Noting the widespread public cynicism about under-performing institutions and festering disagreements between parties, the Party Executive requested Party Representatives to continue to provide strong, creative and responsible leadership in seeking to address these outstanding issues.
Alliance Leader David Ford said: “At a meeting on Thursday night, the Alliance Executive committed the Party to the implementation of the Stormont House Agreement. However, the Executive echoed my concerns that too much of the document merely reflects ‘a deal to do a deal’. It is not the comprehensive agreement that Alliance had hoped for and falls short of the public’s expectations.
“The real value of the agreement will only be known if and when it is implemented and outstanding issues are addressed. The work to turn the commitments into reality must begin immediately.
“The strongest aspect of the Agreement is the commitment to deal with the legacy of the past, which reflects longstanding Alliance proposals which we promoted during the talks. This package will finally offer the opportunity to deliver truth, justice and support services for victims and survivors, with a particular emphasis upon reconciliation.
“On the other side, we have real concerns that other aspects of the proposals reflect only a partial agreement. There was a missed opportunity to deliver a consistent Northern Ireland wide policy for the official display of flags, and we are left with the prospect of further discussion on parading with continuing problems.
“Alliance welcomes the financial package that accompanies the agreement, but would caution against any suggestion that it will resolve all our budgetary problems. The belated deal on welfare is something that could have been agreed two years ago, avoiding the squandering of over £100million in penalties. Commitments to tackle the cost of division and promote integrated education were included in the document at the Alliance Party’s insistence and we look forward to seeing the departmental proposals to address these issues in a manner that will help promote a shared future.”