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We’re calling for debate on co-education!

By | Education | No Comments

Congratulation to all students and teachers on their magnificent GCSE results.  To have outperformed UK schools and obtained the best results in five years is a wonderful achievement. Everyone concerned has to be congratulated.

It is right, however, that when the dust settles we should have an informed debate about co-education in this community, whether it is desirable and if so, whether it should be limited to A’Level students or start earlier.

We’ve been advocating co-education for some time. We believe it is in the interests of students, teachers and the education system generally but we recognise this is a matter that has to be debated fully and that stakeholders have to be engaged.  In the meantime a look at the subjects on offer for both GCSE and A’Level at both Westside and Bayside shows the disparity of subjects offered to both boys and girls.

We believe there should be no such disparity and, whether we opt for co-education or not, we should be working to end it soonest. It is the intention of the GSD to file a motion for the end of September sitting of Parliament to debate this important issue.

Why should education opportunities be based on gender? Show your support for this issue by signing our petition today >


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Picardo’s Walter Mitty Financial World

By | Brexit | No Comments

Only in Mr. Picardo’s Walter Mitty version of the public finances has gross public debt decreased since 2011. This is simply not true.

He leaves out of all his public statements that Government owned companies owe £700 million in debt, over and above the £446 million the Government itself owes. This £700 million, for which the public purse is ultimately responsible, has been used for public purposes to meet GSLP/Liberal manifesto promises. Does Mr. Picardo really expect people to believe that the Fairy God Mother is responsible for repaying the debts of Government owned companies?

This spectacular increase in the debt of Government owned companies has been a major source of concern for the GSD since 2013, when we discovered the existence of Credit Finance Company Limited. It then became clear that Mr. Picardo was using Government owned companies to borrow money to pay for his many manifesto promises in circumstances where the legal borrowing limits did not allow his Government to borrow such huge sums directly.

The debt owed by the Government and Government owned companies, therefore, exceeds £1.1 Billion. Mr Picardo says that our criticism of this level of public debt, might have a negative effect on Gibraltar’s credit rating. Only Mr Picardo would attempt to place such a foolish spin on things. If our credit rating is affected, it is because of the unprecedented high levels of public debt that he has saddled Gibraltar with and not because we criticise him for it!

The Leader of the Opposition, Daniel Feetham, said: “Mr Picardo relies on the fact that people might not understand that when he talks about Government debt, he excludes the debts of Government owned companies. That debt is being used to pay for the huge public spending spree he has undertaken in the last four years in a ruthless quest to keep himself in power. This was reckless in any event but more so in a situation where he knew that BREXIT was a possibility. It is Mr Picardo who has placed his political ambition above the long term well being of Gibraltar.”

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Government Affordable Housing Scheme Slashed?

By | Housing | No Comments

We’ve noted with interest the answers given to GBC by the GSLP-Liberal Government in respect of Bob Peliza Mews. It begs the question what is to happen to Hassan Centenary Terraces, which as part of the Bluewater development was to provide 1,147 affordable homes of the 1,700 mentioned in their manifesto including the 514 at Bob Peliza Mews.

Roy Clinton, GSD MP with shadow responsibility for Public Finance, said:

“It is significant that at the time the Bluewater project was announced in June 2015 it was revealed that Camoren Holdings Limited would be both the financier and developer for Bob Peliza Mews and Hassan Centenary Terraces. Given that the Bluewater eastside project appears mired in technical difficulties and has not been signed, it begs the question who is to finance and develop “magnificent” Bob Peliza Mews and why hasn’t the Government issued a statement in respect of “brilliant” Hassan Centenary Terraces, which represents over two thirds of its manifesto affordable housing scheme? Individuals who expressed interest in these much heralded schemes deserve some clarity.”

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