Brexit issues in my Department are co-ordinated centrally by the Department's Brexit/EU/North-South unit. The unit oversees Brexit work across the Department and acts as the contact point with the Department of the Taoiseach and other Departments. It is represented on the interdepartmental group on Brexit and related groups, and supports me in my work as a member of the Cabinet Committee on Brexit. Brexit issues are also addressed by staff in relevant areas across the Department.
Clearly, Brexit will pose significant challenges right across the economy. The Government is committed to addressing these challenges, to mitigating the impacts and to maximising the available opportunities.
In the short term, the Minister for Finance and I were able to deliver a budget for 2017 setting out our approach to Brexit and to building a national response. For the third year in succession, it has been possible to increase resources for public services and infrastructure. Expenditure for this year will be €58.1 billion, an increase of 3% on a year ago. Resources have been allocated towards areas that may be significantly impacted by Brexit, in particular, enterprises dealing with the impact of Brexit and our regional and rural communities.
In the longer term, the design of this year's spending review reflects the changed economic and fiscal context, including Brexit. Of course, while moderate and sustainable expenditure growth is planned over the medium term, increasing and competing public service demands will make the management of this expenditure challenging.
The capital plan sets out a €42 billion framework to meet our needs. We have a review of the plan under way at present that we aim to conclude in the second half of the year.
My Department is also responsible for EU funding programmes, such as INTERREG and PEACE. We have made progress on finalising their deployment up to 2020 and aim to deliver successor models for the period after that through our negotiation with the European Union.