There will be no changes to property tax in 2019, according to the Taoiseach.

Responding to a question from Fianna Fáil Deputy Shane Cassells, Leo Varadkar said the Government would reform bands and rates to ensure increases would be modest.

He said there was a feeling "out there" that because house prices had gone up in recent years, there would be a corresponding increase in the local property tax (LPT), however he assured TDs "that won't happen".

"In many cases there'll be no increase at all and some people may even see a reduction, depending on the value of their house."

He said any changes would take effect in 2020 at the earliest.

In relation to a query from Deputy Cassells about local authorities retaining the tax raised in their own areas, the Taoiseach said he thought a lot of people felt they would like to see the property tax staying in their county, which he said made sense.

He added that an equalisation fund would be necessary to ensure less well off counties do not lose out.

However, Mr Varadkar said that could be funded from central taxation rather than the LPT.