03 June 2009

Irish Exchequer Deficit at € 10.6 Billion

Official Exchequer figures for the first five months of this year show that the Irish government is currently running at a deficit of € 10.6 billion.

While tax returns are sharply down on last year's revenue, the returns for May were broadly in line with the government's forecast in the Emergency Budget.

The extent of the slow-down in the Irish economy can be seen clearly in these latest Exchequer figures. Overall, taxes are down by 21% on an annual basis.

Stamp duty and capital gains taxes are down over 63.5% and 68.6% respectively, reflecting the almost total collapse of Ireland's property market.

VAT and excise duty rates are also down sharply, reflecting reduced spending in the economy, although excise duties came in a little better than the government had expected.

On the spending side, most government departments have kept their expenditure broadly in line, but it is nevertheless up by 2.9% on an annual basis.

But whatever happens in the real world, Taoiseach Brian Cowen (left) still lives on a planet of his own and says that he is "optimistic about the country's economic future".

Speaking at the National University of Ireland (NUI) in Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Cowen said his government was "determined to keep people at work and create new jobs in the IT area".

He regarded it as "encouraging" that today's tax returns were "on target".

Addressing IT specialists and academics during a lecture in Maynooth, the Taoiseach stated that "there are hopeful signs nationally that this recession is bottoming out".

In his usual brash and brusque manner, Cowen did however not stop to speak to reporters as he left the function.
This, as well as his strange statement, only underlines how much he is out of touch with the rest of the nation. No-one else here can see any 'hopeful signs' in the economy, and certainly not a 'bottoming out' of our recession.

In two days' time we will most likely see the unemployment figure pass the 400,000 line, and as Friday is also election day, the Irish people will show Cowen, his incompetent government and his rotten party what they think of the economy.

The Emerald Islander

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