Social Justice Ireland has said that a pay cut for workers and pensioners in the public service with incomes above €40,000 would yield more than €800,000 in savings.

The advocacy group has released a research document that calls for a wider agenda for the talks on a new Croke Park Agreement.

Social Justice Ireland Director Fr Seán Healy said: "The debate has to be about more than pay and bank debt at this time where there are 700,000 people at risk of poverty.

"Our figures on public service pay show the impact the savings the Government are seeking would have," he added.

Fr Healy said resources must not be "allocated on the basis of protecting the interests of the strong and vocal”.

Under the plan, the almost 70,000 workers earning a gross annual wage of €49,795 would face a cut of €980.

The next largest group, whose income including allowances comes in at just under €60,000, would face a gross annual cut of almost €2,500.

This could raise close to €800m and would represent an equitable approach, the independent think-tank said.

Speaking on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics, Tom Geraghty of ICTU's Public Services Committee said a positive outcome on a new Croke Park agreement is not guaranteed.

Ultimately he said it is a choice between "bad and worse."

He added that it was "unhelpful" of the Government side to have such an "overly ambitious" list of issues to have discussed.