The DUP-Sinn Féin administration at Stormont continues to squander money as the North descends further into economic recession, hardline Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) leader Jim Allister said.

Addressing his party's annual conference yesterday in Co Tyrone, Allister said both parties were "utterly bankrupt" in terms of dealing with unemployment, up 160% since they came to office, public sector cuts, and health service waiting lists.

"The only place immune from cuts seems to be Stormont itself, where millions are still squandered on useless north/south bodies, lavish expenses, and pointless translation into Irish. We've seen £400m (€472m) wasted on north/southery," he said.

Allister claimed it was hypocritical for DUP first minister Peter Robinson, "who himself is on something approaching £121,000 per annum", to decree that the wages of public sector workers earning £21,000 should be frozen: "Returning to the waste of Stormont, £500,000 subsidy for cheap food for MLAs, £25,000 for their bottled water and hundreds of thousands wasted on needless translation into Irish, as part of the DUP-sanctioned strategy to placate Sinn Féin. A meaningful employment strategy for Northern Ireland is far more necessary than a language strategy. Lasting jobs, not jobs for the boys, is our goal," Allister said.

The economic crisis showed the "utter foolishness and fiscal lunacy" of Irish unity, he claimed. The North was far safer being part of the UK, "rather than being a famished appendage of a hopeless bankrupt Republic", he said. He alleged that despite Sinn Féin's condemnation of dissident republicans, the continuation of violence suited the party: "There is no better way to keep the concession pump flowing than to have it constantly primed by the threat of more terror."

The TUV performed poorly in May's Westminster elections Antrim. "We may not have had the year we would have liked but the TUV is here to stay," Allister stated.