Poultry farmers in Northern Ireland who benefitted from the botched Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (RHI) have been named by the Department of Economy.
This list includes the names of all limited companies and limited liability partnerships that have received support payments under the scheme above a threshold of £5,000, for the period from the opening of the scheme in 2012 to 28 February 2017.
The total money paid out to the named RHI companies over the specified period was £27,621,865.02
RHI is forecast to cost the Stormont executive up to £490m over the next 20 years due to a failure to cap payments. An inquiry into the scheme is under way.
Poultry firms make up some of the biggest claimants, and several – Paul Hobson, McIllroy Farms Limited, Ballindarragh Poultry Farms, and Hegan Farms – are among the scheme’s top ten beneficiaries, with some receiving over half a million pounds so far.
The Renewable Heat Association of Northern Ireland said in a statement, it hoped the publication would “not lead to an assumption by the public or the media that the participants are acting improperly in any way, as the simple publication of names is, in no way, evidence of wrongdoing.
“Participants of the Renewable Heat Incentive entered a scheme legitimately which was designed and promoted by the Government in Northern Ireland.
The Renewable Heating Incentive has been described as the “biggest financial scandal in the history of devolved government”.
Unlike a similar scheme in England, there was no cap on the payments meaning many businesses profited from the scheme.