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Messages - give her dixie

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1
General discussion / Re: Arlene and The Renewable Heat Incentive
« on: January 18, 2017, 03:33:26 PM »

2
General discussion / Re: Arlene and The Renewable Heat Incentive
« on: January 18, 2017, 09:05:40 AM »
RHI boilers running in Fermanagh shed with the door open


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THIS is a rare glimpse inside one of the heavily subsidised businesses at the centre of the botched Renewable Heat Incentive scheme.

The scene showing a row of biomass boilers in a shed in Co Fermanagh is thought to be replicated across the north under the flawed scheme which could cost the public £490 million over the next 20 years.

The picture emerged as a DUP special adviser last night confirmed that his father-in-law runs two green energy boilers under the RHI scheme.

John Robinson, who has denied claims by former minister Jonathan Bell over the introduction of cost controls, said the poultry farmer signed up to the subsidies before he married his daughter and he has never advised anyone to join it or sought to benefit in any way from it.

The businessman behind the Co Fermanagh woodchip-drying operation is saving £3,000 a month on a previous oil-fired system but insists he is not abusing the subsidy.

A visit by The Irish News to the industrial yard last week revealed the shed with an open door and at least four working biomass boilers inside.

When contacted, the owner said the boilers heat the shed and dry woodchips for an “industrial process”.

He said they were installed in 2015 and confirmed that the business is in receipt of RHI but would not reveal how much is being paid.

“We have an industrial process. We produce the pellets ourselves to sell so some of the heat we use here is used in the production of that product. The primary heat use is for an industrial process,” he said.

“Would we consider what we’re doing abuse of the scheme? I would say not. It’s a money-saving exercise for us – our oil bill before we put these in would have been almost £3,000 a month so we eliminated that entirely.

“The boilers are a significant investment and if we weren’t in receipt of the subsidy it would be more cost-efficient to be running on oil. I wouldn’t say we’re abusing it, definitely not.

“The people that would be in question are the people who are heating sheds that they weren’t heating before and have no real use for them.

“There are people sitting with warehouses and no sides on them – that would be ineligible use.”

Failures to cap the generous RHI subsidies mean that businesses can effectively earn money by burning fuel.

The geographical spread of claimants was revealed yesterday, with the greatest concentration in mid-Ulster and north Antrim.

Last night Sinn Féin repeated calls for the names of all those receiving money to be published, saying it is necessary to establish whether there are any political conflicts of interest

http://www.irishnews.com/paywall/tsb/irishnews/irishnews/irishnews//news/2017/01/18/news/glimpse-inside-renewable-heat-incentive-business-890572/content.html

3
General discussion / Re: Arlene and The Renewable Heat Incentive
« on: January 17, 2017, 11:11:00 PM »
So possible fraud has been discovered and the police have not been involved yet. Of course the the RUC will carry out a fair and impartial investigation. 😢😢😢


http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/rhi-scandal-psni-considering-request-for-investigation-after-receiving-letter-from-ulster-unionist-mla-steve-aiken-35376322.html

4
General discussion / Re: Arlene and The Renewable Heat Incentive
« on: January 17, 2017, 08:55:22 PM »
DUP adviser says father-in-law runs two boilers under RHI energy scheme

A DUP adviser accused by a party rebel of blocking cost controls on the RHI has said his father-in-law runs two green energy boilers under the scheme.

John Robinson, special adviser to current DUP Economy minister Simon Hamilton, insisted the poultry farmer signed up to the scheme before he married his daughter and stressed he had never advised anyone to join the botched state-subsidy initiative.

Mr Robinson, a former director of communications with the DUP, told the Press Association neither he or his wife had any direct involvement with the business or RHI.

He said his father-in-law joined the scheme before he started to work directly with Mr Hamilton.

On Monday, suspended DUP MLA Jonathan Bell used Assembly privilege to claim he was thwarted in his efforts to clamp down on the multi-million pound RHI overspend because two DUP special advisers "have such extensive interests in the poultry industry".

Mr Bell, himself a former DUP economy minister, named Mr Robinson and fellow DUP special adviser Timothy Johnston.

In response, the DUP branded Mr Bell's allegations as "outrageous, untrue and unfounded mud-slinging".

A party statement on Monday said: "Timothy Johnston has no interests whatsoever in the poultry industry and does not benefit or have any family members who applied to or benefit from RHI.

"John Robinson has no personal interest in the poultry industry. His family home farm have chicken houses but are not part of the RHI scheme and never have been recipients or applicants."

In response to specific queries from the Press Association on Tuesday, Mr Robinson said his father-in-law was part of the RHI scheme.

"I have never had any personal financial interest in the RHI scheme," he said.

"At no point have I ever advised anyone to join the scheme or sought to benefit in any way from it.

"I have two brothers who are poultry farmers. They are not part of the scheme nor did they apply to the scheme.

"My father-in-law purchased two 36KW boilers for his poultry business in May 2015, they were installed in July 2015 and he applied to the scheme on August 3 2015.

"This was before I was married in October 2015. At no time did we discuss any aspect of the scheme nor was I aware of his application to the scheme.

"Neither my wife nor I have ever had any role in the business nor have we received any benefit, financial or otherwise, from the business.

"I was appointed as an adviser in the Department for the Economy in June 2016. I was not involved in any aspect of the RHI scheme prior to taking up the post."

Mr Bell and senior DUP figures, including leader Arlene Foster, are at odds about the chain of events that led to cost controls being introduced into the widely over-budget scheme and its ultimate closure.

He was suspended from the party after making serious allegations against Mrs Foster and a number of party advisers in a TV interview before Christmas. His accusations were denied by all those he named.

The Strangford MLA's subsequent claims in an Assembly debate on Monday came at a time when Mr Hamilton is facing growing pressure to publish the names of all the beneficiaries of the RHI scheme.

http://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2017/01/17/news/dup-adviser-says-father-in-law-runs-two-boilers-under-rhi-energy-scheme-890593/?param=ds441rif44T

5
General discussion / Re: Arlene and The Renewable Heat Incentive
« on: January 17, 2017, 02:53:06 PM »
Dixie

Would there be a lot of poultry farmers in Tyrone and Fernanagh ???

Tyrone is has almost as many hen houses as it has wind turbines.  Possibly the highest density of both in the country.

It is incredible the amount of wind farms that have sprung up across the county.

I drove across from Garvaghey to Carrickmore and into Pomeroy last week and there must have been 100 of them built or in construction. There has to be some kind of lucrative scheme going on there, as well as fast tracking planning permission.

It is ridiculous the amount of them that is going up in that area. They really are a blight on the countryside and people are just letting it happen.

I couldn't believe the amount of them in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

How are they getting planning permission, and who is giving it?

I wonder how much the land owner is getting for each one going up?

6
General discussion / Re: Arlene and The Renewable Heat Incentive
« on: January 17, 2017, 02:19:42 PM »
RHI scandal: Locations of RHI boilers revealed to BBC

Most companies on the lucrative RHI scheme are based in mid-Ulster and north Antrim, according to information passed to the BBC.

A regional breakdown of installations published by the Stephen Nolan Show on Radio Ulster shows the biggest cluster is around Dungannon, County Tyrone.

There are 342 boilers there - about one-in-six of the total.

The statistics show the total of 2,128 recipients are split roughly between commercial and farming interests.

Around Ballymena and Ballymoney there are 276 boilers.

Poultry farmers are heavily represented, accounting for 871 of the installations.

The two main clusters are close to Moy Park's processing plants in Northern Ireland, in Ballymena and Dungannon.

Poultry farmers use the boilers to heat chicken houses where the birds are reared.

Many switched from LPG gas to biomass in recent years.

Other areas where there are significant numbers of boilers by postcode include Armagh which has 112 and Omagh which has 82.

Last week, Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said a Moy Park briefing with his officials had raised "issues" about the operation of the RHI scheme.

Moy Park later issued a statement but made no reference to those issues.

On Monday, the former DETI minister Jonathan Bell claimed under assembly privilege that he had been told DUP special advisers Timothy Johnston and John Robinson had extensive interests in the poultry industry, and that he would not be allowed to reduce the RHI tariff as a result.

The DUP later issued a statement of categorical denial on behalf of both men.

John Robinson said he had "no personal interest" in the poultry industry. He said two of his brothers were poultry farmers but were not in the RHI.

Timothy Johnston said he had "no family connections to the poultry industry". He said he had two brothers in law in the poultry industry but neither had any connection with the RHI.

On Tuesday, Mr Bell said he was prepared to repeat allegations he made about the role played by special advisers in the RHI scheme, to a judge-led inquiry.

Consumption of heat

He was speaking during an an opposition debate in the Assembly calling for a public inquiry into the controversial scheme.

He also made further allegations about the RHI scheme - suggesting at least one DUP special adviser might have up to eight boilers. The party said it was an "outrageous claim".

MLAs later voted for a public inquiry to be called into the controversy in a debate where Sinn Féin were absent.

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme was an attempt by the Northern Ireland Executive to help to increase consumption of heat from renewable sources.

But flaws in setting the scheme's subsidy rate left it open to abuse as claimants could earn more cash the more fuel they burned, with the overspend estimated to be about £490m.

It has been centre stage in politics in Northern Ireland over the past month, with the resignation of Martin McGuinness as deputy first minister bringing the issue to a head.

Sinn Féin's refusal to re-nominate a deputy first minister on Monday left Secretary of State James Brokenshire with no option but to call fresh Assembly elections on 2 March.

Former first minister Arlene Foster set up the scheme in 2012 when she was enterprise minister.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-38651736?ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbc_news_ni&ns_source=twitter&ns_linkname=northern_ireland

7
General discussion / Re: Arlene and The Renewable Heat Incentive
« on: January 17, 2017, 02:16:01 PM »
Fact of the matter is, everyone let it go. It wasn't just freely available, it was widely known, here is it in the paper in July 2016, months before the row.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/farmer-gets-1m-of-public-cash-to-heat-empty-shed-catastrophic-blunder-threatening-to-drain-hundreds-of-millions-from-northern-irelands-block-grant-34856610.html

It wasn't until a tv programme told us we should be outraged, that we were outraged. Take from that what you will.

I knew nothing about the scheme until I saw the Spotlight programme. Then following a couple of Nolan shows, I did some
investigating on line. Within a couple of hours it was clear to me that Moy Park were the big winners in this.

The DUP knew there were flaws for a while, and Sinn Fein knew for a year.

Is it any wonder both parties refused to ask for a public inquiry?

And with the DUP now looking a public inquiry, it leaves Sinn Fein as the only party not looking for one.

What have they got to hide?

8
General discussion / Re: Arlene and The Renewable Heat Incentive
« on: January 17, 2017, 02:11:52 PM »
Dixie

Would there be a lot of poultry farmers in Tyrone and Fernanagh ???

Tyrone is has almost as many hen houses as it has wind turbines.  Possibly the highest density of both in the country.

It is incredible the amount of wind farms that have sprung up across the county.

I drove across from Garvaghey to Carrickmore and into Pomeroy last week and there must have been 100 of them built or in construction. There has to be some kind of lucrative scheme going on there, as well as fast tracking planning permission.

9
General discussion / Re: Arlene and The Renewable Heat Incentive
« on: January 17, 2017, 02:09:25 PM »
Dixie

Would there be a lot of poultry farmers in Tyrone and Fernanagh ???

South Tyrone, East Fermanagh, and north Armagh would be the areas with the highest concentration of poultry houses.

In addition to that, north An trim has been an area of rapid growth in poultry houses following the Moy Park
take over of O'Kanes in 2010.

From the figures released today, we now know that they have the highest uptake of the RHI scheme.

10
General discussion / Re: Arlene and The Renewable Heat Incentive
« on: January 16, 2017, 08:38:22 PM »
RHI scandal: Jonathan Bell claims DUP 'industry interests' advice stopped scrutiny

MLA Jonathan Bell has claimed he was told he would not be able to challenge the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme because two DUP special advisers "have extensive interests in the poultry industry".

Mr Bell made the allegation while speaking under parliamentary privilege.

The advisers named by Mr Bell, Timothy Johnston and John Robinson, have denied the claims.

The DUP said the claims were "outrageous".

MLAs have been debating the RHI scheme at Stormont.

A motion to delay the debate by a week, in the wake of the Secretary of State James Brokenshire's announcement of an election, was interrupted when Mr Bell made dramatic claims about the DUP.

Mr Bell said when he was enterprise minister his special advisor, Timothy Cairns, told him "he will not be allowed to reduce the tariff on (the RHI) scheme" because of Mr Johnston and Mr Robinson's "extensive interests in the poultry industry".

He added that he has "kept the records in many, many formats" and that he had been suspended from the party for "telling the truth".

He also claimed that Mr Robinson and Dr Andrew Crawford, a DUP party adviser, had issued instructions to "try not to get Arlene called to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)" and "under no circumstance allow Jonathan Bell to be called" over their roles in the RHI scheme.

The DUP said the claims were "outrageous, untrue and unfounded" and "nothing short of mud-slinging".

They said that neither Mr Johnston nor Mr Robinson have interests in the poultry industry, and added that Mr Robinson's "family home farm have chicken houses but are not part of the RHI scheme and never have been recipients or applicants".

'No personal interest'

Mr Johnston, the special adviser to Arlene Foster when she was first minister, said: "I have no family connections to the poultry industry and I have no connection to the RHI scheme.

"These are unsubstantiated allegations. I have two brothers-in-law in the poultry industry. They have no connection to RHI."

Mr Robinson, special adviser to Economy Minister Simon Hamilton, said: "I have no personal interest in the poultry industry. Two of my brothers are poultry farmers but they have no connections to RHI."

Dr Crawford, a former special adviser to the Department of Finance, told the BBC last month that his brother is the director of a company which successfully applied to the RHI scheme.

He said: "I never sought to keep the RHI scheme open at the original higher tariff against the wishes of the minister."

Overspend

Mr Bell broke ranks with his party and made serious allegations against the DUP over the scheme's operation in a BBC interview in December.

He claimed that DUP advisers had attempted to remove Mrs Foster's name from documents linked to RHI.

Mr Bell was later suspended from the DUP.

The RHI scheme was set up by former first minister Arlene Foster in 2012 when she was enterprise minister.

Its aim was to increase consumption of heat from renewable sources.

However, businesses received more in subsidies than they paid for fuel, and the scheme became heavily oversubscribed.

It could lead to an overspend of £490m over the next 20 years.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-38639616?utm_source=dlvr.it&#38

11
General discussion / Re: Arlene and The Renewable Heat Incentive
« on: January 16, 2017, 08:35:15 PM »
How was this let go by both SF & SDLP, was anyone doing their job up on the hill.

They were asleep at the wheel by not looking further into the scheme they agreed on.

Page 17 details the discussion in Stormont and who approved the scheme in 2012 

http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/globalassets/documents/official-reports/plenary/2012-13/aims-hansard-20121022213141531.pdf

Plus, the DUP were aware in mid 2015 of the over spend, and in January 2016, Sinn Fein were aware of the over spend.

For nearly one full year they did nothing about it until the Spotlight programme and subsequent media investigations.

To date, they still haven't done anything about it.....

12
General discussion / Re: Stormont Assembly Elections 2017
« on: January 16, 2017, 02:16:12 PM »
Interesting one reported by Sam McBride on Twitter that Catherine Seeley (SF) has announced she won't be standing in this election.  She was only elected in May 2016 following a close call/brilliant vote management in Upper Bann as SF took two seats and ousted Dolores Kelly.

Caitríona Ruane has also said she wont be standing in the upcoming election

13
General discussion / Re: Martin Mc Guinness
« on: January 16, 2017, 12:50:32 PM »
Michelle O'Neill doing the talking for SF today in the Assembly.

If I was a betting man, I would put money on her to take over from McGuinness.

The only thing that would stop her is if her name was involved in this RHI debatable.

14
General discussion / Re: Arlene and The Renewable Heat Incentive
« on: January 14, 2017, 02:59:04 PM »
Why was nothing done a year ago when Sinn Fein became aware of RHI?

They were trying to brush it under the carpet along with the DUP.

Only for Nolan picking up on the excellent Spotlight programme I doubt that we would have heard much about it.

Last October Sandra Overend the UUP MLA asked MOM about the overspend on RHI.

This is a short clip of her question and his answer.

https://twitter.com/over2sandra/status/819964664280993794

15
General discussion / Re: Arlene and The Renewable Heat Incentive
« on: January 14, 2017, 01:49:16 PM »
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-38622869

I wonder if there's any legs in this?

Another example of Givan overspending and he carries the responsibility for this and the biased distribution of the funds for so called community halls but where are the controls by the Dept of Finance and its minister to prevent such overspending?  Can any minister just spend what they want the money is made available.  Givan has been shown to have overspent by £1.4m on these orange halls and £98K on marching bands with no controls in place.

They seem to make it up as they go along.

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