Congress General Secretary David Begg said today (May 1) that reflating the economy through pay rises and increased demand was the best guarantee of a faster, more sustainable recovery. Speaking ahead of scheduled May Day demonstrations in Dublin, Belfast and across Europe, Mr Begg said:“The quickest and most efficient way to achieve recovery is to put more money in people’s pockets and boost domestic demand. This in turn creates jobs and spurs growth. It is a virtuous circle of recovery, as opposed to the self-defeating downward spiral of austerity.“The same applies across wider Europe. After six years of crisis we have over 26 million people out of work. That single figure represents political and economic failure on an epic scale.“Among the hardest hit are young people – many of whom are forced abroad to seek work, as we know to our cost. Across Europe, more than five million young people are currently jobless and over seven million are not in education, training or employment.“Relentless austerity is impoverishing families and runs the risk of creating a lost generation of youth, millions of people who will see their talents, skills and education go to waste unless we act now,” Mr Begg said.“Here at home, Ireland’s workers need a pay rise and Ireland’s youth need quality training and meaningful options in the workplace. And they need decent pay – their enthusiasm should not be cynically interpreted as a licence to exploit.”Mr Begg said the belief that we must wait for growth before we can deliver pay rises was mistaken, as growth simply would not happen without greater spending in the economy.He said it was the view of trade unions that pay rises provided a better means of boosting growth than tax cuts.