The latest figures from the Exchequer show a deficit in October of €2.9bn.

Factors contributing to the shortfall were a €500m payment to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and €1.3bn spent on debt interest.

According to figures published by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform this afternoon, the Exchequer deficit was €14bn for the year to the end of October, compared to €22bn at the same time last year.

The decrease is down to the fact that the July 2011 banking recapitalisation payments did not happen again this year and because of the settlement of the 2012 Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Promissory Note.

Total Government spending at the end of October was €36.7bn, which is €88m (0.2%) over target.

The Department of Social Protection and the Department of Health overspent by €447m and €304m respectively.

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport overspent by €10m, while spending at all other departments came in under forecast.

The Department of Transport said the overspend was becuase it had to advance the CIE subvention for the last three months of the year.

Tax revenues for the year to the end of October were €28.35bn. That is €1.6bn (6.3%) ahead of the same period last year and €96m (0.3%) ahead of targets.

For the month of October tax revenues of €2.2bn were 11.4% behind target, driven largely by Corporation Tax being 51.7% below target.

This underperformance was expected and the Exchequer points out that November is the key month of the year for Corporation Tax, when close to €1.2bn (30%) of the annual target is profiled for collection.

Capital Acquisitions Tax was 31.2% below target at €58m.

The Government took in slightly more than expected in VAT and Stamp Duty.