Brexit represents a significant challenge for businesses in Ireland, which cannot be underestimated. That’s why my Department started developing supports for businesses from the time when Brexit first became a possibility. Government’s priority is to ensure that businesses around the country can manage risks and avail of any opportunities. This has informed the range of advisory and financial supports that are in place.
My Department gross allocation for 2019 is €952.2million. This represents an increase of €79.2m (+9.1%) on our 2018 allocation of €871m and includes a record Capital budget increase of €65m (+11.7%) and an additional €14.2m (+4.5%) in Current funding.
The additional current funding secured in Budget includes an additional €8m package to support our Brexit Response and to expand the Global Footprint of our Agencies. Specifically, Budget 2019 will increase the current funding of the Department’s Agencies as follows:
- Enterprise Ireland - +€3.0m
- IDA Ireland - +€2.0m
- Health & Safety Authority - +€482k
- National Standards Authority of Ireland - +€400k
- Competition & Consumer Protection Commission - +€360k
The increased current allocations secured in Budget 2019 follow on from specific Brexit focused increases secured by my Department in both Budgets 2017 and 2018. The additional funding has enabled the Department’s Agencies to continue to increase their staffing resources as well as fund related promotional and regulatory activities.
Aside from the additional current funding being provided in Budget 2019, additional capital funding has also been provided to the Department’s Enterprise Agencies, including IDA, Enterprise Ireland, Local Enterprise Offices, Science Foundation Ireland to enable them to continue their preparations in Getting Business Brexit Ready.
The increased allocations secured by my Department in the last three Budgets clearly demonstrates my commitment to providing our Agencies with the necessary resources to enable them to continue to support businesses in their efforts to grow and provide employment while safeguarding against global challenges including Brexit.