Finance department ‘has received no information about DUP RHI plans'

Finance minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has questioned why the DUP has not contacted his department over RHI plans

THE finance minister has said he is "bemused" by the DUP's decision to release its plan on how to address the cash-for-ash crisis without contacting his department.

Sinn Féin MLA Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said his department had received no information about plans to deal with the £490 million Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme overspend.

In a statement released by his party, rather than the Department of Finance, Mr Ó Muilleoir said his officials will "rigorously test" any DUP plan.

"I am bemused at the trailing in the media of a DUP 'plan' to resolve the RHI debacle when not one scrap of paper detailing this 'plan' has been received by the Department of Finance," he said.

"I am alert to the dangers of allowing the person who was the architect of the RHI scheme — the DUP leader — to come up with a solution to this debacle. That is why I will ensure my officials rigorously test any plan which comes from the DUP.

"I will be guided solely by what is in the interest of the public purse."

Mr Ó Muilleoir said "every plan" on RHI produced by the Department of the Economy, which is headed by DUP minister Simon Hamilton, has been "flawed".

And he called on the DUP to share its plans with the Department of Finance.

"In particular, the Department of the Economy should reflect on the fact that my department has flagged up concerns about the post-November 2015 tariff which they are suggesting will shortly apply to all businesses using the RHI scheme," he said.

RHI: What Arlene Robinson said

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