A 7% cut in child benefit and a 100% increase in prescription drugs charges are being considered as part of next week's Budget, according to reports.

Higher rents for people living in council houses are also under consideration, according to a report in the Irish Independent.

The report comes following two Cabinet meetings yesterday.

They focused on the health and social welfare aspects of Budget 2013, which will be delivered next Wednesday.

Among the measures to emerge from the talks are a cut in child benefit, reducing it from €140 to €130 a month per child.

Another measure is the doubling of the charge which medical card holders pay for medicines and other items they get on prescription.

An increase in VRT of between 2.5-3% is on the cards as part of a revamping of the motor tax regime.

Further changes are also planned to how existing motor tax rates are related to CO2 emissions.

Ministers are also examining steps to ensure that the new property tax will not discourage people from extending or refurbishing their homes.

Under the proposals, homeowners would be able to keep their homes at current values for a three year period even if they extend or refurbish.

Another series of Cabinet meetings dealing with the Budget are due to be held tomorrow evening.