Finance Minister: Fears of disorderly Brexit growing

Consumer and investor fears of a disorderly Brexit are growing, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has conceded.

Finance Minister: Fears of disorderly Brexit growing

Consumer and investor fears of a disorderly Brexit are growing, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has conceded.

However, despite the growing likelihood of Britain crashing out of the EU at the end of October, there are no plans to delay the Government's budget or pull back spending next year.

It has also emerged that spending in Health and mounting costs for the sector are being monitored.

Mr Donohoe was speaking ahead of the first post-summer Cabinet next week, which will consider the latest developments on Brexit. The minister ruled out Brexit impacting on the latest employment figures.

Half year figures show that an extra 40,000 jobs were created this year, he noted: “They [the figures] show more people are at work than we have ever had before...the trend for quarter-two alone, I don't see reflecting a Brexit point for now but I would acknowledge - as some economic indicators have pointed to - that there is a growing concern from a consumer sentiment and investor point of view regarding the effect that Brexit may have on our economy both now and the future."

"My message to those who are concerned about that is that we have an economy that is more resilient, that is more diversified, that has lower levels of private debt, that has national finances that are in a stronger position. We are capable of responding to the challenges that Brexit may bring while acknowledging that the challenges from an economic point of view would be significant.”

Separately, the minister defended reforms in corporate taxation after reports that some €83bn in profit was made here by US firms in 2017 - a third of the total enjoyed in the entire EU.

He said past budgets have seen tax reforms but that Ireland's taxation regime needs to remain competitive. He also ruled out supporting international proposals for effective tax rates.

Mr Donohoe also confirmed that projected spending in Health was exceeded at the end of July and that August figures will lay the base for budget talks with departments.

Meanwhile, Tánaiste Simon Coveney continues visits to EU capitals to meet his counterparts and to promote the backstop and Ireland's concerns about Brexit. Mr Coveney visited Prague yesterday and will be in Paris today before travelling onto Helsinki on Thursday and then Warsaw on Sunday.

Moves are also afoot among British opposition parties to stop a disorderly Brexit through legislation or a possible vote of no-confidence in Boris Johnson's government.

More in this section