Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has told Labour TDs that they have to take on the party's critics - at a time when the party is languishing in the opinion polls.
He insisted that Labour was delivering progress in the Government, with economic stability being restored and job growth beginning again.
"As a party, however, we have more to do to communicate that reality to the electorate. We have to start taking on our critics, making the argument, and convincing people," he said.
Mr Gilmore was speaking at Labour's think in event in Enfield in Meath, just three weeks ahead of the Budget.
He signalled his party's intention again to push for a Budget adjustment figure of less than €3.1bn to reduce the impact on the economy.
"When it comes to drawing up the next Budget, we will not put stability at risk, but we will not put recovery at risk either. We will continue to set a course that puts jobs and growth at the top of the agenda," he said.
Labour is going to focus on preparations for next year's local and European elections in the afternoon session, with the party's strategy being outlined behind closed doors by its national organiser Brian McDowell.
And there will be a party discussion about jobs, featuring contributions from pharmaceutical companies, business start up trainers and wind farm operators.