Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe has said the overall approach of Budget 2017 will be to see how the Government can protect the economy in the context of change abroad, such as Brexit.

Mr Donohoe said it would not be possible to deliver the entirety of the supply and confidence agreement with Fianna Fáil in one budget.

Equally, he said, it would not be possible to deliver the entirety of the Programme for Government in a single budget.

Fianna Fáil has called for a €5 a week State pension increase in the next budget.

However, Mr Donohoe refused to be drawn on whether this would be possible.

"I'll be engaging with colleagues in Government and I'll be engaging within the Oireachtas to look at what we can afford to do next year.

"But we'll be looking at this in the context of the change that is happening and making sure that we can offer the greatest protection and support to our country to maintain our growth, to allow people to benefit from that in an environment that is now changing."

Speaking on RTÉ's News At One, the minister said he does not accept that there is an unfair gap between private and public pension schemes.

Mr Donohoe said there have been significant changes to public pension schemes in recent years, including the introduction of pension-related deduction, so public pension schemes are better funded by those who will benefit from them.

He said a process of consultation with all stakeholders in the role of private pensions is under way and he expects Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar to bring proposals to Government early next year.

He added that while employers have a significant responsibility to their employees in terms of the maintenance of private pensions in the future, employees also have a responsibility to set aside money, if they can, to fund pension needs in the future.