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Doolan proposes alternatives to bin charges

29 November, 2004

Speaking at a press conference in Dublin today Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillor, Daithi Doolan announced alternative revenue raising initiatives for local government to replace bin charges. Cllr. Doolan also called for the Government to lift its threat to shut down the Council if a budget is not passed.

Cllr. Doolan said:

"Sinn Fein has proposed a number of revenue raising initiatives for local government as alternatives to what amounts to a deeply unpopular form of double taxation. As you will know massive increases in bin charges have been proposed by City Management in the Council estimates for 2005.

"We are demanding that Government lifts its threat to shut down our City Council if the proposed budget, including the increased bin charges, is not passed. The Council must be allowed to run the city and that what is needed are greater autonomy and resources, not more diktats from central government.

"Every year we are faced with this farcical crisis in local democracy with government threats to close down local government if the city's budget, with bin charges, is not passed.

"Sinn Fein opposes bin charges and our ten City Councillors have consistently opposed bin charges from the outset. We are now opposing the adoption of the current budget which includes huge increases in charges.

"The City Council has completely failed to tackle the waste management crisis that Dublin faces. Bin charges have nothing to do with a waste management strategy. It is just a device to raise money through double taxation on ordinary people.

"A senior Dublin City Council official has admitted to me that even if the money could be got from other sources that these bin charges would remain. This means that it is now an ideological issue with these people. They are ideologically driven and will brook no opposition to the charges.

"Sinn Fein has realistic proposals which obviate the necessity for imposing unpopular and unjust solutions such as bin charges. We publish these today to demonstrate our constructive opposition and our sincere engagement with this issue. The proposals include the imposition of a Bed Tax on hotels in the city that would require legislation at a state wide level and rates on government buildings.

"Finally I would ask that all councillors and concerned citizens stick together in defending local democracy. The question is whether this city should be run by the democratically elected representatives of the people or unelected and ideologically driven bureaucrats?" ENDS

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