Trevor Lunn MLA said: “The forthcoming budget presents us all with serious challenges but it provides government with a chance to demonstrate a new ambition to tackle segregation. We can try and offset some of the damaging cuts to vital services by saving the cash wasted on division. There is now an opportunity for government to focus on starting to tackle this issue which has damaged our society so much both economically and socially.
“Now is the time for Northern Ireland to turn over a new leaf and become a truly united community.
“With all the devastating cuts that have been forced on us by Westminster , now more than ever politicians in Northern Ireland must start tackling division. We need to balance the books and the biggest waste of money in our society is segregation.
” Alliance has been consistent in highlighting this problem over the years and will continue to lead change and keep the pressure on other parties. It would be a disgrace if other parties here did not to come on board with Alliance in our long-standing campaign to end segregation.
“Tackling division is a double win situation because not only will it help save cash, it will also improve community relations, through the provision of more shared and integrated schools and public services.
“This is a long term project, but we have to start now and the problems posed by the Westminster cuts should be an opportunity to focus minds and deliver a shared future.”