Friday 20 September 2019

Half year tax take €500m above expectations but pressure showing in some departments

Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan and John Corrigan, Chief Executive, NTMA
Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan and John Corrigan, Chief Executive, NTMA reporters

HALF year Exchequer Return figures show the tax take for the first six months to the end of June at just over €17bn or €500m above expectations.

However, the figures also showed pressure on the expenditure side, with departments like health and social protection already under pressure.

Income was boosted by strong returns from income and corporation tax which were up to €6.8bn and €1.7bn in the month of June.

VAT returns were also in line with expectations at €5.1bn.

The Department of Finance said that adjusting for delayed corporation tax receipts from December of last year and the technical reclassification of PRSI, the tax returns are up an estimated 8.3pc at the end of the month.

The figures come following last week’s EU summit where there was recognition of Ireland’s implementation of measures to fix the country’s finances and signs a deal on our €64bn in bank debt is on the cards.

The Government is also scheduled to meet the 8.6pc of GDP deficit target for this year.

However, Finance Minister Michael Noonan warned today there was no room for complacency, despite the €507m in taxes ahead of profile.

“There are significant targets to meet in the second half of the year, but tax revenue is on an upward trajectory and at this point I am confident that our overall tax revenue target for 2012 will be achieved,” he said.

“It is the case, however, that spending pressures are evident," added Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin.

“Given the importance of meeting our budgetary targets again this year, I will continue to stress to my Cabinet colleagues the need to adhere to the 2012 spending targets, as was done last year so that overall aggregate expenditure can be brought more in line with profile in the second half of the year,” he said.

The overal budget deficit stood at €9.4bn compared with €10.8bn in the same period last year.

However, the 2011 figure included the first €3.1bn promissory note payment to the former Anglo Irish Bank, now IBRC.

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