Republican News · Thursday 20 April 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Government `stroke' to legalise bin charges

The Dublin government pulled a `stroke' in Leinster House on Wednesday when they rushed through all stages of a special Bill in less than three hours to enable local authorities to continue and to retrospectively impose refuse and other charges on householders.

Fearing legal challenges to refuse charges imposed since 1997, the government published the the Local Government (Financial Provisions) Bill 2000 on Tuesday and rushed it though the Dáil on Wednesday. Opponents of the charges held a demonstration outside the Dáil. Participants included Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin who addressed the crowd, Dublin City Councillor Larry O'Toole and South Dublin County Councillor Seán Crowe.

Maeve Healy of Drogheda Sinn Féin was among a delegation from that town, where a strong anti-charges campaign is ongoing.

Speaking on the Bill in the Dáil, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said:

``This Bill is a deplorable manoeuvre by the government. The government has failed to devise and implement a comprehensive waste management strategy. It has dumped responsibility for waste management onto local authorities without providing the necessary resources. The costs are being borne by householders who have to meet refuse charges and in many cases, the

spiralling demands of private sector service providers.

``These local authority charges are unnecessary and unjust. Those currently dependent on the private operators are equally deserving of a state-backed refuse collection and recycling service. I am strongly opposing this Bill.''

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