The Minister for Finance has said the Universal Social Charge is here to stay.
Michael Noonan said the charge was not likely to be abolished, because it takes in too much cash.
The charge brings in morethan €4.5bn a year, which the minister says Ireland cannot afford to give up.
He said that although the tax was meant to be temporary, it was now the only way to get money from those on lower incomes.
"(Some) people would not pay personal tax at all if it were not for USC," he said.