UP TO 8,000 more jobs will be axed from the public sector by the end of 2014.
Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Brendan Howlin said the changes were needed to bring about delivery of "world class" services, and to reduce the payroll bill by €1bn between 2013 and 2015.
Some 290,273 people are employed in the public sector, including local authority staff, and the Government wants the number to fall by 3,200 by the end of next year to 287,000.
An additional 4,500 reduction is targeted for 2014, which will bring the workforce to 282,500.
The public sector pay bill accounted for 36pc of all government spending, Mr Howlin said, adding that there were discussions with trade unions about cutting numbers.
The talks on an extension to the Croke Park agreement would be "critical" and more cost cutting would be needed.
Mr Howlin admitted that the pay and pensions bill in the public service was too high and something had to give.
"Reducing public expenditure and numbers while continuing to provide key public services and social supports is not easy," he said.
"Notwithstanding the progress made to date, the public service pay and pensions bill, at 36pc of spending, will need to make an additional and substantial contribution to meeting our fiscal challenge in 2013 and beyond."
Detailed tables show where the axe is likely to fall. Most will be in the HSE and local authorities, with 3,145 HSE posts earmarked for abolition and 1,611 in local authorities.