IBEC has cautioned the Government against planned tax increases.

The employers' group said it is crucial that positive employment trends are not undermined and essential that young jobseekers are given hope.

IBEC said any further tax increases would make work less attractive, undermine the ability of companies to invest and create new jobs and damage hard-won competitiveness gains of recent years.

In its quarterly review, IBEC found that 5,030 new jobs were announced during the first quarter of the year and that numbers in long-term unemployment fell 10% over a 12-month period.

The group said while it is positive to see the unemployment rate has dropped, it is worrying that this is mainly due to a decrease in the labour force.

IBEC economist Fergal O'Brien said it is time to reconsider the additional tax increases planned for the 2014 Budget.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr O'Brien said this would boost consumer confidence and send a positive signal about the economy.

He said: "We think right now it would be a great confidence boost to the economy and consumers if Government was to come out and say 'Here is a tangible dividend of the improvement that we have gained in terms of the debt arrangement, in terms of the promissory note'."

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney has said austerity is not a choice, it is a necessity.

Speaking on his way into Cabinet, Minister Coveney said it is too early to speculate on the IBEC review.