The employers' body, Ibec, has said that "expensive housing, long commutes and stretched health and education systems" are making Ireland a less attractive place in which to live, work and invest.

In its Quarterly Economic Outlook, Ibec said that dealing with these issues would be "the major challenge" for the incoming government.

It is broadly positive about the prospects for the economy.

However, Ibec warns that Brexit remains a threat and the fallout from coronavirus is far from clear.

It notes that unemployment is close to historic lows and that thousands of vacancies exist, particularly in the professional, scientific and technical job sectors.

Ibec says dealing with congestion in transport, healthcare and delivering a long-term funding model for third-level education should be the priorities for the incoming government.

It wants to see public services growing proportionately with private investment and wealth.

To this end, the employers group believes it is time for a new 'social dialogue' and for a Commission on Taxation to manage the trade-offs involved.

Commenting on the report, Ibec's chief economist Gerard Brady said that in the wake of the general election, the electorate has spoken.

"No matter what the composition of the next government, voters' expectations that the new Dáil will implement effective solutions to societal challenges have increased substantially," he said.

"This will require a renewed form of social dialogue among key stakeholders and a new Commission on Taxation," he added.

"In 2020, the year for the economy will be bookended by the impact of the coronavirus on global demand and, toward the end of the year, by the increasingly likely spectre of a hard Brexit," the economist said.

"In between, we are likely to see major change to global corporate tax rules and an election in the US.

"Fortunately, the strong momentum in the Irish economy indicates that Ireland is well positioned to weather these headwinds if the resources of several years of sustained growth can be effectively deployed to manage change," he added.