In the Netherlands, if a government falls, it continues on as a caretaker government until the new government is formed. Any member of parliament can declare as controversial a particular piece of legislation and regulation, and the caretaker government cannot make any decisions on these subjects. If it tries nonetheless, the senate will block this — and if it doesn’t, the queen will.
Ireland is different. Just prior to electoral defeat, a number of initiatives are being rushed through. There should be checks and balances to prevent this sort of thing. I’ll return to the climate bill later this week.
Poolbeg is back in the news. Although the public consultation on waste policy is still so recent that the department has yet to publish the submissions (at least one of which raised fairly fundamental concerns), if the Irish Times is to believed, new legislation will be introduced this month that would give the Minister of the Environment the power to set punitive levies on incineration and landfill.
Instead, waste levies should reflect the externalities of waste disposal. The maximum incineration levy is much higher than the two available estimates of the external cost of incineration.
The draft waste policy was far from ready. Instead of rushing through immature legislation, the government should have the grace to pass this dossier to the next government. ATMs will continue to work.