Europe

Brexit mitigation measures announced in Irish budget

Helen McEntee
Image caption Ireland's European affairs minister Helen McEntee said the budget was an important step in getting "Brexit ready"

The Irish government has announced spending on a number of Brexit mitigation measures in its budget.

It is setting up a €300m Human Capital Fund to pay for the training and re-skilling of workers in sectors vulnerable to Brexit.

There is also more than €20m for the recruitment of customs and food safety inspectors as well as new IT systems.

The government has emphasised these inspectors will be needed for sea ports rather than the land border.

VAT increased

European affairs minister Helen McEntee said the budget was an important step in "getting Ireland Brexit ready".

"We must do everything to minimise against the potential impacts while at the same time reinforcing the importance of our EU membership," she added.

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Media captionBrexit is 'challenge of our generation'

Meanwhile, the Republic of Ireland's finance minister has increased the VAT rate for the hospitality sector from 9% to 13.5%.

The special low rate of 9% was introduced in 2011 as a temporary measure to help the industry in the depths of a recession.

Paschal Donohoe said that given Ireland's strong recovery it was now appropriate to increase the rate.

Ireland's tourism sector has boomed in recent years with growth in visitor numbers of about 8% this year alone.

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