Tax revenues for the State are running 1% ahead of target for the first six months of the year, according to figures from the Department of Finance.

The latest Exchequer returns show tax revenues to the end of June were €17.6 billion, compared with a target of €17.4 billion.

Spending by State departments is also within target, with total departmental spending running 2.5% below target.

The Departments of Health and Social Protection are both within their budget limits.

In total, 15 of the 16 vote groups are within their spending targets.

Debt service costs were up €547 million to over €5.05 billion.

In total, Exchequer borrowing is €4 billion lower than planned due to the ending of the promissory note arrangement and the sale of €1 billion worth of contingent capital debt instruments in Bank of Ireland.

Total State revenue for the first six months was €22 billion. Total spending for the same period was €28.6 billion, leaving a budget deficit for the first six months of €6.6 billion.

In the month of June, VAT revenue was some €156 million, or 2.9%, below target. Excise was also 2.9% or €66 million off target.

This was more than made up for by higher than expected payments of Corporation Tax, which was 13.6% or €251 million ahead of target.