CHARLIE McCREEVY is determined to make PAYE workers and the most vunerable in society pay for the economic crisis that is unfolding.
By Diarmuid Naessens Socialist Voice
The media coverage of the government cutbacks has not featured that the Book of Estimates gives local authorities no increase at all in their funding from central government. The estimates give local authorities Û420 million. Effectively, when allowing for inflation this means a cutback of nearly 5%.
This cut will affect the funding of all local authority services. By law local authorities are not allowed to borrow, therefore services and jobs will be cut or local charges will be increased. Fine Gael has even predicted that the bin charges could be set to double. Any pretence that the bin charges are to fund the refuse collection service will be effectively dropped.
In the next year, people will see clearly that these local charges have nothing whatsoever to do with reducing household waste and protecting the environment. These charges are simply another form of taxation, almost like a poll tax.
Local authority services are already under funded and under strain. The flooding in Dublin was largely due to the inability of the local authorities to properly service the drainage system due to a lack of funding.
Non-payment of the bin charges is growing. This is clearly shown by Dublin Corporation sending out 40,000 threatening letters to non-payers. The first attempts by Dublin Corporation to prosecute people for non-payment failed as the anti-bin charges campaign was able to kick the cases into touch by getting them sent to the High Court for legal clarification.
The campaigns against the bin charges have built up a legal defence fund and are currently spreading the message around local communities that non payment is the only way to defeat this double tax.
It is now essential that this campaign is built in every community. A successful campaign of mass non-payment of the bin charges will be our best defence against the government and the right wing parties in the local councils introducing a whole new range of local charges.
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