Former Taoiseach Garret Fitzgerald has insisted that the Government will have to raise taxes next year.
Dr Fitzgerald said the country was undertaxed to the tune of €4bn because of Fianna Fáil tax giveaways over the past decade, and that this situation will have to be rectified.
"Half of people pay nothing," Dr Fitzgerald said. "The next 30% or so pay between a half and a quarter of what people in every other developed country in Europe - and the United States - pay.
"The top people are paying about 30%/20% less than they should be," Dr Fitzgerald continued.
"The main problem is that they (Fianna Fáil) abolished taxation for so many people."
Dr Fitzgerald however admitted that any moves to widen the tax net "would not be popular".
His comments follow yesterday's Budget packaged announced by Finance Minister Brian Lenihan in which €4bn of savings was achieved almost entirely through cuts to expenditure.