - up by Lm93.5 million, or 8.3 per cent, from Lm1,120.5 million outstanding at the end of February last year.
Treasury Bills and Malta Government stock accounted for Lm229.1 million or 18.9 per cent, and Lm913.0 million or 75.2 per cent respectively. The remaining share of Lm71.8 million or six per cent was made up of foreign borrowing.
Meanwhile, statistics released by the National Statistics Office Friday reveal that Malta’s structural deficit, the shortfall between Recurrent Revenue and Total Expenditure, over the first two months of the year amounted to Lm31.2 million, a decrease of Lm9.7 million the same period last year.
Recurrent revenue during the first the first two months of this year totalled Lm100.9 million, and made up 12 per cent of this year’s budget forecast. Compared to the same period last year, recurrent revenue increased by Lm1.1 million, or 1.1 per cent.
At the same time, total expenditure amounted Lm132 million, a decrease of Lm8.6 million, or 6.1 per cent, over the Lm140.7 million expended in the same period in 2003.
The increase of Lm1.1 million in recurrent revenue was mainly registered under Income Tax (+Lm1.3 million), Value Added Tax (+Lm4.0 million), Rents (+Lm1.0 million) and Customs and Excise Duties (+Lm0.6 million).
A net increase of Lm5.7 million was also registered under Licences, Taxes and Fines mostly by way of license fees received upon privatisation of the operations of the lotteries this year. Meanwhile, revenue reductions were recorded under Central Bank of Malta (-Lm7.0 million), Social Security Contributions (-Lm2.4 million) and Miscellaneous Receipts (-Lm1.9 million).
During the second month of 2004, recurrent expenditure, excluding Public Debt Servicing, amounted to Lm104.5 million, from Lm107.8 million expended last year: a decrease of Lm3.3 million, or 3.1 per cent. Recurrent expenditure for the period under review made up 14.1 per cent of this year’s budgetary estimates.
The interest portion of public debt-servicing costs this year increased by Lm0.1 million or 0.8 per cent, from Lm10.9 million last year to Lm11.0 million.





Newsworks Ltd, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann SGN 02, Malta