Dept of Finance confident of meeting deficit target

Latest returns show tax and expenditure outcomes for 2013 are as planned

 Department of Finance is confident that its 7.5 per cent deficit target for 2013 will be achieved. Photo: Alan Betson

Department of Finance is confident that its 7.5 per cent deficit target for 2013 will be achieved. Photo: Alan Betson

Fri, Jan 3, 2014, 22:17

The public finances continue to improve, new figures show, and the Department of Finance is confident that its 7.5 per cent deficit target for 2013 will be achieved.

Tax revenues for the year were down just 0.4 per cent on target, or €144 million, according to the latest Exchequer returns, while net voted expenditure was 0.7 per cent below target, or €321 million behind expectations.

Tax revenue for December was down 12 per cent against profile but December is not an overly significant month in tax take terms and the shortfall did not impact significantly on the overall 12-month outcome.

Income tax for the year was €15.75 million, compared with an expected €15.86 million. A shortfall in DIRT was responsible for the underperformance.

Year-on-year, income tax was up €582 million, or 3.8 per cent.

VAT was down 2.1 per cent for the year, compared with target, but up 1.6 per cent year-on-year. However the VAT receipts for the Christmas period will not be disclosed until the January returns.

Net voted expenditure for 2013 was €43 million, 0.7 per cent below target and down 4.2 per cent year-on-year. Both current and capital expenditure were down against targets.

Overall, the figures released today show total revenue, including non-tax revenue, of €44.7 billion, and total expenditure, including non-voted expenditure, of €56.2 billion, making for an Exchequer deficit of €11.5 billion. That is an improvement of €3.4 billion on the 2012 outturn. The Central Statistics Office will in time release an official percentage outcome for the 2013 deficit.