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Budget Statement 2019

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Snippet Contents:

However, it is also a part of our society which faces a number of threats with Brexit posing specific challenges. To support the sector and, in particular, disadvantaged farmers, I am allocating an additional €57 million of current expenditure to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine in 2019.
A sum of €60 million in current and capital Brexit-related supports will be provided to improve resilience in the farm sector along with supporting productivity improvements in the food sector. As well as making provision for the initial staffing and ICT needs to meet the regulatory requirements of Brexit, agencies will be allocated additional resources to promote new markets and retain competitiveness.
I am also doing this because I recognise that 2018 was a difficult year for our farming community. With that in mind, I am renewing the existing stock relief measures for a further three years. To help support more farmers to cope with the problem of income volatility, I am extending income averaging to farms with off-farm trading income.
I also intend to provide for a three year extension of the young trained farmer stamp duty relief, which was due to expire at the end of this year.
RURAL AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
The Government is fully committed to supporting the sustainable development of Ireland through the Department of Rural and Community Development. Therefore, I am allocating an additional €53 million in capital next year to fund the first round of projects under the new rural regeneration and development fund. This represents an unprecedented commitment by this Government to strengthen our rural economies and communities. In the context of Brexit, I am also pleased to provide increased funding for the PEACE programme to support economic and social stability in the Border region at this particularly important time.
TACKLING CRIME
I turn now to policing. We saw three weeks ago saw the publication of the report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland. I compliment the commission on its excellent report which lays the groundwork for the transformation that is needed. Reflecting my commitment to this transformation, I am increasing next year's budget for An Garda Síochána by €60 million, or 3.5%. This increase will allow for the recruitment of up to 800 gardaí and will support Commissioner Harris to drive the reforms our citizens deserve. The years ahead offer many opportunities for policing in Ireland. I am allocating, therefore, an additional €60 million in current expenditure to the broader justice sector to: provide additional asylum accommodation; widen the Magdalen scheme; fund reforms within the Department of Justice and Equality and the Courts Service; address pressures on criminal legal aid and in prisons, and respond to the demands faced by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner in its EU-wide role.