Ministers have been told to avoid public comment on sensitive budgetary matters, it is understood.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny spoke to his colleagues at the regular Cabinet meeting this morning.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said last night that it would be better if ministers "didn't get up every Monday morning" with a fresh view on the Croke Park Agreement and other fiscal matters.

It follows remarks from Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar, who called for public service pay increments to be deferred.

Speaking later in the Dáil, Mr Kenny insisted that the Cabinet had not settled down to discuss the Budget and that it would not be drafted in public.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach about what he called incoherence in the different messages from different ministers.

Speaking during Leaders' Questions, Mr Martin said Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform Brendan Howlin had expressed concern about budgetary issues in the Department of Health.

Mr Martin said there was a lack of direction and clarity on the part of the Government.

In response, the Taoiseach said Budget 2013 would be difficult to draft, given the deficit target.

In relation to the Croke Park Agreement, Mr Kenny said the Government would meet the implementation body to discuss the independent report.

He said every minister would be engaging with the issues.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said the Cabinet was in agreement about one thing: that more than €500m should be paid to bondholders.

Independent TD Shane Ross said the Budget would be written in Berlin by the Bundestag.

Mr Ross said the issue of increments in the public service is an important issue to raise, not because increments are a bad thing, but he said the problem was that the increments might be paid to the high-earners in the public service.

He said if that is the case, then that was reason enough to reopen the Croke Park Agreement.

The Taoiseach said 70% of those eligible for increments are in the low- to middle-level salary range.

Mr Kenny said the agreement was "with us" until 2013 and it would form part of Budget 2013.

Expiry date for agreement

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has said that there is no specific expiry date in 2014 for the Croke Park Agreement.

This means that there is a lack of clarity about how long the State's 294,000 public servants will retain their protection from pay cuts and compulsory redundancies.

A spokesperson pointed out that the title of the agreement says it runs from 2010 to 2014, but acknowledged that it does not contain a fixed expiry date.

The agreement was negotiated in late March 2010, but was not ratified by public service unions until mid-June of that year.

However, the chief negotiator of the agreement, Kieran Mulvey, has said that he believes the agreement expires in June 2014.

Mr Mulvey said that would be the logical expiry date.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, the Civil Public and Services Union's General Secretary Eoin Ronayne said rather than cut increments for lower paid public servants, a third tax band for higher paid workers should be introduced.

Mr Ronayne said his members could do without this wild "kite-flying" every week, which he said is "really not helpful”.