Bin fee protests will rival water campaign, says left

Left-wing parties have warned the anti-bin charges campaign will become as powerful as the protests which resulted in a back-track on water charges if the Government attempts to force through the new fees.

Solidarity-People Before Profit and Sinn Féin issued the threat at a protest outside Dublin City Council last night as Culture Minister Heather Humphreys insisted the Government would not back down on its environmental “education” reforms.

Speaking before a Fianna Fáil Dáil motion on the issue tonight which will call for an independent waste regulator to oversee the new fees regime, Solidarity-People Before Profit TD Ruth Coppinger said the bin charges changes must not be implemented.

Asked about the issue on Newstalk, she said her party “certainly will apply massive political pressure at local authority level but also in the Dáil” and that the “unfair” fees will become the new water charges stand-off.

The view was repeated by Sinn Féin councillors at a Dublin City Council meeting last night, which took place as protesters gathered outside to warn they will not accept the new pay by weight system due to be implemented this autumn.

The Sinn Féin councillors put forward an emergency motion last night seeking to scrap the new system and establish a waste regulator, moves which would have to be backed by the Dáil and Seanad in order to pass.

The issue is due to be discussed in the Dáil this evening during a Fianna Fáil motion on the same issue, which Sinn Féin members have privately claimed was put down to block the party’s own motion calling for the fees to be scrapped completely.

Speaking about the stand-off in Kerry yesterday, Ms Humphreys said she, the Government, and more than half of the population are “very comfortable” with the new pay-by-weight system.

The Fine Gael TD said the fee changes are “about educating more people” on environmental matters, and are “not necessarily about paying more charges”.

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