The government recorded a deficit of €316.3 million in the third quarter of 2020, a period marked by the resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic in Malta.
There had been a surplus of €37.8 million in the third quarter of 2019.
National Statistics Office figures show that total revenue between July and September stood at €1.12 billion, a decrease of €92.5 million when compared to the corresponding quarter of 2019. The decreases in revenue, the NSO pointed out, were primarily due to the pandemic.
The largest drop in revenue (€86.7m) was recorded in taxes on production and imports, followed by market output (€13.5m), current transfers receivable (€7.7m) and current taxes on income and wealth (€6.3m). These were partially offset by increases in capital transfers receivable (€15.2m), net social contributions (€5.1m) and property income receivable (€1.4m).
At the same time, total expenditure increased by €261.6 million to reach €1.43 billion. This increase includes an increase of €137.5 million in subsidies, with most of the increase – €92.8 million – due to the Covid-19 business assistance programme.
Increases in expenditure were also recorded in intermediate consumption (€68.8m), gross capital formation (€30.6m), compensation of employees (€22.9m), social benefits and social transfers in kind (€14.8m) and capital transfers payable (€5.4m). In contrast, expenditure decreases were recorded on current transfers payable (€15.4m) and on property income payable (€3m).
Adjustments to the consolidated fund data, made in order to achieve compliance with the provisions of the European System of Accounts, brought about an increase to the deficit of €73 million.