As the parties urgently discuss the Stormont budget crisis it is vital to remind politicians, policymakers and especially the public that duplication of services in Northern Ireland is costing in excess of £1bn each year.
The figure was arrived at by Deloitte in a study of the cost of maintaining separate education, housing and other facilities to the two communities.
How does the continuation of this segregation contribute in any way to a "shared future", or to "building a united community"? How does the waste of resources add to the current problems?
The profligate separation certainly adds nothing to the credibility of our political class in terms of economic management
To date, the most successful vehicle for reducing separation and sectarianism has been the establishment of integrated schools.
The Department of Education has announced grandiose plans for what they disingenuously call "shared education".
There is inherent political spin in the carefully chosen term.
We have enough problems in Northern Ireland without sleep-walking into a new, eye-wateringly expensive education project.
Is this the best we can do for our children, our families and our country?