Exchequer takes in €506m more than expected

There is further evidence this evening that the Government may be able to ease up on austerity in October's budget.

Exchequer returns show the Coalition has taken in half a billion euro more than planned for.

Officially at the end of June the Exchequer is €221m better off than forecast on last budget day.

However, a delay of a number of days in payments due to the SEPA payments system means the Exchequer has actually raised another €285m on top of that in the first six months of the year.

That means Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin have raised €506m more than expected, with income tax, VAT and excise duties all performing better than expected and stamp duties on homes and commercial property doing better than thought.

Spending across Government is slightly less than expected - with a €178m overspend in health, but social protection, education and other departments have underspent by more than that.

In a joint statement the Ministers for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform say the figures show a solid performance and re-iterate the plan to get the deficit below 3% next year.

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