The Strangford Assembly Member said: “£1 billion per year is wasted on segregation in Northern Ireland. Why waste cash on two schools or two leisure centres, to pander to those that want to reinforce sectarianism, when creating only one school or leisure centre will stop segregation, make more financial sense and provide the highest quality public service. The £1 billion wasted on segregation could be better spent on scrapping the tap tax and extortionate rates hikes.
“Alliance predicted in 2002 that the spending plans which the four tribal parties in the Executive introduced would lead to water taxes, rates hikes and the end of industrial de-rating. We constantly asked for a local income tax to be introduced to prevent these crises, but our warnings were ignored.
“Water charges and rates hikes punish those on low incomes and must be scrapped immediately. We would scrap the tap tax and rates increases and replace them with local income tax, which would be based on ability to pay.
“Also, water charges does not live up to the ‘polluter pays’ principle, because people can waste water but still pay same as those that are being environmentally friendly.”