The Exchequer took in more than €37.8 billion in tax last year, €144 million (0.4%) behind target but €1.16 billion higher than in 2012.

There was an Exchequer deficit of €11.5 billion in 2013, €3.4 billion lower than the previous year and ahead of target set out as part of the IMF/EU bailout programme.

The corporation tax take was 3.3% ahead of target at €4.27 billion, while stamp duties were 13.5% above profile at €1.34 billion.

Revenues from the local property tax were also higher than expected by the end of December, standing at €318 million compared to an expected €250 million.

However income tax was slightly lower than expected at €15.75 billion, while VAT was 2.1% behind target at €10.33 billion.

Excise duties also came in behind profile, with a tax take of €4.89 billion compared to an expected €4.92 billion.

Meanwhile, net voted expenditure for the year stood at over €43 billion, €321 million (0.7%) below target.

This represents a year-on-year expenditure decrease of almost €1.88 billion.