Public finance surplus projected to be over €4.4bn

The surplus in the public finances this year is projected to be just over €4.4bn according to the Department of Finance.

Next year, the surplus is projected to reach almost €12bn but this is before any decisions are made in next week’s Budget.

The figures are contained in the Budget White Paper that was published at midnight.

As recently as July, the Government had revised their forecasts from a deficit this year to a small surplus of around €1.2 billion.

Record corporation tax receipts expected to finally come in at just over €21bn for 2022 boosted this turnaround in the public finances to deliver an expected surplus of €4.415bn.

Next year, the record corporation tax receipts are expected to continue boosting the projected surplus in 2023 to €11.78bn.

But these figures are where the public finances would end up if no decisions were taken on Budget Day next week. The widely anticipated significant increase in expenditure to counter the cost-of-living crisis will take a chunk out of the surplus figures.

The White Paper also reveals an increase in the cost of servicing the national debt, a reminder that times are changing for indebted governments.

In a statement last night, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said it’s “appropriate to keep part of this surplus in reserve to respond to other challenges that may yet come.”

The Paper also reveals that if the portion of corporation tax deemed to be a “windfall” or not expected was removed, there would be a deficit this year of €4.5bn and next year’s surplus would be just €1.78bn.

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