Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has said there is a necessity for reform of the Joint Labour Committee system and the Government is committed to the process.

Speaking on RTÉ's This Week, Mr Gilmore said individual backbench TDs are entitled to their opinions on the issue.

He said he would not discourage it as the Duffy-Walsh report provides for 'significant reform'.

Earlier, Pat Rabbitte dismissed claims that there has been a co-ordinated attack on Richard Bruton over his proposals on the JLCs.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio, Mr Rabbitte said he does not think 'there is any question of an attack either co-ordinated or otherwise' on the Fine Gael Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

He added that it was 'utter nonsense' to suggest that backbench Labour TDs had been sent out by the party leadership to criticise the proposals.

Mr Rabbitte said he is broadly in favour of implementing the Duffy-Walsh report, which recommends shutting down some JLCs and merging others, but that people needed to be careful not to go beyond acknowledged experts.

Mr Bruton defended his proposals during the week, saying they were essential to provide more jobs.

Meanwhile, the Construction Industry Federation has described the plans to overhaul the system as totally inadequate.

The federation said the reforms set out by Minister Bruton would not help achieve competitiveness nor address the financial difficulties in the construction industry.

Unions have also expressed opposition to the plans, which would result in pay cuts for low paid workers.

The pay cuts would be mainly in the catering and hotel sectors, because of a loss or reduction of overtime and Sunday premium payments.