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08.56 8 Oct 2019


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The Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will reveal his plans for Budget 2020 this afternoon.

The government says it will aim to tackle the cost of living while also keeping a keen eye on the risk of a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Donohoe said this morning that there would be "absolutely no surprises" in today's announcement, despite it being a "particularly challenging budget".

Speaking this morning he said: "I think it's fair to say at this point there will be absolutely no surprises in this budget because of the way in which the budget has been put together, because of the amount of engagement we've had.

"I think by this point all the main features of the budget are well known.

The three main areas which this year's budget is expected to focus on are Brexit, the climate and the cost of living.

The Finance Minister said it would focus on ensuring that the country in ready for the future after Brexit, as well as taking "vital action" on climate change and "making life a little easier for families and the most vulnerable".

It will be framed with a no-deal Brexit in mind and there will be a contingency fund of almost €1bn to support businesses, tourism and other areas that would be hit by a hard Brexit.

On the climate front, carbon taxes will go up €6 a tonne which means fuel cost increases of 2c per litre on petrol and diesel.

The government plans to offset that with a just transition fund for companies like Bord na Móna, and increases fuel allowances so the most vulnerable are not hit.

Areas concerning the cost of living, such as childcare, will see an investment although this will be delayed until late next year.

There will also be more home help hours announced, money for 700 extra gardaí and more SNAs.

The help to buy scheme is also going to be extended, while is the Finance Minister expected to relax the qualifying criteria for people over the age of 70 for medical cards.

Additional reporting by Seán Defoe

Main image: Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe pictured at the publication of the Government’s Summer Economic Statement in June. Photo: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie

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