Cllr Lawther stated: “When the Secretary of State grandly announced this
£59 million package we expressed caution that there was no time to waste, and that the money must be allocated to maximum effect. It appears, after more than half a year, that the money has not been allocated at all. In the meantime, companies investing in environmental research – an area in which we could become a world leader – are threatened with bankruptcy.
“Global warming is happening now! We do not have time to wait for departmental officials to play around! What was the point of announcing the package, when it was not going to be made available? I wrote to the Secretary of State on the subject in March, and still await a reply. It appears the Government has engaged in another game of pulling the wool over people’s eyes. Ministers talk grandly of investing in environmental protection, but are unprepared to oversee that the appropriate actions are implemented to do so.
“Alliance proposals to make positive moves on environmental protection and make Northern Ireland a world leader in this area are already on record:
removal of planning permission requirement for solar panels, exemption from VAT and building control fees for installation of environmentally friendly energy sources, and significant rates relief for domestic properties using renewables. We have also had an assurance that government buildings will use appropriate alternative energy sources. This is simply not happening.
“It is time the Government invested in action, not words – our future depends on it.”