The jobs minister has suggested that financial relief to middle-income families is a higher priority than an increase in welfare rates.
Richard Bruton says tax changes to help the average worker will ultimately help to create more jobs for people who are out of work.
"There's a lot of reasons behind why we need to look at this Budget to see some relief," the minister said today.
"When I go into boardrooms in US companies, they do raise this issue of the so-called "tax wedge" between what they pay and what the worker receives."
"So we have a problem in that area, and we need to use whatever room for manoeuvre there is to assist in that area."
The minister was responding to an ESRI report which said the gap between the rich and poor in Ireland has narrowed since the financial crisis.
Our political correspondent Gavan Reilly filed this report: