Government ministers give clearance to illegal dumpers
MUCH ADO ABOUT..MORE RUBBISH.
"The race against waste"-Fianna Fail,s!
The illegal dumping scandal show ran and ran throughout the year 2004.
Meanwhile big business was positioning itself to cash in on the pending privatization of rubbish collection countrywide.
Fianna Fail would collect all their stealth and income taxes,as usual,without the pain of having to provide a waste disposal service for it.Private enterprise would be another burden on the camel’s back of every citizen.
There was a shocking- if excellent- article in the Irish Independent by Treacy Hogan,entitled’the gangster waste operators who are dumping on our future’,- highlighting the widespread illegal dumping of domestic and toxic industrial waste throughout the country in places as far apart as Wicklow and Cavan.It was yet another indicator of just how busy the elected councilors and T.D.’s of the present government have been in recent years.
Preoccupied with lining their pockets ; rezoning lands for their cronies;and sanctioning ‘one off houses’ in every beauty spot in the land ,-It has passed the 'Soldiers' notice that a vast organized Mafiosi/waste industry exists in all their backyards.
While they are now busy trying to screw both industry and householder alike for ‘rubbish’ revenues/stealth taxes etc. for purposes completely unconnected with waste disposal and to keep their prodigiously wasteful ship afloat in government;-their intended victims in the industrial waste business were circumventing the charges and flouting the law with total impunity.
Ordinary citizens however, had less latitude in their options to avoid payment, and spent time in Mountjoy Jail, for peacefully protesting against the whole charade.
‘Red Joe Higgins’ was the poor man’s hero in 2004.His opposition to the bin tax was futile however.
The ‘Soldiers’ had learned their lesson from previous failed extortion attempts,when ‘people power’had forced them to abandon their plans to make the poor pay for their wasteful spending habits and their inability to collect taxes from the rich and tax-exiled like Dennis O’Brien who had made hundreds of millions from the sale of his Mobile Phone License to British Telecom and hopped off to Portugal without paying a penny in Capital Gains Tax.
Executives in C.I.E.had facilitated his operations to such an extent that a row emerged in public about the whole issue,especially as many of those involved left their secure jobs afterwards for more rewarding posts in the private sector.As this scandal is going to run and run through the courts for some time ,the less said about it the better.
The ‘Soldiers’ changed the rubbish collection laws in advance,to make sure the courts-if not God -was on their side in the Battle of The Bins.
When the non-payment of bin charges was at its height,the local councils initiated a campaign of lies ,stating that the majority of people had paid.This was certainly not the position in working class estates,but combined with letters threatening dire consequences for non-payment the people wavered and the protest collapsed
The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul has urged people to make waste collection charges an issue in the local elections.
The charity has said increasing numbers are calling its helpline for assistance due to the privatisation of public service providers, which refuse to offer waiver systems for those on low incomes.Fianna Fail are set to escalate the stealth taxes such as rubbish charges to a level which will make the present charges seem innocuous
.But only when they consolidate their grip on power in the next general election.The local elections will be a test run for these charges.
It now appears that Fianna Fail feel supremely confident of their re-election . In consequence of their generous benchmarking handouts to a large sector of the electorate,-and their reliance on the always solid farming community voters who are recipients of so many subsidies and supports,at the expense of taxpayers,rich and poor, Europewide;they are happy to give the thumbs up to the poor ,the underpaid, , the working class communities in our larger cities.
Then they view with alarm the rise of Sinn Fein in these same areas?
This is a full scale war between the weak,and the voiceless in our communities- and the most corrupt administration in the history of the Irish Republic.
.Whether Jerry Adams proves an able champion of the people’s anger remains to be seen…However, Michael McDowell of the P.D’s has some cheek talking about Sinn Fein's' subservience to the I.R.A.' His own party were the original 'holier than thou'breakaways from the 'endemic corruption' of their Fianna Fail forefathers. Since then they have become the cornerstone upon which the party they previously vilified-have thrived! Is there a more supreme irony? What mud we shall see slung by the whole bunch of power fiends during the coming days!
Let the circus begin. Let the people decide-for better or worse. If their choice is; "‘Fianna Fail-until death do us part".!,…so be it… take your place on the hospital waiting queue…-it may be sooner than you think!
Sad fact is ,..this current Mafiosi(Fianna Fail) will likely win,hands down..!Neither Labour nor Fine Gael,nor any other political party of substance have much interest in the plight of ordinary people left out of the Celtic Rat Race.
S.V.P…. Expect more of the same in the coming months and years ahead.
The Tigers are feeding...
I met Joe for the first time when I decided to cycle up to Clonsilla to see his small "flying squad" and the local housewives obstructing the refuse lorries in Clonsilla.I always had an image of him(from the Media) of a half –cracked raving Marxist type agitator,foaming at the mouth.
He is not like that at all .He is a quiet mild mannered person.Religious,but not in the ‘Soldier of Destiny’, Sunday Mass style.He lives his religion. His passion towards injustice such as inequitable taxation biased against the poor, combined with his anti-war stance is impressive, and I wish him well.
If President Bush had listened to his views,the world might not be embroiled in another Vietnam.
Some Dail exchanges deserve to be carved in stone for the education, and entertainment of posterity,the following,I believe rates highly in this category;-
TAOISEACH CHALLENGED OVER BIN TAXES AND WASTE MANAGEMENT BY "RED" JOE HIGGINS.
The Famous Exchange REPRINTED IN FULL.
JOE HIGGINS TD, Socialist Party, challenged the Taoiseach on the bin tax during today's Leader's Questions. Nice try Joe, but you might as well be banging your head off a wall when it comes to getting a straight answer out of Bertie.
Mr. J. Higgins: Yesterday, a leading representative of the small business community sharply highlighted the contrast between the taxation treatment of ordinary working men and women in this State and the jet-setting tax exiles who make massive profits from the resources of the Irish people before escaping with virtually no tax being imposed on them. This happens because the Taoiseach's legislation permits the fiction that they do not live here. A few months ago, the Government introduced a blunt law to allow local authorities to coerce tens of thousands of ordinary working people's households into giving up their boycott of the bin tax.
Mr. M. Smith: It is not a tax.
Mr. J. Higgins: This tax is being boycotted by people who know it is the prelude to an intolerable new tier of local taxation and stealth charges. Let us scotch the rant of the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government to the effect that 150 people support this campaign. This slur was faithfully repeated by the Tánaiste during Leaders' Questions yesterday. The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government is as challenged in his command of figures in this regard as he is in his command of a sound environmental policy. In the past six and a half years of Government, there has been a dismal failure in waste management policy and no significant diversion from landfill.
Mr. Treacy: The Deputy is making a big contribution.
Mr. J. Higgins: I am making a very important contribution.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Minister of State should allow Deputy Joe Higgins to speak without interruption.
Mr. J. Higgins: There has been a dismal failure to put in place the infrastructure to allow the huge diversion from landfill, which is entirely possible. Instead, there has been a resort to apocalyptic television advertising based on fraudulent information rather than policy. The fact is that tens of thousands of households and hundreds of thousands of working people are opposed to this tax.
I asked the Tánaiste a question yesterday, which she evaded and avoided as effectively as the millionaire tax exiles evade and avoid their social responsibilities to pay into the taxation fund.
Mr. F. McGrath: Hear, hear.
Mr. J. Higgins: I appeal to the Taoiseach to answer the question today. Is he the least bit uncomfortable that working men and women from Finglas and other working class Dublin communities are peremptorily thrown in prison within days of peacefully protesting against a new stealth tax imposed by his Government while in the boardrooms of the major banks, the organised theft of up to €1 billion takes place but no banker has even darkened the door of a courthouse? Does the Taoiseach see a contrast there and, if so, can he explain it? Will the Taoiseach suspend the crude policy of the non-collection of taxpayers' household bins to allow us to continue the debate on this taxation and environmental policy in a normal manner?
If extra funds are needed in the meantime, the Taoiseach can amend legislation to provide for a shakedown of, and an equitable tax contribution from, the multi-millionaire tax exiles, many of whom are frequently seen in his company at prestigious social and sporting events.
The Taoiseach: "The Deputy has asked me a number of questions. The Office of Environmental Enforcement is being launched today by the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. It will have the power to impose fines of up to €15 million on businesses and local authorities. A very tough and consistent line is being taken against polluters in the business sector. The percentage of Dublin households which have paid or applied for a waiver is very large and includes almost everyone. The objectives of the Dublin regional waste management plan are 59% recycling, 25% thermal treatment and 16% landfill. The infrastructure of thermal treatment plants and landfill sites will be of a size appropriate to take those percentages of the waste stream to enable us to reach the recycling target. Enormous progress has been made and 225 bring centres have been established across Dublin city and county to accommodate the various recyclable materials. The Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government is investing several million euro in the next few years to increase the number to more than 400 sites. An enormous increase will be announced before Christmas.
The Deputy is aware of my view on the law. The Judiciary is independent and must deal with contempt. If one is guilty of contempt of court procedures must be followed. No one is being jailed for protesting. People from various organisations have the democratic right to protest freely outside this House each day about the various issues of concern to them. These people are rarely troubled by the long arm of the law, let alone the Judiciary.
On the points made by Deputy Joe Higgins in regard to landfill, 86.5% of waste went into landfill in 2001 while 13.5% was recycled. In 2001 more than 100,000 tonnes of glass was landfilled. This is equivalent to 320 million bottles and jars which, if laid end to end, would stretch from New York and back 160 times."
Mr. Stagg: What about what was not recycled?
Mr. Rabbitte: Is it a threat to the swans?
The Taoiseach: "This cannot continue. One must deal with disposables and other issues. Some 2.7 million tonnes of household and commercial waste was generated two years ago. This was an increase of 46% on eight years previously. The number of bring banks has increased by 337% to almost 1,500. Just 5.6% of household waste was recycled two years ago while the figure in Holland is almost 60%. We now have legislation and a plan. I respectfully ask Deputy Joe Higgins to join the race against waste campaign and try to help us to deal with the issue, whether in relation to householders, business, agriculture or the construction sector. I have no doubt that pressure from his organisation could have a huge impact on these figures in a very short time."
Mr. J. Higgins: "I would like to have a comprehensive debate with the Taoiseach on a sound environmental policy on waste management. The fact is that 600,000 to 700,000 tonnes of paper and glass went from households and commercial outlets to landfill last year, which is an incredible failure on the part of the Government. This could be diverted if the infrastructure for recycling and separation was put in place in all areas. Councils have full powers to introduce by-laws to ensure that not a single glass bottle or paper goes to landfill. The Government's policy in this regard has been a total failure and this apocalyptic advertisement is designed to cover up that fact."
Joe replied; "Important as that is, the Taoiseach, very cleverly as usual, went after one hare that was running around this morning but forgot much faster ones. Incidentally, I would prefer to be in contempt of court than to have contempt for the rights and equitable treatment of ordinary working class people."
He continued; "The central point here is the mass dichotomy in taxation treatment of working people and the privileged minority. Does the Taoiseach defend Mr. O'Brien walking away with a profit of €300 million from the resources of the Irish people, going into tax exile and refusing to pay €50 million that should be due to the social fund?
Some 18 householders from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown are in the High Court this morning on foot of injunctions. Why is such a parade of ordinary taxpayers before the courts? What does the Taoiseach say to the mass scam in the banks revealed by the Revenue Commissioners amounting to a theft of up to €1,000 million? This could not have been organised without the knowledge of those in the boardrooms. Will a single senior boardroom member of the prestigious banks involved in this tax fraud be put into prison? Will the Taoiseach suspend this brutal policy of non-collection? "
higgins vs harney (on monday)
Mr. J. Higgins: "I have come from Mountjoy Prison. I visited some of the 11 ordinary working people incarcerated there and in Cloverhill for peaceful community protest against the brutal policy of the Government of threatening to leave uncollected the refuse bins of tens of thousands of householders and compliant taxpayers because of their boycott of the bin tax which they correctly believe they have paid through general and other taxation. Working men and women, fathers, mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers have been carted off to jail within days of peaceful community protests. They had no recourse except to protest in this way.
It is six years since the massive tax evasion scam by the Ansbacher criminals came to light. Ansbacher man has never darkened the doorway of a courthouse let alone found himself behind prison walls. It is many years since councilors were revealed as being up to their necks in corruption with speculators. Not one has darkened the doorway of a courthouse on that account let alone been jailed for it. The chairman of the Revenue Commissioners now says that the amount stolen from the tax fund by the largest tax evasion racket ever seen in the history of the State and probably of the European Union which was organized by some of the largest banks and financial institutions is moving towards €1 billion. Not a single board member has been in front of a court let alone in jail for this monstrous theft.
Does the nauseating double standards of the Government and of the economic, political and judicial establishment in the State cause the Tánaiste even the slightest embarrassment? Does it ever strike her as being even a little unjust that the small people, the working class men and women and compliant PAYE taxpayers and pensioners, are carted off to jail for peaceful protest while the millionaire tax evaders and the boardrooms of banks and financial institutions that organized scams on a massive scale are untouchable? Does the Tánaiste agree that the Government is exposed-----"
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy's two minutes has concluded.
Mr. J. Higgins: -----as monstrously hypocritical for allowing this to happen? What will she do to stop it?
The Tánaiste: "No one is in jail because he or she engaged in peaceful protest, as the Deputy is well aware. People are in jail because they defied a High Court order. I understand that some of the individuals to whom he referred do not have to pay these charges because they have waivers.
As Deputy Joe Higgins knows, we have an independent Judiciary. The revenue authorities are independent and have the power to prosecute in these circumstances. We also have an independent Director of Public Prosecutions. The Deputy must also be aware that 90% of the people in the area he represents have paid their charges and are entitled to have the service for which they have paid without that being interfered with."
Mr. J. Higgins: The Tánaiste should answer the question.
The Tánaiste: I have.
Mr. J. Higgins: It is incredible. The Tánaiste has evaded the question of the monstrous hypocrisy and double standards of the Government and the establishment. Where are the instances of High Court judges bringing the boardrooms of banks - the real criminals - in front of them and sending them to prison instead of decent working class people? The Tánaiste is completely dishonest. Will she suspend-----
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy should withdraw the remark that the Tánaiste is dishonest.
Mr. J. Higgins: Will the Government suspend the brutal-----
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy should withdraw the remark.
Mr. J. Higgins: She is politically dishonest.
An Ceann Comhairle: Will the Deputy withdraw the remark unequivocally?
Mr. J. Higgins: The Tánaiste refused to answer my question.
An Ceann Comhairle: Deputy Joe Higgins should withdraw the remark and he can then continue.
Mr. J. Higgins: I accused her of political dishonesty.
An Ceann Comhairle: Will the Deputy withdraw the remark, please?
Mr. J. Higgins: What remark?
An Ceann Comhairle: That the Tánaiste is dishonest.
Mr. Quinn: When did this arise?
Mr. J. Higgins: I said she is politically dishonest. She would not answer the question and I will leave it at that.
Will the Government suspend the brutal policy of the non-collection of the bins of compliant taxpayers and allow the debate on the bin tax and the substantive environmental issues that arise to continue? Is the Tánaiste prepared to see Mountjoy Prison become a Fianna Fáil-Progressive Democrats gulag for hundreds of workers and pensioners over the next few months, because that is what will happen? Does she have any idea of the anger of ordinary taxpayers at the monstrous double standards over which she presides - the stealth taxes, the increase in house prices which will rob the young for the rest of their lives and the new tier of local taxation-----
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy's minute is concluded.
Mr. J. Higgins: -----that the Government is attempting to apply, shortly to be joined by water charges of up to €1,000 per family? I warn the Tánaiste that the determination is huge. Will she answer the question I posed at the beginning? Is she embarrassed by the double standards of the system and the establishment?
The Tánaiste: The Government will not let 100 or 150 supporters of the Deputy halt the refuse collection service for compliant taxpayers in Dublin. Some 90% of the people in the Fingal area have either a waiver or have paid their charges, as the Deputy knows.
Mr. J. Higgins: That is not so.
The Tánaiste: That is a fact.
Mr. J. Higgins: The Government has intimidated them.
Mr. D. Ahern: The Deputy should allow the Tánaiste to answer.
An Ceann Comhairle: The Deputy has had his chance.
The Tánaiste: It is a fact, and many more have paid in the past month than was the case before that. Recent events have encouraged people to pay. The Government believes that such compliant citizens should have their service restored and should be allowed to have their bins collected. The only ones preventing them from doing so are a small group of protesters.
Mr. J. Higgins: That is not true. The Tánaiste did not answer my question.