Noonan predicts success for 'skilful' Howlin in union talks
Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said that he is confident that a deal will be done with trade unions on a successor to the Croke Park deal.
The Government is demanding a further €1bn in cuts from the public sector.
Initial talks began this morning with the Government proposing extra hours for the same wage, pay cuts for high earners and cuts to weekend and overtime rates.
Unions said that there is no possibility of a deal, on the basis of current Government demands.
Minister Noonan believes a result will be achieved, however.
"I don't think that we should always predict bad news,"
"I think that Brendan Howlin and his negotiators are quite skilful and I think the people on the trade union side, everybody is sitting down to get a result.
"They're not sitting down to fail."