Speaking from Washington, where he is attending a number of St Patrick’s Day events, Dr Farry stated: “Alliance strongly supports the concept of a financial package for Northern Ireland. It is important to give any devolved administration the chance to deliver.
“However, it is crucial that any injection of additional funds is linked to a series of reforms. There are many inefficiencies within the Northern Ireland economy and public finances, not least the one billion pounds that is wasted every year in managing a divided society.
“Any financial package must be based on the concept of ‘invest to save’. Investment in the right areas can make Northern Ireland more sustainable.
“If this money is simply used to give incoming devolved ministers a quick ‘win’ through avoiding difficult decisions or is simply applied to the existing patterns of public expenditure, rather than being invested to facilitate serious reform, then it may prove to be a huge missed opportunity. Alliance has written to the Chancellor directly to emphasise the importance of a shared future.”