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Letters: Bin charges fear

Your readers -- especially those who will be getting bills for new refuse charges through their doors -- deserve to know the full facts about the Dublin City Council budget passed on December 21.

It was suggested in an article by Cllr Christy Burke (Herald, January 12) that the issue at the Dublin City Council Estimates meeting was the continuation of existing bin charges as such. That is not the case. The key issue was the imposition of new charges on low-income households who previously were exempt from bin charges under the Council's waiver scheme.

The budget package undermined that waiver scheme, bringing in new charges that can now be increased year-on-year. The City Manager was not compelled by legislation or ministerial order to impose these new charges. But Labour and Fine Gael councillors (together with Cllrs Burke and Forde) voted in a budget that will impose new bin charges on some 40,000 low-income households in this city.

Sinn Fein councillors on each Council judge the budgets presented to them on the basis of their merits or demerits. It is neither opposition for opposition's sake, nor support for support's sake.

In fact, the Sinn Fein councillors on Dublin City Council were mandated to vote against the budget at a representative meeting of Dublin Sinn Fein, which also mandated our councillors on South Dublin County Council to support their Council's budget. Our party made its decision on these issues in the interests of the people of this city, in particular the pensioners, those on social welfare and minimum wage-earners, and not with an eye to getting one of our councillors elected as mayor.

Cllr Larry O'Toole group leader, sinn fein, city hall, dublin 2