The Taoiseach has said that in the next government, Fine Gael would be committed to rolling out a working-family payment to promote work over Welfare.

Enda Kenny said the payment would be targeted at low-income families and would supplement the income of the household, while at the same time looking to incentivise work.

Speaking at the Dublin Chamber of Commerce Dinner, he said such a plan would remove many of the welfare traps.

He said along with the changes to the minimum wage and their tax plan, it would make work pay.

On his way into the event at Dublin's Converntion Centre, Mr Kenny would not answers questions from the waiting media on the timing of the general  election and also growing divisions between Fine Gael and Labour on the issue. 

Earlier, Tánaiste Joan Burton has said she wants the current Government to run its course and that she is not a quitter.

At an event in Dublin today, she denied being bounced into an early election. Ms Burton said she still believed the election would take place in 2016.

At the same event Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly said he believed that the Government would run its full term.

He also described the Taoiseach as very honourable and said Mr Kenny has always said he would choose an early date in 2016. 

He said the Taoiseach has always kept his word and said he has no reason to believe any different this time.

Earlier, Mr Kenny reiterated that the Government intends to "reduce the overall burden of taxation below 50%", but added that no details in relation to next week's Budget have been signed off on.

He said the Cabinet would be "looking at final matters in respect of the Budget" at a meeting this morning.

Mr Kenny said the Government had "set out the parameters of the Budget in the Spring Statement and it intended to stay there".

Speaking on his way into the meeting, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said the Government is not preparing a "giveaway Budget". 

Mr Coveney said the Coalition wanted to give back as much as it could, but only as much as it could afford.

He said Ireland now had a growing economy and the Government wanted to keep it that way, but he said people wanted to see the benefits of the sacrifices made over the past five years.

In relation to speculation about a November election, the minister said that only the Taoiseach had responsibility for deciding the date, and that he had been consistent that the likelihood was still early next year.

Minister for Education Jan O'Sullivan has said the Budget will be fair and positive for the Irish people.

Speaking ahead of this morning's meeting, she said the "final touches" were being made this week, and that the Government was trying to ensure the Budget "reached the priorities previously identified".

Asked about speculation in relation to when the general election would be held, Ms O'Sullivan said the position of the Government was that the vote would be held some time in the spring.

The Cabinet will hold its final meeting before the Budget on Tuesday morning.

Fianna Fáil wants USC burden lowered

In its budget proposals launched this morning, Fianna Fáil said the party would implement a €1.4bn adjustment split 60/40 between increased spending and reduced taxation.

Fianna Fáil is proposing the easing of the USC burden on lower- and middle-income earners in changes that would be worth €293 for single earners and €586 for a couple.

There would be reductions in Capital Gains and DIRT taxes, a levy on sugar-sweetened drinks and a 75-cent hike in excise duty on tobacco.

In measures to tackle the housing crisis, the party proposes increasing rent supplement ceilings and a €1bn spend on social housing to be funded by the Strategic Investment Fund.

The party wants NAMA to pay a special €200m dividend to be spent on social housing as well.

There would be a new tax credit to offset childcare costs and cuts in the pupil-teacher ratios in primary schools.

Fianna Fáil says it would increase child benefit and old age pension rates by €5 a week.

The party also proposes an end to water charges.

Launching the plan this morning, Finance Spokesman Michael McGrath said the Government would not be able to fund the range of changes already suggested by pre-budget leaks and claimed Fianna Fáil was the only party to have learned the lessons of the crash.

In a strong attack on the Coalition, Mr McGrath said its behaviour in the run-up to the budget had been disgraceful in leaking promises it would not be able to keep.

He also said he did not buy the portrayal of Minister for Finance Michael Noonan as an economic messiah.  

Mr Noonan, he said, had merely tweaked the plan put forward by the late Brian Lenihan and was now claiming the credit.

He also said the Fianna Fáil proposals ran completely counter to the Fine Gael approach, which he said had given five times as much to the better off in the last budget.

Mr McGrath defended his set of proposals saying that the recovery was now much more solid and justified an expansionary approach.

Sinn Féin, meanwhile, would introduce a new rate of tax for those earning over €100,000, reduce the pay of public servants over this threshold, and introduce a new rate of Employers' PRSI on high earners.

The proposals are contained in the party's alternative budget launched today.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said the measures would put between €600 and €1,000 back in the pockets of the average family by abolishing the property tax and water charges, and providing extra medical cards.

The party's net expenditure on current spending would be just under €1.4 billion with €1.1bn capital expenditure.

Sinn Féin's Finance Spokeseperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh has welcomed the launch of the party's alternative budget.

Mr Ó Snodaigh said the plan "contains some of the building blocks for delivering a fair recovery."

He added it "sets out to undo some of the damage caused by this Government and the previous Fianna Fáil government."

Under its plans, the party would allocate €289m to undo recent cuts, including restoring the Respite Care Grant and the Bereavement Grant.

Family Income Support and Fuel Allowance would be increased, while a telephone allowance for those living alone would be re-introduced.