Today’s exchequer returns show tax revenues ahead of target.
August’s exchequer returns suggest that there might be a little more leeway in Budget 2020, with tax revenues €120m ahead of target and spending inside expenditure plans.
However, the key issue for Budget 2020 is whether Ireland will face a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, which the Department of Finance believes could lead to a €6bn deterioration in the public finances, leading to a deficit of 1.5% of GDP in 2020.
In a statement the Department of Finance confirmed:
- An Exchequer deficit of €625m was recorded to end-August 2019. This compares to a deficit of €1.818bn in the same period last year. The €1.193bn year-on-year improvement is driven by increases across all revenue streams; tax, non-tax and capital receipts, and somewhat offset by increases in both current and capital voted expenditure.
- Tax revenues of €35.05bn to end-August 2019 were in-line with target, ahead by just 0.7% or €233m and exceeding the 2018 performance by 8.1% or €2.629bn.
- Total net voted expenditure to end-August 2019, at €33.74bn, was up €2.16bn or 6.8% in year-on-year terms, comprised of a 5.2% increase in current spending and a 25.1% increase in capital spending. This was broadly in-line with profile, below by 1.1% or €365m.