Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe said he was hopeful that upcoming talks on a new public sector pay deal will deliver a good deal for everyone.

Trade unions, representing 385,000 public servants, have been invited to the talks next week.

Speaking on RTÉ's This Week programme, Minister Donohoe said his preference would be that any deal would be a multi-annual agreement or an extension of an existing agreement.

He said: "The key thing is that it’s affordable for everyone in the years to come. And it’s fair to the public servants themselves.

"It’s one of every three euro we spend."

Mr Donohoe said that it was an uncertain and volatile world at the moment.

He said: "While I’ve very confidence to believe that the Irish economy will continue to grow. There's also merit to getting an agreement now if it’s affordable and it can be found."

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) has written to the Government seeking clarity on whether the talks will include discussions around the removal of emergency industrial relations legislation introduced during the financial crisis, known as FEMPI.

Mr Donohoe said that he was willing to engage on the issue in the context of the WRC, particularly on the issue of the last remaining elements of the 2009 FEMPI legislation.

He said: "We want a new agreement, an agreement to provide stability and providing pay in the future which is in the best interests of the Irish taxpayer.

"I don’t believe it’s helpful for me to be laying down preconditions on the eve of heading into negotiations."

Despite this, he said that he had hoped to conclude a pay deal by the end of the year.

The minister said: "I do recognise that as each day and week goes by, it becomes a more demanding deadline to meet.

"In other pay agreements, it has been possible to get resolution over a number of weeks with good faith and commitment over both sides of the table. I’m sure that’ll be supplied again."

On a suggestion that the WRC may not being the appropriate setting, he said that he hoped his indication of engagement "will allow to define the processes by which we can do this".

Many options considered on RTÉ funding

Speaking about RTÉ, Minister Donohoe said that he has not yet made a decision on his preference for the long-term future funding of the organisation.

The minister said that salary caps were a matter for RTÉ staff and the Director General.

He said that presenters were playing an important role in public service and journalism, and it was not helpful for ministers to name individuals or journalists.

On the long-term plan for RTÉ, he said that all options were being considered, including that Revenue collect money from taxpayers for the RTÉ service.

He said that the reason it was rejected before was that Revenue only collects taxes under the law and is not in a position to charge for something under tax law.

"I would have some reservations about it, but I am willing to look at it," he said.

"We should thread really carefully before we expand their remit into other areas of revenue collection."