'You’d know what’s happening if you bothered to attend the Dáil' - Education Minister launches scathing attack on TDs
Education Minister Richard Bruton has launched a blistering attack on left-wing parties, accusing them of crying “crocodile tears” over the bin charges controversy.
During heated Dáil exchanges, the minister hit out at parties calling for the waste collection service to be brought back under the control of local authorities.
And when asked by People Before Profit TDs to explain what the Government’s plan is, Mr Bruton replied: "I think you’d know what is happening if you bothered to attend the Dáil here the other night when these issues were being debated.
"You were marked absent when decisions were being made and when the position that is going to be introduced was being explained."
He added: "So it’s pretty crocodile tears to be shedding now when you don’t do your responsibility to come in and deal with these issues."
The bin controversy was debated in the Dáil on Tuesday night but representatives of Sinn Féin and Solidarity-People Before Profit left the chamber before the conclusion, meaning a Fine Gael/Fianna Fáil deal passed without need for a vote.
Ms Smith accepted she was not present to force a vote but said she was present in the Dáil until 9.30pm.
"In my naivety as a new TD I understood we’d be voting on these motions and amendment today. That’s not going to happen," she said.
The Dublin South Central TD said her party intend to launch a campaign against the pay-by-weight system.
"When you talk about the motivation for keeping environment safe and clean. What is actually happening because of the profits and the monies to be made is that fly-tipping is being given the go ahead by this system.
"As the price increase there’ll be more and more fly-tipping. There was never single incident of it when the bins were in public control."
Ms Smith added: "People need their bins, they don’t need this sort of abuse by the government."
However, Mr Bruton said people have to change their behaviour when it comes to waste.
"A lot of homes do not to the segregation, do not try to minimise their waste. The system that applies to half of the households in the country will now apply to all households,2 he said.
And in a final scathing attack on the Left, he said: "We all know the reason why the public sector is no longer in this business.
"It’s because parties like your own told people not to pay, refused to allow increases in charges that would have allowed this to remain as a service in the public arena. You made conscious decisions to destroy that possibility."