The Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan is to introduce an interim household charge from the beginning of next year.

Speaking on the RTÉ's Six One News, Minister Hogan said that the charge will come into force from 1 January 2012.

Mr Hogan has said that he will be bringing details of the charge and how to implement it to Government in the next few weeks.

He said a comprehensive review of spending in all Government departments was currently underway and the outcome of the review would determine how much the charge needed to be.

Minister Hogan has said that he was looking at the possibility of exemptions applying for those on low incomes, social welfare or those struggling to pay their mortgages.

Phil Hogan has said that the household charge provides the Government with an opportunity to levy householders for the provision of local services.

The minister has said that the money raised from the charge will be ring fenced for local Government services.