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Dublin: 16 °C Friday 14 August, 2020

Irish Life sale boosts exchequer surplus in July

The €1.3 billion sale of Irish Life held a exchequer surplus last month of €1.43 billion as tax take in July was lower than predictions.

The Irish Life Centre on Abbey Street in Dublin.
The Irish Life Centre on Abbey Street in Dublin.
Image: Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland

THE €1.3 BILLION sale of Irish Life which was completed last month helped to produce an exchequer surplus last month of €1.43 billion according to the Department of Finance.

The overall exchequer deficit of €5.2 billion recorded at end-July represents an improvement of almost €4 billion compared to the first seven months of 2012.

Overall the taxman has taken in over €20 billion so far this year and is slightly ahead of expectations despite July targets being missed in a number of areas.

Tax revenues to the end of July were €21.03 billion, up €719 million on last year and €71 million (0.3 per cent) ahead of expectations.

The monthly exchequer returns show that July was a relatively slow month in terms of tax take with the ‘big four’ of income tax, corporation tax, excise duty and VAT all falling below expectations.

The figures show a income tax shortfall of €69 million which the department say is in large part due weaker than expected returns on DIRT, tax on interest payments.


On the payments side net voted expenditure at the end of July was €23.34 billion and 2.6 per cent below profile for the period. Current expenditure was 1.9 per cent below plans while the spend on capital projects was also 16.2 per cent less than predictions.

The cost of servicing the national debt, at €5.18 billion to end-July, was €614 million (13.4per cent) higher than the corresponding period last year.

This year-on-year increase is due to the increase in stock of the national debt and the first payment on the IBRC related floating rate bonds.

Read: Taxman rakes in €17.6bn in last six months despite missing excise, VAT targets >

Read: Sold: Government confirms sale of Irish Life for €1.3 billion >

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Rónán Duffy

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