Responding to a report released by the Centre for Social Justice yesterday - which detailed the extent of problems such as drug abuse, poverty, joblessness and mental health a Mr Paterson said it was time for politics here to move forward.
"It highlights that in tackling poverty Northern Ireland has much to learn from Great Britain, but Great Britain can also learn much from the excellent work being done in Northern Ireland," said the MP.
"I have seen a great deal of this at first hand in opposition and now in government.
"The report also reinforces the need to move politics forward in Northern Ireland to focus on the mainstream issues that affect people in their daily lives."
According to the report, society in Northern Ireland is breaking down, with soaring levels of unemployment, family splits, mental illness and addiction.
While the study a Breakthrough Northern Ireland a painted a stark picture of social disintegration, it claimed the decline was reversible. …