Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin has been accused of interfering with the democratic process of unions balloting members on Croke Park II.

Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation General Secretary Liam Doran said the minister's comments in today's Irish Independent were designed to "scaremonger".

He also accused Mr Howlin of putting "the fear of God" into public servants.

The minister warned that rejecting the proposals could result in pay cuts for public servants increasing from 4% gross under the deal to 7%.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Mr Doran said Mr Howlin was the latest member of the Government to "grossly and overtly" interfere in union ballots on Croke Park II.

He said he was certain there are a lot of backbench Labour TDs who are uncomfortable about following the path mapped out by Mr Howlin.

Mr Doran said: "They know, even if he doesn't know, that this deal is unfair, the cuts will not deliver the savings they're talking about and they will not end the austerity this country is in."