The Labour parliamentary party has formally agreed to a vote transfer pact with Fine Gael, at the party's meeting in Co Wicklow.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin, said the budget parameters of €1.5bn had been agreed, but acknowledged this did not take into account possible tax increases, such as a rise in the price of cigarettes.

Earlier, Deputy leader of the Labour Party Alan Kelly said the party has been working on its manifesto and it would be ready to go within days.

Tánaiste and Labour leader Joan Burton said repealing the Eighth Amendment would be in the manifesto, but she ruled out any preconditions for entering government.

She said if Labour was in the position, it would discuss issues during negotiations with other parties. 

She said she was in favour of phasing out the USC over a number of years.

Mr Burton also said people go into the top rate of tax very early, and while the Government made a slight adjustment on the issue in last year's budget, she would like to see further changes.

The Government raised the threshold for the top rate of standard tax from €32,800 to €33,800 in the last budget.

Mr Kelly said he was in favour of modular housing, which can be built within six months, and had visited a site this morning.

He was also critical of some local authorities on how they are tackling the housing issue.

Mr Kelly also ruled out any changes in the water charge regime.

Elsewhere, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has said his party will be pressing ahead with a motion of no confidence in Taoiseach Enda Kenny when the Dáil returns next week.

Mr Martin accused the Taoiseach of sacking former garda commissioner Martin Callinan without recourse to his Cabinet.  

The Fennelly Report investigated the circumstances surrounding the resignation of the former commissioner last March.

It found Mr Callinan retired of his own accord after a representative from the Department of Justice was sent to his house the night before he resigned.

Mr Martin said the circumstances of the release of the report left a great deal to be desired, describing it as "shifty and underhand".

Mr Martin also said when the Dáil resumes his party will be focusing on homelessness and health.

He said that one of the lessons of the economic crash was that political parties had to be straight with people in the promises they made at election time, calling for any spending proposals to be independently costed.

He was speaking in Sutton in the constituency of Dublin Bay North, where the party is meeting today. 

Coalition's work not yet complete - Taoiseach

Mr Kenny earlier reiterated his view that the general election will not take place before next year.

Speaking in Co Mayo this afternoon, Mr Kenny said serious progress had been made by the Government in the past four years but he said the Coalition's work was not yet complete.

He said the forthcoming Budget was an instrument that would be used to secure the economic recovery and make sure that everybody benefited from the improving situation.

In the coming weeks the Coalition would be seeking to "lock in the economic recovery".

He said he had repeatedly stated his view that the election should take place next spring and said he saw no reason to change his mind in that regard.

Mr Kenny said people had a fixation on the date of the election but his focus was on making sure the budget would be the start of a series of further steps to improve the lot of the country in the coming years.