Northern Ireland news

RHI report publication date revealed

RHI inquiry chairman Sir Patrick Coghlin

The public inquiry report on the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scandal will be published on Friday, March 13.

Inquiry chairman Sir Patrick Coghlin will make a statement at Stormont as his findings are published.

Details on the long-awaited release of the report were announced by the RHI inquiry team this afternoon.

Launched by DUP leader Arlene Foster in 2012 when she was enterprise minister, the non-domestic Renewable Heat Incentive was intended to encourage businesses to switch from burning fossil fuels to more sustainable alternatives.

But the subsidies were worth more than the cost of wood pellets, encouraging firms to 'burn to earn'.

Delays in introducing cost controls brought a spike in applications and pushed the multi-million-pound scheme hugely over budget.

Read More: RHI report will 'strongly criticise some people', inquiry chair warns

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness triggered Stormont's collapse by resigning as deputy first minister in January 2017, citing the DUP's handling of the growing controversy.

When the inquiry was later launched by then finance minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, the Sinn Féin MLA said he hoped a report would be delivered within six months.

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