The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath, has announced €500m in additional expenditure measures to support the country's businesses and communities amid the "truly remarkable" backdrop for Budget 2021.

Mr McGrath said this is in addition to the tax measures announced by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe.

He also announced a further commercial rates waiver for the final quarter of this year at a cost of €300m. 

"This will provide significant relief for businesses, and brings to €900m the total amount of local authority rates waived in 2020," the minister stated. 

In refunding 100% of this amount to local authorities, he said the Government is ensuring that Councils are supported to deliver key services to our local communities. 

He also announced an additional investment of €44m in Irish Water over the rest of this year to deliver a range of infrastructure improvements.

An additional €80m is also being allocated to the Department of Education to support its school building programme, ICT and minor works schemes.

An extra €20m in current year funding is also being made available for voluntary disability service providers to support the Transforming Lives Programme. 

"We are all aware of the extraordinary support provided by voluntary hospices to families in their darkest hour. In recognition of this and given the particular fundraising challenges they have faced in the past six months, I am providing €10m in current year funding to voluntary hospices," the Minister added.