Malta reports 327.7-mln-euro deficit by end of February

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VALLETTA, March 26 (Xinhua) — Malta’s National Statistics Office reported Friday that the country’s deficit stood at 327.7 million euros by the end of February 2021.

It was 229.5 million euros more than a year earlier, before the pandemic hit the island when the government’s deficit stood at 98.2 million euros.

The office said this was the result of an increase in total expenditure, which consisted of recurrent expenditure of 200.6 million euros and capital expenditure of 17.6 million euros. There was also a drop of 11.2 million euros in recurrent revenue.

Increases in expenditure related to the pandemic included the Pandemic Assistance Scheme, which costed the state 72 million euros, as well as increases in social security contributions of just over 7 million euros.

Recurrent revenue in January and February amounted to 701 million euros, 1.6 percent lower than the 712.2 million euros reported a year earlier. The largest decrease was recorded under licences, taxes and fines, which decreased by 23.1 million euros followed by a drop in customs and excise duties of 12.2 million euros as well as a drop in grants and rents of 9.8 million euros and 7.5 million euros respectively.

On the other hand, income tax rose by almost 22 million euros while value-added tax increased 16 million.

By the end of February 2021, total expenditure stood at 1,028.7 million euros, an increase of almost 27 percent over the previous year.

Government debt stood at 7,166.8 million euros, up 1,623.1 million euros from 2020. (1 euro = 1.18 U.S. dollars) Enditem

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