Sinn Féin calls for reversal of bin charges plan

Mary Lou McDonald has insisted the plan will "allow a free-for-all" for private waste collectors

Sinn Féin calls for reversal of bin charges plan

Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald at the National Day of Commemoration, Royal Hospital Kilmainham. Image: RollingNews/Bryan Meade

Sinn Féin has again claimed the government’s new bin charges legislation will allow a “free-for-all” for private waste collection companies.

The new charging system will ban flat-rate charges and call on waste collectors to offer a range of incentivised pricing plans.

The legislation has led to fears that collection companies - who hold an effective monopoly in certain areas - will hike prices on vulnerable customers.

The Government hopes the new system will encourage recycling and reduce the State's reliance on landfill disposal.

Legislative delay

Yesterday, Government TD Noel Rock warned it may be necessary to postpone the new legislation until proper government regulation of the sector can be put in place.

He said the issue was being “remarkably poorly communicated” adding that the government needed to “clarify a lot of things” before the new regime could be put in place.

Free-for-all

Speaking at the National Day of Commemoration ceremony in Kilmainham this morning, Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald said the controversy was “not a matter of communication.”

“The government has made a decision to allow a free-for-all for these companies,” she said.

“They have had no regard for people on low incomes, with big families; people with disabilities, people with ill-health and that is wrong.

“They will have to reverse that decision.”

Watchdog

Under a deal agreed between the government and Fianna Fáil a new pricing ‘watchdog’ will be introduced for the industry.

The Competition and Consumer Protection Authority has also been asked to examine whether a full independent regulator will be needed for the sector. 

However, reports over the weekend have warned that it will take at least two years to establish a regulator with statutory powers.

The government hopes introduce the new regime in September.