The Minister for Health has insisted that claims of cost increases at the National Children's Hospital are commercially sensitive.

Simon Harris was speaking after the Taoiseach told the Dáil that the main contractor on the project has submitted new claims - but these have yet to be adjudicated on.

But Leo Varadkar said that there has been no increase on the 2019 budget allocation for the building.

Mr Harris echoed this point, saying no further costs for the National Children's Hospital have been agreed by Government.

He added that the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) has a robust process to assess these claims.

Labour's Health spokesperson claimed to have information that the claims for extra costs are substantial and fair.

Alan Kelly said this will have a cumulative effect across the remaining period of construction and the final cost could yet exceed €2 billion.

The current cost of the project is €1.73 billion after being initially estimated at €650 million.

Sinn Féin's Health spokesperson Louise O'Reilly said there have been a number of worrying reports of further cost escalation on the project.

"These claims need to be validated as quickly as possible and the Government need to get a handle on the spending on the hospital because it cannot be allowed to be a cash cow for the construction industry," she said.