The Taoiseach has said the Universal Social Charge will not be abolished as a way of easing the cost of living on people.
Micheál Martin has said there are constant demands on the public purse which require a wide tax base.
He added the Government has sought to ease the burden of inflation with budget changes to tax bands and the €200 energy credit.
But the Taoiseach says his Government isn't considering removing the USC.
Speaking on The Last Word, Mr Martin said: "It will not be abolished.
"We have to be honest with people - all of the time there are increasing demands on public expenditure.
"The last two years have seen an unprecedented by the State in the economy.
"We've borrowed a lot to do that."
Mr Martin has also insisted he'll be taking over as Tánaiste when his time as Taoiseach comes to an end in December.
He's due to rotate with Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar at the end of the year as part of the Programme for Government deal.
But some members of the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party believe a new leader should be chosen at that point to lead them into the next election.
Mr Martin, however, insists he's staying to see through Fianna Fáil priorities - including around housing, health and climate.