Sunday, July 09, 2006

Miliband backs bin tax

Miliband backs the "bin tax"

David Miliband, South Shields MP and Environment Secretary, indicated yesterday that he backed an extra tax on household rubbish to make the "polluter pay" as he urged councils to take the lead in boosting the green agenda and tackling climate change.

The Environment Secretary said he was personally interested in the idea first suggested by Sir Michael Lyons last month in an interview with The Times. Sir Michael, who is conducting an inquiry into local government finance, said he was looking at a variety of charges for non-recyclable waste to supplement council tax, including variable waste-charging, where householders are charged according to the amount of rubbish they put out.

Speaking at the Local Government Association annual conference in Bournemouth Mr Miliband said that he could not pre-empt Sir Michael’s inquiry, which reports later this year, but there were a number of variants, including charging households according to the amount of blackbag waste they produce with recycling being collected for free.

"But the principle is simple: the polluter pays."

Let me state now that his constituents in South Shields will not favour the principle of paying twice to have our rubbish removed by Neighbourhood Services, we pay our council tax and expect to receive a rubbish collection service. Who would police this scheme? Who will ensure that when I put my wheelie bin out on Monday morning that it doesn't become overloaded with someone elses black bin bags within the hour? Because I have a wife and two children why should I end up having to pay additional charges? My neighbour is a single man and simply does not create as much waste as we do as we do, perhaps I should fill his bin to create a bit of equality. This system will simply provide the motivation and opportunity for fly tippers to really mess up our towns and countryside as householders battle to keep their rubbish to two bags or less - please think again!


The Sunday Times.

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