David Ford said: “I genuinely believe that with constructive vision and ambition, 2011 can be a much more peaceful and prosperous year than 2010. I know that this is a bit of a New Year’s cliché, but I genuinely believe in the potential that Northern Ireland and its people hold.
“To make this progress in 2011, we need to see politicians from all sides working in partnership and being bold and brave in their decision-making. Alliance wants to make all parties in government face-up to and start tackling segregation and its massive drain on the public purse.
“We have made a start on growing the economy with positive steps taken regarding creating a Green New Deal, which came about thanks to Alliance pressure in the Assembly. We need to see that strong start continue with Northern Ireland being given a lower rate of corporation tax to help attract investment and new jobs at this time of cuts in the public sector. The best way however that we can maximise our potential, both socially and economically, is for government to start properly addressing all forms of division in our society. Doing so will not only greatly improve community relations but also help us save cash and protect vital public services.
“As regards cementing stability in Northern Ireland, the police are doing a good job in tackling terrorism, and the fact that Northern Ireland now administers justice itself sends out a very strong message to those who would try to create fear and cause problems.
“2010 was an amazing and historic year for Alliance, and I believe that 2011 can be as good, if not even better. 2010 saw Naomi Long becoming our first elected MP in East Belfast, and the year also saw the return of justice powers to Northern Ireland under the stewardship of Alliance.
“The feelgood factor created by Naomi’s victory undoubtedly lifted spirits at a tough economic time and I believe that this factor can be replicated in other areas in 2011 with Alliance gains in the Assembly and Council elections. We have a very talented pool of candidates and prospective candidates for the elections and many, many people from all backgrounds have joined Alliance in 2010.
“The momentum that Alliance currently has is extremely exciting, and people from all across Northern Ireland can see that we are a party on the move and that we are working and delivering for all.”