Statement by Brian Lenihan just issued...
An Exchequer deficit of EUR13,376 million was recorded at end-September 2010. This compares to an Exchequer deficit of EUR20,158 million for the first nine months of 2009.
Commenting on the Exchequer Returns the Minister for Finance, Mr. Brian Lenihan, T.D. said:
"The Exchequer deficit for the first nine months of 2010, at EUR13.4 billion, is in line with expectations for this point in the year.
In the period to end-September, tax receipts were on target, at EUR22.2 billion. As anticipated, the year-on-year rate of decline in tax revenues has continued to ease since the end of 2009. At end-September, tax revenue is down 6.5% year-on-year.
Three of the big four tax-heads - VAT, excise duties and corporation tax - are running ahead of expectations in the first nine months of the year, the performance of corporation tax is particularly encouraging. Income tax remains behind target, reflecting labour market developments. There are significant receipts profiled for collection in the last quarter of the year, most notably in relation to income tax and corporation tax but the current expectation is that taxes overall will end the year in line with the Budget target of EUR31 billion.
On the spending side, overall net voted expenditure at EUR33.2 billion is over EUR1˝ billion below the same period last year. This reflects a tight control of public spending. Day-to-day spending is running marginally ahead of target. On the capital side, there is a significant underspend at this point in the year. While this underspend should be substantially corrected in the last quarter of the year, it is not unreasonable to expect savings in this area at year-end.
The Exchequer figures show the public finances have stabilised due to the decisions taken by the Government. Stabilising the public finances is essential if we are to protect existing jobs and create new ones. Today's Exchequer figures show we are on the right path towards economic recovery."