[Sinn Fein]

14th January 2003

100% increase in service charges shameful - Cullinane

Sinn Fein Waterford representative David Cullinane has described the adopting of the Waterford City Council Book of Estimates as shameful. He labelled the opposition councillors who supported the Book of Estimates as cowards who were hiding behind feeble excuses. David said:

``While I welcome the introduction of the three bin system which is a positive step forward in terms of recycling the problem is that we do not have the proper recycling infrastructure in place to maximise the potential for recycling that exists. What we do have is a plan to force incinerators on us where we will simply replace the burying of waste with the burning of waste.''

``The two labour party councillors who supported the 100% increase in service charges are hypocrites who lack courage, integrity and credibility. The message from this Book of Estimates to the people of Waterford is that Labour is now a party who supports double taxation. The hypocrisy of the two labour councillors referring to themselves as socialists while at the same time voting to tax the ordinary people twice was breathtaking. Labour and Fianna Gael representatives shed crocodile tears when McCreevy published his Book of Estimates. What the adoption of this Book of Estimates shows is that the conservatism that flows through Fianna Fail flows through Labour and Fianna Gael also''

``Double taxation is not the answer to local government funding. The system of taxation in this country is fundamentally flawed and unequal. Those who can afford to pay most pay least. What is required is radical reform of the system. What we are seeing is local councillors treating the symptoms not the problem. Cutbacks and increases are bleeding the low and middle income earners. Adding to their burden by imposing 100% service charge increases is a disgrace.''

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