The state budget posted a deficit of €846 million at the end of February 2012 – €502 million deeper than in February 2011, the Finance Ministry announced on Thursday, March 1. "The worsening situation was due to lower revenues, 15.1 percent down year-on-year, and an increase in expenditures of 11.2 percent," said Finance Ministry spokesman Martin Jaroš, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
The state budget reported a surplus of €100 million in January. The drop in revenues was due to lower incoming funding from Brussels, with the difference representing almost €347 million year-on-year. This was caused by an imbalance in the drawing of eurofunds but this situation is expected to be redressed in the upcoming weeks. "The negative impact of revenues from the EU budget was compensated by better collection of tax revenues, namely income tax from companies and VAT," said Jaroš.
Meanwhile, the increase in expenditures was caused by a rise in costs related to the state debt, growth in payments to the EU budget and eurofunds, as well as a transfer of funds to the state-run social insurer Sociálna Poisťovňa. Basic expenses for the running of the state were in line with the state budget at the end of February, said the spokesman. The most significant spending items by government were higher payments to the state-owned railway companies, the Defence Ministry, on education and sport, and for costs related to the March 10 general election, according to the Finance Ministry statement.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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