The Taoiseach revealed this week that tax revenues for 2008 are €8.13bn behind budget as the Exchequer posted a €12.7bn deficit, the largest to date in the public finances. Total tax receipts were €40.077bn compared to a forecast €48bn at the end of December. The €55bn spending figure that is projected for 2009 could turn out to be €15 to €16bn euro more than revenue, according to Mr Cowen.
It was widely noted that when the 2009 Budget was published in October the projected tax shortfall was €6.5bn. Commenting on the end-year Exchequer Returns Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan, said: “The further deterioration in tax receipts since Budget Day reflects the worsening economic circumstances over the last number of months.” He said that contraction in economic activity in 2009 is likely to reach somewhere in the region of 4%.
Mr Lenihan said the Government is to meet later this week to consider new estimates from his department, adding that he would publish the revised forecasts shortly after this. He also pointed out to his critics that Ireland is not alone in finding itself in the midst of a recession.
Using the buttons below you can save this article to your favourite social bookmarking site