Social Justice Ireland has accused the Government of creating a "fractured society" through its economic policies.
In its Socio Economic Review for 2013, the independent think-tank claims too much of a burden is put on low to middle income earners, and called for a €7bn investment plan to develop infrastructure and create jobs.
Director of Social Justice Ireland Fr Seán Healy said he did not believe the Government's claims that the country is on the road to recovery.
"I disagree fundamentally with that," he said. "A fractured society, a weak economy and persistently high unemployment do not constitute real recovery.
“Government continues to protect the rich at the expense of the rest of us while failing to address
issues such as unemployment and emigration.
“Real recovery requires macroeconomic stability, just taxation, enhanced social protection, improved governance and real sustainability – none of which are part of current Government policy.”
"What people need to realise is that without investment there will be no jobs, and without jobs there will be no recovery, and without recovery we're stuck in austerity.
"There's no investment at the level required to increase the number of jobs dramatically."
In its socio-economic review, Social Justice Ireland maintained 16% of the population, more than 731,000 people, are living in poverty including 230,000 children and 100,000 working poor.
It also raised concerns over the 14% unemployment rate, which it claimed was being kept down by growing emigration, and warned the Government policy has given little attention to the long-term unemployment crisis.
The review, What Would Real Recovery Look Like?, used official figures to analyse the economic and social challenges facing the Irish public and the impact of policies being implemented by the Government.
It said poorer people who rely on public services, the voluntary sector and social housing are the most acutely affected by the cutbacks and inequalities in the health service.