Robinson deliberately misleading on costs of division – Farry

Alliance Party Finance Spokesperson, Stephen Farry MLA, has described comments by Finance Minister Peter Robinson as deliberately misleading, and re-stated that the £1 billion annual cost of segregation can no longer go unchallenged.

Stephen Farry stated: “Peter Robinson should face up the real problems of financing a divided society rather than erecting a straw man, and attacking the Alliance Party for something it has never said.

“Alliance has identified tha £1 billion is wasted every year in managing a divided society. This is a luxury that Northern Ireland ratepayers can no longer be expected to pay for.

“This problem is the product of many years of public policy decisions. At no stage have we suggested that these funds can be released easily or in one go. But some can, and in those areas we need to make a start.

“In fact, we have suggested that some additional investment may be necessary in the short-term to turn around the current pattern of the provision of services.

“The challenge for the Executive is to make those investments that would have the potential to find those savings. Alliance has written to the Chancellor to stress that this should be a central theme to any financial package.

“Rather than dismissing the problem, the finance minister has the opportunity to show leadership in addressing it. Dealing with the costs of division should be a central theme within the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review.”


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