Dublin, Jan 29 (Agencies): Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen on Saturday said he would announce a new date for early elections, thereby dissolving the Parliament as the Upper House began debate on legislation to slash spending and raise taxes expected to be its major act under his government.

Brian Cowen said he intends to ask President Mary McAleese on Tuesday to dissolve the national Parliament. He would then announce a new election date, which must be within 30 days.

The election is expected to result in a drubbing for Cowen's Fianna Fail, Ireland's long dominant political party, and usher in a new team led by the Fine Gael party. Cowen, who was Ireland's finance minister from 2004 to 2008, is blamed for Ireland's stunning slide from Celtic Tiger boom economy to the verge of bankruptcy.

The finance bill is designed to comply with a massive international rescue loan. The European Union-International Monetary Fund support is contingent on Ireland cutting euro15 billion (USD 20.56 billion) from its deficit spending over the coming four years and is imposing the harshest cuts this year.

The legislation is expected to pass today. It includes a 90 per cent tax on bonuses paid to employees of any of the Irish banks that needed state support to survive after a runaway property market collapsed.