The Government will run a higher surplus in the public finances than forecast at budget time, based on higher levels of Corporation Tax.

Speaking in Dublin, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said this was part of preparations for what he called the "clear and present danger" that current high levels of Corporation Tax will not last.

Exchequer returns published today show a surplus of almost €1.45 billion in the first eleven months of the year - with the State taking in 2.7% more than was anticipated at the start of the year.

Almost all of that - €1.41 billion - is accounted for by a stronger-than-expected take of Corporation Tax. 

Speaking after a keynote address on the economy this afternoon, Mr Donohoe said running budget surpluses would prepare Ireland for a potential fall-off in Corporation Tax in the future.

The minister announced new targets to reduce Ireland's national debt over time. However he said levels of capital investment would be maintained.

He also said he would not make any contribution to the Rainy Day Fund until it was clear Ireland no longer faced the threat of a hard Brexit. 

Aside from Corporation Tax, the latest Exchequer figures show Income Tax €175m (0.8%) ahead of expectations, while VAT was €171m (1.1%) lower than anticipated.


Excise is currently running €14m (0.3%) lower than predicted, while Stamps are down €109m (7.3%) on what was forecast in the Government's budgetary plans.