Saturday 19 August 2017

Taoiseach promises 'price watchdog' to monitor waste companies operating new bin charge regime

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: PA News
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Photo: PA News
John Downing

John Downing

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has promised to put in place “a price watchdog” to monitor waste companies prices as a new nationwide system kicks from September.

In the Dáil Mr Varadkar issued a strong defence of ending flat-charge bin charges and replacing them with either pay per weight of rubbish, or a charge for each bin emptied.

He said half the country already had this system, which incentivised people to reduce rubbish, while the new scheme would be phased into the rest of the country over the coming 15 months.

“There are no new charges – simply a new way of charging.  We need to recycle more, reuse more and compost more,” the Taoiseach said.

Mr Varadkar said the Government was ready to put in place a “price watchdog” to monitor charges. He said this did not of itself guarantee prices would not increase.

Read More: 'It's ironic we have a Lotto regulator and not a waste regulator' - Dublin City Council seeks scrapping of new bin charges

Mr Varadkar issued a strong defence of ending flat-charge bin charges
Mr Varadkar issued a strong defence of ending flat-charge bin charges

The Taoiseach was replying to scathing criticisms of Government over bin charges from Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald.

Ms McDonald warned that increased bin charges may be the extra bill which meant many families cannot make ends meet. She urged a move towards a bin charge waiver scheme for those on low incomes.

The Sinn Féin TD also criticised the €75 yearly grant for people generating more rubbish for medical reasons. “That would make Scrooge blush,” she said.

She also castigated Fianna Fáil for not fighting for a waiver scheme. “Ordinary people are getting another reminder that you just cannot trust Fianna Fáil to do the fair thing,” Ms McDonald said.

Online Editors

Also in this section