Speaking on the release of the paper, Alliance Party Finance Spokesperson, Stephen Farry MLA, stated: “There is a major structural problem within Northern Ireland’s public finances in that we are spending approximately £1bn every year in trying to manage a divided society rather than opting for a shared future.
“It is important that the Executive begins to wrestle with these distortions, not only because there is a day of reckoning coming with cuts to be imposed from the UK Treasury but because spending needs to be placed on a more sustainable footing too.
“The financial cost of division is apparent in four respects, direct costs; indirect costs from the duplicate provision of services; the cost environment faced by departments; and opportunity costs.
“Actions are required right across all government departments. It will take time for resources to be released. It cannot all be done with the scope of one spending period. However, it is critical that we make a start.”