Government tax receipts rose 6.7 percent in January to an all-time high of NIS 17.4 billion, despite the shadow of the police investigations hanging over the Israel Tax Authority.
The January tax receipts broke the government's record in August 2006, which totaled NIS 17.1b., including the one-time tax payment on the sale of Iscar to Warren Buffett's investment group Berkshire Hathaway.
As a result of the record increase in tax receipts, the government generated an overall surplus of NIS 4.3b. in January. It had a surplus of NIS 4.7b. in its local activity, but a small deficit of NIS 400 million in its overseas activity.
The large surplus is characteristic for January as seasonal government expenditure is low and income is high. In January 2006, the government surplus stood at NIS 5.6b. and in January 2005 at NIS 4.9b.
Budgetary expenditure was lower than expected at NIS 14.1b.
Expenditure by ministries reached a total of NIS 11.8b, which was NIS 1b. higher compared with the same period last year and the year before.
The Finance Ministry pointed out that the January expenditure figures are typically low and thus could not serve as an indicator for the rate of expenditure in the coming months.
Revenue from direct taxes - income tax, property tax and capital gains - totaled NIS 9.8b in January 2007, compared with NIS 9.1b. in January last year.