Sunday 25 March 2018

A rubbish policy dumped

AS the election results showed, John Gormley's efforts to thwart the building of an incinerator in his constituency did him no good there.

But they also damaged his national credentials as someone applying a new, more principled kind of politics and even, in the eyes of any reasonable person, his Green credentials as well. It made no sense to try to impose levies on waste going to the incinerator, thereby forcing it to go into landfill sites all over the country, posing a bigger threat to the environment and, in the long run, even to the climate.

The suspicion that this was a solo run by the former minister is strengthened by the speed with which the new minister, Phil Hogan, has been able to get his department to completely reverse this policy. Now the levy will be on landfill, at up to 50c per tonne, making incineration more attractive.

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