Political stability just as important as financial stability, says Long

Political stability for Northern Ireland is just as important as financial stability, Alliance Leader Naomi Long MLA has said.

Naomi Long Assembly restoration

The East Belfast MLA was speaking after talks between local parties and the UK Government over a financial package relating to the return of an Executive. However, Mrs Long said the package in its current form will not address sustainability issues.

“It was important to see key issues Alliance has consistently raised form part of the paper we were all provided with today,” she said.

“That includes the need for a fiscal floor for funding Northern Ireland, to ensure we are funded in line with need, a separate stabilisation fund to undo some of the harm created by cuts and to tackle backlogs, and also a transformation fund to allow us to improve public services.

“Those three elements form part of the offer today, but we now need to look at the amount allocated to each and where from, as the current proposal just won't create financial sustainability. The impact of any decisions made today will have a generational impact so we need to get this right.

“However, financial stability alone will not address all of the issues. Financial stability requires political and institutional stability. People rightly don’t want restoration talks to become an annual event. We need to reform our institutions to ensure that they cannot be collapsed again by any single party.

"Only if both those things are in place is there any hope of stability and delivery."