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Greens Support Bin Tax

category national | bin tax / household tax / water tax | opinion/analysis author Tuesday September 23, 2003 18:43author by pat c Report this post to the editors

Sargeant Gives 2 Fingers to Anti Bin Tax Campaigners

The Greens: Waging Class War On Behalf Of The Rich.

The Green Party stated today that it does not support the position of the Socialist Party on refusing to pay service charges. However, Green Party Leader Trevor Sargent, TD stated, “We support financial incentives and the use of reasonable volume levies to encourage waste minimisation, re-use, recycling and composting for householders and the commercial sector alike.”

This gobbleiegook translates as Green Party support for a flat rate tax. It doesnt matter if you are a bin collecter or Sir Anthony O'Reilly, the Greens want you to pay the same rate of tax

Sargeant went on to say:
“The Green Party has successfully resisted flat charges, most notably in Fingal County Council which in the end agreed to a tag-a- bin system with a E1.50 charge per small bin in areas where no kerbside recycling was yet in place. We also oppose privatisation of the refuse collection system,” Deputy Sargent said.

Fingal campaigners will know all too well that the lies are flowing from Sargeants lips. The neck of him pretending that the Greens had opposed a flat rate bin tax!

Does he not understand that if a shop assistant and an accountant pay the same rate then that is a flat rate tax?

The reality is that a Flat Rate bin tax is only one of the local charges the Greens want to impose on the Working Class. They also have a Water Tax on their agenda. If the Greens get their way water will be metered, therefore rationing it for the less well off but the rich can afford use as much as they want.

Best of all is the Green Party Taxation policy - A Flat Rate of Income Tax! Michael O'Leary pays 15% and a factory worker pays 15%! What could be fairer than that?

Dont let them away with it, confront the Greens:

The Green Party 618 4088 srawson@oireachtas.ie
(Dail Press office)

Ciaran Cuffe 6773372 ccuffe@oireachtas.ie
Dan Boyle 6184227 dboyle@oireachtas.ie
Paul Gogarty 6183022 pgogarty@oireachtas.ie
Trevor Sargeant 6183465 trevor.sargeant@oireachtas.ie
Eamon Ryan 6183097 eamon.ryan@oireachtas.ie
John Gormley 6184247 johngormley@eircom.net

author by Niall Ó Brolcháin - Green Partypublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 19:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Green Party Press Office
22nd September 2003

GREENS OUTLINE POSITION ON BIN CHARGES

Sargent says Taoiseach losing the run of himself over call for resignation of Socialist TD.

The Green Party stated today that it does not support the position of the Socialist Party on refusing to pay service charges. However, Green Party Leader Trevor Sargent, TD stated, “We support financial incentives and the use of reasonable volume levies to encourage waste minimisation, re-use, recycling and composting for householders and the commercial sector alike.”

“The Green Party has successfully resisted flat charges, most notably in Fingal County Council which in the end agreed to a tag-a- bin system with a E1.50 charge per small bin in areas where no kerbside recycling was yet in place. We also oppose privatisation of the refuse collection system,” Deputy Sargent said.

“However, the Taoiseach needs to recognise the significant difference between action arising from a point of principle in the case of Deputy Higgins, or Cllr. Daly who is the mother of a three year old child; and the actions of former Deputy Lawlor who was motivated more by a desire for personal enrichment than a political principle. As things stand regardless of the Taoiseach, Deputy Higgins will be unable to attend the Dáil due to the one month sentence handed down by the High Court.”

To Pat Corcoran, please let people make up their own minds and I'm sure they will.

However, the Greens do not support a 'FLAT RATE' bin tax by any reasonable definition of 'FLAT RATE'.

Here is our policy on the issue.

"The introduction of a weight related waste collection charge with free collection for minimum weight of waste per annum per person in a household. This would reward efforts made at household level to reduce the amount of waste presented for collection."

author by Terrypublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 19:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is rather confusing. The Greens voted in for the council charges. They must have known full well that the end objective has been privatisation all along.

And yet you say you oppose privatisation.

Why didn't you basically say, we will not vote for these charges, until a proper infrastructure is put in place and the money is secured from government which would cover the 'free' charge up to a certain weight/volume.

Any extra money collected from excessive volumes of waste would have to be treated as extra money for other things. By allowing the council to run it so that the whole thing runs on money collected, surely guarantees that it is incredibly easy for the council to then hand it to the private waste companies.

Your policy still doesn't address the overall unfairness, in that the domestic sector is only a small fraction of the overall waste of the country and yet would be paying an unfair burden.

The greens are also supposed to be for democracy and especially for encouraging local democracy as far as I can recall, yet these threatening and bullying tactics by the State surely go against these principles. Do they support a sort of Green fascism when they think it is needed.

People in this country are crying out for a proper recycling infrastructure. Why is there no recycling for plastic bottles, when one of the biggest plastic bottle recycling plants (Wellman International) is actually located in Ireland.

I might add the so called Protection of the Environment legislation is a pretty repressive piece of legislation. Do you support this? If not, then why did you at that point not put your hands up and say our objectives are not being met here and will not be. You can't honestly pretend you couldn't clearly see what was going to happen.

And what about when Repak was formed, which was the means by which supermarkets and the retail sector were able to avoid the threat of a tax on excessive packaging, by forming this quasi voluntary body. That to me is the single biggest obstacle preventing the reduction of waste.

And lastly the piece of legislation back in July 2002 I think (maybe July 2001) that took power away from elected councillors on all matters concerning waste and recycling and put it into the hands of the chairman and central government, -why did you continue supporting the council by voting in the charges since then?

So tell me why did you co-operate with the government and totally drown your policies?

author by Not requiredpublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 19:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The issue here is one of responsibility.

Our consumer society produces huge quantities of waste - who is going to take responsibility for it.

Right now we bury it or burn it and thus pass on responsibility for our waste to people who will live hundreds of years from now.

Most people want to avoid responsibilit for the pollution their lifestyles cause. They don't even want to be told that their actions are doing vast and irreparable damage.

Weight or volume-based waste charges are very important in helping people to take responsibility for their waste. Serious sanctions on corporations and their packaging is also necessary.

The waste charge protestors should save some of their anger for the companies that feed them so much packaging. And they should accept their own share of responsibility for the waste they produce as well.

author by Terrypublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 20:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sure there's a certain amount of responsibility, but the system is so structured that if you tried to be responsible it makes it hard for you to be so.

If I wanted to reduce waste at the moment, it would cost me even more to buy my food at the supermarket, because for some crazy reason the stuff with less packaging costs more and the stuff with more packaging costs less.

The notion that 'makind' is destroying the planet is bogus. This nice image or metaphor very conviently masks out the faces of corporations. It also very conviently distracts from the heart of the problem, which is that it is the political and economic structure of society that is the problem. And until we address these structural problems, which means addressing the political nature of the beast, then no amount of individual action is going to make much difference.

Checkout SOCIETY AND ECOLOGY in related link

Related Link: http://www.spunk.org/library/writers/bookchin/sp000514.txt
author by Chekov - WSM & anti-bin taxespublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 20:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It seems that the Greens don't understand the notion of taxation rates. Let me try to explain:

Income tax is a progressive tax in that not only do the better off pay a higher amount of tax, they actually pay at a higher RATE. This is generally accepted as most people see that they can afford to.

In a very few administrations income tax is levied at a flat RATE. That is to say that everyone pays the same RATE of tax, but obviously those who earn more pay more.

Service charges and indirect taxes like VAT are levied on the basis of each person paying the same amount of tax as an absolute value. This is Regressive taxation as the RATE of taxation decreases the more you earn. My bin tax might amount to 3% of my income, whereas for a Green TD the rate would be something like 0.5%. Therefore the bin tax is not actually a flat RATE, it is a regressive RATE tax. The poor pay more of their income as tax.

Regardless of how you correlate the tax with waste 'produced' by households, the tax is REGRESSIVE. Tony O'Reilly could cover the country in rubbish before he paid the same RATE that I pay.

Maybe if the tax was correlated with income like income tax, or based on property values like rates used to be, there would be some argument for its fairness. As it is they have voted for a tax that is REGRESSIVE. Even if you accept their mistaken assumption that this tax will be an incentive to reduce waste, you still are stuck with the reality that the 'incentive' decreasese the richer you get.

author by Mikepublication date Tue Sep 23, 2003 23:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Pat and Chekov -- WHY do you say THAT? WHY do you intepret the Greens' proposal as supporting a flat "bin tax" (flat tax per householder)?

They are proposing some sort of scheme like over here we call "pay per throw" -- so much a binful. And there seems to even be a"de minimus" cutoff though I'm not sure how they propose to actually work it*.

OK, "pay per throw" is not progressive in terms of INCOME. But it's not regressive either. The point is, there simply is no close relationship between income and trash produced. It's sort of like a VAT would be if some people got to pay less for the item (and thus less VAT on it) if they took CARE and/or time (waited in a queue instead of instant service?).

Around here we have pay per throw and recycling AND returnable for deposit (like on soda of beer bottles). Well guess what, some people are too lazy to keep the returnables separate, some too lazy to keep the recyclables separate, they use LOTS of trash bags every week. WHY SHOULDN'T THEY PAY. It's NOT a class thing. It is not THAT difficult to get away with just one paid bag every two months. But some are hauling a pickup to the dump every week.

Again let me repeat, NOT a class or income thing. It's an environmantal consciousness thing, a frugalness thing, or some other factor like that which determines how many paid bags a family uses. Some poor families who don't know where next week's food is going to come from can't be bothered to take back the returnables, just pitch them and the hell with the deopsit. Some rich folks are miserly and wouldn't think of forgoing that nickel deposit.

Now what precisely is wrong with the Greens (supposedly an environmental party) wanting to favor environmental consciousness, want a policy that is "progressive" in THAT regard. The less you waste, the less you pay.

* -- one way would be to give each person X bags free a year so you didn't pay anything for the first X throws -- and maybe X chosen so that if you were careful, bought minimal waste packaging, took the time to crush cans, took the time to separate out what could go into the recylce bins rather than the paid trash, maybe you COULD get by never paying. They don't have this around here. If they did, I guess WE (Step by Step Farm) would have free trash -- the LEAST quantity you can buy of these paid bags is ten at a time -- about a two year supply for us!

author by recycleheadpublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 02:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Let's stop the negativity, complaining about local councils demanding more money. We can all do something practical to cut their costs - and contribute to the recycling effort while doing so!

We should all be thinking of ways to reduce the overheads of the environmental sections of local councils. Even better if it helps the environment by recycling. One of my ideas is to donate used tea bags to them. This should significantly reduce their costs. To avoid any inconvenience to the postal service allow the tea bags to dry a little bit first. If they are still a little damp it would probably be advisable to put them in cellophane bags before posting. Make sure you send them to the correct people, get the address for the office where the bin tax is collected.

If anyone can think of other recycleable items to donate, out of date dairy products etc. please let us all know, as council finances appear to be in very bad shape at the moment.

If mike would tell us the address of step-by-step farm, I'm sure some of us would be happy to donate some of this stuff to him too.

author by Green Supporterpublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 02:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why are you acting so high and might, Chekov? We all know the facts about the bin tax.

author by Mikepublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 04:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I know it is an honestly held faith too, the same wway that religious fundamantalists are sincere believers. But the reality is.....

Doing away with capitalism will solve inequitable distribution. It will not magically solve all sorts of other ills. It will not cure disease, it will not cure alchoholism, it will not cure wifebeating or child abuse, it will not make a dent in all sorts of problems which have been with us for thousands of years before capitalism existed.The fact that you can relate many of the ills to a capitalist context means nothing since the same ills previously had a feudalist context, and sorry Terry, they will remain with us in a socialist context -- until we figure out how to deal with their ACTUAL root causes.

And most importantly for us now, it will NOT solve the problem that during the last couple hundred years as we humans have come to depend upon the
fossile resources of the last couple hundred million years our population has grown to levels that CANNOT be supported once those fossile reources are gone and we are back to what is ustainable. DOING AWAY WITH CAPITALISM WILL HELP -- the more equitable the distribution the fewer of us will die -- but it's too late to prevent a "crash" entirely. WE HAVE TO START THINKING/ACTING DIFFERENTLY -- and waste is as good a place as any and better than most.

Now "recyclehead", you asked where we were. Step by Step Farm is in the Berkshires (low mountains) of Western Massachusetts. Not a commercial farm but almost 90 acres maintained as wildlife habitat. And before you think "rich toffs" remember that over here the comparative cost of "things" is different. Around here, the price of 90 acres of woodlot is about equivalent to four low end new cars -- most people in our society prefer the shiny new cars; I went without all my life prefering instead to protect some land. For some idiotic reason you imagine tea leaves would be a problem. It's FALL man, the time of year when the leaves come down off trees and bushes. Do you think the SPECIES of bush makes all that much difference.

But hey, besides our big compost piles (garden stuff) we have our kitchen composter. And guess what, it's no bigger than one of your dustbins. We have friends who live in the city and that doesn't stop them from composting their kitchen waste.YOU JUST HAVE TO CARE. Of course it helps if you don't believe in the socialist tooth fairy who will make all things better.

But what does it say that you imagined tea leaves to be "waste" related to the "bin tax". THAT'S THE PROBLEM, it's all "bin dust" to you (hey look, I'm trying to deal with the language difference but it's hard not to make mistakes -- I don't actually know WHAT you calssify as "dust" because that's something else over here). The point is, tea leaves should go the same place you put all the other leaves, the fact that the bush was "tea" rather than say hazel is irrelevant. Do you collect fallen hazel leaves and put them in your dustbins?

author by pat cpublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 11:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

By any rational definition the Green Party Bin Charges Policy amounts to a Flat Tax. Whether you are a bin collector or a high court judge you pay the same amount per throw. That is whats known as a regressive tax.

The Green Party also want to bring in metered water charges. Michael O'Leary will pay the same water tax as a factory worker. That is what is known as a regressive tax.

The Green Party support a flat tax on income. A teacher will pay 15% and Michael Smurfitt will pay 15%. That is what is known as a regressive tax. Even the PDs dont have the neck to push this far right policy. Even in the US only fringe right wing millionare candidates support it.

By supporting the bin tax the Green Party shares responsibility for the imprisonment of anti bin tax campaigners.

author by Joepublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 11:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Bin tax is worse then a flat rate income tax where at least the rich would have to pay the same percentage of their income. It is regressive in that the rich will pay a much, much smaller percentage of their income then ordinary workers. This has been explained to the GP 'tax the poor' crowd here several times now. So they understand the logic, they just don't see that it matters.

author by Ciaran Cuffepublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 12:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Two years ago in Dublin City Council Green Party Councillors Eamon Ryan and myself (since replaced by Ryan Meade and Claire Wheeler) voted in favour of bin charges.

We agreed to these charges subject to:
1 A lower annual waste charge for household opting for a smaller wheelie bin.
2 A refund of the waste charge for those households not offered a recycling service at their doorstep.
3 A recycling service for tetra packs and pet plastic bottles
4 A “tag a bag” system for commercial waste collection so that those businesses who waste most pay most.
5 A pilot project to measure the quantity and quality of the dry recyclable collection in different parts of the city with the intention that a special environmental improvement fund could be established to complete special projects in the areas which achieve the best recycling record.
6 A generous waiver system for those on social welfare.

Two years on I feel that the Fingal system is fairer as you only pay for each time your wheelie bin is lifted, so that if you create three times as much waste as your neighbour you pay three times more than they do. They also have a lower charge for those areas that aren’t served by a second wheelie bin service for recyclables.

Critics of the Fingal system say that it impacts greatly on large families, but surely this should be tackled by child benefit, rather than by allowing households to pay less for more waste. One of the advantages of the Fingal system is that households (such as an older person living alone) who create less waste pay less.

author by Joepublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 12:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Which means Ciaran that a five person household with an income of 20,000 (who do not qualify for a waiver) would pay a lot more then a millionare share owner like yourself. I don't know if you are single or have a partner and/or children so maybe you do and you just end up paying the same. You might think this is a 'fair' taxation. I don't and nor do a lot of other people.

Related Link: http://struggle.ws/wsm/bins.html
author by pat cpublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 12:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You are effectively putting yourself on the same side as FF & the PDs. Surely you can see that the charges as presently introduced have got nothing to do with protecting the Enviornment and everything to do with raising more taxes from the PAYE sector.

A Flat Tax is what you are proposing, one where Michael O'leary pays the same as a low paid worker, this is refressive and has no place in the policies of a progressive party. You are lining yourself up with the right, you are alsoo responsible for the jailing of Joe & Clare and later today, very likely others.

In the past I supported the Green Party, voted and even canvassed for them, I gritted my teeth about their position on the charges. I felt that their other policies made up for that and left wing members of the Greens like you genuinely wanted to change society. But now there is a Class War raging and you are either with those who wish to impose yet another tax on the Working Class or you stand for equity.

author by pat cpublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 12:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its worth noting that Austrian Greens supported a picket of the Irish Embassy in Vienna and signed the statement below. Pictures at link.

Protest note to the Irish embassy In Vienna/Austria
To the Ambassador,
We, signing organisations and persons, want to protest in the strongest terms at the permanent injunction that Fingal County Council has taken out against fifteen anti-bin tax campaigners. In particular we are protesting against the threat of further court proceedings against Joe Higgins TD and Councillor Clare Daley. We ask you to informe your government about the protests in Austria.

We have experience in Austria with the attempt of Governments to intimidate ordinary people involved in activity against the policy of local or national Governments. Your attempt of intimidation stands in a bad tradition. Your steps will only fuel anger against this deeply retrogressive tax. Here in Austria we are conducting a major campaign to mobilise publicity and support for the campaigners in Dublin.

We urge you to recognise the democratic right to protest and to drop the injunctions against the anti-bin tax campaigners.

Signing organisations and persons:

Baier Walterm, Chairman of Communist Party Austria (KPÖ)
Grusch Peter, Councillor, Vienna District Council Brigittenau, Green Party. Union of Salaried Private Sector Employees (GPA) - Member of the Controll-Comission
Jonischkeit Oliver, Austrian Trade Union Federation – Member of Excecutive Board
Maresch Rüdiger, Councillor, Vienna City Council, Green Party, Spokesperson for
Environment Questions of the Green Party Vienna
Regner Peter, Schoolstudentsrepresentative AHS-Glasergasse – Vienna 9
Unterwurzacher Jakob, Vize-Schoolstudentsrepresentative AHS-Glasergasse – Vienna 9
Communist Party Austria, Kommunistische Partei Österreich (KPÖ)
Socialist LeftParty (SLP), Sozialistische LinksPartei (SLP)
Trade Union Left Block, Gewerkschaftlicher Linksblock (GLB)

Related Link: http://www.worldsocialist-cwi.org/index.html
author by Terrypublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 12:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ciaran,

Whats to stop the private waste companies, once the service is privatized from scrapping the tag system when they find out it's not as profitable as a flat rate scheme.

Or maybe they will keep the basic tag system, but impose an 'administrative' yearly charge of lets say 300 euro, because 'costs have risen' and 'in order to run a viable business it is unfortunately necessary to add this small fee'

And you or any other politician won't be able to do a darn thing about it, because it will be out of the government hands and deemed a business issue. While I believe the Greens tend to be a bit more sincere on their beliefs, the rest of the politicians from the other parties such as FF, FG, PD and Lab will gladly wash their hands of the issue then.

I'm afraid what the Greens have done is put their faith in what is well known to be an largely undemocratic, unaccountable, non-transparent and generally acknowledged corrupt political system. The promises you have received are not likely to receive anything more than scant attention, when the private sector shall speak.

But again the Greens talk about polluter pays, but I don't recall any barking about taxing excessive packaging. I think the reason is because they would be taking on the giants of industry and they know that they would be decimated by the media and propaganda onslaught these entities can harness.

Your idealism has been hijacked by the powers that be, and they have managed to push aside and out of the picture those of us, who see the structural problems in the wider economy and society. And that's why we have, incinerators=recycling, war=peace, consuming=happiness, repressive=freedom etc

author by Chekovpublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 14:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You might call me high and mighty, I call me angry. Angry that the Green party, which I used to believe was at least well meaning, are backing a tax that is economically unfair (in that it is regressive), and that is likely to prove catastrophic for the environment (in that it will increase illegal dumping, burning of rubbish and will create a private industry with large resources who will be doing everything in their power to increase the amount of waste produced by householders). Who elected ye to do this?

If you think that there should be incentives for people to reduce waste, surely you think that this 'incentive' should be applied equally regardless of income? Surely you can see that taxing Ciaran Cuffe or Tony O'Reilly at about 0.0001% of income doesn't really provide the same incentive as taxing me at 3% of my income does.

To sum up, if there was a correlation with income (on a progressive scale) then I would think that the Greens were be wrong, but I could understand their mistake. As it is their support for the tax is absolutely reprehensible and completely incomprehensible. Many people won't forget this quickly and will be reminding people where the greens really stand next time they come looking for our votes.

author by martpublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 16:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

how are the bin charges a tax? you have to pay for a service, and it would be stupid to make anthony o'reilly pay for example e20,000 to have his bins collected just because he makes more money than most people.
again, the bin charges are a charge for a service, not a tax, and we should ALL pay the same.
people need to stop moaning and hating people who make more money than them (i'm not one of those people as you probably assumed i was).
you need to think about all this "tax" crap your spouting and refine your argument.
bin charges are too high in the north dublin area. we need a different system of charges all right, but one which encourages recycling and reuse. maybe a certain amount of rubbish should be collected free, then a charge above that level, and free recycling pick-up.

author by Joepublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 16:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

They exist to fund local government, to make up the shortfall in central government funds that used to go to local government. Do some research on this, its no big secret. And yes such taxes should be related to peoples ability to pay.

Related Link: http://stuggle.ws/wsm/bins.html
author by martpublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 16:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

...i guess my position is that i think the right thing to do would be to have people just pay to have their bins collected depending on how much rubbish they produce.
i know the ppl of fingal cc are used to having their taxes pay for their bin collection, but having them paid by taxes is not really fair.
ppl all over ireland (yes, i'm a big wexford culchie) pay quite a bit to have their bins collected, or in a lot of cases have no such service available so have to make their own arrangements.
these ppl pay taxes too, but their taxes have never paid for bin collection. a uniform nationwide system should be introduced, we should make (the considerable) effort to recycle, and our taxes should pay for other, more worthwhile things.
anyway, its a nasty business but people have to stand up for what they believe in.

author by Bertiepublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 16:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

But I spent 3 years working for various agencies of the British municipal councils analysing waste house by house, nieghbourhood by neighbourhood.
It was quite a job. Heavy gloves, going through the bins one by one, we'd weigh the refuse, classify it into:
Recyclable plastic
Recyclable carton
Recyclable paper
Recyclable plastic (polymer)
Recyclable metal
Recyclable wires
Recyclable glass.
This information was then assessed by various non state agencies (mostly market research corps) and the semi-state QAUNGOs set up to decide "waste management policy" and the awarding of "recycling contracts".
I'm pretty sure that info is freely available.
And though the work of "English"wasters, I doubt the conclusions would be terribly different for Irish wasters.

author by Very Anonymouspublication date Wed Sep 24, 2003 17:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As a member of the Greens I have to say that our position on this issue is wrong. Chekov's analysis versus Ciaran Cuffe's just reveals the depth of our error. Ciaran seeks to defend a flat tax with a host of waviers which may or may not apply and which definitely will NEVER apply when waste collection is fully privatised. Against this we have what seems the elementary sense of Chekov's position regarding the flat rate and its implications vis-a-vis how it impacts differently on the poor. Chekov's analysis raises the question that if we are going to have a waste charge then levy it in such a way that, say, individuals on pay a portion of their declared income. Someone mentioned that you can't charge Tony O'Reilly EUR 20,000 to collect his waste - why not? It peanuts to him, whereas the waste charges are equivalent, or even less than, a week's after tax income to many working class people.

Quite apart from the debate about waste charges, to see the full might to the state being used to crush the bin protestors should, I would think, trigger some kind of concern within Green Party members about the justness of defending a regressive tax when this tax is becoming another tool to batter working class communities, and is the thin end of the wedge that will be used to batter Green supporters and everyone else in the future. When people are being asked to pay a couple of thousand euro to have their children educated, with non payment being used to justify exclusion from school, and injunctions and jail terms for dissenters - we can't say we weren't warned. Same goes for water, health care etc. The multinationals lining up to take over the provision of public services will eat the Greens and Labour for breakfast and these parties will be faced with either fighting, like Clare Daly and Joe Higgins, or implementing the multinationals programme, which we can be sure will be "lawful" under the terms of the GATS treaty when it has been done and dusted - which it will be very soon.

A final point, there are elements to the Green Party who live in a middle class idyll and don't understand, or want to understand, the realities of life for PAYE workers on low incomes and so can't even grasp why this should be an issue. To regular posters on this site please bear in mind that not all Greens support the parties position on this and not all of us live in that idyll.

author by pasionaria - swppublication date Thu Sep 25, 2003 01:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

greens are not even kicking up alot about cullens plans to impose 8 incinerators throughout the country,

author by pasionaria - swppublication date Thu Sep 25, 2003 01:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

seargent..... has it all mixed up.

we have no proper recycling facilities in ireland.

the governments arguement is incineration.

so this bin tax is what will pay the private incinerator operators.

this is not waste management..

since 1999,, japan has closed down more than 2046 incinerators.

in north carolina incineration is banned... and as a result over 10,000 jobs have been created in recylcing.

so the greens would want to wake up..on this one

in theory the bin tax will pay for incinerators.

author by Niall Ó Brolcháinpublication date Thu Sep 25, 2003 11:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"greens are not even kicking up alot about cullens plans to impose 8 incinerators throughout the country,"

Come to Galway and say that. You will be laughed at. Go to Louth, Meath or Cork and you will get the same reponse.

I put forward a motion at our convention prior to the General election calling for the scrapping of plans for incinerators to be an exclusion criteria for going into Government. It was passed unanimously.

Perhaps in Dublin, anti incineration protests were not as vocal as they should have been but Dublin does not equal Ireland.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Sep 25, 2003 11:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

i must agree with Niall, the Greens have been prominent in opposing incinerators in dublin and elsewhere.

author by Very Anonymouspublication date Thu Sep 25, 2003 13:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

if incinerators and superdumps get the go ahead and cross all the legal hurdles, as at least some of the will, then does the Green Party part company with local communities who want to engage in direct action? Would appreciate your comments Niall.

For example, if Indaver get the OK on their Duleek incinerator is that the end of the campaign for members of the Green party? After all it will be a "lawfully" constructed incinerator.

If injunctions are served to stop direct action in these circumstances will it be Green Party policy to be bound by them?

The Dublin anti-bin tax campaign hasn't necessarily clarified to any great extent the correctness or otherwise of waste charges what it has done is show that the state is prepared for confrontation over this issue and is obviously putting aside serious resources to fight legal campaigns against communities.

What we need to hear is not where the Greens stand with regard to waste charges but where they stand with regard to the obvious reality that the state is prepared to behave in an agressive and oppresive manner against citizens who take a principled stand on this issus. Again would appreciate comments from Green Party members.

author by Sproutpublication date Thu Sep 25, 2003 15:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This unequal service charge is being sold to us (and especially the greens) using a bogus recycling\polluter pays argument trying to appeal to our valid green sensiblities. Like in other countries recyling bring centres should pay you by the weight of the recyclable material you bring, this introduces a profit motif to recycling. The Green Party should be able to backtrack and adopte this policy without losing any face, otherwise this'll be a disaster for them.
There should be no need to force, in a punitive manner, the municpal waste sector to recycle when it accounts for 2% of the total waste. Theres not enough recycling centres in this country and they should be able to recycle more materials, like plastic etc. But is this what the government wants so they can then introduce incinerators? Maybe Fianna Fails next big source of easy money is the incineration lobby.

author by Niall ÓB - Greenspublication date Thu Sep 25, 2003 17:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

An honest question deserves an honest answer.

YOU WROTE
"if incinerators and superdumps get the go ahead and cross all the legal hurdles, as at least some of the will, then does the Green Party part company with local communities who want to engage in direct action? "

Most Greens are not afraid of direct action so long as it is in line with Green principles. If there are any attempts to build an incinerator in Galway. I for one am prepared to stand shoulder to shoulder with community groups protesting against it.

I have been involved in direct action in the past. However, I do have a problem with direct action that intimidates ordinary decent citizens. Preventing an incinerator from being built would not do this.

author by Chekovpublication date Thu Sep 25, 2003 17:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"However, I do have a problem with direct action that intimidates ordinary decent citizens."

Sounds to me like an attempted smear against the bin-tax campaign. Jesus even the rabid right aren't banging that drum.

author by pat cpublication date Thu Sep 25, 2003 18:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

stopping incinerators being built may involve the blockading of building sites/depots, standing sitting in front of lorries etc. are you saying that would be intimidation?

author by secretary of the minutae.publication date Thu Sep 25, 2003 18:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

For the benefit of newer readers:

The Indymedia family "that broad church" of

Greens- ecological groups- Critical Mass- conservation lobbyists and of course the auld greenies SF (!)

Red- SP, SWM, Labour members on the left, Connloy Youth, WP, various leftwing pressure groups, and of course the left members of the auld greenies SF (!)

White- Catholic workers, pacifists, liberation theologists, international peace workers and volunteers.

Black- libertarians, anarchist groupings, no border activists, non heirarchial groupings, RTS.

long ago came to several concensus like conclusions:

Direct Action is an exercise of democratic principle, it is an exercise of the civil right to disobedience. It must be pacifist, non violent in action and works best when it is symbolic.

***NB***
There is no grouping represented in the Irish family of Indymedia at the present time that promotes or condones violent action against the State or it's employees. Nor have there been since it's inception almost 2 years ago.

author by cat ppublication date Thu Sep 25, 2003 22:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

By any rational definition the Green Party Public Transport Tax Policy amounts to a Flat Tax. Whether you are a bus driver or a high court judge you pay the same amount per trip. That is whats known as a regressive tax.

The Green Party also want to bring in metered milk charges. Michael O'Leary will pay the same milk price as a factory worker. That is what is known as a regressive tax.

author by Very Anonymouspublication date Fri Sep 26, 2003 12:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fair Enough Niall, but direct action that results in the intimidation of ordinary decent citizens covers about every kind of direct action imaginable over the course of modern political struggle in Ireland, Europe, America and elsewhere. It belies the thought processes of Green members who seem to be adopting the attitude that the Bin Tax campaign is an SP gig and as such the SP are crazy trots who will do anything to get a rise out of the state. That's true to an extent. But given that the SP have, at most, a couple of hundred members - and there are thousands upon thousands of "ordinary decent citizens" involved in this campaign its disingenuous to suggest that you can divide the bin protestors into two camps the, obviously misguided, "ordinary decent citizens" and the "professional activists/troublemakers" who are leading people down a dead end.

What recent events have shown is the extent to which the state is prepared to confront "ordinary decent citizens" who dare to take a principled stand on an issue of huge importance vis-a-vis how municpal/public services are going to be supplied in the future.

The perception of the Green Party as a progressive force is dead, probably for good, in many areas of Dublin at least. And its as well to remember that the voters of Dublin South and Dun Laoighaire will probably want Fine Gael back at some stage in the future. Being familiar with life on a council estate in Fingal I can vouch that when a politician stands up for working people they are guaranteed lifetime support at the polls. Ray Burke knew this and Clare Daly knows it as well. The repercussions for Trevor Sargeant could be interesting.

By the way, many people in Fingal who paid the charges are spitting blood over the jailings of Joes Higgins and Clare Daly. If GV Wright gets convicted for this drink driving charge and there's a bye election I believe the Clare Daly will romp home....

author by pat cpublication date Fri Sep 26, 2003 14:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

niall

your time would be better spent publicising this statement on incineration rather than supporting bin tax.

"26th September 2003

BOYLE QUESTIONS BENEFICIAL INTEREST IN INCINERATOR SITE

Speaking today at the Bord Pleanala oral hearing into the application to construct a National Toxic Waste Incinerator at Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork, Green Party TD, Dan Boyle, revealed that a serious question exists over the beneficial interest of the site at Ringaskiddy where Indaver Ireland intend to construct a toxic waste incinerator.

"This site was 'purchased' from Irish Ispat the steel company that subsequently ceased operations and went into liquidation. I contend that Irish Ispat was in breach of their 1996 agreement with the Irish Government and was not in a position to legally dispose of assets in this way. As a member of the Dáil Public Accounts Committee I have raised this issue and it is currently being investigated.”

"If Indaver Ireland does not have a beneficial interest in this site, then it has no basis to seek planning permission for a toxic waste incinerator," concluded Deputy Boyle. "

author by Niall OB - Greenspublication date Tue Sep 30, 2003 11:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

For once I agree with you. However, as I keep pointing out, I do not support bin tax. That is just your take on my position.

I am glad you oppose incineration though.

author by pat cpublication date Tue Sep 30, 2003 13:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

you support charging for waste disposal by the kilo, that is a bin tax.

author by Niall ÓB - Greenspublication date Tue Sep 30, 2003 15:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You are proposing to raise income tax by around 2% to pay for waste disposal. This does not encourage people to produce less waste. We are producing considerably more waste per capita than any other country in the EU.

The Greens propose to charge nothing for those who produce very little waste. Whereas we would progressively charge more, the more waste produced. We are also proposing an allowance for those on social welfare and low incomes. This would mean that those who earn less and pollute less would pay less whereas those who earn more and pollute more will pay more.

You propose to allow people like Tony O Reilly with his army of accountants to effectively pay nothing for his waste collection whereas ordinary people will end up footing the bill.

Doesn't make sense to me.

author by pat cpublication date Fri Oct 03, 2003 15:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I propose no increase in income tax for ordinary workers. Neither does the campaign. You are a barefaced liar.

The Green Party including yourself propose a flat rate bin tax, whether you are a millionaire Green Party TD or a bin collector you pay the same amount.

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