Belfast Telegraph

Finance Minister rules out additional budget to tackle no-deal Brexit fallout

Paschal Donohoe said Budget 2020, being delivered on October 8, will take into account the likelihood of a disorderly Brexit

Paschal Donohoe will deliver Budget 2020 in October 8, and said it will include planning for a disorderly Brexit (Brian Lawless/PA)
Paschal Donohoe will deliver Budget 2020 in October 8, and said it will include planning for a disorderly Brexit (Brian Lawless/PA)

By Aoife Moore, PA

The Irish Finance Minister has ruled out a supplementary budget in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Paschal Donohoe has already indicated Ireland’s 2020 budget, due on October 8, will reflect a hard Brexit scenario, but a new report from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) warned of the risk of recession posed by a no-deal exit and advised an additional budget may be needed to deal with the fallout.

Mr Donohoe said his department has already made preparations for such eventualities.

Deal or no deal, I will not be doing another budget. On October 8 I will outline the overall budgetary framework and any response I need to put in place will be inside that Paschal Donohoe

He added: “The report from ERSI published figures that are very similar to what I have published a number of times during the year and reflected in the Summer Economic Statement.

“If we do face a disorderly Brexit, it will present a challenge to our economy, a challenge that I’m confident that we will be able to respond back to in those type of circumstances.

“Deal or no deal, I will not be doing another budget. On October 8 I will outline the overall budgetary framework and any response I need to put in place will be inside that.

“The Taoiseach and I are absolutely aligned on what our priorities are, and the Taoiseach ruled out the prospect of any supplementary budget.

“Any changes we are going to make, if we make changes, are going to be minimal and affordable, we can’t put out changes on October 8 that we can’t afford in March.”

As Westminster remains in disarray over Brexit, many have speculated the UK will be forced to delay leaving the EU.

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Mr Donohoe also attempted to reassure the public in light of fears that a no-deal Brexit could lead to recession in Ireland (Brian Lawless/PA)

Mr Donohoe refused to be drawn on the issue, saying: “I would be very wary about making predictions about what is going to happen across the coming weeks and months.

“The Prime Minister is making it very clear that he is going to leave the EU in any circumstance that he can see on October 31.

“From our point of view, what that means is the potential for no-deal is either happening in the planning period for budget 2020, or across the period in which budget 2020 will be implemented.

“So maybe we could be looking at a timing shift in the uncertainty taking place, but then that uncertainty moves into the period that Budget 2020 is planning for.”

Speaking in his north Dublin constituency at a North East Inner City Programme event which seeks to rejuvenate the area, previously plagued with drug and gang violence, Mr Donohoe also sought to reassure the public as the potential of recession has been pushed to the forefront of political debate.

He said: “Absolutely I understand the return of the recession word into commentary under way here, I understand the concern that can cause and I feel it first-hand, the concern people do have over what no-deal Brexit could create.

“What I would say to those citizens is, if you look at our economy now, we have 2.3 million people at work, in the absence of the private credit bubble that nearly destroyed our country a decade ago, we have national finances, that of course always have vulnerabilities in them, in a position of strength.

“In Budget 2020 I will outline what I and this Government will do if we find ourselves having to deal with the vista of no-deal Brexit.

PA

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