Ireland plans "Brexit-proof" budget

The Government is promising measures to protect against the impact of the UK's exit...

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The British Union Jack flies alongside the Irish Tricolour in front of Government Buildings. Image:

Public Expenditure Minister Paschal Donohoe says that Ireland will take measures in Budget 2017 to "Brexit-proof" the economy.

He adds that Ireland's outlook beyond 2018 is particularly uncertain - and Ireland's 'fiscal space' is likely to be squeezed.

"We can't quantify what that is [the impact] yet for two reasons. The first one is, we have to be very careful looking at forecasts for 2019, 2020, 2021 and beyond, given the uncertainty there at the moment," he told Reuters.

"The second reason is we are trying to put in place measures that might mitigate some of the growth-shock that we might face because of what's happening with Brexit ... measures to grow the productive capacity of our country in the mid-term to act as a buffer to the inevitable challenges our economy will face," he continued - adding that Budget 2017 hopes to "Brexit proof" the economy.

"I approach all these discussions with the mindset of 'we're going to have challenges.' What we are working to quantify is the magnitude of those challenges," the Minister concluded.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan has indicated that there will be around €1bn available, with around two-thirds being used for public spending and one-third for cutting taxes.

Mary Mitchell O’Connor, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation has stated that her department will give €500,000 extra to IDA Ireland to continue its efforts to attract FDI.

The 9% VAT rate to aid the tourism sector is also expected to be maintained.