Congress chief calls for cuts to be scaled back

The head of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions wants the Government to cut targets for savings in December's budget, down to €2bn or €3bn.

David Begg is recommending smaller cuts over a longer period of adjustment - to get the finances back on track.

He has also urged the Government to invest capital in projects that will jumpstart domestic demand in the economy, and create jobs.

Mr Begg is warning of the potential damage to the economy of a short, sharp, shock - which he believes would only stunt growth and prolong the downturn.

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