Ford challenges Ministers to admit cost of segregation

Following today’s British-Irish Council meeting at Stormont, Alliance Leader David Ford has told the First and Deputy First Ministers to stop holding out the begging bowl to Westminster, and publish the long-delayed report on the cost of segregation.

David Ford said: “Yet again today, Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness were continuing to call for a package of assistance from the Treasury. Yet we know that their office received a comprehensive report on the cost of division before devolution was restored in early May. Why have these findings not yet been released?

“Before they wave the begging bowl at the Treasury yet again, they must come clean on the devastating cost of segregation.

“Three years ago, an Alliance study estimated that every year one billion pounds is wasted on maintaining segregation locally. There is no reason to doubt that this detailed research has confirmed this figure.

“Its time that the Executive addressed this massive drain on our budget.

“If we really want to make progress with the Prime Minister and the Treasury, we must show them that we will implement an ‘invest to save’ strategy, through removing division.

“Instead of banging the begging bowl at every opportunity the Executive should identify the savings that can be made and the investments necessary.”


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