Tax revenues for the first seven months of the year are €500m, or 2.5%, ahead of target.

Figures released by the Department of Finance show the tax take to end July was €20.3 billion.

That is 9% ahead of the same period last year, although the figure is slightly enhanced by reclassification of PRSI to income tax this year.

Three of the big four taxes are ahead of schedule with Income Tax, VAT and corporation tax all performing better.

Excise duties are €40m, or 1.5%, below target.

Overall spending, at €25.9 billion, was almost 1% ahead of target.

Current expenditure at €24.5 billion was up 444 million, or 1.8%, on the same period last year and is 1.3% ahead of profile.

That was mainly accounted for by overspends in the area of Social Protection and Health.

The Exchequer deficit at end-July was €9.1 billion compared to €18.89 billion this time last year.

The large decrease was primarily caused by changes in the treatment of the Promissory Note payment for IBRC in March and because the banking recapitalisation repayments made this time last year were not repeated.

The Exchequer recorded a surplus of €317m in the month of July, the second monthly surplus to be recorded in the last three months.