Belfast Telegraph

Republic in £96m fund to help mitigate EU upheaval

By Aoife Moore

The Irish Government has set aside €110m (£96m) in its 2019 Budget to combat "the political challenge of a generation" posed by Brexit.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe announced tax and spending measures including more funding for housing and health in next year's budget yesterday.

The minister acknowledged that the prospect of a no-deal Brexit had played a significant part in the planning of government expenditure for next year.

"Brexit, the outcome of which is still unclear, edges closer each day," he said.

"Increasing trade barriers are raising the spectre of protectionism and the international tax landscape is changing rapidly.

"Brexit is the political, economic and diplomatic challenge of our generation."

Mr Donohoe added Dublin had been thoroughly planning its strategy for the UK's exit from the EU, including protecting "hard-won peace" in Northern Ireland. An initiative worth €300m (£226m) and a Future Growth Loan Scheme for SMEs and the agriculture and food sector were also announced.

The provision of more than €110m for Brexit measures will be divided across departments and will see an increase in funding for the Peace programme, which funds community groups on both sides of the border.

Belfast Telegraph