Article from the Sept 2004 edition, Socialist Voice

Anti-bin tax campaign

Pressure Labour and Sinn Fein to kick out tax

THE DUBLIN City Council estimates meetings in November and December will be a focus of the anti-bin tax campaigns in the coming months.

By Kevin McLoughlin

In Dublin City the make up of the council has changed, with Labour, Sinn Fein and three independents who are opposed to the bin tax, technically holding a majority. It is important that the campaign fully utilises this change and the council position of anti-bin tax campaigner Joan Collins to the maximum.

The anti-bin tax campaign should demand that these councillors oppose any budget that includes bin charges or any watered down version of the bin tax that falls short of scrapping it. In order to increase the pressure on Labour and Sinn Fein, mass meetings and protests should be called.

However the Socialist Party has no illusions that Labour and or Sinn Fein will be prepared to take on the government on this issue by voting out the bin tax.

The argument will be raised especially by sections of the Labour Party, that if a budget isn't agreed, then the government will abolish the council. Labour and Sinn Fein candidates stood in the elections in opposition to the bin tax. If these parties were serious about opposing the bin tax, then together with the three independent councillors they should stand alongside the anti-bin tax campaign and the communities in order to defeat the government's threats.

In the Dublin City and Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown areas pre-paration is now essential to strengthen the anti-bin tax campaigns for the battle against non-collection which will most likely take place in the new year. Campaign activists should use the activities over the next few months to re-organise and prepare the local campaign for the real battle - the battle against non-collection.

The most likely outcome of the estimates process is that the bin tax will remain. Therefore preparing activists in the communities for a campaign of community based direct action against non-collection is the most important priority for the anti-bin tax campaign.

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