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

Part of Executive Committee Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 7:00 pm on 23rd January 2017.

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Photo of Jim Allister Jim Allister Traditional Unionist Voice 7:00 pm, 23rd January 2017

How ridiculous it is. That is the scheme that our Ministers approved and signed off, and that is the scheme that Mr Stephen Brimstone is benefiting under — heating his house on the non-domestic boiler scheme. Did he claim that he had a few sheep and was a sheep farmer? Does he have sheep? One thing is for sure: he is heating his own house. Is that right? Is that how things should be under this scheme? Was this scheme so lax and so perforated that that was an OK thing to do? Even if the individual thought it morally the right thing to do, does this scheme permit that? If it does, is that not one of the loopholes that the Minister should have addressed in these regulations? It is scandalous that someone can purport to qualify for the non-domestic renewable heat scheme and devote the greater bulk of the heat that they produce to heating their own house, and to do it with considerable forethought. Mr Brimstone built a new house some years ago. He had a biomass boiler in it, but he took it out to qualify for this scheme, because you had to have a new boiler.

He put in a new non-domestic scheme boiler under the scheme in order to qualify. That is the sort of rip-off that brings disrepute to all of the scheme and, sadly, causes great injury to the bona fide users.

This is a scheme that, in a collective sense, covers the House with shame, because it brings the entirety of the process into disrepute. It is quite shocking that this squander, made not by some distant, uncaring, disconnected direct rule Minister but made in Stormont, has inflicted upon us this mammoth potential financial loss — and then to pretend that it is nobody's fault to the point that anyone should pay with their job.