Government TD warns of further delay to bin charges

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock says "we need to clarify a lot of things" before the new system can be introduced

Government TD warns of further delay to bin charges

Fine Gael TD Noel Rock outside Leinster House, 09-03-2017. Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews

A government TD has warned it may be necessary to delay the introduction of the new bin charges regime.

Speaking today, Fine Gael TD for Dublin North West Noel Rock said there are a number of questions to be answered before any new pay-by-weight bin charge regime can introduced.

Originally due to be introduced at the beginning of July, the government has already been forced to delay the new scheme until September.

Under a deal reached with Fianna Fáil, the government has agreed to set up a pricing ‘watchdog’ – while the Competition and Consumer Protection Authority has also been asked to examine whether a full independent regulator will be needed for the sector. 

Regulator

Speaking at the Finglas Festival in Mellowes Park this afternoon, Deputy Rock said he believes a regulator will be required.

“Absolutely, I think we need to look at some of regulation in the waste collection sector,” he said.

“Currently the proposals from the government are somewhat voluntary; maybe we need to strengthen those - but we will keep an eye on the situation.”

A Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) group is expected to be established as early as next week to examine regulation of the industry - however sources have told The Irish Independent that it will take at least two years to establish a regulator with statutory powers.

Postponed

Deputy Rock said the new regime should be postponed until question marks surrounding the new scheme can be addressed.

“I think the whole waste thing right now is being remarkably poorly communicated and it is giving people cause to worry and it is giving people cause to worry and be anxious,” he said.

“I think we need to clarify a lot of things before any new scheme of pay-by-weight comes in to play – if that means delaying it further, so be it.”

Deputy Rock’s comments come following calls for the government to introduce regulation “as quickly as possible” after one of the country’s largest waste companies introduced tough new terms and conditions – including the right to enter customer’s property. 

Campaigners have warned that there will be a major public backlash if the new system leads to excessive charges for consumers.