Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/315/11618
Press Release: Joe Higgins TD (MP) and Councillor Clare Daly Jailed
Appeal for Letters of Support
THE SOCIALIST Party in Southern Ireland are in the middle of a massive community battle against the government's plans to extend local taxation.
The government have imposed extra charges for collecting domestic rubbish. If you don't purchase a special tag from your local council, your rubbish won't be collected.
The bulk of waste is produced by big agriculture and big business. But instead of penalising the real polluters, the government has given massive tax breaks to big business in the budgets of 2001 and 2002, reducing Corporation Tax to 12.5%.
Tax cuts to big business over the last two budgets have amounted to 1.5 billion Euros. Workers on PAYE still pay over 80% of all tax.
Where bin charges have been imposed in other parts of Ireland, they run at between 300-500+ Euros a year, with the obvious temptation for councils to continually put up the rates.
The campaign's tactic is to blockade the bin lorries as they come in to local estates, with the slogan of: "Collect all rubbish or collect nothing."
Already residents in the Santry area of Dublin have blockaded a bin truck for a week and are determined that it won't be released until the council gives the commitment to collect all bins.
Lobbies of Dublin Corporation bin depots are taking place and more bin routes are being halted in protest in a range of communities.
The enemy is the government and the councils, not the bin workers. The Anti-Bin Tax Campaign aims to get the bin workers' support and is appealing to the trade union movement to back its resistance, in line with the conference policy of many unions.
In a whole series of local authorities, the implementation of a bin tax regime has been followed by privatisation - the handing over of the service to private operators.
The campaign is vehemently opposed to this. Refuse collection should be a public service with proper wages and conditions for the workers.
Fight the injunctions
FINGAL COUNTY Council have obtained a temporary high court injunction against 15 anti-bin tax activists trying to stop them "obstructing the collection of rubbish by the council".
Among those affected are members Joe Higgins, who is Socialist Party TD (member of Ireland's Parliament - the Dail). Others affected by the injunction are city councillors Clare Daly and Ruth Coppinger.
The Fingal Anti Bin Tax Campaign (FABTC) follows on from the anti-water charges movement of 1994-97, which forced the abolition of that tax in 1996.
FABTC say they won't be cowed by legal manoeuvring and will fight on. The four Dublin Anti Bin Tax Campaigns have called a major protest lobby at the Four Courts on 19 September, in solidarity with the campaigners.
In The Socialist 20 September 2003: