Kenny says budget will be “Brexit-proof”

Claims decision to leave the EU could cost the UK as much as £66bn a year

Kenny says budget will be “Brexit-proof”

Taoiseach Enda Kenny heads into a meeting with his parliamentary party at the Keadeen Hotel in Newbridge, Co Kildare | Image: RollingNews.ie

This afternoon’s budget announcement will contain a number of 'Brexit-proofing' measures according to an Taoiseach, Enda Kenny.

The Minister’s for Finance and Public Expenditure, Michael Noonan and Paschal Donohoe, will reveal the full details of Budget 2017 in the Dáil at 1pm this afternoon.

Key features are expected to include a helping hand for first time buyers, higher welfare and pension payments and cuts to the USC.

It's also set to outline the biggest health budget in the history of the State, and a major scheme to help parents with the cost of childcare.

Mr Kenny said the announcement will features “measures of Brexit-proofing” adding that the government has focused on building “insofar as we can,” a fairer Ireland:

Mr Kenny’s comments come as UK newspaper, The Times reports that leaked government papers suggest a “hard Brexit” would see the British treasury lose up £66bn in tax revenues each year.

The document warns UK cabinet ministers that leaving the European single market could cause the value of British economic activity to drop by up 9.5% within 15 years.

The forecast is based on a study which was controversially commissioned by then chancellor George Osborne in the run up to the EU referendum.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron described the forecast as "yet more proof that hard Brexit would be an act of sheer economic vandalism."

Theresa May and her Brexit Secretary David Davis are facing growing pressure to allow MPs to vote ahead of triggering Article 50, the formal process for leaving the EU.

Speaking at Parliament in London, Mr Davis said the British government would reject any attempt to undo the referendum result, saying lawmakers have a “duty to carry out the people's instructions:"

Ahead of the Budget 2017 announcement, Newstalk Breakfast presenter Shane Coleman said the considering the uncertainty surrounding what is happening in the UK, the best thing for the Irish government to do in the face of the looming Brexit could be to sit tight.

"The best way of Brexit-proofing the Budget I think would be to do nothing," Coleman argues.

“The sensible thing to say would be 'we're not going to do anything this year.'"