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Exchequer income is on the up

Exchequer incomes for the first ten months of the year increased by €2bn - with the economy being boosted by extra taxes and levies.

Monthly returns showed that the State's income to the end of October was €28.9bn -- ahead of the €27.3bn record for the same period last year. Some €26.7bn was recorded in taxes -- an 8.3pc increase on the €24.7bn the Government collected last year.

The Department of Finance indicated that the tax increase was partly due to a boost in income tax to €10.5bn which derived from additional tax measures introduced during the last Budget.

One of the measures that contributed to the increase was the universal social charge, according to the department.

Stamp duty returns were up 52pc at €1.2bn -- an income not anticipated in December's Budget.

However, commentators have flagged a poor VAT performance -- which was €383m below target -- as an indication for weaker consumer demand.

The department conceded that tax revenues ended up €184m below target but added that yesterday's returns indicated a "good performance" for Ireland.

"Given the very large year-on-year increase projected at Budget time, owing to the introduction of the universal social charge and other significant revenue-raising measures, this can be viewed as a good performance," it said.