Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe has said €2.7 billion would be allocated to the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport in 2020.

This is an increase of €384 million on 2019.

The increase in funding is in a bid to support efforts to transform the approach to transport with the Climate Action Plan in mind.

The minister said the funds would allow for investment the rural transport network

He added that the funding includes a portion of the 2020 carbon tax revenues to support the sector.

Minister Donohoe said €9 million would be provided for sustainability projects around the country, including for greenways and new urban cycling projects.

He said €3 million would be allocated for electric vehicle infrastructure. He said this would double the number of local authority on-street charge points that will be installed in 2020.

It will also support a new scheme to install communal charging points at apartment blocks as well as facilitate the roll-out of fast charging points to taxi ranks at transport hubs around the country.

The minister said an additional €8 million would be allocated to the Department of Communications Climate Action and Environment to maintain grants for people buying electric vehicles.

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment has defended the decision not to increase grants for new electric vehicles.

Responding to questions on Budget 2020, Richard Bruton said the 1.4% increase in the price of diesel is relatively manageable as people consider changing to electric.

Minister Bruton said current electric car grants, VRT relief, concessions on motor tax and half rate on tolls will continue as the platform on which the public will choose to make the switch.

He said as the price of batteries come down and the range extends there will be incentives for people to change to electric vehicles. 

Seamus Boland of Irish Rural Link has said the carbon tax measures were deeply disappointing.

Mr Boland said he said rural families across the country will expect to carry the burden.

He said he would liked to have seen a commitment to ringfencing all of the carbon tax that's collected, not just the tax raised in this Budget.

He said €9m euro for rural transport is not enough, and it should be in the region of €50m.

Mr Boland said there was no overall plan to assist people on the lowest incomes, or even to encourage them to change to a better and different system.