The Taoiseach has re-iterated that the marginal rate of tax will be brought below 50% in next week's Budget.
Enda Kenny was speaking on his way into this morning’s special Cabinet meeting during which Ministers will put the finishing touches on the €1.5bn package of tax cuts and spending increases.
It is understood tax on cigarettes will be hiked. However, duty on alcohol and petrol are expected to remain unchanged.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan has indicated income tax changes will be the focal point of Budget 2016, and this morning Taoiseach Enda Kenny confirmed that was a priority for the Government.
"We've already indicated the level of the overall burden of taxation will be reduced below 50%," he said. "(Michael Noonan) has already made some comments about the Universal Social Charge, but we haven’t signed of on any detail of the budget yet."
Minister Noonan had said he would cut the USC by at least 1% next week.
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney said Budget 2016 would not be a "big giveaway budget in the run up to an election", and said the Coalition was not engaging in auction politics.
"We're going to reflect the fact that we have a growing economy now, and we want to keep it that way," he said.