|Green Party Northern Ireland manifesto for 2016 election|
I always knew Green policies were bad because of, among other things the underlying economics, but I never thought I'd see the day when they would bring down a government assembly like it has in Northern Ireland. I blogged about the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme (known as Cash for Ash) before here. For every £1.00 spent on wood pellets, a participant in the scheme got paid £1.60. It didn't dawn on the people in charge that this was an invitation to burn as much wood as possible, effectively leading to the government burning it's own money. And lots of it.
The cost of this outrageous scheme is estimated to be over £1 billion over the next 20 years. A huge sum for Northern Ireland which relies on a £10 billion block grant from England every year and runs a fiscal deficit of about £ 9 billion. Now there are claims that whisteblowers were ignored and pressure exerted by officials to keep the scheme going.
You didn't need to be a trained economist to know the scheme couldn't work. Although the Green Party only has 2 seats in the assembly, there is a strong green ethos in the ruling party, the DUP. Their leader, Arlene Foster, took much of the blame and responsibility for the design of the scheme.
I could find no mention of renewables or green energy in the Sinn Fein (the second largest party) manifesto for 2016. It appears it was taken off the agenda in favor of their "Green Paper on Irish Unity". Their leader, Martin McGuinness who was the Deputy First Minister, resigned last week over the matter forcing another election.
Hopefully there is a lesson in all this - green policies and green economics are mostly for the scrapheap. The only people they benefit are the very rich in society.