Alliance Leader says Budget will not deliver as it ignores segregation

Alliance Leader David Ford has blasted the Executive’s Budget saying that this administration is sleepwalking into crisis because they fail to address segregation. He said the total failure to tackle division will hinder economic progress and prevent the delivery of better frontline services.

Opposition Leader David Ford said: “This Budget is a recipe for disaster and will lead to long term problems in vital services.

“The Executive has still not got the message on ending segregation. Nobody believes we can release the £1 billion cost of segregation overnight, but the Executive isn’t even willing to start the process.

“Every day that passes without any move to tackle division, sees another blow to the whole community. Segregation not only has massive human costs, but staggering financial costs too. We will never grow our economy until we create an open and inclusive society. A shared future is not an add-on to a better future – it is the vehicle needed to deliver it.

“Our health service will suffer at the hands of this quick fix budget, as will our public transport and arts sector. Where is the investment needed to give Northern Ireland free personal care and provide world-class mental health services? This Budget is an insult to people who have campaigned for these vital services, and believed the manifestos published last year.

“The whole Budget was about grabbing quick headlines. Unfortunately this headline-grabbing will result in long-term problems in our vital services. This Executive has run scared from taking tough decisions. They want to be populist, but even their own supporters are turning their backs on them.

“We are the strong and coherent opposition that Northern Ireland needs to push this Executive to start delivering and stop chuckling. Every party in this Executive is tainted by their deeply flawed plans. We will not accept this second-rate Budget as, unlike the Executive, we will not settle for second-rate services for local people.”


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