Inspections 'on all usages of heating scheme' - Foster

First Minister Arlene Foster spoke to UTV on Monday. Credit: UTV

The First Minister has told UTV inspections will be carried out on all renewable heating initiative installations, in order to bring back public confidence.

Arlene Foster also said she would like to see the names published of everyone who used the now-controversial RHI scheme.

"I think it was right to have a policy of renewable heat but of course I regret the way in which it has been implemented," she said.

It comes after a BBC Spotlight programme claimed whistle-blower concerns over the RHI scheme were not acted on immediately – resulting in a potential overspend of up to £400m over the next 20 years.

The whistle-blower raised the concerns back in 2014 with the Department of Enterprise, when Mrs Foster was the minister.

Speaking on Monday, the First Minister said: “I think it is important that we do things to bring public confidence back.

“I think that’s absolutely right and what we’re going to do is bring forward 100% inspections of all the RHI installations.

“Everybody is going to be inspected, I think that will give public confidence.

“I would also like to see all of the names published of those who are in receipt of RHI incentives - and I say that because, unfortunately at the moment, names are being published out of the list and exposing people as if they have done something wrong when actually all they have done is apply for a legitimate government scheme.”

  • WATCH: UTV Political Editor Ken Reid on the latest developments