The Finance Minister says there will be “absolutely no surprises” when he announces the budget in the Dáil this afternoon.
Paschal Donohoe has set his plans to the tune of a no-deal Brexit – although he is likely to mix in some measures aimed at keeping voters sweet with the prospect of an election in the New Year.
The announcement is expected to be built around three main concerns - Brexit, climate change and the cost of living.
— Paschal Donohoe (@Paschald) October 7, 2019
Speaking on his way into the Department of Finance this morning, Minister Donohoe said it was a “particularly challenging budget” to draft and insisted there "absolutely no surprises" when he takes to his feet at 1pm.
"I think it's fair to say at this point there will be absolutely no surprises in this budget because of the way in which the budget has been put together, because of the amount of engagement we've had,” he said.
"I think by this point all the main features of the budget are well known.”
"Absolutely no surprises" in this budget says Paschal Donohoe as her arrives to the Department. No sign of what tie he's wearing. I'm gonna guess blue or green
— Seán Defoe (@SeanDefoe) October 8, 2019
With the risk of the UK crashing out the EU without a deal growing all the time, the Government has asset aside a fund of almost €1bn to support businesses, tourism and other areas that are likely to be the hardest hit.
With Extinction Rebellion protesters gathers outside Government Buildings, the announcement does include some moves towards climate action.
The Carbon tax will increase by €6 per tonne – adding around 2c to every litre at the petrol pumps.
The Taoiseach has pledged to ringfence the increases for environmentally friendly policies and to reduce the impact on the most vulnerable. That means an increase in funds for rural Ireland and in the social welfare fuel allowance.
When it comes to the cost of living there are increased investments in areas like childcare – although many of these will be delayed until next year.
A packet of cigarettes is also set to be hit with a 50c increase, which will come in to effect from midnight tonight.
There is likely to be money for 700 more Gardaí, more Special Needs Assistants in Schools and an extension of the Help-to-Buy scheme.
With reporting from Sean Defoe