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Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017

Part of Executive Committee Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 4:45 pm on 16th January 2017.

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Photo of Thomas Buchanan Thomas Buchanan DUP 4:45 pm, 16th January 2017

No. You will have your opportunity. I commend them for the work that they have done in bringing forward measures to mitigate the costs associated with this scheme.

As the Minister outlined today, all the measures before the House are the first step to reducing the projected overspend. Of course, the Minister had a meeting with the Committee this morning, and, while we all agree that that is not the way in which we wish to see information coming to the Committee, given the fashion in which it was rushed through, the situation was not of our doing. The Committee, as the Deputy Chair said, would have liked much more time to look at the regulations, but that opportunity was not there for us. As I said, that was not a situation of our making. It happened because Sinn Féin walked away from the institutions. It is not prepared to face up to the difficulties, to debate them and to see a resolution found to the difficulties that lie there.

No one denies the controversy caused throughout Northern Ireland by the RHI scheme and the concern and anger that there is amongst the people. However, the anger from the people is directed not at the scheme but at those who are abusing the scheme by not using it as it was intended to be used. Therefore, it is important that those people be tracked down and that enforcement action be taken against them. The difficulty, and the problem, lies with the ones who are abusing the scheme and not using it in the appropriate way.