Ireland to unveil biggest budget ever to combat virus, Brexit effects

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IRELAND’s Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe on Tuesday said the country was set to announce the largest budget in its history, with measures worth billions of Euros aimed at tackling the effects of coronavirus and neighbouring Britain’s departure from the EU.

The government’s base is a budget deficit of just over 14 billion euros (16.49 billion dollars), which could rise by over 5 billion euros as a result of spending decisions, according to national broadcaster RTE.

Much of the spending in the budget for 2021 is on supports for businesses forced to close as a result of restrictions related to curbing the coronavirus as well as sectors hit by the threat of Britain not securing a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU.

A multibillion-euro recovery fund is to be held in reserve to be used next year if required.

There is expected to be a 4-billion-euro additional spend on health and 500 million Euros is expected to be committed to social housing.

The hospitality and tourism sectors hit hard by restrictions imposed to halt the spread of the virus, are expected to receive a value-added tax (VAT) cut.

The carbon tax is expected to be increased by 7.50 Euros per ton and a vehicle registration tax is set to rise to encourage the purchase of fuel-efficient cars.

It is the first budget of Ireland’s coalition government comprised of the center-right Fianna Fail and Fine Gael parties and the Green Party. (dpa/NAN)

– Oct. 13, 2020 @ 11:35 GMT |

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