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STATISTICS MALTA

Social Protection Expenditure: 2021

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Social_Protection_Expenditure_2021.jpgDuring 2021, social protection outlay totalled €2,721.2 million, a 4.6 per cent increase from the previous year.

In 2021, social protection expenditure rose by €120.0 million from the €2,601.3 million reported in 2020. As a percentage of GDP, social protection amounted to 18.1 per cent. This reflected a drop of 1.6 percentage points when compared to the previous year, following higher GDP growth during the same period.

Higher social outlay was reported for thirteen of Malta’s nineteen schemes. The largest increase was witnessed under Hospitals and Other Health Care Facilities (€69.0 million), followed by Social Security Contributory Benefits (€50.7 million) and Sickness Days – Employers’ Expenditure (€29.4 million). From the remaining six schemes, the highest decline was recorded under the COVID-19 Support Measures (€64.1 million) (Table 1).

When categorised according to the European System of integrated Social Protection Statistics’ (ESSPROS) eight functions (refer to methodological note 3), total social outlay ranged from over one billion in Old Age benefits to €20.6 million in Housing measures. In comparison to 2020, increases were reported under seven functions, with the largest rise of €98.3 million registered under Sickness/Health Care. Increased expenditure was also reported under Old Age (€56.3 million), Family/Children (€19.2 million), Survivors (€4.9 million), Disability (€4.4 million), Social exclusion not elsewhere classified (n.e.c.) (4.0 million) and Housing (€1.3 million). A €68.6 million drop under the Unemployment function, following the lower outlay towards COVID-19 social measures, partially offset the rise in social expenses (Table 2).

The majority (60.8 per cent) of social expenditure was provided in the form of cash payments, with the remaining 39.2 per cent administered through goods and services. Non means-tested benefits amounted to €2,536.9 million, 93.2 per cent of the total, of which 60.7 per cent were cash benefits. Similarly, means-tested benefits were predominantly given through cash benefits (62.2 per cent) (Table 3).

 

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