The Expenditure Report 2019 which accompanied the Budget 2019 Statement by my colleague the Minister for Finance set out my Department’s summary capital expenditure ceiling for next year. The proposed gross allocation of €950.2million for my Department in 2019, as set out in the Report, includes an increase in our capital funding from €555m to €620million in 2019. This represents an increase of 11.7% on Capital from 2018.
The capital allocation of €251.945million referred to by the Deputy relates to the 2019 allocation for my Department’s Jobs and Enterprise Development Programme. The 2019 allocation represents an increase of 10.9% on the 2018 allocation of €227.2m for this Programme.
Whilst the definitive 2019 capital allocations for each of the Subheads in the Department’s Jobs and Enterprise Development Programme will only be determined as part of the Revised Estimates Process, the additional funding being provided in Budget 2019 will enable me to increase the funding for Jobs and Enterprise Development, including through providing
- the initial funding to launch the new €300m Future Growth Loan scheme which addresses a specific lack of availability of finance to businesses, particularly SMEs, of loan terms longer than 5-7 years;
- €1m in additional funding for Intertrade Ireland which will enable it to meet the growing demand from businesses in border regions in its existing programmes, develop initiatives and support firms affected by Brexit;
- €5m in additional funding to the Local Enterprise Offices to enable them to expand the range of supports to indigenous enterprises across the various sectors, including through the provision of a new customs training programme for all businesses, exporters and importers, to be rolled out in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland;
- €10m in additional funding for the IDA's Regional Property Programme;
- €2.75m in funding to support a Regional Innovation and Technology Clusters Programme targeted at SMEs thereby building enterprise capability across the regions
The provision of this additional capital funding demonstrates the Government’s determination to continue to support businesses through delivering jobs and enterprise development in all regions of the country in these challenging times.