The Government’s total expenditure amounted to €4,528.5 million in 2018, or €475 million more than it had spent a year earlier, the National Statistics Office said.
Though, at €1,349.8 million, social protection continued to be the highest expense, the largest expenditure increase (€163.1 million), up to €679.9 million, was registered in economic aﬀairs, particularly reﬂecting two equity injections to the national air carrier subsidiaries and higher expenditure on road infrastructure.
The category economic affairs includes, among others, general economic, commercial and labour affairs, fuel and energy, transport, communication and R&D.
The heftiest bills footed by the Government in this category in 2018 were with regard to transport (€231.6 million) and general economic, commercial and labour affairs (€179.9 million).
The expenditure on education grew by €87 million, the second largest increase from 2017, mainly because of higher wages and salaries.
A higher expenditure on pensions, disability allowances, children’s allowance and childcare pushed the costs of social protection up by €70.6 million.
The total outlay on health increased by €47.3 million, for a total of €661.4 million.
The NSO noted that almost all functions of Government expenditure increased, except for defence and recreation as well as culture and religion, which dropped by €7.6 million and €2.4 million respectively.