Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has told the Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality that legislation on the collection of fines will be published in the coming weeks.

The minister said it will contain an attachment to the earnings clause.

Mr Shatter said it was important that fines imposed by courts are collected, but there would be difficulties with having an attachment made to social welfare payments.

He said that going to prison would be a last resort for non-payment of fines, noting community service was a much better option.

Mr Shatter also told the committee that he believes a regular intake of new garda recruits is necessary, but must be done within the confines of the public finances.

He said he is talking to Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin about this.