Category: Household Charges


Right2Water Political Pillar call people to take to the streets on Saturday

The political pillar of Right2Water are urging people to come out on the streets in Dublin this weekend to protest and reiterate their demand  for water charges and Irish water to be abolished. There are blatant double standards in Ireland where rich corporations pay no tax and the people get battered with austerity.

The Right2Water demonstration will take place in Dublin this Saturday. Groups will be meeting in Hueston and Connolly at 2pm to protest against the imposition of water charges and Irish Water.

The demonstration has been called for this Saturday to coincide with the reconvening of the Dáil. The majority of DáIl TD’s, including Fianna Fail, are democratically mandated to get rid of water charges and Irish Water.

The call comes in the wake of submissions to the Expert Water Group by all political parties, groups and independent TD’s in the Dáil.

Bríd Smith TD, of People Before Profit, called for people to take to the streets of Dublin this Saturday and demonstrate their total rejection of Irish Water, water charges and the “unfairness and double standards that the government apply to the multi-nationals as against the people”. She said that “since 2008 working people in this country have taken the sharp edge of austerity, cuts and levies brought on by the reckless gambling of a wealthy elite. Furthermore, the government have been exposed as valuing the profitability of multi-nationals and vulture funds over the wellbeing of the people of this state.

“Water charges and Irish Water were the last straw for many people and have seen an unprecedented popular rebellion by the people against the toxic agenda of charging people for water, which we know is destined to end up privatised unless these charges are abolished. The majority of TD’s, including Fianna Fail, are democratically mandated to get rid of water charges.”

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Demand complete abolition of Irish Water and water charges; water services and infrastructure to be funded through progressive central taxation

aaa pbpThe Anti-Austerity Alliance- People Before Profit group (AAA-PBP) have entered their submission to the Expert Water Commission.

The submission calls for the abolition of water charges and Irish Water. It says that the funding for water services and infrastructure should be paid for through central progressive taxation, that the delivery of water services should be transferred back to the Local Authorities and coordinated and managed by a single national water and sanitation board. They have also called for a referendum to be held to amend the constitution to guarantee the public ownership of the public water system and natural resources in the constitution.

AAA-PBP said that abolition of the charges and Irish Water should be accompanied by an amnesty for outstanding bills and a refund for those who have paid and charges related to water charges protest activity should be dropped. It also calls for a ‘fair deal’ for rural dwellers that are not part of the public water system.

Bríd Smith TD said “We have made this submission to the Expert Water Commission despite the obvious fact that it is a mechanism to stall the water charges issue. Water charges must be abolished, that is what the people have said through a 73% boycott of Irish Water bills, through the mass mobilisations which saw hundreds of thousands take to the streets all over the country and through the election where the majority of TD’s were elected on an anti-water charges/anti-Irish Water mandate. For the government to try to stall this is anti-democratic.

“Irish Water has also been incredibly wasteful. The cost of the metering programme, consultancy fees, the conservation grant and advertising amongst other things have cost a fortune and have not purified one drop of water or fixed one pipe.”

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One down, more to go until the water commission and water charges is abolished

water billIn a statement, People Before Profit TD, Brid Smith, has said while she is happy that Joe O’Toole has stepped down from the water charges commission there still remains the overarching issue of the rest of the clearly biased commission members who must be removed.

It is important, according to Deputy Smith, that Mr O’Toole “is not used as a scape goat to try and divert attention away from the glaring democratic deficit surrounding the creation of this commission and those members on it.”

Deputy Smith continued to say that “the people spoke clearly during the water charges demonstrations, the largest mass mobilisations of people that this country has ever seen and during the general election when a majority of the TD’s in the Dail were elected on mandate of abolishing water charges completely. These events have rocked the political establishment and the only option for them is abolition of charges and Irish Water for good.

“Whilst I am pleased that Mr O’Toole has now stepped down, the more serious issue of the commission itself still remains.  The commission contains a lot of people who accept, as a fact, that water services should be paid for through user charges. There is no way that this commission can be seen as impartial. There is not one person from the Right2Water movement on this commission. It is clear that the only aim of this commission is to try to sneak water charges in the back door or as Simon Coveney said “create acceptance” among citizens as to how best to pay for water.

“The will of the people of this country was to put the issue of water charges and Irish Water to bed and fully abolish this toxic entity and consign water charges to the dust bin of history where they belong.”

Dail debate and vote to take place next week on AAA-PBP motion calling for immediate government action to prevent planned increase in waste charges

imageNext week, the Dail will debate and vote upon a AAA-PBP Private Members Motion calling for an immediate Ministerial order to prevent private waste companies from implementing the planned dramatic increases in household waste charges.

The motion submitted today by AAA-PBP will be debated in the Dail next Tuesday.

Bin charges are set to rise by between 100 and 200%. These charges will inflict an unsustainable burden for hard pressed households if the proposed increases by private waste companies are implemented and will undoubtedly lead to a dramatic increase in illegal dumping.

The motion seeks to prevent the private waste management companies from implementing the planned increases in price; ensure the Minster meets with the waste companies; ensure that standing charges cannot be increased in excess of the Consumer Price Index; implement maximum waste charges for the different types of bins and reinstate the waivers for pensioners, people with disabilities, carers, low-paid workers, those on social-welfare and people in receipt of Family Income Supplement.

Speaking on the AAA-PBP motion Brid Smith TD who was imprisoned for opposition to bin charges and who first raised the issue in the Dail said: “This motion if accepted will force the government to prevent these extortionate bin charge increase and prevent profiteering by private waste companies. It will ensure there is a maximum charge in respect to pay by weight. Continue reading

Bring the bins back to local authorities

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Following a query from People Before Profit Dublin Mid-West TD Gino Kenny, private waste management company Thornton’s Recycling have revealed that their annual bin charge of €50 will now be increased to a whopping €156 per year as of the 1st July.

In response to this revelation, Deputy Kenny said “This charge is regardless if you never put one single bin out all year and is on top of what you’re already paying for your black and brown bin charges.  This is what happens when you privatise a vital public service and hand it over to greedy for-profit companies likes Thornton’s and Greyhound.

People Before Profit will be holding a demonstration at Thornton’s Recycling, Kileen Road on Tuesday, June 7 at 6pm.

Gino Kenny said “Many families on low incomes and struggling to make ends meet will not be able to afford this outrageous and totally unjust increase.  The promises of privatisation that we would have an ‘efficient and cheaper service’ that would be ‘good for the environment’ have ended up with endless price hikes and a major littering problem while these companies make huge profits.”

“It’s inevitable that all other private waste companies will follow Thornton’s example.  That’s why we must immediately begin the process of returning our bin services to public ownership.  I will be making this a massive issue in my capacity as TD and my People Before Profit colleagues in South Dublin County Council and Dublin City Council will be working hard to ensure this hike is resisted and overturned and the failed privatisation of bin services brought to an end.”

Brid Smith said “This price increase on the bins by the private waste companies is a direct result of disastrous policy of previous governments and the current government .  These policies have been maintained by Alan Kelly and Simon Coveney in passing local authority responsibility for the bins to private for profit companies. Bring back the bins to local authority control.”

Alan Kelly’s Environmental credentials blown apart as government forced under pressure to abandon recycling charge.

CifeXlqWsAAx6e0In a statement Richard Boyd Barrett TD for the PBP alliance welcomed the government’s decision this morning to back down on the plan of former environment Minister Alan Kelly to impose for the first time charges on Green Bin recycled waste, following the recent launch of a campaign by the People Before Profit Alliance calling for the policy to be reversed.

The decision of the government to back down to the demands of People Before Profit to rescind the Green Waste charge plan also comes after People Before Profit Councillor Melisa Halpin proposed a motion to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council on the 9th May which was passed unanimously.

Richard Boyd Barrett said; ‘’I’m delighted that the campaign by People Before Profit over recent weeks has forced the government to back out of Alan Kelly’s disgraceful plan to introduce for the first time charges on Green Bin recycled waste.

This decision which has clearly been forced on the government following our campaign of recent weeks blows apart any environmental credentials that former Minister Alan Kelly might have claimed to have. Alan Kelly’s plan could only have benefited and was almost certainly prompted by the private for profit waste industry. It would have done immense damage to the environment by effectively removing the incentive for householders to recycle green waste.

The fact that Alan Kelly even attempted such an environmentally regressive measure shows the urgent need to take waste collection and recycling services back into full public ownership and control. It is obvious that the private waste companies do not give a damn about recycling or the environment – they only care about profit.

However the fact that the government have backed down shows the effectiveness of the new and larger left both in the Dail and in local authorities. This is a big victory for the environment, common sense and a politics that puts people and the environment before profit’’.

People Before Profit has launched a campaign calling for the new green bin charges to be scrapped

CifeXlqWsAAx6e0It was introduced by former environment minister Alan Kelly in the last weeks of his ministry. Richard Boyd Barrett TD said it was an “absolutely disgraceful” action by Mr Kelly.

He said that the move will be “extremely damaging” to the environment, discourage people from recycling and encourage more illegal dumping.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said the only beneficiaries would be private and for-profit waste operators which would result in “environmental sabotage”.

Mr Kelly previously stated that the new charge would reduce costs for 87% of homeowners if they sort their waste properly, but Mr Boyd Barrett said: “I don’t think we can believe Alan Kelly at all”.

He said if the charges are introduced, it shows extreme environmental hypocrisy on Mr Kelly’s part. The party claims the charges, introduced by former Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly, are “environmental sabotage”.

New pay by weight fees for recycling are due to take effect in July, a move the party says is for profit interests rather than environmental concerns.

People Before Profit TD Brid Smith, says the service should remain free of charge. She said: “We haven’t up to now been charged for recycling, we haven’t paid for the recycling content of the green bin, and there’s a reason for that. “It is because recycling is good for the environment and now we are told that we must pay for it when it in itself generates a profit. So the activity of people separating their rubbish and putting it into green bins rather than everything into a black bin creates a profit for the companies that collect it.”

  • No change to disastrous policies of privatisation in key areas of social housing , health and vital infrastructure

  • No change – No serious commitment on inequality, wealth distribution or women’s rights

In a statement today, Richard Boyd Barrett who spoke on behalf of AAA-BPB in the Dáil today, has said that the new programme for government shows ‘no sign of the much triumphed ‘new politics’, but instead is filled with the construction of the same failed policies of the last government.

Richard Boyd Barrett stated that it was particularly alarming that there was no change in the fundamental direction of policy in the areas of health and social housing and vital infrastructure. He said in these key areas, the new government intends to continue and accelerate the same policies of privatisation and reliance on the private sector that produced such disastrous crises in housing and in the public health service and vital infrastructure, such as water.

Richard Boyd Barrett has condemned the programme’s failure to honour the clear democratic mandate of the Dáil to immediately abolish water charges and the failure to clearly commit to a referendum on Repealing the 8th amendment.

Richard Boyd Barrett said, “For all the rhetoric about new politics that we have heard over recent weeks, and there is more of it to be found in this programme for government, we have instead a continuation and in many cases acceleration of the same policies of privatisation and reliance on the private sector that have already produced such disastrous crises, in housing, our public health system and crises of vital infrastructure, such as water services”.

In a wide range of areas where there are acute crises, the government has fudged and kicked the can down the road to committees, commissions and reviews.

In all these areas, particularly social housing, health, water, infrastructure, womens rights and poverty, we don’t need talk and we certainly do not need more privatisation. What we do need is a major increase in direct public investment in all these areas – there is simply no change- just half measures and worse, misguided measures.

The failure of this government to simply honour its mandate on water charges and abolish them is outrageous. 

The failure of the programme to commit to a referendum on repealing the 8th amendment is an utter scandal and insult to women and families affected by fatal foetal abnormalities.

Given the dramatic increase in child poverty,  poverty generally and inequality in our society, it is a travesty that there is no over-arching commitment to greater social equality or the redistribution of wealth in a fair way in this country”.

Nationwide Right2Water protests this Saturday, Jan 23rd.

Click on map below to see all the protest locations.

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People Before Profit has condemned plans to fine electricity consumers who refuse to accept new smart electricity meters.

These proposals have been drawn up by the Commission on Energy Regulation. The meter installation programme is part of a strategy to charge more for electricity usage during peak hours and less for off peak hours.

Gino Kenny, a People Before Profit councillor and candidate in the Dublin Mid West constituency said:

‘The cost of meter installation will be €750 million and that will be loaded onto ESB consumers in a ‘distribution charge’ over the next five years. This is totally unacceptable.

‘If the smart metering programme led to a genuine reduction in spending on electricity, many people would volunteer to have one installed.

‘But the CER are making smart meters compulsory and invoking powers to fine people.

‘That new ‘distribution charge’ comes on top of a charge of €64 ‘Public Service Obligation Levy’ a year which is used to subsidise private companies.

Tynagh Energy and Aughinish Alumina, for example, benefit from this PSO levy as well as a host of private firms engaged in wind-farms.

‘People have had enough of water charges and other indirect taxes. We are not likely to accept yet another mandatory charge for electricity’.