"It may be lawful for Stormont to break its promises, but there's still a price"

Press/Media: Expert Comment


Cited in Belfast Telegraph article considering consequences of cutting back RHI subsidies


The relevant paragraph read as follows:

"A judge has to enforce the law, and if the law says Stormont's broken promise is lawful, it is lawful. But as Ulster University senior economist Esmond Birnie observed, "You tamper with the security of property rights at your peril". He said RHI "has done reputational damage to NI in this regard"."

Period16 Oct 2021

Media contributions


Media contributions


  • RHI
  • Renewable Heat Incentive
  • Renewable energy policy
  • Government subsidies
  • Northern Ireland energy policy
  • Public spending
  • Northern Ireland public spending
  • Northern Ireland Executive policy making
  • Effectiveness of Northern Ireland Executive
  • Devolved government
  • Devolution, Northern Ireland politics, Northern Ireland economy, public spending, Northern Ireland economy, governance, moral hazard
  • Government failure
  • Policy failure