South Antrim Ulster Unionist Assembly candidate Steve Aiken has expressed his shock at the latest RHI figures revealed in The Irish News about boilers running 24 hours per day, seven days a week, in light of reports that the Department of the Economy has had weekly updates from Ofgem.
Steve Aiken OBE said:
“This latest revelation in the RHI scandal has again shown how open to abuse the original RHI scheme set up by the DUP Department was. The question now is, how long has Simon Hamilton and previous Ministers been receiving weekly updates from Ofgem and what have they done in light of those figures?
“The Executive has been in full possession of the RHI facts for some time and seem to have done relatively little to prevent potential abuse of the scheme. The fact that only 23 boilers were inspected up to the start of 2016 indicates a disturbing level of inertia in the Department.
“RHI payouts have already cost the public approximately £68 million so far with this expected to rise to over £1.1 billion, unless a permanent, legally sound mitigation plan is implemented by the Department for the Economy.
“The Ulster Unionist Party has previously called for a fast track audit of RHI boilers owned by relatives of politicians. This is an essential first step to try to restore some sort of credibility to the political system. These figures indicate a serious need for a fast track audit to be implemented and published before the 2 March election.”