The Department of Finance is this evening due to release Ireland’s overall budgetary position to the end of November. The Exchequer posted a deficit of €10,526m in January-October compared with an overall budget deficit of €14,072m in the first ten months of 2012. <p>

Tax revenues in January-October totalled €29,242m, an increase of €888m or 3.1% on the same period in 2012. In Budget 2013 the Department of Finance pencilled in an overall rise in tax receipts this year of just below 5.0%, mainly reflecting the introduction of the property tax from the second half of 2013. <p>

Overall, tax receipts were €37m ahead of official expectations at end-October. At the close of the third quarter they were €4m above target. However, in the recent White Paper on Receipts & Expenditure, the Department forecast that tax revenue for 2013 as a whole would come in at €37,825m, that is €125m lower than originally projected, mainly due to a shortfall in VAT and DIRT receipts. <p>

But, speaking at a banking conference in Dublin yesterday, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said “tax and expenditure returns which will be published tomorrow are very strong indeed and we are very pleased with that because it provides the evidence that underpins all the anecdotes that we hear about the recovery in the economy”. <p>

Things have already moved on, with all eyes now very much on 2014 and how Ireland copes post the exit from its EU/IMF bailout. The General Government Deficit is projected at 7.3% of GDP this year and 4.8% in 2014, and given Noonan’s comments there is now every reason to believe than the actual deficit out-turn for 2013 will be lower than published in October’s Budget. <p>

<b>We are now looking for an overall Exchequer deficit of just over €9bn at the end of November as against a deficit of almost €13bn in January – November 2012.
<p><h5>Alan McQuaid</h5>


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