Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

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

Part of Executive Committee Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 5:00 pm on 16th January 2017.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Claire Hanna Claire Hanna Social Democratic and Labour Party 5:00 pm, 16th January 2017

At the core of this issue and of the governance omnishambles — that is the word that is best applied — is the loss to the public purse, and, of course, we are very keen to hear a coherent plan for how that flow will be stemmed. We all still have a job here in that we have to scrutinise the proposals and assess all the potential outworkings to make sure that this is a plan that will save money and not just a plan to save face, which many people will feel that it is, on the basis of the detail that we have had.

It must be pointed out how disingenuous people find the urgency being projected by the party across the Chamber in coming up with a solution to this problem now and, indeed, the outrage being projected by the party to my right, given that it is very clear that it has known about the problem for a very long time. It appears now to be working primarily to cover its tracks and to come up with lines that will answer the queries on the doorsteps, and there will be queries.

I appreciate that the Finance Minister has made some efforts. People come to us with problems, including, for example, a broken street lamp. If we said, "I emailed and they never came back to me" or, "I phoned them last month and they did not come back to me", people would rightly tell us that we were not doing our job. That is over a broken street lamp; this is over hundreds of millions of pounds of public money, and "I asked a few questions" is not good enough.