RHI recipients could be named in NI political crisis

Oversubscribed scheme will cost taxpayers almost £500m

CIBSE Journal news February 2017 Sin Fein

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness resigned in protest

Businesses that receive subsidies from Northern Ireland’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) – which brought down the power-sharing government, prompting fears that the peace process could collapse – may be named publicly.

Economy Minister Simon Hamilton has promised ‘complete openness and transparency’ about the scheme, which prompted a political crisis after the resignation of Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness last month.

The RHI was launched by First Minister Arlene Foster, of the Democratic Unionist Party, in 2012, and is now set to cost taxpayers almost half a billion pounds. McGuinness said the scheme was flawed and open to abuse.

Northern Ireland’s version of the UK-wide RHI became heavily over-subscribed and several observers claimed the scheme’s conditions were not stringent enough.

Hamilton has written to those in the non-domestic RHI scheme, indicating his desire to publish their details.