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Niall Carson/PA Archive
Irish Economy

Exchequer returns in line with projected targets

Good news: our tax income is broadly in line with expectations. Bad news: our deficit for the first nine months is huge!

THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE has announced that the Exchequer returns for the first nine months of the year were almost exactly as projected at the start of the year.

The government took in €22.2bn in tax revenue from January 1 to September 30, and a further €1.12bn of non-tax income during that period, according to the figures.

VAT is running ahead of target, at €8.2bn, as is excise duty which has brought in €3.3bn in the first nine months of the year. Corporation tax is also well ahead of target, bringing in €2.2bn.

The government’s income tax take, however, is lower than was first anticipated.

The government’s current deficit has grown by almost 10% to reach €11bn, but the cuts in capital expenditure have brought the deficit in the capital account down to €2.3bn, compared to €9.93bn for the same nine months of 2009.

Altogether, the budget deficit for the first nine months of the year is €13.38bn – a significant amount, though far lower than the same period in 2009, when the overspend was €20.16bn.

The government borrowed €16.16bn between January and September, compared to €23.2bn in 2009.

Finance minister Brian Lenihan has welcomed the figures, saying they indicate a stabilisation in the public finances, but that unemployment was to blame for the shortfall in PAYE income.

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