The National Competitiveness Council has called for income tax rates, credits and thresholds to be reviewed.

The council cites the need to reduce the burden of taxation on some workers and encourage others to either take up, or remain in, employment.

In its annual policy report, titled Ireland's Competitiveness Challege, the NCC says increases in personal taxation since the start of the recession "have eroded competitiveness and incentives to work".

It notes that the level at which individuals in Ireland start paying the higher rate of tax, though it was increased to €32,800 in Budget 2015, is still low relative to other countries.

The NCC says high marginal tax rates, which are now above 50% for individuals paying income tax at the higher rate, can act as a disincentive to work or to take on additional work.

By contrast it says average income tax rates here, combined with employee social insurance contributions, are relatively low compared to those in the other 33 members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (including the other EU states, the US and Japan).

In terms of possible reforms the NCC recommends that any changes to rates, credits or bands target those groups which are most "highly responsive" to tax changes including low-income workers, older workers and mobile high-skilled workers.