Exchequer returns up 3.8 per cent on last year

All departments on budget at the end of eight months

 Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. Photograph: Eric Luke / THE IRISH TIMES

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. Photograph: Eric Luke / THE IRISH TIMES

Tue, Sep 3, 2013, 16:46

Exchequer returns for the year to the end of August, released by the Department of Finance this afternoon, show that tax revenues were up 3.8 per cent when compared with the same period last year.

Net voted expenditure was down 5.4 per cent when compared with 2012 and all departments were at or under target for expenditure at the end of the period.

The exchequer deficit recorded at the end of August was an improvement of €4 billion on the first eight months of 2012.

For the month of August, the exchequer recorded a deficit of €2.1 billion, bringing the total to €7.3 billion. In July the size of the deficit actually fell, because of the sale of Irish Life for 1.3 billion.

Tax revenues were €22.9 million to the end of August, just 0.2 per cent behind target. Income tax was broadly in line with its target while corporation tax was 12 per cent ahead. Excise duties were 4.1 per cent behind target at the end of August, while being up 1.9 per cent year-on-year.

VAT was 27.7 per cent behind target at the end of the period. VAT is collected every two months and August, as a non-VAT month, is not an important month for the tax. Nevertheless, the tax has been performing poorly to date, reflecting weak retail sales.

The local property tax had brought in €191 million by the end of August, having been responsible for receipts of €12 million during August.

Net voted expenditure was 2.2 per cent below target, at €27.98 billion, at the end of the period, and 5.4 per cent down year-on-year.

The cost of servicing the national debt, at €5.4 billion to the end of August, was 13.6 per cent higher than during the same period in 2012, reflecting the increase in the size of the debt, and the first payment on Irish Bank Resolution Corporation-linked floating rate bonds. The IRBC, now in liquidation, is the vehicle into which the former Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide, were placed.