Saturday 21 September 2019

Every 10,000 who lose jobs will cost the State €100m


Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe will have to find more than €100m extra to cover the cost of jobseeker's payments for every 10,000 people who become unemployed as a result of a hard Brexit.

Funds are to be set aside in the Budget for an expected rise in unemployment if the UK does crash out of the EU.

There are fears for jobs in the agri-food sector and concerns that 10,000 jobs could be lost in the tourism industry alone.

Mr Donohoe has previously said the number of jobs at risk or lost in the early stages of a disorderly Brexit could be as high as 55,000. This includes the number of additional jobs that would have been created if a no-deal Brexit was avoided.

The Department of Public Expenditure last night did not provide figures for the number of jobs it expects to be lost next year if there is a no-deal Brexit. Forecasts are being compiled and will be published on Budget day.

But the Irish Independent has established that the combined cost of jobseeker's allowance and benefit for 10,000 extra recipients would be around €111m annually.

There would be further extra costs of up to €20m a year needed to fund job activation programmes and training supports for those who lose their jobs.

Sources described the huge funds needed in the event of significant job losses as "the stark reality we're facing".

Mr Donohoe has confirmed that he is preparing a Budget for a no-deal Brexit and that he will have to hold some money back "due to a temporary increase in unemployment".

There is expected to be a growth in employment as well, albeit at a lower rate.

Irish Independent

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