The federal government posted a RM14.9bn deficit for the first quarter of 2013 compared to a RM5.8bn deficit for the first quarter of 2012.
For the first quarter of 2013, the increased expenditure of RM49.9bn was due to higher emoluments (RM14bn), transfers to statutory bodies (RM7.7bn) and state governments (RM1.2bn). The higher expenditure was partly due to bonus payments to civil servants announced at the end of 2012 and higher allocations for road maintenance to state governments in the run-up to GE13. BR1M, incentive payments, financial assistance to students and book vouchers amounted to RM3.5bn.
The fiscal deficit for the whole of 2012 of RM42.0bn amounted to 4.5 per cent of GDP.
For 2013, Najib says he will reduce the deficit to 4.0 per cent of GDP.
But one research house said it would be difficult for the government to meet this target due to the handout programme.
For the first five months of 2013, the Edge reported that the fiscal deficit was already 4.8 per cent of GDP.