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Dublin City Council Budget: Robbing the Poor to Pay the Rich

20/12/09

Bin charges protestéirígí activist and Dublin City councillor Louise Minihan has slammed Dublin City Manager’s proposal to reintroduce bin charges and has called on Dubliners to come out in protest against the plans.

The proposals, contained in the City Council Budget Estimates, are to remove the bin charge waiver and to charge pensioners and those on welfare for their bin collection, while, at the same time, reducing the commercial rate for businesses by two per cent.

Minihan described the measures as yet another example of the political establishment robbing the poor to pay the rich.

She said: “Just last week, the Fianna Fáil/Green Party coalition enacted a savage budget against the working class which transferred wealth from the poorest sections of society to the richest. Now, Dublin City Council is planning to remove the bin tax waiver for people who have already suffered a 4.1 per cent reduction in social welfare payments as well as cuts to child benefit. At the same, time it is being proposed to reduce the commercial rates for businesses by two per cent. This represents a continuation of the war declared on the poor last week. It is an absolute scandal that the most vulnerable in society are being targeted in this way. These actions are unjustifiable and will simply increase the levels of inequality within Irish society.

“Currently, the commercial rate for businesses in Dublin City Council, at a rate multiplier of 63.91, is the lowest in the Twenty-Six Counties. The rate in Limerick city is 76.45, while, in Cork, it is 74.75. Last year, the City Council collected just over €300 million [£266 million] in commercial rates; its proposal to cut the commercial rate by two per cent and to offset this huge loss in revenue to the city by imposing waste collection charges on the poorest sections of society is a further reflection of how commercial and business interests are placed ahead of the interests of working people.”

Minihan continued: This agenda was evident in the Fianna Fáil/Green Party budget which targeted public sector workers and those entitled to welfare payments while ensuring that the corporation tax of just 12.5 per cent was maintained. Dublin City Council is taking its lead from the coalition government and expects working class communities to shoulder the burden of a recession created by the rich and powerful. In addition to the abolition of the waiver, the City Council budget also proposes cuts to local community projects, parks and library services and the fire service.

“éirígí is calling on all City councillors to reject the budget estimates and for workers and communities across the city to mobilise in support of the demonstration that has been called outside City Hall on Monday [December 21] at 6.15pm. The message needs to go out loud and clear that enough is enough: Working class communities will no longer bail out the rich and powerful in Irish society.”

 

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