Arlene Foster denies signing blank cheque for botched green energy scheme

Arlene Foster denies signing blank cheque for botched green energy scheme

Arlene Foster has said she did not sign a blank cheque for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme.

Northern Ireland's former enterprise minister said officials should have given her more information.

Mrs Foster gave evidence to a public inquiry established to investigate flaws in the botched Stormont green energy initiative, which ultimately led to the collapse of the powersharing Government.

She said: "I read the information given to me, I took the information at face value."

With hindsight she believed she should have received more information, adding: "I don't believe it was a blank cheque at that time."

The DUP leader said she did not read some technical information associated with the scheme but it was up to others to flag up issues raised by that in their submissions to her.

She said she did not know why that was not done.

A panel chaired by Sir Patrick Coghlin is investigating the RHI scheme.

Panel member Keith MacLean has previously suggested it was given a blank cheque.

Today, Mrs Foster said she was not aware of the final bill when the scheme was in its formative stages.

She was enterprise minister when it began in 2012.

A series of fatal design flaws exposed Stormont to a huge overspend, paying out more than it cost to buy wood fuel.

This created an incentive to "burn to earn".

- Press Association

More on this topic

Talks to avert industrial action by Northern Ireland health workers break downTalks to avert industrial action by Northern Ireland health workers break down

Three arrested in Athlone over threats to kill on social mediaThree arrested in Athlone over threats to kill on social media

Belfast Court of Appeal to hear police challenge over three rulings on legacy casesBelfast Court of Appeal to hear police challenge over three rulings on legacy cases

Man charged over Co Down ATM raidMan charged over Co Down ATM raid


More in this Section

Talks to avert industrial action by Northern Ireland health workers break downTalks to avert industrial action by Northern Ireland health workers break down

UN fears for safety of Lisa Smith’s daughterUN fears for safety of Lisa Smith’s daughter

RTÉ journalists want top fees and salaries to be 'slashed'RTÉ journalists want top fees and salaries to be 'slashed'

Gardaí appeal for witnesses in relation to death of 'beloved son, loving brother and dearly loved uncle'Gardaí appeal for witnesses in relation to death of 'beloved son, loving brother and dearly loved uncle'


Lifestyle

OUR fascination with interiors inspiration (in print, online and of course in the likes of social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram) is not going anywhere any time soon.Clutter is a symptom of the housing crisis

All your gardening news.Gardening Notes: Your guide to what's on

Get ready for Stir-Up Sunday with this classic recipe.How to make Bake Off finalist Steph’s Great Grandma’s Christmas fruitcake

I’ve written about Puglia, Sicily, and even Calabria frequently but much less about Basilicata and Campania, both small wine regions but not to be dismissed.Wine with Leslie Williams: The white grapes of Southern Italy

More From The Irish Examiner