The government must use Budget 2014 to stimulate demand and inject life into the economy, as new data from the Central Statistics Office confirms continued stagnation and a lack of growth, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions said on Thursday, 19th October. Speaking ahead of a meeting with Government Ministers on the Congress pre-Budget Submission, General Secretary David Begg said: “We shouldn’t delude ourselves over a few blips in the latest CSO data. The underlying, core figures point to more of the same, particularly with regard to the domestic economy, with domestic demand down again (-1.1%), along with personal expenditure (-1.3%). In addition GDP is also down (1.2%). The overall picture is depressingly familiar. “We are now in the sixth year of stagnation and after six years of doing the same thing, it is clear that we need a dramatic change of course if we are to pull the economy and wider society out of the mire. "We need a raft of growth and job-friendly measures included in Budget 2014. We need to stop doing further harm and to invest and inject life into the economy in order to stimulate demand and create jobs,” Begg said. He said that Congress was calling for the full use of the proceeds of the Promissory Note Deal to reduce the size of the planned budget adjustment; a stimulus package of €4.5 billion over the next two years and tax increases targeted at the wealthiest sectors of society.