State finances in better health than expected ahead of Budget 2021

The Government’s fiscal position two weeks before Budget 2021 is far better than feared despite the Exchequer deficit growing by more than €4bn in the last quarter.

Massive State spending to support the economy through the pandemic has put the balance €9.4bn in the red for the first nine months of the year, compared to €5.2bn in July.

However, a combination of strong corporate and income tax receipts has offset the spending somewhat, with total tax collected down just 3pc on last year at €39.6bn.

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