Minister for Communications & Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte has hit out at the ''incessant assault'' on the public service.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Rabbitte said that relentless criticism of the public service is lowering morale and complicating the introduction of improvements.

He said the Croke Park Agreement has delivered significant flexibilities and savings without industrial disputes.

Mr Rabbitte said those who wanted to tear up Croke Park were exposing the economy to a winter of discontent.

The minister said: "No minister for reform or government can bring reform to the public service without a structure being in place to facilitate its delivery, and for the moment anyway Croke Park is that structure."