The Government will spend in excess of €2.2m this year on paper payslips for employees, despite its commitment to secure savings through increased use of the internet.

The figures emerged in responses to Parliamentary Questions submitted by Independent TD Denis Naughten.

The highest expenditure was in the Department of Education and Skills, which spent €1.48m on hard-copy payslips for 94,000 school employees, pensioners and staff employed by the department and bodies under its supervision.

Last year, the department decided that it would not be practical to switch to electronic payslips at this stage, due to issues including the set-up costs.

The department is currently testing an online payslips facility, which may be made available to staff in the Department from early 2012.

The Department of Justice spent the second largest amount, with an outlay of €510,641 on paper payslips for 20,799 employees and 9,026 pensioners in agencies accountable to it.

It also spent €8,655 on payslips for 754 department employees.

While it too are considering switching to electronic payslips, it says many employees - including gardaí, garda pensioners and prison officers - do not have ready access to computers in the workplace.

The Department of Defence cited a 2010 figure of €137,000 for payslips for 9,746 defence forces, 3,170 defence forces reserve, 736 civilian employees, 67 civil servants and 11,163 pensioners.

Payroll for the 423 staff at the National Treasury Management Agency has been outsourced to Price Waterhouse Cooper.

While the annual cost of processing payroll is not stated, it estimates moving to electronic payslips would deliver a saving of €0.05 per transaction plus postage and courier charges.

The annual saving would be €415 per annum.

At the Comptroller & Auditor General's office, it costs €830 per year to process paper payslips for each of its 154 personnel.

At the National Education and Welfare Board, all staff bar one receive electronic payslips.

The cost of processing the paper payslip for that one employee is €200 per year.

Agencies that have moved fully to electronic payslips include the Revenue Commissioners, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, the Pensions Ombudsman and the Valuation Office.

Mr Naughten - who submitted the questions - said that it was ridiculous to be dealing with paper-based transactions, particularly in light of the Government's commitment to e-government and value for money.

A spokesperson for the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform acknowledged that there were some areas where staff had no access to computers and required paper payslips.

However, the issue is being considered in the context of the Comprehensive Expenditure Review.