Explanatory Notes

Overview of the Bill

1. The Bill deals with matters arising from the continued absence of a Northern Ireland Executive and a sitting Assembly following the Assembly election on 2 March 2017. The Bill:

· sets the amounts of the regional domestic and non-domestic rates for the assessment of rates and the billing of ratepayers in Northern Ireland for the financial year ending on 31 March 2020;

· implements of a long-term tariff structure for the Northern Ireland Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) Scheme to replace the current interim arrangements for small and medium biomass installations introduced on 1 April 2018; and

· introduces voluntary "buy-out" arrangements, in each of three consecutive financial years, beginning with 1 April 2019, under which participants can apply to receive a one-off payment in respect of an accredited RHI installation, upon receipt of which they are withdrawn from the Scheme, receiving no further periodic support payments. The voluntary buy-out provision is limited to a three year period after the Act is introduced and the power to establish arrangements in respect of a particular financial year may only be exercised in the current period while there is no Executive.

 

Prepared 28th February 2019