I propose to take Questions Nos. 81 to 83, inclusive, together.
Table 2 on page 38 of Expenditure Report 2020 sets out the elements that comprise the overall gross voted expenditure amount of €71.4 billion for 2020. As set out in this table, before taking account of certain Brexit related costs of €1.2 billion and timing related cash costs of €169 million, the overall increase in core voted expenditure on public services and infrastructure in 2020 is estimated at €3,371 million. After taking account of discretionary revenue measures of over €0.4 billion, this results in a net budgetary package of over €2.9 billion. This compares to the projected budgetary package of €2.8 billion set out in the Summer Economic Statement.
The Brexit related expenditure of €1.2 billion is made up of:
- €650 million to support the sectors identified as most affected by Brexit; Agriculture, Enterprise and Tourism, and to help stabilise the worst affected regions;
- €365 million in Social Protection expenditure on the Live Register and Related schemes;
- €45 million for Labour market activation supports; and
- a further amount of €160 million, relative to the Revised Estimates Volume 2019, to ensure that the staff, facilities and infrastructure are in place at Dublin Port, Rosslare Europort and Dublin Airport to allow for the necessary compliance checks to be carried out by the regulatory agencies.
As the risk of a disorderly Brexit increased, preparations for essential compliance checks by our regulatory agencies that would be required in the event of a disorderly Brexit were accelerated, with recruitment of additional staff and development of facilities and infrastructure. Consequently, as outlined in Table 1 on page 24 of Expenditure Report 2020, €51 million of the estimated costs, primarily related to staff required to carry out compliance checks at the ports and airport, are included in the departmental Budget Estimates for 2020. The allocation of the balance of funding in relation to facilities and infrastructure for compliance checks will be assessed taking into account the up to date Brexit position, including the expected form of the UK’s exit from the European Union and future relationship.
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the sectoral expenditure of €650 million will be released in multiple tranches. Adopting a multi-tranche approach to expenditure management of required Brexit policy is prudent as it helps to facilitate responses to a wide range of possible Brexit impacts, which may take time to fully materialise.
The additional funding for the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection would also be made available in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
As part of normal budgetary processes the allocation of these additional funds would either be provided in the allocations set out in the Revised Estimates Volume; included as Further Revised Estimates; or allocated via Supplementary Estimates, as may be appropriate in each case.
Of course, mitigating the effects of Brexit has been a feature not just of Budget 2020, but over the last three years as well. This has included initiatives to increase competitiveness and embed greater resilience in our economy. For these ongoing initiatives, which are already in place, approximately €0.2 billion is included within the Departmental allocations published on Budget Day. This amount is additional to the €1.2 billion discussed above.