Heat scheme scandal fall-out

Thursday, 22 December 2016

MID and East Antrim Council is seeking to establish what damage the potential loss of 400m from the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme scandal will have on local public services.
The council also wants to know how the government intends to compensate local people who invested in Biomass boilers before the scheme was closed down in February.
The fall-out from last week's sensational allegations by former Enterprise minister, Jonathan Bell, that he was prevented from closing the scheme due to pressure from DUP special advisers shows no sign of abating.
First minister and DUP, Arlene Foster, has flatly rejected his explosive claims, alleging it was Mr Bell's failure to act decisively, when he was alerted to the dire financial implications of keeping the scheme going in July 2015, that led to a spike in applications.
The whole saga took centre stage in the Assembly yesterday (Monday) when claim and counter claim, over who knew what and the actions of ministers during the period when the scheme's costs were spiralling out of control, dominated proceedings.
There have been calls for a full independent Public Inquiry to get to the truth of the matter.
The Assembly's Public Accounts committee has already called on Mrs Foster and Mr Bell to give evidence to its inquiry into the matter.
*Read the full story in this week's Ballymena Guardian.


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