Tax take increases in January
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan welcomes latest figures showing increase in tax revenues.
Tax revenues in January 2013 stood €3,774 million, an increase of €109 million or 3 per cent on the same month in 2012, new Exchequer figures show.
According to the Department of Finance, when adjusted for one-off factors, the year-on-year increase was higher, at 5.6 per cent.
Income tax revenues, the Exchequer’s largest single source of tax receipts, grew “strongly”, rising by 10 per cent on January last year. “This may be reflective of a more benign labour market late last year,” the Department speculated.
Value added tax, the second biggest earner for the exchequer, grew by a paltry 0.9 per cent year-on-year in January. Although the department did not comment on this out-turn, the below-inflation increase is likely to reflect continued weakness in consumer spending power.
On Exchequer expenditure, outlays for January 2013 stood at €3,983 million. This represented a year-on-year increase of €157 million, or 4.1 per cent.
When Government investment spending is excluded, the increase in expenditure between January 2013 and the same month in 2012 stood at 7.2 per cent.
Much of the increase was a result of an 18 per cent increase in spending by the Department of Social Protection. This department has a larger budget than any other ministry.
The Department of Health has the second largest budget. In contrast to frequent spending over-runs in recent years, the department recorded a slight reduction in spending in January 2013 compared to the same month last year.
Exchequer debt servicing costs, which stood at €568 million in January 2013, were down €200 million year-on-year. The decline was due to “a combination of technical and timing factors” the Department said.
For the first month of the new year an Exchequer surplus of €704 million was recorded. This compares with a deficit of €394 million in January 2012.
“The 2013 Exchequer Balance benefited from the proceeds of the sale of Contingent Capital notes in Bank of Ireland,” the Department said.