Tax take exceeds target by €500m at end of July


TAX REVENUES for the first seven months of the year came in €500 million ahead of target at €20.3 billion, a performance in keeping with the positive trend evident in recent months.

According to new figures from the Department of Finance, the tax take at the end of July was €1.68 billion, or 9 per cent, above the amount collected in the same period last year.

A breakdown of the headline figure shows that income tax, VAT and corporation tax outperformed between January and July, when compared with last year.

However, while the tax haul exceeded expectations, the Government also overspent during the seven-month period. Overall exchequer expenditure totalled €25.9 billion at the end of July, €216 million above target.

Spending figures are broken down between current (day-to- day) expenditure and capital (investment) expenditure.

Current spending overran by €317 million during the period. This was attributed to a combination of lower-than-expected PRSI receipts and overspending in social protection and health.

By contrast, capital spending came in €100 million below target due to underspending in jobs, enterprise and innovation.

The figures also show the exchequer’s debt-servicing costs were just below €4.6 billion at the end of July, some €152 million lower than expected. However they were almost €2 billion higher than the same period last year.

The exchequer deficit at the end of July was €9,126 million, half the €18,894 million recorded last year. The larger deficit in 2011 was mostly down to bank bailout costs.