Wednesday 17 January 2018

Bin charge free-for-all as even Leo fears price hikes

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

Paul Melia and Cormac McQuinn

The setting up of a watchdog for the waste industry to protect householders from being ripped-off by bin companies will take at least two years.

Yet even Taoiseach Leo Varadkar admits there is a risk of higher bills as he says the Government wants to "make sure that the bin companies don't use this as some sort an opportunity to try and hike prices". Mr Varadkar says the watchdog will "monitor prices".

"And if needs be, we're going to bring in further regulation, price regulation on top of the existing licensing arrangement that now exists," he says.

The consumer watchdog has warned the Government it had concerns about a lack of competition in some areas. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission says it has been contacted 835 times with complaints and queries about waste firms over two years.

Tánaiste and Enterprise Minister Frances Fitzgerald said the CCPC had raised concerns about compliance with both "competition and consumer protection legislation".

Social Democrats TD Róisín Shortall said the waste collection industry was a "free-for-all". The industry has rejected the charge.

Irish Independent

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