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Foster must explain heat scheme fiasco

The fiasco that was the renewable heat incentive scheme continues, with the DETI permanent secretary having to apologise for the lack of oversight that led to a massive overspend.

However, the buck must stop with First Minister Arlene Foster. It was she, as Minister for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, who announced the scheme in 2012.

We were told then that it was a £25m investment from Westminster. In essence, all the DETI minister had to do was administer a scheme that had been established and was being funded by the Westminster Government. Despite that, we ended up with a £30m overspend.

It is clear that the DUP does not support renewable energy, but we must not waste the potential that the renewable energy industry offers to the Northern Ireland economy in terms of job-creation and reduction in energy costs. I would ask the First Minister to now explain why such a shambles was allowed to happen under her watch.


MLA for North Down

Belfast Telegraph