The recently published Stability Programme Update 2018 included an update of the fiscal outlook for 2019. The projected general government balance remains unchanged from Budget 2018 at 0.3 per cent of GDP.
Regarding the performance of taxation receipts, I would first caution that it is still too early in the tax collection calendar to discern any firm trends, which in turn underpins the decision to leave this years tax forecast unchanged from Budget 2018.
Nonetheless, tax revenues to end-April are performing well, coming in slightly below profile by 1.4 per cent (€202 million). Furthermore, tax revenues are showing healthy year on year growth of 3.6 per cent (€516 million).
Total gross voted expenditure of €19,216 million to end-April was €74 million (0.4 per cent) below profile. This is made up of gross voted current expenditure running slightly ahead of expectations, 1.1 per cent (€192 million), chiefly due to a timing issue, and gross voted capital expenditure which is €266 million (19 per cent) below profile.
These forecasts will be assessed and adjusted accordingly as part of the Budget 2019 process this October.
Finally, I would like to remind the Deputy that performance against profile of main exchequer items are discussed on an ongoing basis in the Fiscal Monitor. This is published on a monthly basis and is available for the Deputy’s convenience here .