Professor Richard Tol, the author of a working paper that stated up to 44% of working families with children would be better off on the dole, has said he stands over the findings.

The Economic and Social Research Institute took the unprecedented step of withdrawing the working paper yesterday, citing what it said were serious concerns about the methodologies used in it.

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton has said nobody in her department or the Government contacted the ESRI asking it to withdraw the report.

Ms Burton said there had been absolutely no contact between her department and the ESRI on the matter since the report was published on 22 May.

She also said the findings did not agree with data in her department.

The Taoiseach said he would not stand over any contact between the Government and an independent organisation to say they must withdraw or take down a report.

ESRI Director Frances Ruane also said there had not been pressure exerted on the body to withdraw the report.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Prof Tol said he disagreed with the ESRI’s assertion that the public could be misled by the paper's contents.

"As far I know, the numbers are still correct and I still stand over them,” he said.

“There are of course serious issues with the data, because unfortunately in Ireland there's no real data set that really goes to the heart of this, so we had to combine two sets of data that were collected for different purposes. But as far as I know, we've done that correctly."

Prof Tol, who no longer works at the ESRI, said he intends to revise the writing of the paper but that the bottom line remains correct.

He said working papers are not usually subject to formal review in the ESRI, but they are subject to a round of informal peer reviews. He said this had happened in the case of his working paper.

Asked whether the withdrawal of the paper was an example of his previous criticism of the ESRI - that he was not allowed to publish true information - Prof Tol said it could “easily be constructed as such”.

He said he did not know why the decision was made or what pressure led to the decision.

He said he had no knowledge that Government pressure was brought to bear and also suggested that some unions “might have tried to pull strings”.

ESRI Director Frances Ruane said the ESRI had become aware of serious, technical methodological problems with the report relating to the data used.

She said it was a working paper which was confusing and potentially misleading.

Ms Ruane said the final report will still be published and it was the call of Prof Tol as it was not commissioned by anybody.

Elsewhere, Bríd O'Brien from the Irish National Organisation for the Unemployed said she has issues with the withdrawn paper.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Ms O'Brien said the paper "draws a 'conditions of living' conclusion, yet looks at the costs of going to work".