FINE GAEL backbenchers gave Public Spending Minister Brendan Howlin a round of applause after he briefed them on the new Croke Park deal.
Cutting the wages of only those who make more than €100,000 would "destroy" the health service and the judiciary, the Labour TD warned.
Mr Howlin said the deal was "fundamentally fair". But he said only targeting those who earn over €100,000 wouldn't have generated the savings needed.
"This is why we are introducing a pay cut to those earning more than €65,000," he said.