Motion calls for Ministerial order to cap charges and reinstate waivers for low income families
Next week, the Dail will debate and vote upon a AAA-PBP Private Members Motion calling for an immediate Ministerial order to prevent private waste companies from implementing the planned dramatic increases in household waste charges.
The motion submitted today by AAA-PBP will be debated in the Dail next Tuesday.
Bin charges are set to rise by between 100 and 200%. These charges will inflict an unsustainable burden for hard pressed households if the proposed increases by private waste companies are implemented and will undoubtedly lead to a dramatic increase in illegal dumping.
The motion seeks to prevent the private waste management companies from implementing the planned increases in price; ensure the Minster meets with the waste companies; ensure that standing charges cannot be increased in excess of the Consumer Price Index; implement maximum waste charges for the different types of bins and reinstate the waivers for pensioners, people with disabilities, carers, low-paid workers, those on social-welfare and people in receipt of Family Income Supplement.
Speaking on the AAA-PBP motion Brid Smith TD who was imprisoned for opposition to bin charges and who first raised the issue in the Dail said: “This motion if accepted will force the government to prevent these extortionate bin charge increase and prevent profiteering by private waste companies. It will ensure there is a maximum charge in respect to pay by weight.
The motion also calls for the re-establishment of the waivers scheme to protect low income households and hard pressed families from these cowboy management companies who care about nothing else other than profits.
We warned 15 years ago that bin charges and privatisation would inevitably lead to this kind of profiteering because once you put a price on something profit overtakes any concern for fairness or the environment.
Gino Kenny TD who has organised protests against these charges in his constituency over recent times, urged his fellow TDs in the Dail to support the motion. He said: “These charges are outrageous and extortionate and should be opposed by all sides of the Dail. I am appealing to all TDs in the Dail to support our motion.”
Richard Boyd Barrett TD spoke on the issue of the ‘polluter pays principle’. He said: “This makes a mockery of the so called ‘polluter pays principle’. Through these charges households would be punished for recycling. These charges will give rise to more illegal dumping which is already a big problem in this country.
Going back sixteen years now we have been campaigning against the privatisation of waste services in this country because we knew that when you privatise something it invariably increases in price and the thirst for profit takes over all other concerns. The profit motive demands that these companies get the maximum return and this would eventually come from households around the country.”
Mick Barry TD who was jailed for his opposition to the imposition of bin charges in 2001 said “People are incensed at the daylight robbery which these profiteers are trying to perpetrate with these massive increases. But this is a weak government which has already been forced to back down on a number of issues, including water charges, in the face of opposition from the public. They must be forced to act now to stop these scandalous increases and to bring the service back into public ownership.”
Paul Murphy TD said “The last Minister, Alan Kelly, left us a going away present by changing the regulations to allow the bin companies to jack up their prices. They have done exactly that – doubling and tripling standing charges – with the result of people facing massively increased charges. This is the result of bin charges, which we fought against, and the privatisation that followed.”
Ruth Coppinger TD said “The privatisation of the bin service has proved to be a disaster for customers with increased charges, for the workers and environmentally. The huge increase in charges is the result of the desire by these companies to drive up their profits. For workers in the industry, as we saw in Greyhound, it has resulted in a race to the bottom in wages and conditions. The privatisation of the service must be reversed and it should be brought back into public ownership under the control of the councils.”