Sinn Fein and Labour help to introduce Dublin bin charges

Jan 20 2001

Dublin City Council (Dublin Corporation) voted last week to introduce charges for refuse collection. The bin tax has arrived in the one local authority area which did not even try to levy a water charge a few years ago. The excuse used by some politicians was that the council had been threatened with dissolution had it not introduced the charges.

No mention of the fact that not one of them went to the electorate in the last local elections saying they would vote for a bin tax. So much for democracy and mandates.

The council voted by 25 votes to 22 to introduce a £95 annual domestic charge in the city, with immediate effect. Households with 'low waste' will pay a charge of £65. For those on social welfare, pensions, and whose income is not up to taxable levels, the service is free.

The Labour Party group said opposed the charges and allegedly employed the whip. However, Councillors Sean Kenny (Donaghmede) - until Thursday leader of the Labour group on the council - Eamonn O'Brien (Ballymun) and Anthony Creevey (Artane) voted in favour.

A statement by the Labour group that it was removing the whip from the three is a joke. Is it not a bit funny that the three who voted for the charge will not be contesting the next General Election? Labour wants the law obeyed, and it wants the publicity a council seat can give to a General Election candidate. So the three sacrificial lambs with least to lose swing the vote in favour of the government's 'screw the workers' local tax policy.

[A Personal report from a Workers Solidarity Movement members of events they took part in or attended, these reports are posted to the Ainriail list when first written]

The motion introducing the charges was proposed by Cllr Michael Donnelly of Fianna Fáil and seconded by Mr Eamon Ryan of the Green Party. It was supported by Fine Gael councillors.

Sinn Fein and Independent councillors opposed the charges. However only two of the four Sinn Fein councillors were present. For such a disciplined party, and one which has been very vocal in opposing bin charges, is it not a bit strange that half their councillors didn't turn up? Did Bertie ask Gerry Adams for a favour (Bertie's brother is Lord Mayor of Dublin)? Or was it just that Sinn Fein wanted council seats from which to launch a General Election challenge. And to hell with promises to the voters?

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