"Bullying tactics, the sequel"

by Dublin City Council

TRUE TO form, Dublin City Council has now employed a debt collector to try and scare people into paying the bin tax. Thousands of households all over Dublin have received letters from Legal and Trade, a debt collection agency based on the Navan Road, in the form of "draft summonses".

This is a new low in the Council's disgraceful bullying tactics. "Draft summonses" have no legal standing whatsoever. Only a court can issue a summons. The campaign has and continues to provide legal advice and representation to anybody who receives a summons. The campaign is also challenging the validity of Dublin City's bin tax in the courts. When people were first taken to court in 2002, the campaign lawyers kicked this issue into touch for two years by challenging the judgement in the High Court.

For two years, this prevented the Council from using the courts to break non-payment. A similar challenge in the High Court is now being prepared, which will hopefully tie the Council further up in knots.

This would be an important stalling tactic for the campaign. It seems more and more clear that the Council is not prepared, so close to the local elections, to implement non-collection. Even in areas where they tried to implement non-collection before Christmas they have reverted to collection of all bins.

Clearly the campaign has been able to give the politicians the jitters and until after the local elections they are wishing this issue away. We can't let them get away with this. The elections in June should be used to punish Fianna Fil and the other establishment parties that support the bin tax.

There is no doubt, however, that once the elections are over, the issue of non-collection will be on the agenda. It is up to the local campaigns now to use the local elections to put extra pressure on the politicians but crucially to prepare for what will follow after June.

Strengthening the active base of the campaign all over the city is still key. It is essential that in all areas there is a network of local people committed to organise their neighbours and friends to come out on the streets to stop non-collection once they dare implement it in our communities.

More repots on the Bin Charges Campaign are available in our sitemap

This article is from the Feb. 2004 edition of Socialist Voice. Back issues are available here.