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With 12 days until the Budget, here's how the numbers are shaping up

The final exchequer returns before Budget 2015 have been released this evening.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan
Finance Minister Michael Noonan
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE FINAL EXCHEQUER returns before the Budget on 14 October show that the deficit stood at €6 billion at the end of September.

The exchequer deficit now stands at a total of €5.96 billion, compared to €7.14 billion at the end of September 2013.

Total tax revenue in the first nine months of the year came in at €28.8 billion, up nearly €2 billion on the same period in 2013 and just over €700 million ahead of the Department of Finance’s target.

Tax receipts during September were €268 million below what was expected which is being blamed on a delay in payment of €220 million in the pension levy because of the SEPA changeover.

VAT for the year to date stands at nearly €9 billon which is up €280 million on what was expected and is reflective of growing consumer confidence, according to the Department of Finance.

The property tax take of €385 million up to the end of September is €15 million less than was expected, but officials said this evening that projecting LPT take is difficult because it is a relatively new tax.

There has been a €251 million overspend in the Department of Health so far this year, or 3 per cent over budget, which Finance officials said today was offset by underspending in other government departments.

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Department of Finance official John Palmer said today’s figures “mean we are starting from a much better place than we anticipated” in last year’s Budget projections.

In the Dáil this morning, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said that the government is now targeting a “broadly neutral budget” the week after next in order to achieve the 3 per cent deficit target. 

Read: ‘Be business focused not jobs focused’ – government told

Read: ‘Don’t try to choke off the recovery with more austerity’

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Hugh O'Connell

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