Friday, October 10, 2003


Rest-assured Frank, I never for one minute imagined that the socialists were in favor of decentralization. It's just that I believe they're undermining the case for centralization. Here's how.

They're making the case that the method for funding this service should not be the current bin charge. They are advocating using income tax, if necessary, to cover the cost. Fair enough, if that's what Dubliners want. Then ask Dubliners to pay an additional 1% (or whatever it would cost) to fund their refuse collections.

I don't believe the government can turn around and start funding bin charges out of the national exchequer now because so many people have bought homes in neighboring counties where they have had to pay for refuse collection. There'd be hell to pay if Dubliners suddenly had the bin charges decision reversed while suburbanites are still forking out €300 or more (my bill is €330) PLUS paying taxes to underwrite Dublin's refuse collections.

Therefore, some local funding method is required. I'd love to hear that they will levy a Dublin income tax to cover the bin charges. It would be the beginning of real local government here.

On a related topic, I believe the Green Party is the only political party in Ireland that advocates something along the lines that I outlined below. It's exciting in that "I'm afraid to admit I agree with them" way. We don't agree on much.

Incidentally, it's a core principle of the Republican Party in the US "that the most effective government is government closest to the people".