The Government recorded a deficit of €425.3 million between January and March of this year, notwithstanding an increase of €167 million in revenue when compared to the corresponding quarter in 2020.
The deficit was fuelled by an increase of €209.6 million in Government expenditure over Q1 2020 to reach €1,508.6 million, with intermediate consumption registering the largest rise of €118.7 million.
This was followed by subsidies payable (€53.6 million), mostly in relation to the COVID-19 Business Assistance programme.
Notably, compensation of employees increased by €46.8 million, or over 12 per cent, over the corresponding quarter of 2020.
Other increases were recorded in social benefits and social transfers in kind (€20.2 million), property income payable (€2.7 million), current transfers payable (€2.3 million) and current taxes on income and wealth (€0.1 million).
Meanwhile, total revenue stood at €1,083.4 million, an increase of €167 million when compared to the corresponding quarter in 2020.
The largest increase in revenue was recorded in current taxes on income and wealth (€112.5 million), followed by net social contributions (€40.9 million), market output (€19.8 million) and capital transfers receivable (€10.3 million).
These increases in revenue were partially offset by decreases in taxes on production and imports (€9.0 million), property income receivable (€5.6 million) and current transfers receivable (€1.9 million).
In relation to financial transactions in assets, during the first quarter, other accounts receivable and currency and deposits registered an increase of €189.4 million and €85.7 million, respectively.
Long-term debt securities increased by €1 million, while equity and investment fund shares increased by €0.9 million.
On the other hand, long-term loans recorded a decrease of €0.3 million.
Considering the financial transactions in liabilities, the highest increase was recorded in long-term debt securities (€275.1 million), followed by long-term loans (€126.9 million), short-term debt securities (€124.5 million) and other accounts payable (€95.6 million).
In contrast, currency and deposits decreased by €3.2 million.
At the end of March, General Government debt stood at €7,478.2 million, or 59 per cent of GDP.
This equates to an increase of €1,544.8 million over the corresponding quarter in 2020, largely reflected in Central Government Debt which amounted to €7,474.8 million.
Short-term and Long-term debt securities increased by €283.3 million and €920.9 million, respectively.
Currency and deposits stood at €469.2 million, an increase of €90.7 million over March of 2020. This includes the euro coins issued in the name of the Treasury, considered a liability of Central Government, and the 62+ Malta Government Savings Bond, the latter amounting to €379.5 million.
Additionally, Long-term loans registered an increase of €250.2 million, while Short-term loans declined by €0.4 million. Local Government debt stood at €3.4 million.
General Government guaranteed debt amounted to €1,185.8 million at the end of March 2021, equivalent to 9.3 per cent of GDP. There was an increase of €175.1 million when compared to the first quarter of 2020.
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