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 €10.43 billion to the end of April and collected €10.8 billion.

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

Adjusted figures to allow for the impact of delayed corporation tax receipts and PRSI / income tax reclassification issue, show taxes were still up an estimated 7.6% from last year.

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

The budget deficit again falls when compared with the same period last year, €7.133 billion compared with €9.913 billion for the first four months of 2011.

The drop, like last month, is largely accounted for by the Government deferring the €3.06 billion payment on the IBRC promissory note.

€400m increase in the cost of servicing national debt

The cost of servicing the national debt was close to €3.75 billion euro 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.