Malta: Public expenditure grew by almost a fifth in 2020

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Total government expenditure rose to €5.82 billion in 2020 from €4.96 billion the previous year. Figures by the National Statistics Office show that Capital Expenditure increased by 86 percent year-on-year as, reaching €1.04 billion by December 2020. Of this, €384 million went for the Covid-19 Business Assistance Programme.

Recurrent Expenditure stood at €4.64 billion, a rise of €423 million from 2019. Two-thirds of the increase was spent on Programmes and Initiatives, which included medicines and surgical materials, the voucher regeneration scheme, and social security benefits. Besides these expenses, there were also added funds related to Contributions to Government Entities (€89M), Operational and Maintenance Expenses (€38M), and Personal Emoluments (€19M).

Government recurrent revenue was 11.7 percent lower than 2019, reaching €4.39 billion. The largest drop of €229 million was registered in Income Tax while Value Added Tax also fell by €177 million during the same period.

Further decreases were observed in Licences, Taxes and Fines (€86.7 million), Grants (€73.9 million), Customs and Excise Duties (€68M), Reimbursements (€15M), Dividends on Investment (€7M), Rents (€0.8M) and Interest on loans made by Government (€0.1M).

On the other hand, Fees of Office recorded a €32 million increase. Miscellaneous Receipts, Social Security, and the Central Bank of Malta also reported increases of €20 million, €17 million, and €3.5 million, respectively.

The interest component of the public debt servicing costs totalled €181 million, a drop of €11 million from 2019.

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