David Ford MLA said: “I would like to congratulate Theresa Villiers on her reappointment and look forward to working with her as she continues her duties. It is a difficult task and there are many remaining issues to be resolved.
“One of her main priorities must be the completion of the Stormont House Agreement. After Sinn Fein pulled their support for the welfare deal, which they still have not been able to explain, progress on these issues has been put on ice.
“There will be serious consequences for the future of the public purse in Northern Ireland, and the institutions themselves, if we are not able to reach a deal on welfare and the budget. The Secretary of State’s priority must be to work with those parties which are being realistic about public finances to ensure that agreement is reached.
“We have already wasted a further £18million since March due to Sinn Fein’s refusal to accept reality over welfare, and cannot afford any further delay.”