The Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform has said that a planned deposit of €500 million into the country's 'Rainy Day Fund' would not be made this year.

Paschal Donohoe said this is because the Government expects to have to borrow next year to deal with a potential hard Brexit.

Speaking ahead of the publication tonight of the Government's White Paper on the Public Finances, the minister also confirmed that this year's Christmas bonus to social welfare recipients would be paid.

It comes after Fianna Fáil said that there is far less than €700m in extra money available for new measures in next week's Budget.

The party's finance spokesperson, Michael McGrath, said the figure to just stand still in relation to public spending was higher than the Government had previously indicated.

He said the Minister for Finance may not have known this until he sat down with other Government ministers in recent weeks, but he insisted that Mr Donohoe should have known this fact earlier.

The party said it will aim to ensure any money raised from a carbon tax increase will be protected to provide funding to combat fuel poverty and for projects such as home insulation schemes.

Fianna Fáil wants a detailed breakdown of where the extra revenue from the carbon tax hike will be spent.

It is also seeking comprehensive details of what funding will be available for agriculture, business and trade in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Public expenditure spokesperson Barry Cowen said it is vitally important that any financial aid scheme is easily accessible.

The party said there would not be wholesale income tax cuts in the budget.

Mr McGrath said that this would be the last budget that his party would facilitate and they have provided stability during the Brexit crisis.

Talks between Fianna Fáil and Minister Donohoe are set to continue through the weekend.

PBP proposes alternative budget plan

People Before Profit has proposed spending an additional €3.4 billion on public and affordable housing in its alternative budget plan.

It also proposes the introduction of free public transport and abolishing the Universal Social Charge for those earning less than €90,000 annually.

The party is opposed to a carbon tax increase saying it would hurt those least able to afford it.

Instead it suggests a pollution charge for the aviation industry which it believes would raise €900m every year.

Its pre-Budget submission focuses too on a pollution tax on the profits of major agri-food corporations that it says would yield €500m per annum.

The document says its planned additional spending would be funded primarily through the closing down of corporate tax loopholes.

Additional reporting Mícheál Lehane