Arlene Foster did not even read the legislation which she brought to the Assembly in her name in order to set up the RHI scheme, she has told the public inquiry into the cash for ash scandal. In her second day of evidence to the inquiry, the DUP leader – who is a trained lawyer – was categorical that she did not read the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme Regulations when she brought them to the Assembly in 2012 and asked MLAs to vote them into law. The former first minister faced intense questioning from inquiry chairman Sir Patrick Coghlin who asked Mrs Foster – who was in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment for seven years – whether her department had been “dysfunctional”. Mrs Foster, who the previous day had told the inquiry that there were no mistakes for which she felt person al responsibility, did not explicitly deny that the department had been dysfunctional but said that her understanding at the time was very different to what she now knows. The revelation that she had not read the legislation emerged during exchanges about one of several deficiencies in the regulations whereby they did not adequately define ‘useful heat’ which would be eligible for subsidies, making it more difficult to crack down on potentially fraudulent claims.
The i news 13th April 2018 read more »