An advisory group on tax and social welfare is finalising a report that RTÉ News understands will recommend a mandatory increase in PRSI payments for the self-employed.

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton has said she is still awaiting the report.

It is understood the Mangan group is likely to propose increasing the current 4% PRSI rate for these workers by between 1.5% and 2%.

The increase would be mandatory and in return the self-employed would receive long-term illness and disability payments.

Sinn Féin's Peadar Tóibín and Fianna Fáil's John McGuinness said the rate hike should not be compulsory because such a measure could shut down some struggling businesses.

This view was echoed by the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, which represents the self-employed.

Its Chief Executive Mark Fielding said higher PRSI payments in exchange for greater cover should initially be optional.

The advisory group's report is expected to go to the minister in the coming weeks.