Judith Cochrane MLA said: “I welcome the assurance from the Finance Minister that he recognises the importance of tackling the cost of division. According to Deloitte’s, this problem is costing our society over £1.5 billion a year. If we are to build a shared future then we will need to tackle the cost of division.
“While the Finance Minister has stated that the Executive has a commitment to tackle this problem, there is still a lot more that some of the other Departments could do. In a number of Assembly questions that my party has submitted asking each Department what they are doing to promote a shared future, some simply said that they had to meet a statutory commitment on the promotion of good relations and were doing little else. This is just not good enough. In today’s society, there is a major call from members of the public for more shared facilities and services. They know that having separate services is wasting money. Even the Finance Minister said it makes economic and societal sense to tackle the cost of division.
“I hope that this commitment from the Finance Minister is not just words but a commitment that will see real and positive results. My Alliance colleagues and I will continue to push for more actions from every Executive Department to achieve a shared future.”