Published 25/09/2012 | 14:40
A LOCAL TD has lodged an official complaint with the National Consumer Agency about Panda's controversial decision to hike bin tag prices in Fingal.
Just six months after taking over the bin collection service in Fingal from the council, the waste management company put up bin tag prices despite a commitment given to the local authority that prices would not rise for the first year. The company blamed increases in landfill charges for the decision to put up bin tag prices from €8 to €8.75 and from €4 to €4.35. Fingal County Council were critical of the decision but had no power to reverse it and now a formal complaint about the price hike has been lodged to the NCA by former Fingal councillor and now TD, Patrick Nulty. In a meeting with Fingal County Council, Deputy Nulty questioned the local authority, who confirmed that the price hike was not a breach of contract by Panda but said the company had not honoured in full a written commitment it made to its new customers in Fingal that prices would remain unchanged until at least the end of this year. Deputy Nulty said: 'Following a lengthy discussion at that meeting, I have now formally complained to the National Consumer Agency on behalf of the thousands of consumers who I believe have been hit with an unfair price increase.' He added: 'Fingal County Council confirmed to me that in their view, the argument that landfill costs were known to Panda at the time of taking over the service at the time they committed to a price freeze for 2012. 'It is simply unacceptable for what is in effect a private monopoly to alter previous commitments to consumers without being held to account for their actions.' He concluded: 'More broadly, the Government must bring forward a national waste management policy quickly which must include a national waiver scheme for low income households and strong regulations about quality of service.'