Rishi Sunak's boiler ban U-turn ‘big win’ for rural Northern Ireland says Sammy Wilson

Sammy Wilson (Photo: UK Parliament/Andy Bailey)
Sammy Wilson (Photo: UK Parliament/Andy Bailey)

The DUP MP was speaking after Mr Sunak announced on Wednesday that a raft of green government policies were being scrapped.

One big change is that a ban on installing new oil and liquid petroleum gas boilers and new coal heating in homes which are off the gas grid will be delayed from 2026 to 2035.

This is of particular significance for Northern Ireland says Mr Wilson, given how many people need boilers which are not connected to a gas main.

When it comes to Mr Sunak's general roll-back on his green plans, Mr Wilson said: "All I can say is: What kept him? Why did it take him so long?

"It was evident from Day One that this 'net zero' nonsense was going to cost people a fortune, destroy jobs, make us more dependent on countries with less rigorous environmental standards than we have, and would have absolutely no impact on the world's climate."

On delaying the boiler ban, Mr Wilson said: "That's a big plus for Northern Ireland because, being a rural area, we've stacks of people who are 'off grid', and 'off grid' tends to mean oil heating.

"It is an important one for Northern Ireland because people would have been so impacted by not being able to buy an oil boiler.

"That's a big win for people in Northern Ireland. The thing is, you still have [the boiler ban in] 2035 hanging over your head, but for many people that'll not matter; in my case by 2035 I'll probably be dead anyway."