Budget 2021: Ireland faces five big economic challenges
Covid-19 and Brexit form a bleak backdrop to plans for Government spending next year
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe delivers Budget 2020 in the Dáil. Photograph: Alan Betson
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will probably never frame a budget against a more uncertain backdrop. Covid-19 has caused an economic shock three times worse than the 2008 financial crisis, one that will reverberate for months, perhaps years, to come. With recovery tied to an epidemiology which no one can predict, governments are reduced to feeling their way in the dark.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Ireland is facing the very real prospect of a no-deal Brexit with both sides seemingly entrenched in mutually opposed positions on state aid and fisheries.