Labour has launched a full scale attack on the proposed public service pension levy this evening, claiming it is unfair and will hit the low paid hardest.

The party claims it is not too late for the Government to think again.

Labour TD Jan O’Sullivan said the party was asking that the Government go back and negotiate with the social partners to get the country 'out of this mess'.

The party’s Spokesperson on Social and Family Affairs, Roisin Shortall, contrasted the treatment of public servants with senior bank executives like Bank of Ireland’s Chief Executive, Brian Goggins, who last week said he would earn almost €2m this year.

The Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan, indicated that change was on the way in the Bank of Ireland.

He was also severely critical of what he called inappropriate and highly suspect actions of certain individuals and banks which had undermined Ireland's financial reputation.

But he indicated that the Government was not changing on the pension levy.

Legislation on the pension levy is to be published tomorrow under a new name - Financial Emergency Measures in the public interest Bill.