The Minister for the Environment is to bring proposals to Government in two weeks time to introduce an annual household charge.

A spokesperson for the Minister said he would not be commenting on newspaper reports that the Cabinet will be asked to decide on whether to impose a €100 or a charge closer to €200.

The charge will be introduced from 1 January and is one of the measures agreed by the Government with the EU and IMF.

Earlier, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said there has been no discussion at cabinet yet on the possible introduction of a new household charge.

He said when proposals are brought to Cabinet, discussions will begin on how such a charge would be constructed, what level it would be at, who would be paying it and whether there would be allowances for those in financial difficulties or on low incomes.

Mr Gilmore said there would be a difficult year ahead for householders as tough decisions had to be made in the autumn on efforts to raise revenue and reduce expenditure.