Alliance Leader demands ambition from Executive

Unveiling the Alliance response to the Programme for Government, party leader David Ford has demanded the Executive show more ambition, and said that their plans fail to tackle the most important issues facing Northern Ireland. He described the key themes in the Executive’s Programme as ‘meaningless’, and said Northern Ireland could not progress without tackling the sectarianism and segregation which continues to define it.

David Ford said: “The Programme for Government fails to confront the issues of most concern, fails to match targets to actions, and fails to match actions to resources. It is a flawed document from what appears to be a weak and ineffectual Executive.

“Judging by the size of the PfG document this Executive is obviously aspiring to creating the paperless office! There are no fresh ideas – this Executive has not moved on from direct rule. In fact you could argue it’s worse because direct rule Ministers showed some appetite for addressing segregation. People want devolution that delivers.

“The PfG aspires to the very meaningless ‘better future’ – we need the Executive to create a shared and ambitious future, instead of creating empty soundbites that do nothing to tackle the devastating human and financial cost of segregation.

“What appears in the PfG, a remarkably short document, largely reiterates international treaty obligations or New Labour policy. Where is the radical vision of this brave new administration? The answer is that they don’t have a vision. They want people to be content that they are in power, but they can offer little more than that.

“The PfG, Budget and ISNI are based on an unsound structure, meaningless themes and unclear policies. Fundamental revisions are required to the Programme – not just to what is contained within it, but to the process which developed it and the themes which underlie it.

“The whole basis of the Programme must shift in order to focus on the main issue which defines Northern Ireland society – sectarianism and segregation. Northern Ireland cannot have real economic growth without with a shared future.

“The Executive must not condemn Northern Ireland to a ‘second-rate future’. The aim of Alliance , as the lead Opposition party in Northern Ireland , is not to match the poorer parts of Great Britain , but to compete with the very best in the world. Alliance has ambition for Northern Ireland. Unlike the Executive, we have a vision that will move the region forward towards a prosperous shared future.”


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