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Bin taxes will near-double fly-tipping admits Government report
Release Date: 15 August 2007
Spokesman: Eric Pickles
The Labour Government’s plans to impose Euro-style taxes for the collection of household rubbish, on top of council tax, were slammed today as Conservatives warned of a massive surge in fly-tipping. As the deadline closes on the Whitehall ‘consultation’ on the new taxes, the small print of the Government’s own 228 page research reveals the new taxes will almost double the level of fly-tipping in England.
Bin tax flaws: The report produced by Labour’s favourite pro-bin tax consultancy, Eunomia, estimates:
- Bin taxes will lead to an additional 155,000 tonnes of fly-tipping a year across England.
- They will almost double the amount that town halls currently spend on cleaning up fly-tipping.
- Research on similar taxes in Europe suggests that “low-income residents and foreigners” will be the “most frequent culprits”.
- Illegal dumping will take the form of disposing of household waste in neighbour’s bins, in street litter bins, in next door councils, dumping waste at work, and fly-tipping.
Soaring levels of fly-tipping already: This comes as answers to new Parliamentary Questions have revealed the number of fly-tipping incidents last year has soared from 927,000 to 2.5 million. The Countryside Alliance has also found that black bags full of domestic rubbish already account for 63% of all fly-tipping; yet just one in every 100 fly-tippers is actually prosecuted.
Can’t pay, won’t pay, will dump: Bin taxes have already been introduced in the Republic of Ireland where they have caused a surge in fly-tipping; families who do not or cannot pay the bin taxes have their rubbish collections stopped. The Keep Britain Tidy campaign has warned that bin taxes will lead to “people simply dumping their garbage illegally in a bid to avoid paying up”.
Eric Pickles, Conservative Shadow Secretary of State for Local Government, said:
“Under Labour, fly-tipping has become endemic and is creating a blot on our landscape. Yet Ministers’ plans for new taxes on family homes will make it even worse. We all want to increase the level of recycling, but bin taxes will harm the local environment by leading to a surge in illegal dumping and backyard burning. Whether they can’t pay or won’t pay, many irresponsible people will dump instead.
“These half-baked plans will lead to neighbourhood bin wars. Forget lock up your daughters. It will be lock up your bins and beware of midnight raids by fly-tippers.
“And no-one believes that council taxes would fall if bin taxes were introduced – in the same way that no town hall which has axed weekly collections has then cut its bills. Bin taxes aren’t a green tax – they’re a stealth tax by another name.”
New town hall bin taxes will harm environment and poorer families
Conservatives oppose plans for army of bin inspectors and secret bin spies
Conservatives reacted with concern today at lobbying of the Labour Government by town halls, calling for local authorities to be given the power to charge families for collecting household rubbish – on top of council tax. This would require massive expenditure on a new army of municipal inspectors to check bins and ‘bin bug’ spies and compulsory wheelie bins to be installed in every home in
Britain. The Keep Britain Today Campaign has warned that these new rubbish taxes would cause a surge in fly-tipping, with families being hit the hardest by the new taxes.
Eric Pickles MP, Shadow Minister for Local Government, said:“There is already massive public resentment at the way working families and pensioners are being punished by punitive levels of council tax. Now every household in Britain faces the prospect of new rubbish taxes on top, combined with their bins only being collected once a fortnight. I fear the poorest households will be hit the hardest. “Bin taxes would be deeply harmful to the local environment by causing a surge in fly-tipping, and cuts to the frequency of rubbish collection are already harming public health due to the increase in smells, vermin and infestations. Is it too much to ask for our streets to be cleaned and bins to be emptied ?”
Notes to editors Charging for rubbish collection by the bag or by volume would clearly give a perverse incentive for irresponsible people to fly-tip to save money. This means that waste charging would harm, rather than benefit, the local environment.
The Keep Britain Tidy Campaign has warned, ‘the so-called, “pay as you throw” scheme – which involves placing micro chips in bins to asses the amount of rubbish each home creates – may result in people simply dumping their garbage illegally in a bid to avoid paying up… It is a real challenge for a large family to keep their rubbish down to a minimum – especially if they are given poor recycling facilities and only have their bin collected once a fortnight. Faced with a fine, some are bound to take the easy option and simply fly-tip their rubbish’ (Encams website, October 2006). Increases in landfill tax under the current government have already large to a significant rise in commercial fly-tipping. The Environment Agency has estimated a 43 per cent increase in the illegal dumping of waste since 2001 (Environmental Audit Select Committee, Ninth Report: Environmental Crime: Fly-tipping, Fly-posting, Litter, Graffiti and Noise, 28 July 2004, c.6).
There were one million reported incidents of fly-tipping in England &
Wales each year, and has risen by 12 per cent in the last year alone (Hansard, 1 November 2006, col. 458W). In 2005-06, household waste accounted for 51 per cent of all fly-tipping incidents (Hansard, 27 November 2006, col. 296W). ENDS