Government plans to allow Bradford Council to fine people for not recycling properly could lead to protests, more fly-tipping and residents refusing to pay council tax, a report today warns.

The Commons' Communities and Local Government Committee condemns the plans announced by former environment minister David Miliband as "too timely, too complicated and unlikely to work."

The report by the MPs said a reward of as little as £20 or £30 for a year for sorting out waste into as many as five different bins, bags or boxes will not outweigh the "negative psychological impact" of making "bad" households pay more.

In May Mr Miliband announced a consultation which would allow councils to introduce "revenue-neutral" financial schemes to reduce and recycle waste.

He said local authorities would be able to decide whether or not to develop schemes that reward in cash people who reduce waste and recycle at the expense of those who don't. But stressed councils will not be able to make a profit from any incentive scheme.

As yet Bradford Council has not decided on such a scheme. But today's report warns against such an introduction.

Committee chairman, Dr Phyllis Starkey, said: "Our clear conclusion is that no single collection system could suit every authority across the range of all local circumstance.

"We would like the Government to come up with a core definition of what householders should expect from their refuse collection. This should include no complicated rules, rubbish collected when the council says it will be and schemes to suit every household from the largest rural home to the most overcrowded urban area."

The report argues that as councils have no clear guidelines on how to enforce payment, schemes could lead to public protest, as well as more fly-tipping and non-payment.

It reads: "The financial incentive schemes will be seen as an additional charge for a service most householders already believe they pay for through their council tax."

The committee agrees with Government that individual councils are best suited to understand the needs of their area, but called for a national response to highlight "best practice".

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