William Eichler 04 January 2017

Belfast CC calls for inquiry into ‘shambolic’ renewable heat incentive

Belfast CC calls for inquiry into ‘shambolic’ renewable heat incentive image

Belfast City Council has passed a motion calling on Whitehall to open a full public inquiry into the ‘shambolic’ renewable heat incentive (RHI) scheme.

The RHI scheme, set up in 2012 by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, was designed to incentivise non-domestic users to move from using fossil fuels to renewable heating systems.

However, the way RHI was set up in Northern Ireland - under the stewardship of now First Minister Arlene Foster - meant the subsidies offered were greater than the cost of the fuel, leading to it going £490m over budget.

The motion was proposed by independent councillor Ruth Patterson who described the scheme as ‘shambolic’, a ‘farce’ and a ‘waste of hundreds of millions of pounds.’

It was passed by 23 votes in favour to 12 against.

A Government spokesman told the BBC it was up to the Northern Ireland executive to decide on what form of investigation is carried out.

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