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Increased bin charges a greater threat to low income families

29 November, 2004

Sinn Féin Councillor Dessie Ellis speaking today said the imposition of massive increases in Bin Charges would disproportionately affect ordinary people in working-class areas across Dublin City.

Councillor Ellis said:

"According to a Combat Poverty Agency report published in November 2003 'Waste collection charges, based purely on the polluter pays principle are inevitably regressive and impose a greater burden on low-income households, especially those with children and other dependents.'

"City Management continually points to the waiver scheme to say that those who can't pay the charges won't have to pay. But there are much wider implications to bin charges. The much vaunted Waiver Scheme is dependent on the whim of each local authority. There are no statewide guidelines for such waivers. So we could have vast disparities across Dublin City and County leading to further inequality and real hardship for ordinary working people.

"If we look at relative poverty about 19 per cent of that group are living in 'employed' households. That's up from just 6 per cent in 1998. So it has more than trebled. These are the people who are going to be hit by increased bin charges.

"Between 1997 and 2003 waste collection charges across the state grew by 223% over six years. This was in excess of the rate of inflation. This is an intolerable rate of increase and City Management has created a finance raising device that seems to grow exponentially.

"Those in low-income households may have little left over following 'back to school' shopping, Christmas shopping or other times of high expenditure and therefore are unable to purchase a bag or tag. The Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) have recently identified refuse collection charges as a primary concern for its clients. Why is City management intent on crucifying the people of Dublin through double taxation?" ENDS

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