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Dublin: 2 °C Sunday 23 November, 2014

2014 tax take €466 million ahead of target, spending below projections

The results are being hailed as evidence that no further cuts are needed in October’s budget.

Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

EXCHEQUER TAX RETURNS are nearly half a billion euro ahead of target, leading to calls for an easing of austerity.

In total, the tax take was up €466 million, with spending below projections by €156 million.

The tax takes in customs, excise, capital gains, capital acquisitions, income tax, VAT and the Local Property Tax all contributed to putting the tax take above the same point last year by €830 million.

Stamp duty and corporation tax both fell in their yields.

Health spending is €144 million over budget, but Social Protection spending is €138 below projections.

The results show that there should be no cuts affecting working families in October’s budget said SIPTU preisdent Jack O’Connor.

“It has become increasingly clear that that we can meet the general government deficit target of just below 3 per cent by the end of 2015 without inflicting more pain on working families and those who depend on public services.

“If the current trend in exchequer revenues continues, then it should be possible to bridge the gap between the deficit target and the necessary budget adjustment by imposing a number of specific measures on higher income earners, capital and wealth.”

Peter Vale, a tax partner at Grant Thornton said the figures show the return of consumer confidence.

“This is yet another set of solid figures, both in respect of tax receipts and spending control. Notwithstanding the cumulative effect of six years of tax increases, there is a renewed sense of consumer confidence, reflected in higher spending and resultant robust VAT returns, 4.4 per cent ahead of this point last year.

“There are mixed messages in terms of possible relief for taxpayers later this year but on balance it appears that there will be some respite in terms of adjustments to tax bands and perhaps tax credits.

“However this will be offset by the looming water charges, most likely leaving the taxpayer in a worse off position next year.”

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