The Minister for Finance has hinted that there may be changes in the structure of the new public service pensions levy.

Brian Lenihan was responding to Fine Gael TD, Kieran O'Donnell, who asked him if lower paid public servants would be exempt from the levy and if it was a short-term or long-term measure.

The Minister said policy could be reviewed in relation to the pension issue, but he said it was likely to be part of the public service landscape for some time to come in light of our economic forecasts. He said he would not rule out consideration of other banding options once the desired savings were achieved.

The legislation to impose the public service pension levy was published this morning. It is to be debated in the Dáil tomorrow and next week, and is due to go to the Seanad on Thursday of next week.

The Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Bill also includes provisions allowing public bodies to reduce the professional fees paid by them to external service providers, as well as changes in the early childcare supplement and the farm waste management scheme. These were announced at the same time as the levy.

The Bill makes it clear that the levy will apply to TDs and Senators, MEPs, Ministers, the Attorney General, Ministers of State, and the Ceann Comhairle and Leas Ceann Comhairle of the Dáil. The levy will apply to all earnings, including allowances and overtime, from March 1.