The latest figures from the Department of Finance show that the Government's Budget targets for this year remain on track.

See the Finance Dept figures here

The Exchequer figures for the seven months to July show a deficit of €10.2 billion. This compares to a deficit of €16.4 billion the same time last year.

The figures show that almost €17.2 billion in tax receipts were collected so far this year - 1.4% below Government targets.

VAT, corporation tax and excise duties were broadly in line with estimates but income tax fell 4.7% short. VAT returns were 0.2% higher than the Government had predicted, while corporation tax was 1.8% better than forecasts. Excise duties, however, were 0.3% lower than expected.

Stamp duty was also 12% behind target, but capital gains tax was over 12% ahead of Government forecasts.

Capital acquisitions tax and customs are also running ahead of targets - 3.6% and 8.4% respectively.

The Finance Department said the main difference between the July 2009 and July 2010 figures is mainly explained by €3 billion in payments to the National Pensions Reserve Fund and to Anglo Irish Bank last year.

Today's figures also reveal that total spending by government departments for the seven months to the end of July was 7% or just over €1.9 billion lower than the same time last year at €25.4 billion.

A statement from the Department said that its Budget Day forecasts for tax revenues of just over €31 billion this year remains 'achievable'. But it warned there are significant targets to meet in the months ahead, especially in the last quarter of the year. It added that taxes will continue to be closely monitored.

Today's figures show that total tax receipts are 8.2% lower than this time last year, with capital gains tax down over 44% and stamp duty showing a fall of 18.2% year on year.

Income tax is down 8.4%, VAT down 6.9%, corporation tax down 13.8%, excise duties down 3.3%. Capital acquisitions tax and customs are up 2.3% and 2.6% respectively.