IRELAND’S BUDGET DEFICIT stands at €10.8 billion, according to Exchequer returns for the first six months of 2011.
The government’s tax-take and spending are in line with Budget forecasts by the Department of Finance for this point in the year, the Finance Minister Michael Noonan said.
In a statement earlier today, Noonan said that tax receipts of €15.3 billion in the period to end-June were almost 6 per cent above the same period in 2010. “This is encouraging following three years when tax revenues fell by one-third,” he said.
However, taxes were slightly below expectations with a shortfall of 0.7 per cent (€115 million) compared to profile being recorded in the first six months of the year. Noonan said that corporation tax and VAT were “a little weaker than expected”, down €134 million and €116 million respectively.
Income tax was in line with “a very large target”, however, due to the introduction of the Universal Social Charge, amongst other measures.
Ireland is aiming to reduce its budget deficit to 3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of 2015 – from a starting point of 12 per cent in 2010.