SoME of the tax revenue generated by the deeply unpopular Universal Social Charge (USC) should be repaid to workers when they retire, Tanaiste Joan Burton has said.
The Labour Party leader has proposed that a portion of a worker's contribution would be channelled into their pension funds.
Describing USC as a tax introduced during a period of "financial collapse", Ms Burton (below) said she favours reforms that would last over a number of years.
She said she wanted to examine ways in which some of the revenue generated could be paid back to a worker once they retire.
"A lot of people on low incomes have very little pension above the state retirement pension," she said. "I think we could utilise some of the USC to allow for a pension saver arrangement which would allow people, particularly on lower incomes who are not in private pension schemes, to save a little bit extra for their pension.
"We would change it from a tax into a contribution that people would get back on retirement."
During a separate briefing, Taoiseach Enda Kenny rejected any suggestion of the USC being phased out, because it generates €4bn in tax revenue per year.
But he said that plans to further alleviate the tax burden next year will see 500,000 workers exempted from the USC.