Public Inquiry on the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme

Part of Ministerial Statement – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 4:30 pm on 24th January 2017.

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Photo of Trevor Clarke Trevor Clarke DUP 4:30 pm, 24th January 2017

Like others, I welcome the announcement today about a public inquiry. I take some comfort from Claire Hanna's suggestion that it will be free from spin. However, I note that the Minister said, even on previous occasions, that his top officials were involved in looking at the business case, and I presume that they have been involved with the terms of reference and assisting the Minister to this point. Is there not a direct conflict for the Minister's permanent secretary, given that he was the permanent secretary at DETI when the scheme was set up? If so, should he not step aside, given that the Minister and many of his party Members asked Arlene Foster to stand aside?