13/04/2018

DUP Leader Appears Before RHI Inquiry For Second Day

DUP leader and former First Minister, Arlene Foster, is due to appear before the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) inquiry for a second day of evidence giving.

Mrs Foster led the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) which set up the green energy scheme in 2012, signing off on the incentive project as Minister.

The RHI scheme offered financial rewards to encourage businesses to switch to using renewable fuels. However, a flaw in the scheme rewarded participants with overly-generous subsidies, with a projected overspend of some £700 million over 20 years.
News Image
A scandal over the scheme erupted in December 2016 when the massive overspend was made public and Mrs Foster, as the Minister who had signed off on the project, faced widespread criticism and calls for her resignation.

Mrs Foster refused to stand down as First Minister while an investigation was carried out, ultimately leading to collapse of the Northern Ireland executive, which has resulted in NI not having a government for 16 months.

Mrs Foster appeared before the inquiry on Thursday, during which she said that "she did not think she bore any personal responsibility for the collapse of the RHI scheme" and said that she was glad to have the opportunity to counter what she called "malevolent and misinformed" commentary.

(MH/LM)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

04 February 2019
PM To Visit NI In Hope Of Winning Brexit Support
Prime Minister Theresa May is set to visit Northern Ireland tomorrow, 05 February, in a bid to win support for her revised Brexit strategy. According to a Downing Street spokesperson, Mrs May will address business leaders in a speech centred upon the crucial Irish border issue.
19 October 2017
Former US President To Meet With Prime Minister
Former US President Bill Clinton is to meet with Prime Minister Theresa May to discuss the current political crisis in Northern Ireland. Mr Clinton has already met with political leaders in Belfast, and he will hold talks with Mrs May in London today, 19 October.
07 February 2019
NI Parties Left Reeling After PM Visit
Political representatives in Northern Ireland have been left divided once again and calling for further Brexit assurances following a visit from Prime Minister Theresa May this week.
28 January 2019
Brexit: PM Urged To Secure Changes To NI Backstop
Prime Minister Theresa May is being urged to secure changes from the EU to the Northern Ireland backstop as part of her Brexit deal. Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson said winning a "freedom clause" would be "unadulterated good Brexit news".
06 February 2019
Brexit: PM's Pledge To Avoid A Hard Border
Prime Minister Theresa May has visited Belfast to offer assurances over her Brexit strategy and reiterate her "unshakeable" commitment to avoiding a hard border in Ireland. "The UK Government will not let that happen. I will not let that happen," the Conservative leader told an audience in the city on the afternoon of Tuesday 05 February.