Building a shared future in Northern Ireland is central to re-building the economy and coping with public spending cuts.
That's the timely message from the province’s Community Relations Council (CRC), as it presses for major improvements to a draft Stormont document on tackling sectarianism.
The Council spoke out ahead of today’s Spending Review announcement by Chancellor George Osborne, which will bring serious cutbacks in public expenditure in the province.
Its comments come as the controversy rages on over First Minister Peter Robinson's call for a single shared schooling system.
The Community Relations Council is dissatisfied with a draft Cohesion, Sharing and Integration (CSI) strategy issued by Mr Robinson's department.
It wants to see firmer policy and expenditure commitments in the document, along with a clear emphasis on reconciliation.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Council chief executive Duncan Morrow warned that the Spending Review is going to “bite into the core of Northern Ireland's economy”.
He also said: “We cannot make a special case if it is more money to do the same old, same old that has left us in the dependency culture we have, and thousands stuck in poverty.
“We can only make a case if we offer to invest for a shared and better future which will attract more investors, more jobs, more visitors, more creative people and a higher quality of life.
“Over time, a serious strategy might reduce dependency and create a serious private sector economy.
“As yet, there is no understanding of this in either the economic proposals of the Executive or the CSI document.
“Investing in peacebuilding is investing in a viable economy. Everything else threatens to just keep us where we are.”
Council chairman Tony McCusker said: “Until now there has been money to duplicate services on the principle of one for you, one for me. But that agenda is over.
“We cannot afford to have libraries for some and not for others. The one for you, one for me strategy must come to an end as we seek to make better use of what we have, and release money for other core services. Sharing is vital if we are not to end up in an equality of misery. The CSI strategy does not address any of this.”
Public consultation on thedraft strategy ends on October 29.
Mr McCusker also said it was vital that the CSI strategy is “an inter-departmental document” owned by the Executive as a whole.
“No one department can deliver CSI,” he added.