Fine Gael Finance spokesperson Michael Noonan said the opposition had been made aware that a contribution would come out of the National Pensions Reserve Fund. He said that this was at least money that 'we won't have to be borrowing elsewhere'. Mr Noonan said the deal was as expected but said the interest rate was too high.

Labour's Finance spokesperson Joan Burton said the country had been hobbled as a result of the European negotiations. Speaking on RTÉ's Six One News, Ms Burton said Ireland was 'banjaxed'.

Danny McCoy of employers' group IBEC commented on the fact that half of the 35 billion for the banks will come from the National Pensions Reserve Fund. Mr McCoy said it was inconceivable that our European partners would allow us have rainy day savings in the fund. He said the deluge had arrived in Ireland and we now had to draw on it.

He said the 5.8% interest rate is very high and would cost about 5 billion a year if the entire amount were drawn down. Mr McCoy said we now had to get the economy growing quickly and seize upon labour market reforms in the proposal to get as many people as possible back to work and help pay off this debt.

ICTU general secretary David Begg said the interest rate was penal and unnecessarily high, and our European friends had done us no favours. He said labour reforms in the package were a euphemism for reducing the minimum wage. Mr Begg said this was not justified.