Fine Gael’s financial planning for the future means we will meet the challenge of a No Deal Brexit from a position of strength said Fine Gael TD Andrew Doyle after today’s Budget.
Doyle said that while a No Deal is not inevitable, Budget 2020, announced today, means that we will stand ready to meet it head on.
“In preparing for No Deal, we can ensure that the Government has the necessary resources at its disposal to meet the impact of Brexit, while keeping our public finances on the credible and sustainable path they have been on since 2011.
“Unlike previous administrations, Budget 2020 ensures we will not need an emergency Budget. Unlike the opposition, Fine Gael has a plan, a team and the solutions for what lies ahead.
“During Fine Gael’s tenure in Government over the past 8 years, employment has risen to an all-time high where there are 2.3m people at work with more opportunities being created every day, simultaneously presiding over a reduction of unemployment from a high of just over 14% down to under 5%. The number of persons on the live Register is now at the lowest number in eleven years.
“We are being responsible by planning for whatever may come with Brexit, so we can help the people and businesses most affected, if and when they need it. Budget 2020 allocates an extra €1 billion to protect us from the worst of No Deal, on top of existing grants and loans for business, agriculture and tourism.
“My colleague, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, announced he is making €200m in Brexit expenditure available next year.
“This will be allocated across a number of departments and agencies to increase the level of staffing, upgrade infrastructure at our ports and airports and invest in Information Technology (IT) and facilities management and will ensure we are ready for Brexit, whatever form it takes.”
“If a No Deal happens, we will intervene to further protect our economy.
“Some €650 million will be made available to support the Agriculture, Enterprise and Tourism sectors and to assist the most affected citizens and regions. Of this, €220 million will be deployed immediately in the event of a No Deal.
“From this, €110 million for enterprises has been identified for the first wave of funding for targeted new interventions to help vulnerable but viable firms adjust to a No Deal Brexit.
“€110m will be provided through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Vote in the event of a No Deal Brexit.
“The provision of immediate supports for our beef sector will be a first priority, as will support for our fishing fleet.
“The sequencing and deployment of the balance of €390 million of Brexit contingency expenditure will be determined closer to the time. This funding will assist our farms, our businesses and our citizens should no deal happen.
“Alongside this, €365 million will also be provided for extra Social Protection expenditure on the Live Register and related schemes with a further €45 million being made available to assist people to new employment opportunities. If required, this Government stands ready to do more.
“As we prepare for Brexit, I can confirm that our economy is in a strong position. After a long and difficult journey, balance was finally restored to the public finances last year and despite many challenges, our economic growth is broadly based.
“The Budget announced today is designed to protect recent progress in our economy and to act as a bridge to a better future for our country.”