The Government could save €1.4 billion by halving tax breaks on pensions for those earning more than the average wage, says Social Justice Ireland.

Another of its proposals would see 100,000 unemployed people volunteering to take up part-time jobs and being paid principally out of their welfare entitlements.

In a pre-budget briefing, Fr Sean Healy and Sister Brigid Reynolds say that the tax-break of 41% on pensions for higher than average earners should urgently be cut to the 20% relief that average and below-average earners get.

Its part-time jobs proposal would assist most of the 150,000 people who have been out of work for over a year by giving them up to half a week's work on state and voluntary schemes

Modelled on the Part-time Job Opportunities programme piloted in the mid-90s, it would cost the exchequer just €3,000 per person every year because participants would be paid principally out of their welfare entitlements. They would also receive the going rate for the job.

Other measures include welfare increases to compensate the poorest in society for increases in living costs and levying profitable businesses so that, as the organisation puts it, the corporate sector would make some small contribution towards rectifying the economy's problems.