Alderman Neeson, who has served two terms in the Assembly, stated: “We need to end this nonsense that money for things such as free personal care, tuition fees and lower rates is magically going to appear from the sky. Indeed, it appears Sinn Féin’s strategy for a ‘free Ireland’ involves nothing other than demanding British money! This is nothing other than a promotion of a ‘dependency culture’ which has long gone in the rest of the island.
“The truth is if we want to fund such things, we will have to raise the money right here in Northern Ireland. But rather than hitting householders with higher rates, we could raise £1 billion simply by promoting shared services and facilities over divided ones. There is a direct correlation between the ending of sectarian division and raising the money to pay for free personal care, tuition fees and lower rates.
“What is even more galling is the rank hypocrisy of the four parties which formed the last Executive, which came up with the financial package which requires these rates rises and extra water charges, and which failed to implement free personal care for older people when they had the chance.
Alliance was the only party contesting this election which voted for free personal care when the issue arose in the Assembly.
“People have had enough of platitudes. By voting Alliance, they will be voting for action.”