Tax revenues decline by 1.3%

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan talks to ECB president Mario Draghi In Brussels today. The Department of Finance said today said its overall budget targets were being met in the first two months of the year.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan talks to ECB president Mario Draghi In Brussels today. The Department of Finance said today said its overall budget targets were being met in the first two months of the year.

Mon, Mar 4, 2013, 00:00

February tax revenues amounted to €2.04 billion, a decrease of 8.4 per cent on the same month in 2012, according to the Department of Finance.

Tax revenues in the first two months of 2013 together were down €77 million (or 1.3 per cent) on the same period in 2012.

Despite the weak receipts, the Department said its overall budget targets were being met in the first two months of the year and were in-line with projections for 2013 set out in December’s budget.

For the month of February 2013 the exchequer deficit was €1.64 billion, compared with a deficit of €1,678 million in February 2012.

The broad stability in the deficit was the result of exchequer spending falling in the first two months of the year when compared to the same period in 2012.

Both current and capital spending was down. By department, the biggest spenders also registered lower outlays, with the largest decline - of five per cent - recorded by the Department of Social Protection.

Exchequer borrowing increased by €25.8 billion during February 2013.

“This is almost exclusively due to €25 billion of bonds issued to the Central Bank to replace the promissory note” the department said.

“While impacting exchequer debt substantially, this has no impact on general government debt” it added. The former measure is a cash-basis method of accounting, while the latter is accruals based and the one watched by financial markets.

Exchequer debt servicing costs, at €883 million to end-February 2013 were fractionally lower than the corresponding period last year. This marginal year-on-year decline “primarily reflects timing factors” the department said.