THE LATEST EXCHEQUER figures for the first two months of 2012 have shown a deficit of €2.072 billion, up from the €1.945 billion that was reported for the same period in 2011.
The Department of Finance figures released this afternoon show that tax revenues for the first two months of the year are more than €1.05 billion ahead of the same period last year at €5.892 billion compared to €4.840 billion – a rise of nearly 22 per cent.
Tax revenues were 12.5 per cent ahead of expectations or €656 million more than the State was expecting.
The Department of Finance said that the figures were somewhat skewed by the fact that corporation tax receipts due for December – around €250 million – did not arrive until January, inflating the figure for that month and not forming part of the Budget 2012 estimates.
Income tax was also up by nearly 33 per cent – €633 million – compared to the same time last year, and 12.5 per cent ahead of the targeted €289 million.
This was due to the technical reclassification of receipts from employers which they had previously returned as part of their PRSI obligations.
VAT returns and excise duties performed close to expectations with the Department saying they performed close to expectations for the year and were marginally up in year-on-year terms.
Capital gains tax is running €87 million ahead of the same period last year.
Total net expenditure at the end of February was at nearly €7.5 billion, up by 6.8 per cent and 4 per cent ahead of expectations but this was attributed to the income tax-PRSI reclassification issue.
Day-to-day expenditure was at €7.16 billion at the end opf last month, up 7.4 per cent on last year and 3.8 per cent ahead of expectations, again due to the income tax-PRSI reclassification issue.
The cost of servicing the debt so far this year was €891 million at the end of February, up from €626 million in the two months to the end of February last year, reflecting the country’s growing debt burden.