Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton has confirmed to RTÉ that further cuts in public service numbers will have to be implemented.

Reacting to a story in today's Sunday Times which said that Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin is to seek up to 8,000 redundancies, Minister Bruton said “the numbers have been published - it's of that order”.

He told RTÉ's This Week the cuts had already been signalled but that it is not just about cutting pay.

He said the whole system needs to deliver costs effectively.

He also defended Cabinet colleague James Reilly over his explanation of the selection of sites for primary care centres.

Mr Bruton said Mr Reilly was a really reforming minister.

He added that Mr Reilly had set out in detail in the Dáil the criteria under which sites in his constituency were added to a list of locations.

Mr Bruton said the important challenge for Mr Reilly now was to reform the entire health service.