Good, bad and ugly news of the Returns
The May Exchequer returns, which were published yesterday, paint a mixed picture of the economy. While tax revenues for the first five months are running ahead of the Budget Day target, there are already clear signs that the Government will struggle to raise the €670m in extra revenue which it had pencilled in from the 2pc increase in the standard VAT rate to 23pc.
In the five months to the end of May, the Government collected almost €14.4bn in taxes. Not alone was this €386m ahead of target it was also €1.6bn up on the tax take for the same time last year.
When it comes to tax revenues the undoubted "star" of the show has been income tax. Boosted by the universal social charge, income tax revenues surged by a massive 18.5pc to almost €6bn. Corporation tax revenues also grew strongly, up 83pc to €1.1bn, although this figure was distorted by timing differences and other once-off factors. However, excise duty fell by 0.5pc to €1.78bn and is now running 2pc behind the Budget Day target.