Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Country's tax take increases by 7%

Michael Noonan says the Governments is 'making progress in returning our public finances to a more sustainable path'

The country's tax take grew for the first time in three years in 2011 but was still 2.5% below target, Exchequer figures have revealed.

The Department of Finance said the amount of tax collected last year was 873 million euro lower than targets set by officials.

A total of 34 billion euro was taken in - a 7.2% rise on 2010 - due to income tax growth by 22% from the Universal Social Charge and a rise in stamp duty revenues by 45%.

Finance minister Michael Noonan claimed the country's books were under control for 2012 and underpinned the credibility of budgetary forecasts.

"The Exchequer deficit in 2011 was some 2.75 billion euro lower than it was in 2010, when the impact of banking related expenditure is excluded," he said. "This shows that we are making progress in returning our public finances to a more sustainable path."

Elsewhere, figures revealed 261 million euro in corporation tax receipts due for receipt in December were not received in time to be accounted for 2011 and will form part of the January 2012 tax revenue outturn. When account is taken of this, tax revenues were 612 million euro - 1.8% below profile, said the report.

Mr Noonan said the tax receipts published were broadly in line with estimates for 2011. "After three years of falling receipts, tax revenues in 2011 grew by over 7%," he continued. "This is to be welcomed although we cannot lose sight of the fact that tax revenues were somewhat less than originally planned.

"Tax revenues weakened somewhat in the second half of the year but this is not surprising given the more difficult economic conditions prevailing since the summer. Nonetheless, there were some positive aspects to the tax revenue performance in 2011 and I am confident that the 2012 tax forecasts will be delivered."

Brendan Howlin, minister for public expenditure and reform, said: "It is clear that we are reducing expenditure, as we must, and the Government will strive to ensure continuing tight control over expenditure in the coming years.

"The budgetary reforms introduced in December, including the new Medium Term Expenditure Framework, will further assist in better budgetary planning and management of resources for the coming years."

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