Silver lining but far more clouds
Despite the optimistic note being sounded by the Department of Finance there was considerably less to the third-quarter exchequer returns, which detail how much money the Government raised in taxes and spent during the first nine months of the year, than met the eye.
Yes, tax revenues at €24.1bn were 0.7pc ahead of the budget day target and the underlying budget deficit, excluding the further €10.6bn which been pumped into the banks, was down by a quarter from €13.4bn in the first nine months of 2010 to €10.1bn for the same period this year.
While this is evidence of the solid progress being made to restore to the public finances, more, much more needs to be done. Firstly, despite the increase in overall tax revenues, the yield from most individual taxes including VAT, excises and corporation tax was actually down.