Louth's Gerry Adams says Sinn Fein will fight bin charges

Donard McCabe

Reporter:

Donard McCabe

Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams has warned that the proposed new bin charges will have a serious effect on households throughout Louth and East Meath.

Gerry Adams said: “Sinn Féin believes these charges are unfair and will oppose their introduction. We have published a motion which will be taken in the Dáil next week."

It calls on the government to immediately withdraw the proposed changes to the waste permits structures; put in place a waiver scheme for low income households as promised by the last Government;

study the feasibility of greater public ownership and the possible remunicipalisation; increase regulatory control of household waste collection;

and create a system of obligations on manufacturing companies and wholesalers to reduce packaging being produced at source and to prioritise the minimisation of waste across society.

Deputy Adams said;
"The flat rate will be phased out and the government's scheme means that commercial operators will be able to charge whatever they like.

"The new charging regime does not take into account the person's ability to pay. Households in Louth will be hit with increased bills for waste collection at a time when many people are already struggling to make ends meet.

"People living with medical conditions, large families and low-income households will suffer the most.

"Minister Denis Naughten has said that the government will have no say in what commercial operators can charge. He doesn't seem to have a problem that.

"He is happy for people to left at the mercy of companies who will seek to maximize profit.
"The government has failed to include any provision for waivers or other meaningful alleviation measures that would help those who cannot afford these increased charges.

"The best are offer is a measly grant of €75 a year for those with long-term medical condition. It is incredible that the Taoiseach has expressed his satisfaction with this measure even thought it amounts to less than €1.50 per week.

"People already struggling with the cost of living crisis in mortgages, rents, childcare, water charges, property tax, and car insurance, are being hit once again.

“Those with medical conditions and disabilities, large families and low income households will bear the brunt of the government’s decision to allow private operators to charge whatever they want for an essential service.

“The government’s present position of simply leaving those people to the mercy of commercial operator is unacceptable.

"Sinn Féin will fight these unfair charges both in the Dáil and in our communities.

"We will bring a motion to the Dáil during our Private Members time next week which will call on the Minister to stop these unfair changes.

"He must bring forward a model that meets the needs of vulnerable households."