Monday 26 September 2016

Households lose out yet again to the 'filthy lucre'

Published 22/06/2016 | 02:30

Environment Minister Simon Coveney. Pic Tom Burke
Environment Minister Simon Coveney. Pic Tom Burke

I was staggered to receive a letter from my waste collection provider advising me of the cost 'per kilo' to collect waste from my household.

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Most householders are completely unaware of just how much they are about to be charged and how much income waste collectors are about to receive for no extra work. The Tánaiste says it was intended that "85pc of householders" would see a reduction in their charges.

Is this simple-minded naivety limited to the Tánaiste or does it infect the entire Government? Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar recently attempted to justify the incoming fee structure by arguing it will encourage an increase in composting of food waste.

However, existing fee structures already provide this incentive. By charging on a 'per lift' basis with a lower charge for food bins, householders are properly motivated to put their organic waste in the food bin. Again, a Government minister is treating the public like fools.

The new structure will not change incentives, other than to heap extra costs onto householders while providing absolutely no extra service.

This is to say nothing of the new incentive for people to stuff their waste into other people's bins. Must we now consider 'bin security' a new issue to avoid being overcharged?

Waste is collected by volume and processed by volume. The workload and resources required to collect a bin is the same regardless of how much it weighs.

Does Environment Minister Simon Coveney or the Government have any explanation as to why it has given such an extraordinary boon to waste collection providers at the expense of householders?

Bill O'Rourke

Crumlin, Dublin 12

 

Over-the-top praise for Irish fans

While I am proud of the Irish fans' behaviour in Paris at the Euros, I do feel a national wallowing in self-praise merely serves to make something extraordinary out of what ought to be considered a societal norm at such events. Praising the postman for delivering the post springs to mind.

John Burns

Rathmore, Co Kerry

 

Fair deal . . . for the insurers

It is good to see that you are campaigning for a fair deal for motorists.

In this regard, it is interesting to glance at the on-line company reports for 2015 for some of the biggest insurers, which show: Axa's net income is up 19pc to €5.6bn; Aviva's operating profit up 20pc to €2.7bn; and Allianz's profit up 3.2pc to € 10.7bn.

Gerard Palmer

Dundrum, D 14

 

Hard science of pregnancy

Ivan Yates (Irish Independent, June 16) will have an uneasy moment should he ever meet the young child at the centre of the 'Miss Y' asylum-seeker case.

Ivan also joins the likes of fringe element, science deniers when he rubbishes the hard facts referenced in every medical textbook on embryology that a new unique and genetically complete human life comes into being at the moment of conception.

Even the pro-choice Dr Peter Boylan in his 'The Irish Pregnancy Book' finds no argument with the extraordinary event and scientific fact of conception or fertilisation. He states: "The process of fertilisation is so dramatic and complex that it can be likened to the 'big bang' at the beginning of the universe".

Would Ivan Yates also deny the science of the big bang?

Raymond McIntyre

Mullingar, Co Westmeath

 

Respect for our language

It is often difficult to take everything Ian O'Doherty says seriously. I was left perplexed by his appalling demonstration of disrespect on the 'Pat Kenny Show' towards Ita Ní Chionnaith.

By Ian O'Doherty's own admission, the television station which Ita Ní Chionnaith helped bring into being delivers essential viewing, like 'An Klondike'. It is essential viewing because it helps us understand ourselves as a people. It does this because it is as Gaeilge and therefore can go places the English-only speaking mind cannot penetrate.

If Pat had been able to take back charge of the discussion from 'motor-mouth' himself, he may have helped Ian to understand that language reflects the history, ideas and genius of the people who sustained it through centuries of struggle.

If Ian chooses not to want to know about his own ancestral past (traumatic and all as it is for every Irish person) that is Ian's private business. Clearly, it would be wrong to deny Irish people, especially the young, the opportunity to know themselves because Ian and his school pals were not motivated or challenged enough in their learning at school.

Mairéad Holt Dublin 9

 

Impact of Brexit on the border

A vote to leave the EU will have a negative impact on Ireland more than any other EU state.

If Britain votes to leave, Ireland can say goodbye to strong trade links and ease of travel in Northern Ireland, with long queues at border controls. This could be the society we will have to get used to.

Cian Byrne

Dublin 14

 

EU and the World need UK

What has been missing in the Brexit debate so far is Britain's role on the global stage. Britain once stood up to Adolf Hitler, never flinched, never despaired and never faltered, standing for what it believed in.

In the words of Winston Churchill at the time of his decisive battle against Nazism: "If we fail, the whole world, including the United States and all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science".

Britain's diminishing role has become more palpable in the aftermath of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the financial crisis. Many still remember David Cameron's rejection of state multiculturalism in Munich. Britain seems to have opted for the island mentality, leaving the US in the lead in the fight against international terrorism.

Whether inside or outside the EU, Britain must punch above its weight diplomatically, militarily and scientifically and lead from the front the fight against global challenges.

Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob

London, UK

 

Green, white . . . and orange

Kevin Doyle (Irish Independent, June 18) refers to Irish soccer fans as "men in green, white and gold", meaning the Irish flag, I presume. Since when has the colour in our flag changed from orange to gold?

The orange represents the Orange tradition in Ireland, green for the Gaelic tradition and the white representing peace between those traditions.

Ellie Menzies

Rathfarnham, Dublin 14

Irish Independent

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