Chris Lyttle MLA: “I would like to commend Ministers Farry and Ford for willing lead actions in their Departments to play their part in implementing a shared future. Alliance has always been committed to community relations and by introducing this appraisal scheme in their Departments it shows that we are genuinely interested in the development of a shared future.
“This is another example of Alliance willing to make tough decisions to deliver positive politics and change the status quo.
“With the cost of division estimated to cost Northern Ireland around £1 billion every year, we need to ensure that Departments try to steer away from making decisions that maintains our divided society and instead favour policies that will advance a Shared Future.
“While others parties have made gestures towards a Shared Future, only Alliance have actually committed themselves to working towards it. For instance, the Justice Minister David Ford has been able to open gates in two peace walls and has ensured that no new peace wall has been built during the two years he has been in office.
“I would ask the other Ministers to follow our lead and implement this policy in their Department. If other parties want to do more than just make gestures towards a Shared Future then they would support an idea like this.”
Mr Chris Lyttle, MLA, East Belfast
To ask the Minister for Employment and Learning how he ensures that all significant new policies introduced by his Department contribute positively to a shared society.
I am strongly committed to the creation of a shared and integrated society in Northern Ireland.
I am pleased to tell you that I have recently developed a shared future policy proofing tool in my Department and that shortly, all new policies introduced by my Department will be subject to assessment to determine whether they contribute positively to a shared society or inadvertently reinforce divisions or provide services on a segregated basis. Policies that tend towards separation will be avoided, while those that are neutral or positively advance a shared future will be favoured.
This policy tool is broader than the current good relations aspect of equality proofing. I believe that this approach represents a groundbreaking development in the policymaking process and demonstrates a solid commitment by my Department to building a shared future.
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