Fianna Fáil has published part of its tax policy in advance of the general election. It has proposed changes to Universal Social Charge and Capital Gains Tax.

The party says if elected to government it would seek to eliminate the 1% USC rate in Budget 2017.

This rate applies to income up to €12,012. Fianna Fáil also proposes halving the 3% rate of USC, which applies on the next €6,600 of income.

The cuts would be worth €220 a year to all those earning income above €18,668.

The party said USC should be progressively eliminated over the term of the next government as resources allow, so the tax would not apply to any income up to €80,000.

Above this level a reduced rate of 5.5% would apply, but only on income above €80,000 a year.

The party also proposes a cut to the CGT rate that applies to entrepreneurial gains, as an aid to business owners.

It wants to see a 10% flat rate of CGT on entrepreneurial gains of up to €15m. This would make the Irish regime competitive against the UK, where a 10% rate applies to gains up to £10m.

The Department of Finance estimates the full-year cost of this measure at €74m.

The cost of the USC proposal would be €336m in the first year, and €459m on an annual basis.

The party's finance spokesman Michael McGrath said Fianna Fáil is also proposing the creation of a rainy day fund, to be used to fund an economic stimulus in the event of a major downturn in the economy (such as a 1% rise in the unemployment rate).

He said the fund would be raised by taking any excess corporation tax income above the level forecast for this year by the Revenue Commissioners - €6.6bn - and investing that excess into a fund, rather than using it to finance day-to-day spending.

Mr McGrath said given the volatility of the corporation tax head, it would not be prudent to fund long-term or permanent commitments using a volatile income source, and that any excess amounts should be invested in a fund.