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Water charges should be imposed: Alliance

The Alliance Party has backed the introduction of household water charges to safeguard public services.

And it has also voiced its support for cutting the number of MLAs and Stormont departments.

The party makes the proposals in a detailed paper dealing with the public spending challenges facing the Executive. The document also repeats the party’s long-standing call for the costs of division to be tackled.

“Alliance maintains that there are significant savings to be found through addressing the costs and distortions from managing a divided society and building a shared future,” it states.

“The development of shared education offers the greatest opportunities in this regard.”

The paper, published yesterday, also states: “Alliance is prepared to support the introduction of water charges. Continued deferral costs the block grant around £200m a year.”

On the costs linked to bureaucracy, the party states: “There are also clear savings to be found from cutting departments to eight and the number of MLAs to 75.”

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