SDLP West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan has slammed a decision by the Minister Jonathan Bell to axe the Renewable Heat Incentive. The loss of the scheme which funds renewable heating projects to produce renewable energy is predicted to cost 2,000 jobs with a business owner in Omagh expressing concern for his 70 staff.
Mr McCrossan said: “Minister Bell’s sudden announcement makes devastating reading for the many businesses who have invested hundreds of thousands of pounds into equipment on the basis of the scheme.
“One company based in Omagh have £650,000 worth of orders taken on this scheme and have £400,000 worth of boilers already paid for and non-refundable. They are expecting this move to cost them around £1million and are seriously concerned about the future of their 70 staff. They said that if the Minister had given warning or employed a staggered reduction then the damage would not be as severe.
“DETI has specialised in low-skill job creation and massive job losses particularly in manufacturing. Throughout the North this move has been forecast to cost 2,000 jobs in an industry that employs graduates and skilled workers. Minister Bell seems intent on creating a call-centre economy.
“The Minister intends to bring his plan to the Assembly on Monday. The SDLP will strong in our opposition to a decision that will only put people on the dole queue and businesses into administration.”