JUNIOR Health Minister Alex White has backed his embattled senior minister James Reilly - while also casting doubt over the public sector pay savings achieved by his Labour colleague Brendan Howlin.
It comes after calls for Dr Reilly to resign as the Budget fallout continues, with doubts over whether he can implement the required cuts in his department.
But speaking in Dublin today, Mr White said Dr Reilly is the right man for the job.
He also asked people to wait and see how the cuts will affect the health service day-to-day, which will be outlined in the HSE service plan.
"Yes, I do have confidence in his (Dr Reilly's) ability and I do also have confidence in the HSE who will be coming back to us in the next three weeks with their plan," Mr White said.
"The health services will struggle with the allocations we have been given, there is no doubt about that."
Dr Reilly was told to find savings of €666m by Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin, and €268m of this comes from pay cuts negotiated by Mr Howlin in the Haddington Road Agreement.
Some in Fine Gael are casting serious doubt on the pay figure, and Mr White admitted it "looks very large".
"It looks like a very large figure but frankly, as I said earlier, what we need to do now is have the HSE crunch these figures that they've been given in the allocation from Government," the Dublin South TD added.
"I would rather not comment on one specific figure in there because I was not party to coming up with the exact figures. They look big to me, I'll be honest with you."