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Irish tax take down just 3% in first nine months of 2020

DUBLIN, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Ireland continued to collect more tax than it had expected early in the coronavirus pandemic in September, beating forecasts for the fifth straight month to keep the year-on-year decline in the overall tax take to 3% so far this year.

Ireland’s finance ministry forecast in April that state revenues would fall 16% this year due to pandemic disruption. But a strong pre-crisis start to the year, better than expected income tax take since and a surge in corporate tax receipts meant revenues were little changed in the first six months.

An unprecedented level of stimulus to soften the economic hit pushed government spending up 24.9% year-on-year in the first nine months and the exchequer deficit to 9.4 billion euros, the data from the ministry showed on Friday. (Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Alison Williams)