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FINANCE: Tax take misses target by €141m

THE target for tax take set by the Government fell short by €141m during the year as receipts dropped by 9pc, according to latest exchequer figures.

The Department of Finance said that the State collected €18.9bn in tax receipts but that the gap between spending and revenue was €12.1bn in the first eight months of this year.

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said the figures were generally in line with its expectations, adding that Budget day targets for the year 'remain valid'.

"It is very important in terms of the kind of commentary we have seen in recent weeks which suggests that this country is in real financial jeopardy," he said. "The financial administration of the country is on target."

"Irish growth is on the way and will continue," he added, referring to an upgraded forecast from the European Central Bank (ECB).

Three of the four main tax categories are performing ahead of expectations, but the income tax take of €6.6bn was €270m behind target.

VAT was slightly better than expected at €6.7bn, as were excise duties at €2.9bn, while corporation tax was more than 4pc better than targeted at €1.8bn.