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Tax receipts 8.7pc up

TAX receipts in Ireland are 8.7pc higher than this time last year. The Government said that the boost of €160m was due to "favourable timing factors and receipts from the pension levy".

And income tax at €9.25bn is €147m, or 1.6pc, above targets.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said the figures show that progress was being made on repairing the economy.

However, there is still a long way to go as VAT dropped 3pc below targets to €7.99bn.