Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe has warned that the cost of reversing a pay cut for new entrants to the public service would be "very, very significant".

He said the cost of equalising wages in the teaching profession alone would be around €70m.

Pay for new entrants in the public service was reduced by 10% in 2011.

Mr Donohoe said the total cost of pay restoration across the public service would be €1.4bn.

He said the matter is being addressed by the Public Service Pay Commission, which will publish a report on the matter in the coming weeks.

This will be followed by negotiations involving public sector trade unions, which the minister said would commence before the summer.

Mr Donohoe told the Dáil that these would be "very difficult discussions for both sides".