The Minister for Finance has clashed with Sinn Féin in the Dáil over the expiry of payment breaks for borrowers.

Blanket payment breaks end tomorrow and banks will now consider whether to extend the measures on a case by case basis.

In tense exchanges, Sinn Féin's Pearse Doherty told Minister Paschal Donohoe that he had done nothing to protect borrowers, who will now have a negative credit rating. 

In response, the minister said he was aware of the challenges and had put in place supports.  

He said payment breaks had been applied to 157,000 customer accounts offering relief at a time of uncertainty.

Mr Donohoe also said Mr Doherty was not portraying the full picture and that other countries had not offered the facility to all customers as had occurred in Ireland.

The Sinn Féin TD said the Minister had a "nice friendly chat" with the banks this week when he had "failed miserably to do the right thing" as was his duty.  

Minister Donohoe said he had discharged his duty and he was aware of the anxiety and stress felt by borrowers.

He also restated that the Government will not increase tax credits or bands in the upcoming Budget.