The voluntary agreement to suspend increases in bin charges for one year which was discussed by Minister Simon Coveney and bin companies does not deal with issue.
The AAA has called for the Minister to change the legislation upon which the massive price hikes by the companies was based by Ministerial Order and to introduce a cap on charges and for the service to be taken back into under public control.
The AAA-PBP will present a motion to the Dáil tomorrow night to cap the charges. Protests have also been organised including at South Dublin County Council today which Simon Coveney will attend and at the Dáil tomorrow at 7pm when the motion is to be heard.
Mick Barry TD who was jailed for his opposition to bin charges said “The voluntary agreement reached between the Minister and the bin companies is simply an attempt to kick the can down the road for a year. The Minister has the power to use a Ministerial Order to cap charges, but it seems he went in and was held to ransom by these private companies and ended up accepting this fudge.
“Already here have been dissenting voices from some of the bin companies. It cannot be guaranteed that a voluntary agreement would hold and that some companies would not hike up their prices anyway. That is why we need a Ministerial Order. We have seen that these companies are only interested in maximising their profits – they have taken advantage of this to hike standing charges and the lift charges.”
Ruth Coppinger TD said “At the time of their introduction in Dublin in 2003, the Socialist Party led a campaign against these charges and two of our public representatives and a number of residents were jailed. At the time, we were ridiculed and told these were minuscule charges. Now, the service has been privatised and the charges have doubled or trebled. People have absorbed this lesson and that is why they so oppose water charges.
“Privatisation has been a disaster for householders and refuse workers. The companies plan to hit householders with massive increases of up to 200%. For refuse workers wages and working conditions have been slashed since the service left the councils. The jobs which previously had decent pay and were unionised have been replaced by a race to the bottom across the industry – this was seen in the Greyhound dispute last year.
“The service needs to be brought back under public control and run by the councils.”
Paul Murphy TD said “We can’t trust the bin companies to stick to any voluntary agreement and we can’t trust the government to take the steps which are necessary to prevent them profiteering off ordinary people. We think that pressure needs to be built over the next couple of days to force the Minister to use a Ministerial Order to cap charges.
“The AAA/PBP has a Dail motion to be heard tomorrow night. There are also protests which will take place today and tomorrow. The government have been forced to react to this because of the water charges movement which has shown people that when they mobilise they can defeat this government which has already shown itself to be weak. Simon Coveney will be at South Dublin County Council today at 2pm and will be met by a protest, while another protest will take place tomorrow outside the Dail at 7pm when the motion is to be heard.”