Labour Party Cllr Dermot Looney has said Fianna Fáil are to blame for a 31% increase in bin charges in South Dublin County Council. Looney was commenting in the wake of yesterday’s (July 12th) decision by the County Manager to proceed with the bin charge increase despite Councillors passing a motion proposed by Looney against the hike.
Looney’s motion against the rise in bin charges, which won support from all Cllrs other than the three Fianna Fáil members present, noted the VAT charge of 13.5% and Minister Gormley’s increased landfill levy as part of the reason for the increase. In a speech on the motion, Looney also noted the decision by Fianna Fáil in Government in 2003 via the so-called “Protection of the Environment Act” to take away powers on waste charges from elected Councillors and give them to unelected County Managers.
“Fianna Fáil’s latest assault on local residents comes in the form of another jumped-up stealth tax,” said Looney, “and despite all the guff we heard at Monday’s Council meeting, they are squarely to blame for the increase.”
“Fianna Fáil attempts to blame Labour or any other party for the increase are beyond hypocrisy. Fianna Fáil decided in 2003 to take away powers from Councillors to impose and decide the level of charges and hand them to the County Manager. The Government are imposing 13.5% VAT on the charges by transposing an EU directive which benefits private waste conglomerates at the expense of ordinary people. Fianna Fáil and the Greens support year-on-year increases in Minister Gormley’s landfill levy, which has doubled since 2006 at a cost of millions to South Dublin.”
“Moreover, Minister Gormley and the FF/Green Government continue to give the two fingers to South Dublin by crediting the residents in our county with the lowest Local Government Fund allocation in Ireland. The chronic shortfall in support from central government has led to the further stretching of Council finances.”
“It is regrettable that the County Manager over-rode the decision of the people’s representatives on the Council – but let’s not forget who is to blame for this lack of democracy,” said Looney.
Charges for the standard black bin and newly-introduced brown bin will increase by almost a third from August 1st. Charges for black bins, currently at €8 per lift, will rise to €10.50, while the charge for brown bins, which deal with food and garden waste, is set to rise from €4 per lift to €5.25. Looney has said that the announcement could mean an extra €100 per year burden on local families as well as a further economic and environmental cost to the area because of increased fly-tipping and dumping.
Motion Pursuant to Headed Item 12; Proposed Cllr Dermot Looney
We the elected members of South Dublin County Council oppose and condemn the decision by the Fianna Fáil/Green Government to impose VAT on the bin collection charge. Furthermore we condemn the increase of the Landfill Tax which has led to this proposed hike in the household bin charge. We call on the Manager not to increase bin charges.