The Independent Alliance has called for the current gambling tax to be doubled and for a property tax waiver to be introduced for elderly people on fixed incomes as part of their Budget negotiations.

The Alliance - comprising Shane Ross, Finian McGrath, Kevin Boxer Moran and John Halligan -said they want the gambling tax to increase from 1% to 2%, which would generate €50 million.

They say some of that money would be allocated for addiction services

Mr Moran also stated that he favours local authorities being given the power to compulsorily purchase privately owned land-banks for housing.

The group, which was meeting ahead of the return of the Dáil next week, also restated its view that the Government should serve its full five-year term.

Mr Halligan stressed the need for stability in light of Brexit.

Three members of the Alliance - Mr Ross, Mr Moran and Mr Halligan – also stated that they will be endorsing Michael D Higgins for the presidency.

Mr McGrath said he would wait to see all the candidates before announcing his decision.

He said his preference was to support an independent candidate.

He also stated that he was disappointed that he had missed his opportunity to boycott the visit of US President Donald Trump.