FIANNA Fail is calling for the property tax to be suspended for one year only – but is not giving a commitment to abolish it in government.
The party has proposed a Budget adjustment of €2.4bn in tax increases and spending cuts next week – which is €100m below the Government's €2.5bn target.
It wants the Government to stop the collection of €500m of property tax revenue next year, saying it is the "wrong tax at the wrong time".
But just three years ago, the party signed up to introducing a property tax in the bailout agreement with the troika. Fianna Fail finance spokesman Michael McGrath said his party wanted the property tax suspended next year, but was not committing to the party abolishing it.
"We have been very clear – we would not have a property tax in place in 2014 because people are going to be hit very hard next March when they are faced with a double payment," he said. Fianna Fail is criticising last year's Budget measures such as the €10 child-benefit cut, the scrapping of the PRSI tax credit and increasing student fees.
But it is not going to reverse any of them in its own Budget plan.
It is not proposing any cuts to social welfare schemes, but instead believes that €200m in extra savings can be made by tackling fraud and getting more people back to work.
Fianna Fail denied that it is lining up for coalition with Sinn Fein – after the parties came up with almost identical Budget targets and included many of the same measures in their pre-Budget submissions.
Both are opposed to collecting any property tax next year and both want tax increases on DIRT, on cigarettes, on online bets and on people earning over €100,000.
But Fianna Fail public expenditure spokesman Sean Fleming said that Sinn Fein wanted to collect €1.84bn in additional taxes, whereas his party's target was lower at €1.3bn.
"That's horrific. No party in the country would stand over that. The public wouldn't tolerate that level of an increase in income tax," he said.
Sinn Fein finance spokesman Pearse Doherty hit back by saying that unlike his party, Fianna Fail had not even contacted the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure to get its Budget plan 'costed'.
"This Budget document is unacceptable for a serious party of opposition and shows that Fianna Fail still cannot be trusted on the economy," he said.
Fianna Fail said there was no point in submitting its plan for costing when the Department of Finance was unable to supply figures for many of its proposals.
It is proposing a 15pc levy on off-licence and supermarket alcohol sales as well as taxes on high sugar and high-salt foods.
It is estimating that these measures will raise €288m but none of them have been costed by the Department of Finance.
It wants to raise the Universal Social Charge on PAYE workers earning over €100,000 from 7pc to 10pc.