The Minister for Finance acknowledged the need to be mindful of the State's reliance on corporation tax.

Minister Paschal Donohoe told the Dáil that €1 in every €8 collected by the State in tax comes from corporation tax payments of a very small number of firms.

He said the income tax system is heavily reliant on a relatively small number of employees - just 500,000 workers and 10 multinational companies account for over one third of our total tax revenue.

The Department of Finance estimates that 'excess' corporation tax receipts - that is the amount which may be more vulnerable to a shock - could amount to €8-10 billion this year.

Minister Donohoe said that while these receipts are "extremely welcome, they cannot be depended upon to fund permanent expenditure".

He said 'excess' receipts will be treated differently in future. The Department of Finance will now employ a new metric – GGB star – to monitor the public finances while excluding any 'excess' receipts.

The GGB star for this year is currently forecast at a deficit of €8 billion compared to the headline surplus of €1 billion.

The Minister said he intends to start replenishing the National Reserve Fund with some of these excess receipts to build up the country's economic resilience.