Malta falls below the EU average when it comes to social protection expenditure, according to a report released by Eurostat.
One of the few countries in the EU that spends less than 20% of its GDP on social protection expenditure, Malta is sitting at a measly 16% along with Estonia. Those below Malta are Lithuania, Latvia, Ireland (all at 15%) and Romania at (14%).
On the other hand, social protection expenditure represented over 30% of GDP in France, Denmark and Finland, followed closely by Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and Sweden.
The huge disparity between Member States meant that the EU GDP average decreased from 28.7% in 2012 to 27.9% in 2017.
Malta also experienced a decrease in GDP expenditure, from 19.2% in 20102 to 16.1% in 2017.
However, the country didn’t rank highest or lowest when it came to the distribution of expenditure across various social benefits. Of the 16.1 % GDP dedicated to social benefits in 2017, 52.6% of it went to old age & survivors benefits, 37.8% on sickness/healthcare & disability benefits, 5.5% to family and children benefits, 2.2% on unemployment benefits, and 1.9% on housing and social exclusion.