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No decision yet by economy minister on naming claimants under the RHI scheme

The names of the majority of non-domestic RHI claimants has still not been revealed by the Economy Minister Simon Hamilton

ECONOMY minister Simon Hamilton has yet to make a decision on whether he will publish the names of claimants under the RHI scheme, a week after the initial interim injunction which banned the identification of a minority of recipients.

The minister also failed to outline whether his department plans to challenge the injunction through the courts.

Prior to the court order, Mr Hamilton stated his intention to publish the names of all RHI claimants.

On Friday, Mr Justice Deeny upheld an interim injunction, initially put in place last Tuesday, to ban the publication of the details of more than 500 members of the Renewable Heat Association (RHA) who were claimants.

However, the vast majority of RHI claimants - around 1,500 - are free to be named.

Throughout last week the Department for the Economy repeatedly declined to comment on whether the minister would publish the names and stated that he was considering his options.

A spokeswoman for the Department for the Economy said yesterday: "On Tuesday January 24, an interim injunction prevented the publication of a large number of names, and the further hearing on Friday morning confirmed that this remains in force.

"The minister continues to consider the court judgment and will reflect on options to ensure maximum transparency on the details of non-domestic RHI recipients consistent with the ruling."

Also at the hearing on Friday, hundreds of boiler owners were granted leave by the High Court to seek a judicial review of Mr Hamilton's decision to reveal a list of claimants.

A further hearing is expected to be held this week.

The RHI scheme is estimated to be £490 million over budget and has led to the collapse of the Assembly and the second election in less than a year.

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