Tax revenues 1.7% ahead of target


Tax revenues to end-August, at just under €22.1 billion, are €365 million (1.7 per cent) ahead of projected, according to figures published by the Department of Finance this afternoon.

The better-than-expected performance came despite the second consecutive monthly undershoot in revenues. In August, exchequer revenues stood at €1,761 million, more than 7 per cent below target.

The Department statement said the underlying voted expenditure position in the first eight months of the year is just over €200 million (1.1 per cent) above limits set in the budget. Total voted spending stood at €29.6 billion in the January-August period.

Of the 16 departmental budgets, 12 were within their budget limits for the year up to August.

“Overruns in the Social Protection and Health Vote Groups, which have been evident for much of the year, remain” the Department stated.

As has been the case over the year to date, spending overruns in some departments have been partially offset by much lower than anticipated capital spending which, thus far in the year, is one fifth below budget.

Exchequer debt servicing costs, at just under €4.8 billion, were €188 million (3.8 per cent) less than predicated by the Department in early February. However, in year-on-year terms exchequer debt servicing costs are up some €2.2 billion, with exceptional items explaining half of this increase.

The exchequer deficit at end-August was €11.3 billion. This is well down on the same period last year, largely owing to the very large bank recapitalisation costs incurred in mid-2011.

The Department does not publish a predicted deficit figure for each month, as its does with some individual components of the overall budget, making an assessment of the overall budgetary more difficult to assess.