The head of the Oireachtas Finance Committee has branded salary increases for senior public servants as 'ludicrous'.
John McGuinness says they should not be getting the type of salaries they're on.
He was speaking as those earning more than €150,000 are to receive pay restorations of up to 15%, despite rising inflation and the increased cost of living.
This is the last round of an unwinding of pay cuts imposed on public servants during the financial crisis.
Deputy McGuinness told Newstalk Breakfast this is the result of years of successive policies.
"I think it's a clear sign that the folly of increasing senior public servants salary over the years is now coming home to roost.
"I think that the legislation of 2017 obviously has to be followed through, it is the law.
"But I would prefer if those at that level were not being paid that type of salary - I believe that it should be far less."
He says the increase of up to 15% "is ludicrous", and will now see similar calls from other workers.
"I think that the increases will now fuel the demand on Government to increase salaries all round for public servants and civil servants.
"That has to be resisted in the context of the senior levels of both of those organisations.
"We need to concentrate on the lower paid, on those that are not taking home enough to live on in the context of cost of living changes and so on.
"The discussions around this with the unions is very, very serious for the country - and the Government have to resist the extreme demands that are being made."
Deputy McGuinness says the salary hike also shows growing divisions.
"The increase of up to 15% is now clearly showing the public that there are those that can expect increases that are enormous sums of money.
"Then there are those that will not get any increase, and then there are those that are on the lower end of the scale - that are rarely considered and are poorly paid - and they're finding it difficult with the cost of living".
He adds: "We need to be strategic in terms of how we deal with public pay, we need to protect the public purse.
"And at the same time, we need to balance out those that are on the lower end of the scale.
"The private sector is now looking at this: and you don't want that ripple effect, in terms of pay increases, running across the private sector and getting out of hand".