Jim Allister: Legitimate RHI claimants will feel done over by huge cuts

TUV leader Jim Allister
TUV leader Jim Allister

A drastic cut in payments to RHI boiler owners “will bear heavily and unfairly” on those claimants who were taking part in the scheme legitimately, Jim Allister has warned.

Claimants in the botched renewable energy initiative will see their payments massively and permanently slashed under proposals published by civil servants in the Department for the Economy on Tuesday.

TUV leader Mr Allister expressed his concerns for those claimants who in “good faith” invested heavily in the scheme, many of whom reside in his North Antrim constituency.

“They have been left high and dry by an announcement that has overdone what was necessary,” he said.

The Assemblyman said the move by the department had “only compounded its bungling”, adding: “We were told the temporary reductions last year and the year before balanced the RHI budget with no further drawings required on the block grant.

“If that is right and the Treasury was therefore funding the cost, why has an approach been taken which will see Northern Ireland boiler owners paid substantially less than their GB counterparts?

“How is this fair, particularly with the history of governmental promotion of the scheme?

“Many poultry farmers in North Antrim and elsewhere will rightly feel done over by a department whose crass mishandling produced the situation in the first place.”