FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan, busy putting the finishing touches to one of the harshest Budgets in years, was told last night that the Government's finances are a little worse than expected.
Companies paid less tax than expected in November, contributing to a projected €210m shortfall in the expected tax take by the end of the year, the Department of Finance said in a report published early this morning.
The report, which was submitted to Mr Noonan yesterday evening, is the Department of Finance's last public comment on the country's finances before Wednesday's Budget.
The total amount of tax now expected to be collected this year was €36.17bn compared with a target of €36.38bn, the department added.
November is an important month for taxes because many companies and self-employed people pay their taxes at this time of year.
Despite this shortfall, the general government deficit now stands below target at 8.2pc of gross domestic product thanks to the higher-than-expected sum raised from the sale of 4G licences to the country's mobile phone providers and contributions from the Central Bank and other sources.
The Central Bank has been making bumper profits in recent years thanks to the bank bailout which generates money for it.