Tax takings for 2016 already €750m higher than expected

Excise duty on tobacco is one of the major contributors to the bump

The tax take is three-quarters of a billion euro higher than expected - partly because of the new laws on plain packaging of cigarettes.

Excise duty on tobacco is over €300 million ahead of expectations for the first half of the year, according to figures released this evening.

The government believes it's because tobacco companies have increased production, so that their logos can stay visible after plain packaging laws are introduced.

John Palmer from the Department of Finance explains: