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MLA wrongly accused of benefiting from RHI scheme hits back and offers to release bank details

'I will take the attacks and snide remarks and deal with them but leave those alone who have done nothing wrong'

DUP MLA Carla Lockhart has hit back at those who wrongly accused her of benefiting from the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme and offered to release her, and her husband's, bank details to prove them wrong.

On Monday night, the DUP released a statement to say the Upper Bann MLA had a family member who was  part of the botched green energy scheme.

The party said Mrs Lockhart had only just become aware her sister-in-law's husband had a biomass boiler installed on his poultry farm.

More: RHI scandal: DUP MLAs Carla Lockhart and William Irwin reveal family members have boilers under the botched green energy scheme

The former Craigavon Mayor said she had been "branded" as having benefited from the scheme following the release of the statement.

In a Facebook posted she stressed how she had done nothing wrong.

She wrote: "So today people find it necessary to brand me as someone who has benefited from the RHI scheme. I find this very sad and somewhat disheartening.

"Can I make it very clear.  I was not an MLA at the time and had no input into the design and application process.

"My mum and dad have poultry houses and did not access the Renewable Heat Incentive. I did not in any way financially benefit from the scheme and am happy for any journalist to look at my bank details and that of my husbands.

"There is no suggestion of wrong doing on the part of these applicants and I just find it so sad that they are demonised and branded guilty by association.

"I will take the attacks and snide remarks and deal with them but leave those alone who have done nothing wrong."

The so-called cash-for-ash scandal is one of the main reasons why Stormont collapsed. Economy Minister Simon Hamilton's amended legislation would reduce tariffs paid to about 1,800 people who got into the scheme before November 2015.

The total RHI spend in Northern Ireland is estimated at over £1billion over the next 20 years.

The Treasury is set to cover £660million of that, with Stormont landed with the remaining £490m.

So today people find it necessary to brand me as someone who has benefited from the RHI scheme. I find this very sad...

Posted by Carla Condell Lockhart on Tuesday, January 24, 2017
 

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