The General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions today described as "extremely severe" the cuts to public servants' pay outlined in yesterday's Budget.
Finance Minister Brian Lenihan announced yesterday that public servants' pay will be reduced by between 5% and 15%.
Congress leader David Begg described the Budget as too brutal, too quick, without compassion and offering no hope to anyone.
He said public servants have been shamefully treated.
"A high percentage of people are on relatively modest incomes," Mr Begg said. "Something like 44% of people are below €30,000 and 57% below €40,000.
"Those people are finding it particularly difficul," he added.
"I think they have been just shamefully treated, on all fronts."
Mr Begg was speaking as the public services committee of the ICTU met in Dublin to formulate a strategy of opposition to the pay cuts.