Belfast Telegraph

Revealed - Full list of firms claiming from RHI scheme in Northern Ireland

By Jonny Bell

The Department of Economy has published the list of those businesses which claimed from the botched RHI scheme.

This list includes the names of all limited companies and limited liability partnerships that have received support payments under the scheme above a threshold of £5,000, for the period from the opening of the scheme in 2012 to 28 February 2017.

<<< Read the full list here >>

The application of a threshold and the publication of this list is being carried out in line with the judgement issued in the High Court on 1 March 2017.

The department is progressing on a separate list which will contain the names of the individuals who are in receipt of payments of £5,000 or more under the non-domestic scheme.

"It is the department's intention to publish that list in the next few weeks once it has considered the individual cases in line with the content of the High Court judgement," the department said in a statement.

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The Renewable Heat Association of Northern Ireland battled to prevent the list's disclosure.

In a statement, it said: "The Renewable Heat Association hopes that this will not lead to an assumption by the public or the media that the participants are acting improperly in any way, as the simple publication of names is, in no way, evidence of wrongdoing.

"Participants of the Renewable Heat Incentive entered a scheme legitimately which was designed and promoted by the Government in Northern Ireland.

"The Renewable Heat Incentive scheme was launched in Northern Ireland following the success of the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme in Great Britain, which is still in operation and open to entrants."

The association is also engaged in legal action to maintain the payments from the scheme for the next 20 years, as had been originally envisaged in the original flawed scheme.

A public inquiry, chaired by retired judge Sir Patrick Coghlin has been tasked with investigating the scheme and how it was allowed to get so out of hand.

More: Judge Coglin RHI inquiry to take at least six months - no interim reports

The Renewable Heating Incentive has been described as the “biggest financial scandal in the history of devolved government”.

Unlike a similar scheme in England, there was no cap on the payments meaning many businesses profited from the scheme.

Flaws in the scheme were identified in June 2015, however, caps were not introduced until the following November, during which period there was a spike in applications.

Eventually the scheme was completely closed to new application in February 2016, however, £86,000 a day is paid out to those on the scheme.

Government officials as well as serving and former Executive ministers have faced mounting questions to explain how the scheme was allowed to be implemented in the manner it was.

The scheme ultimately brought about the collapse of the devolved institutions and Sinn Fein has repeatedly said it will not go into government with Arlene Foster as long as the RHI inquiry continues.

Mrs Foster - who was Enterprise Minister when the scheme was set up - has denied wrongdoing and pledge to cut the projected £490m overspend to zero.

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