Exchequer in good shape, as deficit drops to €62m for 2015

Finance Minister Michael Noonan says it is "a massive improvement"

Exchequer, deficit, Michael Noonan, Finance Minister, State spending, corporation tax

File photo | Image: RollingNews.ie

The Exchequer ran a deficit of just €62m last year, according to new figures.

The loss for 2015 compares to a deficit of over €8bn a year earlier.

The improved performance comes after tax revenue for 2015 was over €3.3bn higher than expected.

Corporation tax accounted for over €2.3bn of extra money - although every single tax category produced more cash than expected.

State spending is was up 3% last year, while the country spent nearly €7bn paying interest on its national debt.

On the figures, Finance Minister Michael Noonan said: "This is a massive improvement from a deficit of €8.1bn for 2014 which was buoyed by a return from some of our investments in the banking sector".

"When once-off factors are accounted for, we have an underlying Exchequer deficit in 2015 of around €3.4bn compared to an underlying deficit of about €8.6bn in 2014".

"In terms of performance against profile, while corporation tax accounts for the bulk of the increase, it is encouraging that there were also strong performances from income tax and VAT".

"This is further evidence of the economic recovery we have witnessed in 2015," he added.