Decisions over future of non-domestic RHI scheme unable to be taken due to DUP Executive collapse, says Dickson

Decisions over the future of the non-domestic RHI scheme cannot be taken thanks to the DUP’s collapsing of the Executive, Alliance’s Stewart Dickson MLA has said.

Mr Dickson was speaking after receiving confirmation from the Economy Minister decision-making has stalled in relation to the scheme. The Alliance MLA had enquired when Gordon Lyons intended to bring proposals on the future of the non-domestic RHI scheme to the Executive for agreement.

The Minister has now replied stating while he brought proposals to the Executive for consideration, no decision has been taken. A move Mr Dickson said wouldn’t change while no First Minister was in post.

“The Economy Minister, alongside his fellow Ministers, should be taking a range of important decisions that directly affect the lives and livelihoods of the people of Northern Ireland,” said the East Antrim MLA.

“In the short-term, he should be recommending an increase in tariffs. In the longer-term, he should be working to close down the scheme. But this isn’t happening. Instead, boiler owners, who are being denied an income, have become collateral damage in the DUP’s political drama.

“The Minister’s party decided to resign from the office of First Minister, and the consequence of that choice, is decisions requiring Executive approval cannot now be made.

“I urge the DUP to stop boycotting their responsibilities, return to the office of First Minister, and enable Executive decisions to be taken once again.”