The Irish Congress of Trade Unions is proposing the Government introduce refundable tax credits and reduced water charges to help people on lower and middle incomes.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, David Begg said the proportion of tax credits unused by the "working poor" should be refunded to them.

He also said that the additional water credits should be considered for families with a combined income below €80,000 so that they effectively will pay no charges.

ICTU is proposing €400m could be raised in a form of wealth tax, where people with a net wealth in excess of €1m, excluding their family home, should make a greater contribution to allow for greater fairness.

In its pre-Budget submission, the Congress said Government should invest in a significant social and affordable housing programme.

It also says an overall net adjustment of €800 million will suffice to reach the 3% deficit target.