Friday 6 December 2019

Coveney calls bin companies to meeting over ‘daylight robbery’ of families

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

Kevin Doyle Group Political Editor

Bin companies who are threatening families with “daylight robbery” are to be called to a meeting with Housing Minister Simon Coveney next week.

For a second day the Dáil has heard claims that waste collectors are taking advantage of legislation introduced to a ‘pay-by-weight’ regime to hike standing charges.

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald said Mr Coveney “will put it up to them to explain such price hikes”.

She said the spirit of the pay-by-weight legislation “was certainly not intended to be an excuse to top-up basic charges which is what is being reported”.

Read More: Households being left to the mercy of waste companies

“The minister will introduce regulations if necessary,” she said, adding: “It will be the right thing for the environment and consumers.”

Fianna Fáil’s Public Expenditure spokesman Dara Calleary alleged that the companies were “profiteering from government incompetence”.

He questioned whether the Tánaiste understood “the level of anger and worry” among families and noted that the new charging system is due to come into place on July 1, meaning there is only two weeks to solve the issue.

Mr Calleary said the Government should consider suspending the legislation until the companies review their charges.

“This is the same incompetence that dragged you through Irish Water.”

Read More: Sinead Ryan: What did you think was going to happen with rubbish idea, Minister?

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald claimed 90pc of families would end up paying more under the regime.

She said former environment minister Alan Kelly had signed the new system into law at the stroke of a pen and said it could be removed “by the stroke of a ministerial pen”.

Ms McDonald told the Tánaiste to “dispense with the tea and sympathy” and “remove this threat of daylight robbery”.

Ms Fitzgerald responded that “political theatrics” would help nobody. She said if the legislation is being exploited “that will be dealt with”.

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