Ireland unveils pro-growth 2017 budget, forecasts Brexit hit
DUBLIN – Ireland has unveiled a 2017 budget that builds on the country's rapid recovery from an international bailout with 1.3 billion euros ($1.45 billion) of spending increases and tax cuts.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan says he expects Ireland's economy to grow 4.2 percent this year and a more modest 3.5 percent next year because of the negative impact of the United Kingdom's planned exit from the European Union.
The U.K. is Ireland's top export market, but the British pound's weakness is making euro-denominated Irish products more expensive in the U.K.
Tuesday's budget details include income tax cuts for low-wage workers, a 10 euro cent increase in Ireland's minimum wage to 9.25 euros ($10.25) per hour, and plans to create a national savings fund to safeguard Ireland against future economic shocks.