Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has urged members of the Government to avoid worrying people unduly before details of the Budget are agreed.

Mr Gilmore was sepaking after recent comments by Fine Gael's Brian Hayes and Mr Gilmore’s Labour colleague Joan Burton.

He said: "The Budget will be in December and I think public discussion about what may or may not be in the Budget is not helpful.

"I think we will over the next weeks and months be having those discussions around the Cabinet table in Government and that's where the discussions should take place.

"We should avoid making statements which are giving rise, unduly, to worries among people.

"I mean we seem to have a story every day that this is going to be in the Budget or that's going to be in the Budget.

"I think in many cases that is giving rise to worries among people."

Asked whether his remarks applied to both Ms Burton and Mr Hayes, Mr Gilmore said: "This is not about individuals. This is a settled approach by the Government.

"We will have the Budget in December and that's when the decisions will be made."

He said decisions about the Budget will not be made until details of the returns in October and November are available.

Mr Gilmore said that in the meantime speculation about what may or may not be in the Budget is "not in anybody's interest".

The Minister for Social Protection has said she is "slightly nonplussed" with the suggestion of Mr Hayes that some well-off pensioners could possibly pay more tax.

Ms Burton said people who are doing well, whatever their age, should be making a contribution, instead of just focusing on older people.

She said there were well-known instances of pensioners with high incomes, such as retired bankers, retired politicians and civil servants.

The minister said the Revenue Commissioners and her department exchanged information in this area.