Car and tobacco sales help drive half-billion surge in Irish tax returns

Government collects €475 million more in taxes than expected

Car and tobacco sales help drive half-billion surge in Irish tax returns

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan | RollingNews.ie

New figures show the Government's taken in nearly half a billion euro more than expected in taxes in the first four months of the year.

Exchequer returns published this evening shows an extra €475 million collected compared to budget day predictions.

Most of the extra money is from higher than expected corporation tax and excise duty driven by new car sales and sales of tobacco products.

Spending by the Department of Health had over-run by €78 million, but spending by all other Departments was at or below budget.

Newstalk's Business Editor Vincent Wall explains the main factors behind the positive trend:

Earlier this week, the European Commission predicted that the Irish economy will be the fastest-growing in Europe this year.

The EU body's spring forecast estimated Ireland's expected growth at 4.9% in 2016, compared to an Eurozone average of 1.6%.