Tax revenues fail to meet July expectations

Underperforming VAT receipts were primarily to blame...

New Exchequer figures show that the State took in €98 million less than expected in July.

The takings were over 2% off target for the month, with the Department of Finance putting it down to an underperformance in VAT receipts as consumer spending took a dip.

VAT was €61m below a €1.83 billion target, while corporation taxes and excise duties also failed to meet expectations.

Despite this, the tax take for the first seven months of 2016 were still 2.5% ahead of expectations.

The State collected €26.6 billion up to the end of July.

That's an increase of €2bn, up 8.5% on the same period last year.

Rising employment and wage increases saw income tax receipts up €65m or 4.5% for the month. Some €1.5bn was collected in income tax for July.

The Exchequer recorded a surplus of €862 million to end-July, as compared to a deficit of €648 million in the same period last year.

This €1.5bn year-on-year improvement in the balance was driven by a year-on-year increase in tax revenue, albeit partially offset by increased voted expenditure and reduced non-tax revenue.