"Desperate Oppostion continues to distort the truth" says Government

The row between the Government and GSD continues over public finances with No.6 accusing the Opposition of leaving a £100 million debt "in company finances."

A statement from the Government said:

It is very sad to see a desperate Opposition continue to distort the truth in order to mislead the public. Their latest statement on public finances is a case in point.

The facts are as follows:

1. The Gibraltar Parliament discussed the budget of Gibraltar earlier this month. This showed a RECORD surplus for the year. There is more money coming in than going out.

2. It was the GSD Government that instituted the practice of channelling millions of pounds for Government projects through a company structure. The problem was that instead of repaying the money, as is being done now, the GSD left a £ 100 million hole of debt in company finances.

3. The projects where this money has been spent are visible for the public to see all over Gibraltar. The cost of the projects are announced at the time of the tender awards or in answer to questions.

4. There is more financial information in the public domain now than at any time before in the history of Gibraltar. This includes the publication of relevant economic figures on-line by the Government without the Opposition even needing to ask.

5. The Government has already explained in detail how and why, like the GSD, it uses companies to fund capital projects.

6. There is already in place a clear programme aimed at the management and reduction of public debt.

7. There is also a clear programme to build up the reserves of Gibraltar which were squandered by the GSD the last time they were in office.

8. The Government is already motivated by prudence in public finances.

9. The Government is already committed, in close consultation with the Unions, to end waste in the public sector.

10.The Government always welcome and invite scrutiny. Indeed, this is the whole point of the budget debate.

11.It is worth pointing out that the Opposition were very lazy during the recent budget session. They were faced with over 240 pages of detailed financial information, a breakdown of Government revenue and expenditure. This represented £676,000,000.00 of spending which the Opposition completely ignored and failed to properly scrutinise. In the Budget debate they asked very few questions indeed when they had the opportunity to do so.

12.Government contracts are already properly awarded and supervised, with the larger contracts being subject to EU procurement law.

It is obvious that the Opposition are becoming more and more desperate with every passing week. They have little positive or new to offer are appear to be trapped in a continuous negative and destructive spiral. The majority of the areas that they are complaining about in relation to public finance have already been tackled or were practices which they initiated, practiced and encouraged themselves. A case of “do as I say not as I do”.

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