Tax cuts should not be a priority for the Government in October's Budget if a no-deal Brexit is likely, according to Fianna Fáil's finance spokesperson

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Miriam O'Callaghan, Michael McGrath said that if assessments show a no-deal Brexit is likely then it would not be prudent for the Government to give tax cuts on one hand and then have to tax money back on the other hand.

He said we are not in normal times and the threat that the economy was facing was very significant. 

Mr McGrath also said the Government's core priority must be to protect jobs and to ensure the impact of Brexit was carefully managed.

"If we are staring down the barrel of a crash-out Brexit then it certainly would not be prudent in that context to introduce income tax cuts that you may find yourself having to reverse in a short period of time," he said.

He also said if the assessments suggest a no-deal Brexit was likely, resources would have to be provided to support industries likely to be most affected.

Mr McGrath said Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe will need to present a detailed plan of these supports in October.

He said there were thousands of Irish firms likely to be affected, who will want to know what supports were available to help them "navigate what could be very choppy waters".

"A significant amount of resources will have to be identified to provide supports for the sectors of the economy that are going to be the worst affected by a no-deal Brexit," he said.

He added that the agri-food sector, indigenous manufacturing, and exporters for whom the UK remains the key market would all require such supports.


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The Cork South-Central TD also said he did not think there should be a general election here this year, even if there is one in the UK.

He said most Irish people would want their elected representatives to focus on the immediate challenges in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Mr McGrath said he did not think people would want an interim government in place when people's jobs and livelihoods are at stake.

"My personal view is even if there is a general election in the UK in October we should not follow suit, we need to steady the ship and deal with the immediate challenge,which could be of a crisis proportion here if there is a no-deal Brexit, and have the election in 2020," he said.