Budget 2019 will insulate Ireland against the prospect of a hard Brexit while at the same time putting money back into people’s pockets.
That’s according to Wexford minister Paul Kehoe who said the Budget will provide much needed relief for parents, business owners and social welfare recipients.
Speaking after attending Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, Minister Kehoe said communities in Wexford will benefit directly from measures contained in the Budget, such the announcement of €40m in funding for roads and footpaths.
And he particularly welcomed the decision to increase the income threshold for the affordable childcare scheme from €22,700 to €26,000.
“As a father of three young children, I have consistently raised the burden placed on parents while at Cabinet,” Minister Kehoe said.
With the Brexit negotiations entering a crucial stage, Minister Kehoe said the measures contained in the Budget will insulate Wexford businesses , particularly those who export.
The budget provides for:
- A Human Capital Initiative worth €300 million;
- The launch of a Future Growth Loan Scheme for SMEs and the agriculture and food sector;
- The provision of over €110 million for Brexit measures across a number of Departments; and
- Increase funding for the PEACE programme
Housing and health also featured heavily in the Budget , Minister Kehoe said.
“Significant investment in GP card provision and further reductions in prescription charges are important measures.
“And with housing representing one of the biggest challenges facing this government , I welcome the fact we are providing the largest ever investment in housing in a single year.”
Minister Kehoe said young professionals will see a modest but welcome boost in their pay packets through reductions in USC and a raising of the threshold at which workers pay the higher rate of income tax.
And in relation to small business owners and farmers, a €300m Future Growth Loan Scheme will be launched.
“Budget 2019 is about putting money back in people’s pockets, while ensuring we are well prepared for what’s on the horizon with Brexit,” the Enniscorthy representative added.