Budget 2020: Donohoe presses pause button due to hard Brexit threat

Analysis: There is a political cost – but avoiding an emergency budget was key goal

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe. File photograph

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe. File photograph

It was always going to be a strange budget, dominated by an event with uncertain consequences which may or may not happen – a no-deal Brexit. Above all, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe wants to avoid the nightmare scenario of having to introduce an emergency budget next year if the UK does crash out of the EU.

Going back to the kind of emergency tax hikes or spending cuts seen during the financial crisis, albeit not of the same scale, was to be avoided at all costs. And so, sensibly, a no-deal Brexit was taken as the scenario underlying the budget.

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