Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said protecting Ireland's 12.5% corporation tax rate is an issue the Government must stand firm on during the re-negotiation of the EU-IMF rescue package.

Speaking on This Week, Mr Shatter said the corporate tax rate was off the table and that the Government had to persuade Europe that changing it would be contrary to the terms of the deal.

He said the Government's objective was twofold - to protect the corporation tax rate and to persuade our European partners that the interest rate is damaging to the economy.

He said he expected the interest rate would be further teased out this month but could not predict a time scale for its conclusion.

Mr Shatter also said the Government remained committed to burden sharing in addressing the banking issue but he would not speculate on what the latest stress tests would reveal.

He said it would have been premature for Taoiseach Enda Kenny to have engaged in discussions in Brussels last Friday on the issue as the results were not due until the end of this month.

Mr Shatter said there were concerns about what the banks may have concealed and what information was made available to the outgoing Government.

He also said he believes progress would be made on establishing a Legal Services Ombudsman soon.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin has said that the terms of the EU/IMF bailout deal for Ireland must be put to a referendum to strengthen the Taoiseach's negotiating hand in Europe.

Speaking to RTE in Dublin today the party's Dublin Central TD Mary Lou McDonald said; 'none of us can say for sure what transpired between Enda Kenny and Mr Sarkozy, what we do know is that this bailout will sink the state, what we do know is that we can not afford it.'

Ms McDonald continued, 'We know Enda Kenny has to stand up for Ireland and for our interests and we believe that in order to do that he should put the bailout to a referendum, strengthen his own negotiating hand and actually give the power of decision to the people on this absolutely crucial matter.'