It has emerged that 1,700 bankers at bailed-out Irish banks are still paid more than €100,000 per year.
Some 66 executives are paid more than €300,000 each per year.
The figures, obtained in a parliamentary question by Fianna Fáil TD Michael McGrath cover salaries at Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland, IBRC and Permanent TSB.
When asked if these levels of pay were acceptable, the Transport Minister Leo Varadkar defended the bankers, saying: "It depends entirely on the circumstances of the people involved.
"In some circumstances, you need people who are very well paid to get results, to save billions of euros for the taxpayer.
"The question is who are they, why are they paid that much and what is the market rate for the job they are doing?"
The news comes after the Department of Finance admitted yesterday that the former Anglo Irish Bank, now called the IBRC, has hired a new executive, who will start work tomorrow, on an annual pay package of more than €500,000.