The Minister for Finance has denied trying to win voters by raising the prospect of tax cuts.
Michael Noonan said the Budget next October will still need to implement €2bn of tax increases and spending cuts.
He said he remains open-minded on possible tax changes, but only if the country can afford it. He also said his proposals are all about creating jobs, and not about trying to win votes.
"We're not trying to endear ourselves to the electorate, or we're not trying to do pre-election things," he said.
"We've been consistent with the policy I've followed - and I acknowledge people won't fully agree with the policy - [but] if we're making tax changes, we'll do it in a way that has a labour market effect.
"In other words, we'll make it easier to create jobs."