The Finance Minister has said that no specific Budget proposals have been decided yet, but that there would be a mixture of spending cuts and tax increases.

Speaking on his way into a Cabinet meeting, Michael Noonan said the four members of the Economic Management Council had a general chat yesterday, and had worked out an approach for the Budget.

The council is made up of Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, Minister Noonan and Minister Brendan Howlin.

He said the Budget would comprise spending cuts and tax increases in a ratio of 2:1, as it had been for the last two years.

He said it was unrealistic to suggest all of the savings could be made just through tax increases, and equally unrealistic to suggest spending cuts alone.

In relation to the total Budget target of €2.5 billion or €3.1 billion, he said it was impossible to come up with a figure at this stage.

Meanwhile, Mr Howlin said high-level discussions on the Budget started yesterday with a meeting of the four members of the Economic Management Council.

Mr Howlin said he will be holding further discussions with his other Cabinet colleagues this week and next.

He said all views would be taken into account when forming the Budget.