Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has defended a speech made by Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton in which she indicated she is in favour of increasing PRSI contributions made by employers and workers.

In the remarks Ms Burton said the benefits that are paid far exceed the contributions and said something has to give.

Her remarks came just days after Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Mr Gilmore told ministerial colleagues to be quiet about sensitive budgetary matters.

Today, Mr Gilmore said Ms Burton was perfectly entitled to talk about the Social Insurance Fund which she has direct responsibility for.

Sinn Féin's Peader Toibin said Ms Burton’s comments demonstrated that the Government was experiencing a lack of cohesion.