The Minister for Finance has received approval from the Cabinet for the €1.5 billion contained in the so-called Rainy Day Fund to be drawn down and used in Budget 2021.

The National Surplus (Exceptional Contingencies) Reserve Fund was set up to allow the Government to respond to unexpected shocks to the economy or national finances.
'The drawdown of the €1.5 billion of the Rainy Day Fund is in order to remedy or mitigate the exceptional circumstances arising from COVID-19," Paschal Donohoe said.

"The drawing down of the Fund was already reflected in the Stability Programme Update (SPU) published in April 2020 and has been considered as part of the Budgetary process since that time."

"I consider that the requirements of the RDF Act are met and it is appropriate to draw down the resources of the Fund in respect of Budget 2021'.

 A resolution of the Dáil will now have to be passed to enable the money to be released with the Minister is expected to move the motion next Tuesday night, following the announcement of the Budget.

"Subject to approval by Dáil Éireann, shortly thereafter I will direct the NTMA to transfer the €1.5 billion to the Exchequer," he said.

"We are in exceptional times. The fact that our public finances were so carefully managed in recent years put us in a good position and allowed us to provide for such contingencies. It is appropriate now that we release the funds that are at our disposal, as we work to meet the needs of our people, support businesses and strive towards stabilising our economy once again."