Figures released by the Department of Finance show that tax revenues to the end of April were €370m or 3.5% ahead of expectation.

The Government had forecast an income of €10.43bn to the end of April and collected €10.8bn.

The revenue collected to date in 2012 is €1.2bn or 12.4% ahead of the same period in 2011.

The adjusted figures, allowing for delayed corporation tax receipts and PSRI and income tax issues, show that taxes were still up an estimated 7.6% from last year.

The budget deficit for the period from 1 January to 30 April 2012 stands at €7.132bn.

This is down from €9.913bn for the first four months of 2011.

The drop is largely accounted for by the Government deferring the €3.06bn payment on the IBRC promissory note.

The cost of servicing the national debt was close to €3.75bn in the first four months of the year.

This was €28m less than expected, but when the figures are adjusted to allow comparison with last year the figures show that the cost of servicing the national debt was up €400m on the same period last year.