Key debate on RHI scandal resumes in bid to reduce £490million overspend

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The Stormont Assembly has resumed a key debate on a botched green energy scandal that has ultimately forced the looming dissolution of the devolved institutions.

At the start of the last week of business before the Assembly is wound-up ahead of March’s snap election, MLAs continued to scrutinise plans to reduce the eco-boiler scheme’s projected £490 million overspend.

Democratic Unionist Economy minister Simon Hamilton is seeking Assembly approval for proposals to clamp down on the costs.

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) furore triggered the collapse of the powersharing institutions when Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness resigned in protest at his Democratic Unionist partners-in-government’s handling of the affair.

Mr McGuinness’s move forced DUP leader Arlene Foster from her role as first minister.

Mrs Foster, who oversaw the development of the RHI when economy minister, had previously refused to stand down pending a preliminary investigation into the ill-fated scheme.