Tuesday 23 January 2018

Rubbish bid to bring in bin charges shows nothing was learned from water fiasco

Colette Browne

Colette Browne

The Government's botched attempt to introduce pay-by-weight bin charges will inevitably end in a huge public revolt. It only has itself to blame for this impending disaster.

Silly me. I assumed that one vaguely positive thing came from the water charges fiasco - political incompetence may have cost the State untold billions, but future governments would at least understand how not to introduce new charges. I forgot the one golden rule of Irish politics - never underestimate the insanity of a political class that persists in doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

So, here we are. Again. A mere couple of months since a deal between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil was done to finally drive a stake through the heart of the water charges monster, and pay-by-weight bin charges have risen zombie-like from their tomb to haunt the Government. A year ago, then-housing minister Simon Coveney - cognisant that the Government would be unable to handle a bin-charges controversy while trying to find a way to permanently dispose of water charges - kicked the issue to touch. A statement from his department said that charges were magnanimously being deferred for a year to give "households time to adapt to the new system and more effectively manage their waste".

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