Issued by the Government Press Office
The Government is making more than €1 billion available in Budget 2020 to be spent in the event of a No Deal Brexit. The funding will be used to protect Ireland from the worst effects of a No Deal, so we can help the people and businesses most affected, if and when they need it. This is on top of existing grants and loans which are already available for business and agriculture, and is in addition to ongoing Government expenditure on Brexit preparedness.
The Government has been actively preparing for Brexit since before the Referendum in 2016.
In December 2018, the Government published a Contingency Action Plan for a No Deal Brexit, setting out actions which were being taken across a wide range of areas to prepare for a No Deal Brexit in advance of the March and April 2019 deadlines. In July 2019, the Government published an Updated Contingency Action Plan which outlined the further work across all sectors to further strengthen and refine preparations in the lead up to a potential no deal Brexit on 31 October.
Details of the Budget 2020 package were outlined by the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney TD, and a number of his ministerial colleagues at a special Brexit press conference in Government Buildings this afternoon.
Speaking this afternoon the Tánaiste said
The Budget 2020 package includes:
Of this €650 million, €220 million will be immediately deployed in the event of a No Deal Brexit with €110m for agriculture supports and €110m for enterprise supports.
Second and subsequent waves will be released as the economic impact on particular sectors and regions becomes clear in the initial weeks and months.
€40 million will be available to support the tourism sector, targeting the worst affected regions, as well as new marketing initiatives, on top of additional immediate funding of €7m in 2019.
These funding streams will lead to significant additional spend at local level in the areas most affected by Brexit. The scale of the contingency funding will also allow further specific initiatives targeting the most affected parts of the country.
The Government will continue to work with trade unions and employer organisations to finalise these measures to support both companies and workers in the event of a No Deal Brexit.
In addition, €355 million will be spent on on-going Brexit preparedness, compliance and activation supports. Of this, €185 million in current and capital funding will be used to ensure compliance conditions are met and trade disruption is minimised, including extensive investment in ports and airports infrastructure for a no deal Brexit, as well as funding for extra staff and other costs. A further €170 million will be spent on measures across a number of sectors to ensure that the State and economy are well positioned ahead of Brexit. These includes Brexit Responses and Global Ireland, assistance to enterprise, tourism supports, farm sector and competiveness supports.
Assistance will also be available at the EU level for Member States most affected by Brexit. The Government is working in Brussels to seek additional financial support in the event of a no deal Brexit, including exceptional aid for Ireland’s agri-food sector and on other possible supports, such as through the European Globalisation Fund and the Solidarity Fund.
Furthermore, there will be an increase of nearly €800 million in infrastructure investment in 2020 bringing total infrastructure spending to €8.1billion, as part of Project Ireland 2040. This investment in major projects like schools, roads and hospitals will help to create economic activity and jobs across the country.
€110 million will be provided through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in the initial wave of funding in the event of a No Deal Brexit. This will be supplemented by further exceptional aid, which the Government expects will be provided by the EU under the exceptional aid provisions of the Common Agriculture Policy.
The provision of immediate supports for our beef sector will be a first priority, as will support for our fishing fleet. We also want to support food companies to re-orient towards new products and markets, and to support other sectors to improve their competitiveness. This will include:
€110 million has been identified for the first wave of funding for targeted new interventions to help vulnerable but viable firms adjust to the new reality of a No Deal Brexit trading environment. The suite of initiatives will support firms of all sizes at all levels of difficulty (exporters and importers) with a particular focus on sectors most exposed, including food, manufacturing and internationally traded services. Support will be by way of grants, loans and equity investment.
Specific new initiatives include:
These are in addition to the wide range of supports already in place, including the €600m in Brexit-related loan schemes supported by the Exchequer.
Budget 2020 includes a number of enhancements to existing tax-based measures which will support enterprise, SMEs and the agri-food sectors affected by Brexit including:
Key Employee Engagement Programme (KEEP) – a share-based remuneration incentive to facilitate the use of share-based remuneration by unquoted SME companies to attract and retain key employees:
Employment and Investment (EII) - provides individual investors with tax relief for risk capital investments in qualifying SMEs:
Research and Development Tax Credit – allowing companies carrying out research and development to claim tax relief:
€45 million has been provided in Budget 2020 for additional activation measures to provide increased support to ensure an effective and efficient 'first responder'/triage and client management approach and supports available for businesses and workers in difficulty. The key objective of the cross-departmental effort is to ensure that employers and employees in vulnerable companies can avail of supports to help work through business recovery options to sustain their business.
In order to sustain incomes and keep employees in firms as they try to work through how their business can remain viable, the Department of Employment and Social Protection will fully resource a Short-Time Work Support Scheme to provide an opportunity for employers to retain skilled labour in a reduced capacity and avoid permanent lay-offs and associated redundancy costs. The National Training Fund is being further supplemented in Budget 2020 which, coupled with new flexibilities in training services, will ensure tailored training and upskilling for workers can also be deployed.
The tourism sector has already begun to feel the effects of Brexit, with a reduction in revenue from British visitors since the UK referendum, primarily as a result of the weakening of Sterling. €40 million will be available to support Tourism in the event of a No Deal Brexit. This funding will be focused on:
The Government will also provide immediate additional funding of €7 million in 2019 to support accelerated tourism marketing initiatives aimed at mitigating the impacts of Brexit. This will allow Fáilte Ireland to undertake additional domestic marketing of Winter breaks and Tourism Ireland to increase their communications programme in all markets targeting an increase in passenger numbers on existing regional services.
The Government has been actively preparing for Brexit since before the Referendum in 2016.
In December 2018, the Government published a Contingency Action Plan for a No Deal Brexit. This set out the actions which were being taken across a wide range of areas to prepare for a no deal Brexit in advance of the March and April 2019 deadlines.
In July 2019, the Government published an Updated Contingency Action Plan which outlined the further work across all sectors to further strengthen and refine preparations in the lead up to a potential no deal Brexit on 31 October.
This work includes:
Further information on Government supports for business and traders put in place to date are set out in the Appendix.
Key Trader Engagement Indicators
|Stakeholder Engagement||204 stakeholder events across 26 counties since September 2018|
|Revenue Trader Engagement||102,000 letters issued & 44,000 follow-up phone calls, 24,000 additional letters issued to agri-businesses|
|EORI Registrations||19,492 in 2019 (up 555% from 2,976 in 2018)|
|Clear Customs Training||60 courses in 10 locations across Ireland will result in 660 graduates|
|UK/NI Licence Exchange Figures||34,000 applications to date in 2019 compared to 6,636 in 2018|
|F-Gas Recertification Applications||1,361 individual applications, 895 new certs issued, 97 company applications, 97 new certs issued|
|Beef Exceptional Aid Measure||34,517 eligible applications received by Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. Potential payments worth €78m are scheduled to commence in December 2019.|
Uptake of Business Support Schemes
|Brexit Loan Scheme||833 applications received with 754 approved by SBC, 199 loans progressed to sanction at bank level worth €44.1m|
|Future Growth Loan Scheme||1,445 applications received with 1,364 approved by SBCI, 296 loans progressed to sanction at bank level worth €50m|
|Enterprise Ireland Brexit Scorecard - online platform for Irish companies to self-assess their exposure to Brexit||6,585 Brexit Scorecards have been completed, 1,596 LEO clients have completed the scorecard|
|Enterprise Ireland Be Prepared Grant||216 Be Prepared Grants have been approved|
|Enterprise Ireland Market Discovery Fund - A support to EI clients to research new markets||194 companies have been approved under this initiative|
|Enterprise Ireland Prepare to Export Scorecard||4,746 Prepare to Export Scorecards have been completed|
|Enterprise Ireland Customs Insights Online Course||1,706 Customs Insights Course participants|
|Enterprise Ireland Agile Innovation Fund - Gives rapid fast-track access to innovation funding||60 Agile Innovation projects have been approved|
|Enterprise Ireland Brexit Advisory Clinics||16 Brexit Advisory Clinics have been run with 1,200 attending|
|Enterprise Ireland Brexit “Act On Programme” – A support funding the engagement of a consultant to devise report with recommendations to help clients address weaknesses and improve resilience||288 “Act on” Plans have been completed|
|Enterprise Ireland Strategic Consultancy Grant – A grant to assist EI clients to hire a strategic consultant for a set period||1,088 Strategic Consultancy Grants have been approved|
|Enterprise Ireland Clear Customs Grant||168 applications made to access financial support through the scheme|
|Local Enterprise Office Technical Assistance Grant for Micro Export - an incentive for LEO clients to explore and develop new market opportunities||729 clients were approved assistance under the Grant|
|Local Enterprise Office LEAN for Micro - The LEO Lean4Micro offer was developed in collaboration between the EI Lean department and the LEOs to tailor the EI Lean offer for LEO micro enterprise clients||423 LEO clients have participated in the programme|
|Local Enterprise Office Mentoring||1,017 mentoring participants solely focused on Brexit|
|Local Enterprise Office Brexit Seminars/Events||5,637 participants at the Brexit information events|
|Customs Training Participants||917 participants attended Customs Training|
|InterTradeIreland Brexit Advisory Service||4,551 SMEs have directly engaged with the Brexit Advisory Service in 2019. This is in addition to the 4,175 engagements in 2018|
|InterTradeIreland Brexit Planning Vouchers||1,893 applications 1,630 approved and 47 being assessed|
|Pilot Online Retail Scheme administered by Enterprise Ireland (concluded)||11 retailers awarded funding in March 2019 under Call 1, 29 retailers awarded funding under Call 2 after July 2019|