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Agnew condemns blocking of release of RHI ministerial briefing

Green Party leader Steven Agnew has today, Monday 20 February 2017, described the blocking of the publication of ministerial advice surrounding the disastrous Renewable Heat Incentive scheme as “simply ridiculous”.

One of the arguments against release the advice, which came to light following an Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) request, is that doing so could “lower the quality of internal deliberation and decision making in the future which could lead to poor decision making on such issues”.

Green Party leader Steven Agnew said

“In 2013 sought an assessment from Arlene Foster, the then Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment as to whether or not subsidies for biomass disincentivised energy efficiency.

“She denied that the RHI could have perverse incentives and so I have sought what information she had been given to reach this conclusion.

“The public need to know if this was an honest oversight or something more sinister.

“By blocking the publication of this advice, we are not able to resolve that question.  This helps neither the public nor Arlene Foster herself.  We need to know if the Minister was giving all the information she had access to when she answered my question.

“The fact that one of the reasons given for not releasing the information is that it may “lower the quality of internal deliberation and decision making in the future which could lead to poor decision making on such issues” is simply ridiculous given the quality of decision-making that has led to this situation.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

The initial Assembly Question asked by Steven Agnew in 2013 can be found here: http://aims.niassembly.gov.uk/questions/printquestionsummary.aspx?docid=177014

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