DUBLIN -  Ireland's government on Tuesday outlined tax breaks for the tourism and farming sectors in a bid to offset the effects of the British pound's sharp devaluation and the expected impact of Brexit on the economy.

In a speech to parliament on Wednesday Finance Minister Michael Noonan said that while the ultimate fallout from Britain's June 23 referendum was still unknown, Ireland would put on "economic shock-absorbers" to mitigate the inevitable damage.

"Whatever the final settlement, what we know with certainty is that Brexit has increased risk to the Irish economy," he told lawmakers. "As well as introducing specific measures to assist particular sectors of the economy, we must also put in place safety nets to protect us against future economic shocks," he said.

Noonan said Ireland wanted to retain the current economic ties with Britain as much as possible and to avoid the necessity for a hard border with Northern Ireland which he said would disrupt the economy.

He outlined favourable tax treatment for several sectors, specifically tourism, food and agriculture, all of which are already coming under pressure because of the fall in the value of the pound of nearly 20 compared to the euro since the start of the year.

Ireland last week reduced its 2017 economic growth forecast to 3.5 percent after Britain, its biggest trading partner, voted to leave the EU.

Trade between the two countries is worth an estimated 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) a week.

Ireland is the UK's fifth largest export market and imports more from the UK than any other country.

In its 2017 budget Ireland will have 1.3 billion euros more to play with as a result of its ongoing recovery.

Following almost a decade of austerity, the government chose to allocate 1.0 billion euros to public spending and the remainder to tax relief.

As part of its strategy to "Brexit-proof" the economy, the government is not only aiming to reduce its budget deficit over the next two years but to turn this into surplus after 2018.

It plans to then set aside up to 1 billion euros a year in a "rainy day fund" to offset future downturns.

While national debt has fallen from 120 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) at the height of the economic crisis, the minister announced the government's intention to reduce it from 76 percent at the end of 2016 to 45 percent over the coming decade, well below the EU requirement of 60 percent.

"We must get away forever from the boom and bust cycles that have caused such grief in this country in the past," he said.