Lunn challenges Stormont Executive to start ending segregation

Following the Stormont Executive’s first meeting in five months, Alliance MLA Trevor Lunn threw down the gauntlet to Ministers to start ending segregation. He said it is disgraceful that frontline health services are being cut to make efficiencies, yet the Executive still sees fit to waste £1 billion every year on maintaining a divided society.

The Lagan Valley MLA stated: “The Stormont Executive has failed miserably on ending segregation. Following their five month stalemate, I want to challenge them to get on with tackling division.

“The words ‘shared future’ were not even included in the first draft of the Programme for Government.

“The only Minister that has really acted on creating a shared future is Margaret Ritchie. The others have given little or no attention to this vital issue.

“The Executive agreed to make 3% efficiency savings across all departments. This efficiency, in the case of the health department means cuts to vital services and the number of nurses here. This is simply not on. There can be no excuse for cutting frontline health services when they could save £1billion annually if they end segregation. We need to see sharing and integration in education and other services to free-up this £1 billion.

“Obviously we cannot free up the £1 billion immediately, but the least each Executive Minister should do is start the process of removing division. The abject failure of the Executive as a unit to act to start ending segregation is astounding. The single-issue parties have a vested interest in keeping division to maintain their voter-base.

“I want to call on Executive Ministers to show the people of Northern Ireland that they can think beyond their narrow interests, and act to benefit all by tackling segregation.”


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