Alliance calls on Chancellor to fund shared future programme

An Alliance delegation consisting of Party Leader David Ford, Economy Spokesperson Sean Neeson and Party General Secretary Dr Stephen Farry, will take part in the five-party meeting with the Chancellor in 11 Downing Street today.

David Ford will emphasise the importance of the government’s policy to promote ‘A Shared Future’ for the people of Northern Ireland.

David Ford said: “It is clear that the issue of varying corporation tax to match the rate in the Republic of Ireland is crucial if Northern Ireland is to attract the foreign investment we need for the economy to grow. Without this, there is no chance of any serious reduction in the subvention required from the Treasury.

“We also need to invest in areas which will make our economy more productive in the future, and reduce wasted government expenditure.

“This includes improving physical infrastructure, and enhancing our education and training. These key issues were highlighted by the Preparation for Government Committee at Stormont.

“Alliance also wants to see real savings in the money currently wasted on segregation. We estimate that segregation costs taxpayers around £1 billion every year, and we expect that figures to be published by government within weeks will confirm this.

“If we are to reduce this waste, we must invest in quality services for the future. We need services for everyone, not two sets of expensive, segregated, second-class services.

“For example, most parents know that we cannot afford two segregated schools in every village. Developing a shared model is better for the community and is cheaper in the long run.

“We must be in a position to promote integration in a range of government services and this will require investment. ‘A Shared Future’ is key government policy. It has serious implications for the economy which cannot be ignored.”


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