Long says PFG litmus test will be its delivery

Alliance Deputy Leader Naomi Long has said the litmus test for the Programme for Government (PFG) will be in how it delivers for the people of Northern Ireland, not promises made by the Executive.

Speaking during a debate on the PFG in the Assembly today (Monday), East Belfast MLA Mrs Long said it would be substantive delivery for the public that would be the proof of whether the PFG was a success, not aspirational language.

“Alliance endorses the process that has developed the PFG – we fed into the early stages in good faith and some of the outcomes listed we proposed for inclusion. While others may seek to dismiss the framework as simply ‘motherhood and apple pie,’ we recognise a focus on outcomes rather than activity is a better place to start if we want to see the lives of people actually improve.

“The UUP has criticised the PFG for lacking detail, despite them knowing a detailed action plan could not have been produced after two weeks of negotiations, while the SDLP participated in the process and at no point raised issues with how it would be developed prior to the election.

“Alliance will rather focus our criticism on what deserves it, while holding the Executive to account on its willingness to take difficult, radical and even unpopular decisions, which we have doubts over their commitment to do.

“It is possible to do much and achieve little – activity and delivery are not the same thing. So while the move to a more strategic, outcomes-based approach is welcome, whether the opportunity it presents is fully realised by this Executive is another matter.”

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