New research shows that there is strong degree of public support for investment in public services, increasing the minimum wage and preventing the use of low hours contracts.

The research, carried out by the think tank TASC, found that seven out of ten people agree that the Government should prioritise investing in public services rather than spending money to cut income taxes in the budget.

86% agree that the minimum wage of €8.65 should be increased, with 77% saying it should match the "living wage" of €11.45 per hour.

However, employers' group Ibec has said the introduction of a "living wage" would hurt employment and would not tackle the real challenges of poverty.