Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has dismissed as "purely speculative" newspaper reports of taxpayers getting significant relief in this year's Budget.

Mr Gilmore was speaking in Luxembourg where he will be chairing a meeting of the EU's General Affairs Council.

The Irish Times today quoted an unnamed Fine Gael minister as saying middle income taxpayers would receive a major concession in this year's Budget.

However Mr Gilmore said: "This is April. The Budget is October. I think any discussion of the Budget at this stage is purely speculative."

Asked about comments by Labour Minister Joan Burton that Ireland is reaching the limits of austerity, Mr Gilmore said: "For the entire duration of the lifetime of this Government, our objective has been to put an end to austerity.

"That is why we have worked so hard to get out of the bailout programme and why we are on target to get out of the bailout programme at the end of this year."