Republican News · Thursday 13 July 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Dublin City Council votes for waste charges

Dublin City Councillor dessie Ellis has vowed that Sinn Feein will ``fight tooth and nail against the introduction of bin charges as a form of double taxation''.

Despite the opposition of Sinn Féin members of Dublin City Council, 150,000 Dublin householders woke up on Tuesday morning to find themselves landed with a further tax.

Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael councillors united to secure victory by 22 votes to 18 approving refuse charges of between 120 and 150 per annum. They also voted for the distribution of wheelie bins, from this October on. The manager has not yet decided how much this will cost householders, though it's rumoured to be at least another 30 for each bin.

The councillors didn't discuss what the householder will get in return for these charges, but the city manager claims in a glossy handout that ``this year Dublin's householders will be introduced to a better way of waste management'', to bring Dublin into line with the EU.

There is a sweetener in that the government will give back 22% of the charge in tax relief. Sinn Féin Councillor Dessie Ellis dismissed both the charges and the tax relief, which he said, ``amount to nothing but a costly bureaucratic swindle to disguise a new form of taxation, imposed by local government''.

Many councillors fear this tax is intended to fund the incinerator that has been proposed for Ringsend, which local people fiercely oppose.

Moreover, the new charges will mean job losses. Wheelie bin collection means two binmen plus a driver, as opposed to the four binmen and driver employed on each lorry at present. The Corpo told the binmen that if they didn't accept the deal, bin collection would be privatised. Half a cake is better than none.

``Sinn Féin,'' said Dessie Ellis ``calls for the scrapping of any plans to introduce bin charges. In their place we seek a commitment from government to use some of the 5 billion budget surplus, which is taxpayers' money, for a proper waste management programme that focuses on recycling, reducing and reusing, not on landfill or incineration.''

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