It is the financial scandal which toppled Northern Ireland’s First Minister and then its entire devolved government – but many British taxpayers don’t yet realise that they are paying for it. The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), a supposedly green energy scheme which perversely incentivised claimants to run their boilers around the clock in order to collect a subsidy higher than the cost of fuel, could cost the public purse £1.2 billion. But most reporting of the ‘cash for ash’ debacle has described it as a Â£490 million scandal, because that is the portion which will come directly from the budget of the devolved Stormont’s Executive. In Northern Ireland there has been little interest in the other £700 million which is being paid directly by Westminster. Now the Treasury is facing questions about its role in safeguarding taxpayers’ interests, particularly amid the current democratic vacuum in Belfast, where the civil service is now in charge without democratic control.
The I newspaper 17th May 2017 read more »