The authors of a new austerity report say the Government should have considered the social impact of its economic policies.
Social Justice Ireland claims repeated austerity budgets have led to intense suffering - especially for young people.
One in four young Europeans are now reportedly at risk of poverty and social exclusion, while seven million have been left without employment, education or training.
Dr Seán Healy, the Director of Social Justice Ireland, wants politicians to change their tactics.
He said: "The most important lesson to learn from what has happened in recent years is that you must build the social impact of your policies into your consideration from the very beginning.
"You also must involve the various sectors of society in ensuring that the social impact is dealt with effectively from the beginning.
"You must engage with them to ensure they are protected no matter what decisions you make."