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Budget Statement 2021 (Continued)

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 999 No. 2
Unrevised

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(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Paschal Donohoe: Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe] I cannot say for certain how long the journey will take, but I can say that we all have roles to play, collectively and as individuals, for the benefit of ourselves, each other and our country. The Government will do its part, and we, as citizens, both young and old, now need to continue to do our best to combat and then defeat the common enemy - this disease. The stronger our response, the sooner we will complete this journey.

With this, I commend this budget to the House.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Michael McGrath): Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath The backdrop for budget 2021 is a truly remarkable one.

INTRODUCTION

At the same time, our country and our people are confronted with a once-in-a-century global pandemic and a generational shift in our relationship with our nearest neighbour, the United Kingdom.

Covid-19 has changed completely the way we live our lives. While the damage to our economy has been immense, the ultimate cost of this virus is in the lives it continues to take.

Covid-19 has also brought out the best in us. I think, of course, of the staff across our health service, of our gardaí, of all those providing the front-line services we need when things go wrong, and I think, too, of our cleaners, our shop workers, our care assistants, our hospitality staff, and so many other essential workers, and I think of the thousands of volunteers in communities across the country who have reached out to help others in recent months.

The essential task of the Minister, Deputy Donohoe, and mine today is to give our people hope - hope based on realism, hope based on a plan and hope backed up with a commitment to invest a record amount of public resources to support our economy and our society. The exceptional strength and resilience of our nation means we will get through this.

As the Taoiseach has said on many occasions, we need to protect lives and to protect livelihoods. This is our mission. These are the guiding principles that shape our approach to budget 2021.

This is why we are investing a record amount in our health service to ensure it can cope with Covid-19 but also to make permanent improvements that will be there long after the virus is gone. This is why we are providing more than ever before to build the homes our people need. This is why we are introducing the largest and most ambitious budget in the history of our State to support our economy, businesses and households.

The day will come when Covid-19 is behind us. The day will come when there is no more talk of Brexit. Everything will not go back to the way it was before, nor do we want it to, because we are committed to making things better. A new, green economy will emerge, and so too will a greater understanding of how much we all really rely on each other, and a greater appreciation of the many simple things that perhaps we too often take for granted.

The task for this Government is to guide the country through one of the most difficult periods in our history. We will not always get it right, but our sole motivation at all times will be to act in the best interests of the people we are privileged to serve.

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC SUPPORTS IN 2020

I will shortly outline our budget plans for 2021. However, I believe there are immediate measures that we need to take this year to protect our economy and our society. For this reason, I am providing €500 million in additional expenditure measures to support our businesses and our communities. This is in addition to the tax measures announced by the Minister, Deputy Donohoe, which come into effect in 2020.

I am announcing a further commercial rates waiver for the final quarter of this year at a cost of €300 million. This will provide significant relief for businesses, and brings to €900 million the total amount of local authority rates waived in 2020.


Last Updated: 20/01/2021 16:44:11 First Page Previous Page Page of 100 Next Page Last Page