Belfast Telegraph

Ireland 10 billion euro in the red

Ireland is now more than 10 billion euro in the red after the latest banking bailouts, latest Exchequer figures reveal.

The Department of Finance said the debt crisis would have improved significantly - by almost 700 million euro - if it had not been for massive payments pumped into Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide in March.

More than three billion euro injected into the doomed lenders from the public purse is largely to blame for a deficit jump from just under eight billion euro this time last year to 10.2 billion euro.

While income tax has increased - mainly because of the universal social charge - overall taxes were lower than predicted by department officials, the latest figures show.

This was mainly down to a shortfall on corporation taxes, which came in 140 million euro less than calculated.

There were also lower than expected capital taxes, including stamp duty.

The Department of Finance said the shock corporation tax figures could be partly blamed on "timing issues".

"It now seems that some corporation tax payments originally scheduled for collection in May will take place later in the year," a spokesman said.

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