David Ford said: “This is a flawed document from a failing Executive. There is no escaping the fact that the PfG is a second-rate plan that lacks vision and coherence.
“This document will fail the people of Northern Ireland on three vitally-important areas. Firstly, it fails to tackle the division that drive a wedge through the whole community. Segregation costs us over one billion pounds a year, and the Executive has chosen to ignore this massive waste of money.
“Secondly, their plans will fail to provide the community with better sustainable public services. Our health service will be grossly underfunded. This underinvestment will have a massively negative impact on our hospitals and fire stations. The PfG will also have a very damaging effect on public transport. It will drain more and more funding away from our vital bus and train services, and feed the Executive’s obsession with cars as the only means of transport.
“Thirdly, there is little provision in the PfG to re-balance the economy. We need to create more high-value, high-skill jobs to boost the economy effectively. The PfG is not just a low tax plan, it is a low aspiration plan. The Executive aims to grab quick headlines, but these come at the detriment of public services and the economy in the long-term.
“Anyone who speaks up against this Executive is accused of negativity. This is totally unacceptable. Every Minister must take into account people’s valid concerns, instead of showing contempt for those who raise important issues which the Executive runs scared from.
“Their’s is not a business-friendly plan, it is not an environmentally-friendly plan, and it is definitely not a community-friendly plan. We have ambition for Northern Ireland and we will not settle for the limited vision that this Executive has presented in this appalling document.”