Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (84)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

84. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Finance the extent to which he expects to be in a position to support ongoing and normal economic activity in the context of the forthcoming Budget notwithstanding the effect of Brexit and the Covid-19 virus; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26670/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

As I announced on September 16th, Budget 2021 will continue to provide essential support for the sectors of our economy most in need.  This is in addition to the c. €24.5 billion that the Government has already committed to protect households and firms and to expand the capacity of the health sector.

Due to the prudent management of the public finances in recent years, we entered this crisis from a position of strength and resilience.  As a result, we are now able to run budgetary deficits in the short-term in order to provide counter-cyclical support to the economy and to promote the retention and creation of jobs. 

As the Deputy will be aware, the forthcoming Budget will be framed on two core assumptions. First, from the beginning of next year, the UK and EU will trade on WTO terms.  Second, in the absence of a vaccine, our economy and society must co-exist with Covid-19.

These assumptions are cautious and prudent. This is the right approach to take in a time of unprecedented uncertainty.  Government stands ready to provide the necessary support to ensure a robust and broad-based economic recovery from the unprecedented challenges we are now facing.