Friday 23 February 2018

Exchequer Returns: Tax revenues of €23bn on target end August, up on last year

Finance Minister Michael Noonan
Finance Minister Michael Noonan

EXCHEQUER return figures released today show the Government is meeting its end year targets with the end August tax take at just under €23bn and in line with earlier predictions.

The big ticket taxes for the month again were income and corporation with the former boosted by the property tax and the Universal Service Charge.

Income tax collected in the first eight months of the year was €9.7bn slightly below expectations for the eight months but up 3.7pc on last year with corporation tax coming in stronger than expected.

VAT was down slightly for the same period €6.8bn although August is not a VAT month.

An Exchequer deficit of €7.3bn was recorded at the end of the month, which represented an improvement of €4bn compared with the same period last year.

The main drivers of this were the part-sale of Bank of Ireland, the sale of Irish Life, better tax income and decreased spending.

Still, the economy is not out of the woods yet and  it is not known whether the Government will take the full targeted €3.1bn out of the economy in October’s budget or use the wriggle room created by €1bn Anglo promissory notes deal to deliver some relief to hard-pressed taxpayers.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said the Government is stuck on the €3.1bn target although there are growing expectations that there could be a slight ease-up on cash-strapped purses in the budget.

The figures also include a €653m increase in the servicing of the national debt to €5.4bn – this reflects an increase in the national debt and the first payment of the special Anglo bonds that replaced the promissory note.

By Ailish O’Hora

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