Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government Barry Cowen says the Government needs to provide urgent clarification surrounding the costs of the new pay by weight system for disposal of waste.
Deputy Cowen said, “Last January former Minister for Environment Alan Kelly announced that he was introducing a new pay by weight system for bin charges. At the time he insisted that the new system would result in savings for 87% of people. This proposal seemed sensible at the time. However now it transpires that the prediction made by Minister Kelly was not based on realistic research.
“We’ve heard extensive media coverage on this issue in recent days. In one instance a family who paid €324 last year for waste disposal services are now facing a bill of up to €600 for the year ahead. This is a massive increase in costs which families simply cannot afford.
“There is a growing sense of fear and frustration amongst families in relation to these charges. There has been a complete failure of communication by the Department of Environment regarding the structure of these new charges. Meanwhile the waste disposal companies simply have not outlined the justification behind the massive increase in charges. We need full transparency by these companies, they must clearly outline where their customers money is going.
“I’m calling on Minister Coveney to suspend the new charges regime until we get clarity as to why families are experiencing a massive increase in their bills when former Minister Kelly stated that the opposite would occur. Serious consideration should be given to the viability of a transition period to the new system to ensure households are fully informed and can financially plan around their expected charges. There is little point implementing a system that is destined to fail from day one,” concluded Deputy Cowen.