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Bin Tax Cork - Pays To Resist

category cork | bin tax / household tax / water tax | news report author Wednesday September 01, 2004 12:52author by Kevin - WSMauthor email corkwsm at eircom dot net Report this post to the editors

Non-payment of bin charges remains very high despite the Council’s bullying tactics and the introduction of a ‘pay or we won’t collect’ policy

Resistance Pays… Cork Anti-Bins

Figures released by Cork City Council confirm that the non-payment of bin charges remains very high despite the Council’s bullying tactics and the introduction of a ‘pay or we won’t collect’ policy. In 2003, almost 35% of the city’s population were still refusing to pay the exorbitant tax. The figures (from the Council’s own records) released in advance of a Freedom of Information request also confirm that non-payment peaked in the aftermath of the victory by Householders Against Service Charges (HASC) arising from its campaign of dumping uncollected domestic rubbish outside Cork’s City Hall. In 2001 over 40% of people were refusing to pay and this climbed to just under 49% the following year (2002). In 2003, following a convenient change in the law, city councils in Dublin and Cork renewed their efforts to introduce the ‘double-tax’. This led to widespread threats and bullying by the city council. Nevertheless the records show that the Council’s effort to claw back the level of non-payment was successful only to the extent that it dramatically increased the ‘waiver’ scheme contribution, which rose to 23% of the total collectable bin tax in Cork city or 35% of all monies actually received! The message is, it pays to resist …

Figures for collection of Bin Tax in Cork – 1999-2003

Collectable Cork Bin Tax (euros): 4.7 million (1999); 0.6 m.(2000); 8.5 m (2001); 11.3 m (2002); 19.4 m. (2003)
% Actually Collected: 63.5 % (1999); 67.2 %.(2000); 59.8 % (2001); 51.3 % (2002); 65.3 % (2003)
% Allowed Waiver: 13.6 % (1999); 14.4 % (2000); 13.4 % (2001); 11.2 % (2002); 23.0 % (2003)

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author by Criticpublication date Wed Sep 01, 2004 20:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Whatever about your position on Bin Charges it doesn't excuse inaccurate journalism.

The claim that 35% of the city's population are refusing to pay the tax is deeply misleading. It suggests that all those who have waivers are refusing to pay the Charges on principle, or are taking a waiver on principle. This is not necessarily the case.

Putting people who have applied for a waiver in the same category as people refusing to pay their Charges is extremely, deeply, dishonest journalism. I would not tolerate it from mainstream media so I don't see why indymedia should

The rate of non-payment in Cork in 2003 is actually 11.7%, down from 22.9%, or halved to put it another way since 1999.

So, in 1999 less than a quarter of Cork householders did not pay their charges. In 2003, just over one in ten householders refused to pay.

Council revenue has more than quadrupled over the same period of time.

The total collectable Bin Tax EXCLUDES waivers since because those people do not qualify to pay it, it is not collectable from them.

author by Just not Criticpublication date Wed Sep 01, 2004 21:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Critic is clearly unaware of whats really happening on the ground in working class areas. The Local authorities are handing out waivers to just about anyone who applies in a bid to artificially lower the official non payment rate. The real agenda of people like critic is to do everything possible to undermine what is a genuine community response to taxation injustice. Just what you would expect from the middle class Labour/Green milieu.

author by Council Headpublication date Thu Sep 02, 2004 00:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Critic has mis-read the figures completely. Mathematics is all you need. The point is there was never 98% paying the bin tax in Cork like Gavin, the city manager, and Cork City Council were imply. People are not stupid - double tax is just not on!

author by Gavin Is A Monster - Cork City Coucilpublication date Thu Sep 02, 2004 00:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I heard that Gavin, the Cork City Manger, is planning on getting rid of the waiver scheme altogether. Not surprising from those figures aboe.. a lot of people claiming waivers all of a sudden!

author by john mcdermott - remove fianna fail party(free membership!)publication date Thu Sep 02, 2004 00:18author address Dublinauthor phone Report this post to the editors

At least our Cork brothers have shown some gumption in fighting the tax.Bertie is a Corkman as well ,of course,(posing as a 'Dub').Good luck to the brave minority of Cork people who have stood up to this tax-even if it is small -it is a spirited example to the sheep who fold at the slightest threat from Bertie's gang.I'm for the spirit of Michael Collins!.**** Bertie's bunch of hoodlums!!

author by Criticpublication date Thu Sep 02, 2004 15:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

For the record I opposed the bin charges, support non-payment and have still refused to pay my charges. Neither a Labour or Green attitude. I wasn't aware I needed to say this to be allowed to comment.

I am aware that the Councils are giving waivers much easier in order to artificially reduce the non-payment rate. But that is EXACTLY the point that should have been made in the initial article.

Admit non-payment is down, point to the increase in waivers as one of the reasons for this and use this analysis to expose the tactics of the Council.

Instead, the article dishonestly implied that rates of non-payment were high or strong. In fact they have been steadily decreasing over the last four years.

Political beliefs and good journalism are not neessarily contradictory, but the posting above is an example of how it can be. It's not journalism, it's propaganda. I read the Irish Independent, I don't need more propaganda on Indymedia.

author by Joepublication date Thu Sep 02, 2004 15:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Critic I don't get where you are coming from.

The article includes the non-payment figure for 3 years, "In 2003, almost 35% of the city’s population were still refusing to pay... non-payment PEAKED* in the aftermath of the victory by ... (HASC) ... In 2001 over 40% of people were refusing to pay and this climbed to just under 49% the following year (2002)."

In other words the figures presented in the article do indeed show "they have been steadily decreasing over the last four years" but you seem to be upset that the author describes the glass as half full "non-payment of bin charges remains very high despite" rather than half empty. This is not a question of honesty at all but of how you choose to present the facts, facts which are included in the article.

* my emphasis

author by Criticpublication date Thu Sep 02, 2004 16:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is not a non-payment level of 35% in Cork in 2003. That's simply not true. It is to that I object.

There is a non-payment level of 11.7%. I consider that to be an achievement, but hardly 'very high'.

The writer is dishonestly attempting to include people paying waivers as people not paying. That is simply dishonest and a complete misrepresentation of the situation.

People who have waivers are people who are entitled to them, who are not obliged to pay the tax. How can someone claim they are taking a position of refusing to pay an unjust tax that no-one is asking them to pay?

I don't pay Corporation Tax. Is this because I have taken a principled position not to pay or because I'm not eligible for it? I suspect the latter.

Yes, I agree, waivers are being issued very liberally to artificially increase the people taking them up to weaken the campaign and that the limits on those waivers will be made harsher.

But that point should be made as a way of explaining the reduction in non-payment.

While I accept Joe's position is one of a genuine attempt to understand where I'm coming from I don't think it's all that unclear.

author by Joepublication date Fri Sep 03, 2004 12:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was responding to you post just above mine (which was about the figures by year) rather then your first post in the thread.

Much as it pains me to admit it you have a point in that first post although I don't think its so much Kevin being dishonest (if it was he'd hardly be dumb enough to also provide the breakdown of the figures) but rather overlly spinning the figures. I think however that he is right in the sense that the fall in non-payment seems to be mostly to do with previous non-payers being given waivers rather than them deciding to pay. That seems the most sensible interpretation from the previous years figures does it not?

author by Criticpublication date Fri Sep 03, 2004 17:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think it's fairly extreme spinning but I think I largely agree with your last point.

author by Kevin - Workers Solidarity Movementpublication date Fri Sep 17, 2004 13:20author email corkwsm at eircom dot netauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

A number of critical points were made regarding my interpretation of the figures on the collection of the bin charges in Cork – see top of this thread. In summary these points, made by Critic, were as follows:
1) That there was not a non-payment level of 35% in Cork in 2003 and to suggest that there was is ‘deeply misleading’.
2) That I wrongly included those who were availing of ‘waivers’ in the category of non-payers and was using this to artificially inflate the number of bin tax resisters in Cork.
3) That in my commentary I engaged in “extremely, deeply, dishonest journalism”

Could I explain once again that Cork City Council supplied official figures to me in April 2004 following protracted inquiries. I have a copy of the original letter that supplied these figures and I can forward it to anyone who wishes to see it for himself or herself:
1) This email/ letter from CCC and the data enclosed in it CONFIRMS that there IS a non-payment level of 35% in Cork in 2003. CCC added the following by way of clarification (and I quote exactly): “Prior to the issue of stickers in November 2003 we examined the status of the individual accounts and at that time 26,450 of a total of 43,825 accounts were paid. A further 1012 account holders had made agreements and commenced payments to clear the balance outstanding.” If anyone cares to work out the maths from this clarification it shows that (included the 1012 account holders who made agreements… etc) that only 62.7% had paid up (or given undertaking to pay at some stage). This tallies with the other figures that CCC supplied and which I included in my original report to Indymedia. In other words the non-payment levels are still very high.
2) In relation to the point about waivers. In my report I gave the number of waivers per year exactly as CCC supplied these figures to me. Cork City Council INCLUDES the percent waivers each year WITHIN their overall collection figures. In other words for 2003 the figure of 65.27% INCLUDES the number of number of waivers granted for that year which was 22.99%. (And so on for each other year.) In relation to this point by Critic, it appears as if the error (on Critic’s behalf) arose out of a problem with how I presented the figures to the Indy site. I attempted to load the original and full table of figures supplied to me by CCC but the formatting went crazy when I made the attempt, making nonsense of the data. I was, as a result, forced to put an edited version on line. The misunderstanding appears to arisen from Critic misreading my report to imply that I was including waivers in the category of non-payers – as said before I was not. I hope this clarifies this point.
3) If Critic would like to give me his/her email I can supply him/her with the appropriate information. A number of journalists have already asked for the information and I have supplied it to them. However I would like to say that I do think it is over the top, in the context of the report I submitted to Indymedia, to have accused me of “extremely, deeply, dishonest journalism”. Certainly unnecessary confusion was created by the manner in which I placed the figures on line, but this was unintentional. In any case I do apologise for this. Rushing unfortunately.

Finally let me say that there is perhaps an insinuation in the thread that in relation to the figures for Cork, that there is a need to ‘spin’ the data to bolster our case. I don’t think so at all. The figures supplied by Cork City Council very much reflect the reality of what activists know to be the situation on the ground. The two points that are most important INMO from the CCC data supplied are:
a) Members of CCC that have claimed there was in excess of 90% of people in Cork paying their bin tax, are lying or have lied about the reality.
b) When the Householders Against Service Charges in Cork was fighting actively against the bin tax, overall non-payment increased. For this reason I do think it is right to conclude that resistance pays.

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author by Joepublication date Fri Sep 17, 2004 13:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for the clarification on the figures.

author by moneypublication date Fri Sep 17, 2004 16:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you don't like the bin tax are you saying the money to pay for waste disposal should come from central taxation?

author by Kevinpublication date Wed Sep 22, 2004 12:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yeah, sure. The Govt has been collecting this money for years but it has diverted it to other grandiose plans. The objection to the bin tax is that it is asking workers to pay twice for the one service.

author by rebel - tenantpublication date Thu Jun 01, 2006 18:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

as a tentant who has been refusing to pay refuse charges from the begining i would suggest to other house holders to try other refuge collectors i got a great deal from collins waste recently. and it for me killed two birds with the one stone.
(1) council are not getting my money.
(2) and my refuse is being collected.
all the council had to do was be nice, come up with a solution to mine & other house holders problem of asking for huge amounts from people who are and were out of work.
in other words when I was working in full time employment council never asked for refuse money. but when i was out of work they came a looking but all to late.
there is a solution to feuse collection look else where

author by Fed Up - Nonepublication date Sun Jul 02, 2006 20:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The council deliver a bin if you are a tenant.
If you are buying your home you pay.
The bin gets stolen - you pay.
Cannot get recycling bags - you must pay.
If the bin is 1 inch open it's not collected.
If the bin is not on the roadway but on the footpath - it's not collected.
Cannot get a larger bin - answer is all the bins are the same.
No one in so called city hall gives a shite about the working class
Where are we supposed to put rubbish?
Why cannot there be a proper waste management situation like the following:
If you are a manufacturer then you should be producing fully recycable packaging.
If not then the packaging should be returnable.
More waste recycling areas - 1 in each locality - not all people have access to private transport.
More openess and accountability in local government - there is no democracy...

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