Exchequer figures reveal tax intake exceeds target by €971m

The Coalition has been given a massive pre-budget boost with tax revenues running nearly a billion euro more than expected.

Latest Exchequer returns are another signal that Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin will be able to ease up on the austerity on October 14.

However, in a statement this evening the Finance Minister said he will get the deficit below the 3% target next year, meaning he is going to impose a slightly harsher budget than necessary.

In what will be the second last Exchequer return before the budget, the news could hardly be better for the coalition.

When the figures were added up on Sunday the tax take was €971m more than expected only two thirds into the year.

During August delayed stamp duty and some non-recurring corporation tax payments have boosted what was already a good performance for the Exchequer, with income tax also showing more and more people getting work.

VAT accounts for more than a quarter of the extra cash - a sure sign that consumers are spending again, while stamp duty is also way ahead of schedule - as people buy whatever homes are available.

Expenditure is €115m more than planned, though Health continues to be a problem having overshot its budget by €353m.

One clear picture from these figures, and other good economic indicators, the budget will not need to be anything near the planned correction of €2bn.

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