13/01/2017 BBC Newsline


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RHI inspectors suspend payments to over half of the boiler owners they


have audited. An election now looks inevitable with no sign of a


political breakthrough. Are we about to see an end


to free school transport? And shocking and scandalous and I


cannot believe the education system is bearing the brunt.


a gun attack on a couple in their West Belfast home


I've been to Kilkeel to find out what Brexit will mean for the future


An injury scare for Rory McIlroy but he remains in contention


And black ice could cause problems overnight.


I'll have your weekend forecast shortly.


First tonight, it's been a roller-coaster of week beginning


with the resignation of the Deputy First Minister


which has brought the political institutions here to the brink.


Today, inspectors responsible for regulating the RHI scheme say


they've suspended payments at more than half the boilers


The Department for the Economy is also declining to disclose


information about participants of the scheme despite telling boiler


owners it would be "freely available" to the public.


Our agriculture and environment correspondent Conor Macauley has


From the start, extensive information on each RHI installation


was meant to be available for anyone. It included the location,


the time it was installed and how much heat it could produce.


Crucially, the information would also include the date the business


joined the scheme and how much subsidy had been paid. All of this,


they said, would be available to the general public for free, except it


isn't. We asked the Department for all that information a month ago and


despite repeated requests, it has still not provided it nor has given


a reason for not doing so. Boiler owners were told when they signed up


to the scheme that they consented to the publication of this information.


There's a huge amount of interest out there. Some boiler owners have


said naming would start a witchhunt. If the information was to be


published, it would lead to the identification of those who got into


the scheme giving the spike in November 2015 before the subsidy


changed. It was that spike that effectively burst the budget.


Hundreds of those RHI recipients have now objected in writing to any


plan to publish the names. It may create a plan for the authorities.


Under the data protection act they might have to review any decision to


wallow through on the economy minister's intention to put their


names out there and right back within 21 days to see if they are


going ahead with it. It pushes a list of names for pipe. But new


figures from inspectors may create an unstoppable pressure to proceed.


Ofgem said today out of 63 boilers they had expected they had suspended


payments to 33 of them pending investigations. Reasons given by


boiler owners for non-publication are fears of adverse publicity, loss


of business and crime. Officials will have to decide if that trumps


the public interest. Breaking news on the heating scheme


from Stormont. The business committee has been meeting in the


last hour about the debate on Monday and they have added this draft


statutory rule, drawn up by Simon Hamilton in the economy Department.


It is the plan from VDU PE to try and cut the costs of that heating


scheme -- the DUP. This has been added even though it hasn't been


passed by the Finance minister who has set his officials would go


through it with a fine tooth comb. Instead they are going directly to


the Assembly. Sinn Fein didn't object and apparently it is because


their representatives were not there which may be a sign of them not


taking part any longer in Assembly committee business but it looks like


one way or another it will be debated on Monday by MLAs. We


understand regulations drawn up in line with the fresh start agreement


to mitigate the effects of the bed in tax will also be added to the


order paper on Monday, probably less of a row about that because Sinn


Fein have said they will back that. It makes for an extremely busy day


because we will have the nomination or renomination of the first and


Deputy First Minister. We expect Arlene Foster's to go forward and


Martin McGuinness's not to go forward.


The Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt says a call by his SDLP


counterpart for joint authority if the Stormont institutions


He and Colum Eastwood have pledged to work together as the official


But this week Mr Eastwood said direct rule would be unacceptable


Here's our political correspondent Gareth Gordon.


We have called time on the DUP's bullying and arrogance. We are back


to the issues of equality and the Good Friday Agreement. Steering


direct role in the face? We're going to go to an election. People will


have an opinion on the DUP's behaviour and I'm confident how they


will respond. Gerry Adams has made clear, equality is the Trojan horse


to great unionism and he once compliant unionist to roll over to


Republicans and time and time again, we will not do that. That's what


Sinn Fein is about because they are frustrated that we will not concede


to key Republican demands. So short of an eleventh-hour change


of heart Sinn Fein will refuse to nominate a deputy first minister


on Monday and an election Ulster Unionists gathered


at Stormont Today. They want the election


to be a referendum But what about their relationship


with the SDLP leader Colum Eastwood following his call for joint


authority if the institutions I wasn't aware he was going to say


it but I'm not surprised because after all he is a national spot the


line is, is not going to happen. Sinn Fein activists met in Derry


last night with an uncompromising message for the DUP. There are days


of demand and telling us what to do are over. We are making a stand.


Health is one of the biggest areas which is going to be affected


Gynaecology, which includes a hysterectomy operation, over 5000


people are on a less waiting to be admitted. More than 1100 have been


waiting between six months and a year.


The Health Minister Michelle O'Neill had planned to launch a strategy


to tackle waiting lists this month but without an Executive


A short time ago I asked the minister what she had


Because of the current crisis, confidence in the institutions


because of the RHI scandal, I said we're going to be in a difficult


position to overarching budgets for all other Government departments. I


never once said otherwise. I'm still waiting to publish the plan. As far


as health is concerned, you're good to go with this plan and you believe


you have the money and agreement from the finance minister to back


it? I absolutely can assure the public that I am doing absolutely


everything I can and I will publish an elective care plan but I'm not


waiting to publish the plan to take action. Our health correspondent is


here. Yesterday we were reporting this elective care plan had been


shelved so what has happened in 24 hours? This evening there is a


completely different to an emerging from the Department of Health, a


much more positive tone. Perhaps it has been influenced by the angry


reaction from the public when we reported yesterday that the elective


care plan for hospital waiting lists was going to be shelved. It's one


thing being able to publish a report on a plan, but something completely


different when you don't have the budget or an executive in place to


sign that plan off, that's exactly what the department told us


yesterday and that statement said that the current situation is, there


is no longer an executive in place to agree a budget for an elective


care plan, hence we said that the plan would be shelved. I think this


week what has been happening at Stormont has focused minds within


the health service between those who work in health and social care.


People are asking, if after an election a different health minister


is in place, which is highly likely, that person might be singing off a


completely different hymn sheet than Michelle O'Neill does at the moment


and what they intend to do with the health service could further


slowdown reform of the health institutions here in Northern


Ireland and that is something we can't afford to happen. Thank you.


We wait to see if this plan has published and implemented.


BBC Newsline has learned that charging families for school


transport which is currently free is part of a package of money-saving


measures being considered by the Education Authority.


The authority needs to make substantial cuts to its budget.


Our education correspondent Robbie Meredith has


Around 90,000 pupils - like these at Devenish


College in Enniskillen - get free bus passes to get


If they live more than three miles away from their post-primary school


or two miles from their primary school, the Education Authority


But meeting that bill costs the EA ?72 million a year.


And they've got to find around ?100 million in savings by next year.


The BBC understands that a yearly fee for school transport


of between ?50 and ?200 per pupil is one of the measures


A similar scheme operates in the Republic of Ireland.


There, families pay 100 euro for each primary child and 350 Euro


for each post-primary child, with a maximum yearly


Two thirds of Devenish College's 480 pupils currently


There will be clear evidence that many families are already struggling


so to add an additional burden on to those families, especially at the


charge was implied at the start of September, I think parents would


struggle to pay that additional fee. Meanwhile, at St Patrick's High


in Keady, 400 pupils get free school transport,


including the head I live about seven miles away and I


made use of the bus for the past few years and I know that at my parents


had to pay for me to get the bus to school, it would seriously impact


the family. As living in rural areas, it isn't easy to get in and


out of school -- us, because this is the closest school to us.


Their head isn't blaming the EA for the proposal.


If we can afford ?490 million in the Government, they need to look


somewhere else instead of education. There is a road to travel before


charges are introduced. The EA will have to consult


and even if it goes ahead they'll still pay the bulk of


a pupil's yearly bus fare. But it's another sign of just how


squeezed the education budget is. The police have described


a gun attack on a couple in their West Belfast home


as "brutal and callous." The father and mother were shot


in the legs as they tried The couple were attacked


in the living room of their home on Norglen Parade just


after 6:15 yesterday evening. Three masked and armed men


forced their way into the property It's believed they were shot


while attempting to protect their son who was also in the house


at the time. The couple were taken


to hospital for treatment The police say a criminal gang


were behind the attack but wouldn't be drawn


on whether paramilitaries The ordeal and trauma the couple


went through must have been horrific. This is a brittle and


callous and horrific attack on a defenceless couple in their house at


tea-time on a Thursday evening and I condemn it in the strongest possible


terms -- brutal attack. The people who did this have no moral compass


whatsoever. The family have lived in the area


for more than 15 years and are said to be well known and respected


in the community. I don't know who was involved and I


don't really care, they should not be bringing guns onto the street.


There is no place for guns in our society. Whatever the motivation for


the shooting, there is absolutely no justification and the people


responsible should pack up and go away. the shooting took place on a


busy street with a number of families live. A couple nearby


didn't want to appeared on camera but said they were disgusted at the


attack on their neighbours. The police are continuing to appeal for


information. Snow has caused travel problems


overnight and throughout today. And as Louise Cullen reports some


schools had to close. We were warned it was coming and


whether delivered on its promise. The snow was pretty to look at, but


the card scenes caused problems for some. This morning at seven o'clock,


there was only one lane of traffic, so parents couldn't park. Saint Joe


Sims wasn't the only school to shut for the day. In all, hundreds of


teenagers and children had the day off but they went too bothered. For


some, the snow has brought an unexpected day off. For others, it's


just me the day you get more challenging but for all of us, it's


been a chilly one. -- it's been a bit more challenging.


The Prime Minister is due to deliver a major speech on Tuesday


which will lay out how she sees the UK's future after it


Fishing regions voted heavily in favour of Brexit saying EU rules


Yesterday, I went to Kilkeel the home to many


For the fishing fleet here, what the cat and how much they can catch is


negotiated and agreed by EU states in Brussels. Many in this fishing


town believe that Brexit offers the opportunity to regain control of the


local waters they currently have to share. In a moment, I'll speak to a


fisherman's representative, but first, here is our South East


reporter. The Kilkeel fleet has flown the flight for Brexit. They


believe it as an opportunity to put right a wrong placed on it for


decades ago -- four decades. The subsequent quarters, regulations and


restrictions have been heated in these parts. All those things will


all go, post-Brexit, and we should be back to a position of plenty. but


turning around 40 years of the claim not be a simple matter and Brexit


also brings concerns to an industry hugely dependent on skilled migrant


workers. We lost a generation of skills within the fishing industry,


now a major problem, a looming crisis, is a shortage of crew and if


that's not addressed very soon, a lot of the boys there will be tied


up. Ironically, some of those who were pro-Brexit now feel the fishing


industry needs an exemption when it comes to skilled migrant workers. I


think we do, especially in the short to medium term, until we could


rebuild our own capabilities, to clear our own boats. Ultimately, an


industry like this one sinks or thoughts on the quality of its


product and the prawns being landed here are right up there with the


world's best. We had massive demand worldwide the day before the vote


for Brexit and an extent was the same, a world-class product will


always have demand. Take it will class product, create more and it


will pay better wages and get people into the industry. If it is managed


properly it will be successful worldwide. the hope and expectation


is that post-Brexit, the fishing industry in Kilkeel in particular


have a bright future. Fishing is a small contributor to the UK's


economy as a whole and to be a low priority to the Government in Brexit


negotiations. I asked a local fisherman how he could ensure the


fishing fleet here could not be marginalised. Last time we got lost


in the negotiation and we have to make sure it doesn't happen this


time. We had to put pressure on the politicians are people who count to


make sure our voices are heard and our needs are met. The EU is the


local fishing fleet's biggest customer so you need to maintain


access but that may come at a cost in regard to tariffs. Will that not


put more pressure on the local fleet? 40 years ago I would have


said that would have been an issue. The demand for fish that far exceeds


the supply and the people who eat it needed more than we need to sell it.


We've heard over the years plans to develop this harbour so that bigger


ships including herring ships can come in here but surely if we leave


the EU, that project, with no structural funds, is dead in the


water. You like as far as structural funds go, the UK is a net


contributor to the EU is what we are not putting funds in, we're having


to spend them on what we need to spend them on. As far as plans for


Kilkeel harbour ago, I'm more concerned about local politics than


Brexit and the state of the EU. The view of a local fisherman's


representative, speaking to me yesterday in Kilkeel on what might


happen with Brexit. night and day, the Stormont crisis


is being played out on social media. I want to hold an immediate inquiry.


Arlene Foster posted this video on Facebook after Martin McGuinness


resign. It's clear Sinn Fein's actions are not principled, they are


political. Martin McGuinness has also been posting online this week,


using Twitter to thank all those who said to him, get well soon. Sinn


Fein minister Martin had it were to over the bed and tax with DUP


Minister Paul Gibbon and when he changed his mind on the bursary


scheme, the announcement was made on Twitter. More and more often,


politicians are bypassing news outlets and utilising the power of


social media. It's happening all over the world. This politics


professor says we shouldn't be surprised. The key is that social


media is in their own hands and they can use it closely, so they enjoy


autonomy and would have to be bothered interacting with pesky


journalists. the downside is the online abuse they often get. Arlene


Foster gave her own response on Facebook. Every Stormont crisis


leads to online political satire. There's no shortage of material


online for those who can bear to watch it.


Gavin Andrews is here, and an injury scare for Rory McIlroy.


The world number two hurt his back before


starting his second round at the South Africa


Feeling the effects, he got off to a slow start before


Two late dropped shots saw him finish on nine under par,


three shots off the lead at the halfway stage.


I'm surprised I'm standing here. I've tweaked my back and the first


few shots of today were not very comfortable and still aren't. I


can't really take a deep breath because I'd done something to my


upper back so I'm going to go and get treatment today. Considering


that, I played well and stuck at it and hopefully I can feel better


tomorrow. Make the injury means you're going to withdraw? I don't


want to do that, that's why I kept going today. I'm going to see the


physio now and hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow.


Ulster Rugby face a must-win game at the Exeter Chiefs on Sunday


if they're to keep alive their slim hopes of making the knockout stages


Scrum-half Dave Shanahan will make his first start for the province


while Charles Piutau and Pete Browne also come into the starting line-up.


A lot of steps about how we need to win have been pointed out to us. We


need more opportunities than the opposition. Getting the killer


instinct is important for us. The boys are not far away, we just have


to stay strong and they are working hard every day. They had at home and


we keep on the momentum. We have to be prepared for that.


The Belfast Giants have a crunch game tomorrow night as they travel


to the Elite League leaders, the Cardiff Devils.


The Giants are second in the table and looking to cut the gap


Not invincible, they can be beaten. You've got to played a A-game.


In the Danskebank Premiership, Crusaders are away to Glentoran


tomorrow and will be looking to maintain their seven-point lead


We'll have the best action on Final Score at five o'clock.


Some of us got more snow than others. We begin to lose the cold


air over the weekend but it is still chilly tonight. We've had some nice


photographs. Tonight it is quite chilly, especially the first-half


and The Met Office has issued the weather warning. Black case could be


hazardous and places by the morning. Temperatures will dip to freezing


but as we make our way through the night, milder air is going to come


in and that will lift temperatures by breakfast time, still chilly


nonetheless but not as cold as this morning. The mildly continues to


move in so it will not be quite as cold but there will be scattered


showers. The scattered showers coming from the beginning of the


day, especially for northern and western areas. The will be sunny


gaps in between and those showers are hit and miss. With the


temperatures compared to today, seven or eight Celsius, so well up,


and if you're travelling around the ailing tomorrow, the odd scattered


showers here and there, some sunny gaps with temperatures of seven or


eight Celsius. Tomorrow evening, the northwesterly winds might make you


feel quite chilly towards the north coast with a shower here and there


but a largely dry end to the day. Tomorrow night, more rain coming in


and also milder air. By breakfast time on Sunday, we're looking at


temperatures of eight or nine Celsius, well above average for the


time of year and we're looking at highs of 11 or 12 Celsius by the


middle of the day, but a cloudy day, rain on Sunday for northern and


western areas especially but that is good news, we keep cold early for


Monday and Tuesday and temperatures are staying in the double digits.


Be careful on the roads and have a great


Parents are facing an explosion in the number of children saying


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