The Labour Party leader has said that additional money in next year's budget should be spent on public services.

Speaking at the launch of the party's budget submission, Brendan Howlin said tax cuts of between €2 and €4 a week will not matter much to most people, and the money should be invested in key areas such as health and housing.

The party wants to invest a further €300 million in the health services in 2018, and it believes prescription charges should be reduced and hospital inpatient charges removed.

It advocates linking all social welfare payments to the rate of inflation, and the party also proposes to build an additional 5,000 more local authority houses and apartments next year.

To pay for all this, the Labour Party is proposing doubling the bank levy, abolishing the help-to-buy scheme, introducing a sugar tax and increasing carbon tax.

It also wants a taxation commission set up to examine the loophole built over decades and to look at the Apple ruling.

Speaking at the launch, Mr Howlin also made a political point saying that he did not think Taosieach Leo Varadkar had been as firm as Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin in ruling out going into government with Sinn Féin.