After stabilising in March the exchequer balance showed a slight improvement in April when compared to the same month last month. By April of last year we were running a deficit of €7,316 million. So far this year the deficit is running at €6,961 million. This is an improvement of €355 million but it is barely noticeable on a graph of the cumulative exchequer returns when compared to previous years.
Looking at the Current Budget Deficit we see that the cumulative deficit is still worse than last year, though the gap is narrowing. The current account was running a deficit of €6,428 million by the end of April last year. Even with the tax increases, social welfare decreases and public sector wage cuts introduced for this year the current account has run a deficit of €6,932 million to the end of April. This is an increase in the deficit of €504 million.
It should be noted that the deficit for April was less than the deficit for the same month last year. In April last year the current account ran a deficit of €3,797 million for the month. This year the equivalent figure was €3,226 million. This €571 million improvement was driven by both increases in taxation and reductions in expenditure.
Tax revenue in April was €182 million more than in the same month last year. Voted current expenditure in April was €164 million less than in the same month last year. The remainder of the improvement was due to non-tax revenue and non-voted expenditure. While it is likely that reductions in voted current expenditure will continue for the rest of the year we will have to wait to see if the increases in tax revenue seen in April will be maintained.
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