Exchequer records deficit of €7.5bn in April

Exchequer records deficit of €7.5bn in April

The Exchequer has recorded a deficit of €7,473m up to the end of April 2020.

This is a €4,281m year-on-year deterioration in the Exchequer balance when compared with a deficit of €3,192m in the same period last year.

Tax receipts for last month showed a decrease of 8% on April 2019. This decline is primarily attributed to a decline in the Excise and Income Tax receipts.

Cumulative tax receipts at the end of April 2020 came to €15,485, down 0.6%.

Strong returns in the first two months of the year compensated somewhat for the serious decline in receipts in March and April.

An increase in expenditure to end-April to €20,043m was ahead of profile by €2,379m (13.5%). This was up €3,820m (23.5%) year-on-year.

This rise in expenditure reflects the increased drawdown - particularly in relation to the Department of Health and the Department of Employment and Social Affairs - due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said that the latest Government report outlines a "sharp deterioration" in public finances as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

"Today’s figures bear that out, with a fall in tax revenues and increase in expenditure," said Minister Donohoe.

"As I have said before, it is entirely appropriate that the Government uses fiscal policy to cushion the effect of the crisis in this way.

"It is a vital tool in helping to support individuals, businesses and communities through this difficult period.

We began this crisis with the public finances in good health - a budget surplus, cash balances and reduced debt – all grounded in an economy that was growing strongly.

"The Government is committed to continuing to provide support to ensure our economy recovers as quickly as possible from this crisis."

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