January's Exchequer figures show a 3% rise in tax revenues compared to the same month last year.

However, Government spending rose by just over 7%, driven primarily by the Department of Social Protection.

Income taxes were 10% ahead of 2012 figures with €1.4 billion collected during the month.

In a statement alongside the Exchequer returns, the Department of Finance said the amount collected was about a tenth of the annual target for 2013 and was "broadly consistent with expectations".

Excise duties were also up strongly, 10% ahead of January last year, but the corporation tax take fell.

A delayed receipt of €251m had inflated the previous year's figures, however, and explains the dramatic fall in receipts this time around.

Current expenditure in January was €3.9bn, a 7.2% increase on last year.

Much of this was due to an 18% rise in expenditure at the Department of Social Protection, where spending was €179m ahead of the same period in 2012.

As a result the current account deficit, the gap between day-to-day Government spending and revenues, rose from €513m in January 2012 to €679m.