IRELAND SPENT about €25 billion more in 2011 than it took in through taxes, the annual report from the State’s spending watchdog has confirmed.
The annual report of the Comptroller & Auditor General reports that the State deficit reached its largest ever last year, with a total of €64.2 billion issued from the State’s ‘central fund’ in 2011.
Despite cuts to government current spending, the amount ultimately spent in 2011 was higher than in previous years because of the continued recapitalisation of the banking sector, the acquisition of shares in banks, and the first repayment of the IBRC promissory notes.
‘Voted’ expenditure – the name given to spending which was accounted for in traditional Department and agency funding – stood at €45.7 billion in 2011, down by 1.55 per cent on the previous year.
The state’s income, including a €1.02 billion withdrawal from the National Pension Reserve Fund, rose by 7.87 per cent to €38.7 billion.
As a result, the State’s deficit for the year reached €25.518 billion – almost €900 million higher than its previous peak in 2009.