Taoiseach Enda Kenny has said promises made in the Programme for Government will be honoured.

Mr Kenny's comment appears to quash speculation that the Budget might target income tax increases or social welfare cuts to bridge the financial gulf in the country's balance sheet.

Earlier today, ministers talked about the possibility of cuts in overtime pay and the deferral of increments for public servants.

Union representatives have pledged to resist any cuts in pay or conditions.

Speaking in Co Waterford, Mr Kenny said he would not speculate on the contents of the Budget in December.

The Government is required by the Troika to find €3.5bn savings to meet the conditions of the bailout deal.

Fianna Fáil said that the Government is leaving the door open for tax hikes and welfare cuts.

Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin said earlier he cannot do a checklist of ruling things in or out at this stage regarding preparations for the Budget.

Mr Howlin said commitments in the Programme for Government stand, but that there is a very difficult Budget ahead with worsening external conditions.

Speaking in Wexford, Mr Howlin said all matters will be gone through forensically and that they will work as best they can to achieve the objectives in the programme.

Also speaking in Wexford, Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton said the Government has to take all opinions into account and that it has not yet commenced the study of what measures will be in the Budget.

Both were responding to questions after Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte last night refused to say whether the Coalition's commitment not to increase income tax or cut basic social welfare in this year's Budget still stands.

Mr Rabbitte said he would like to open Budget talks without any red lines.