Keith Azopardi

GSD Leader

Building for the future

Welcome to the Gibraltar Social Democrats site. We hope you will find this site informative about the Party, its aims and the ideas we have in a number of areas.

I have been very keen that we should relaunch a new site to use as a platform for some of our interface with you. This will complement our Facebook and twitter presence. Of course this will be no substitute for direct engagement which we are also doing in parallel through our community outreach programme and other private meetings. If you have concerns that you would like to discuss with us by all means feel free to contact us and we will meet with you.

We feel passionately about Gibraltar. Our community has been built over centuries of hard work and perseverance of successive generations of Gibraltarians and long-term residents. Together we have created the small country we call home. We want this to be prosperous, stable and develop for generations to come. We have a right to our land and a right to determine our future. We want to ensure that we create the best living environment for all those who have made Gibraltar their home and that we do so in an environmentally, economically and politically sustainable way.

On this platform you will find information about the Party, key documents, policies and videos. If you share our objectives and want to join us there is also membership information available.

We would be delighted to have your support and contribution to our effort.

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GSD News

180+ Questions Filed by the GSD in Parliament

By | News

The GSD have filed more than 180 questions for the meeting of Parliament that starts next Monday 16 May 2022.

The questions range from issues on the talks with the EU; frontier restrictions and Blue ID card-holders; immigration, disability, the Lishman case; the state of public finances; land agreements concerning the Eastside, Victoria Keys, St Mary’s or Rooke sites, the state of the Housing developments at Bob Peliza Mews, Chatham Views and Hassans Centenary Terraces, special needs, public counters, education; health, environment, training, transport, tourism and sport/culture questions.

Leader of the Opposition, Keith Azopardi said: “Each MP has filed important questions in a wide range of areas that concern people. We look forward to probing Government on these questions to get better information and indications of improvement for the public. It is important for these meetings to happen so Ministers can be held to account on issues in Parliament and we are keen to do that again.”

Govt Borrowing £50 MILLION Higher than Budgeted!

By | News

The Chief Minister, in publishing the appropriation bill for 2022/3, disclosed certain financial information which is normally kept confidential until the Budget debate. Using only financial information that is now in the public domain, namely the Covid-19 Response Fund to 31 March 2022, and the details revealed by the Chief Minster, the GSD arrives at a very different analysis of financial performance for 2021/22

Shadow Minister for Public FinanceRoy Clinton MP stated the following:

“First of all let us consider the Chief Minister’s statement that the Budget deficit for 2021/22 is £55 million versus last year’s estimate of £51 million. This begs the question as to whether Sir Joe Bossano’s warning of a potential additional £40 million overspend was wrong?

“The answer is to be found in the Covid-19 Response Fund movements to 31 March 2022 that clearly shows it exceeded its 2021/22 budget by £67.5 million in supporting Government Revenue and expenditure.

“The Chief Minister gave the figure of net borrowing of £652 million after cash reserves of £120 million implying an aggregate debt of £ 772 million at 31 March 2022. The estimated aggregate debt for 2021/22 at 31 March 2022 was £722 million which already included provision for £50 million new borrowing. This means that the Government has had to borrow an additional £50 million (to £772 million) taking total new borrowing in 2021/22 to £100 million.

“This unbudgeted extra borrowing of £50 million is a number the Chief Minister has conveniently failed to highlight in his own press release and shows that the financial picture is far from that he is trying to pretend. The truer picture of the real deficit is in fact far worse than Sir Joe Bossano predicted when you consider the Covid-19 overspend of £67.5 million. Sir Joe of course was correct in pointing out that any Budget overspend would have to be met by more borrowing.

This is the stark reality of the financial position Gibraltar is in and I look forward to being able to debate this and the estimates for 2022/23 more fully in the forthcoming Budget debate.”

Picardo Can’t be Trusted on Reform, Letter to the Chief Minister

By | News

Mr Picardo’s administration simply cannot be trusted to deliver on an agenda of cracking down on waste or abuse or to deliver governance reforms, accountability or transparency. They cannot be trusted to deliver because they have flip-flopped on reforms and made empty promises. They are now the problem and obstacle to proper reform.

What is disgraceful is Mr Picardo’s desperate attempt to cover his Government’s tracks. That will be transparent to everyone. It beggars belief that Mr Picardo should have the gall to seek to point fingers at the GSD. His administration has awarded contracts to persons close to his Government including entities related to family members of Ministers and persons politically close to him. His administration awarded a tender to a company said to be the highest bidder in a process that had closed two years before the company even existed. His Government has awarded contracts to a company in which the Chief Minister has an indirect beneficial interest. He has made systematic promises of reform and of meetings of committees that are set up and never meet. That has been the case with the parliamentary reform process where promise after promise has been made. These promises now ring completely hollow. Many of the GSLP manifesto commitments have been breached. It is under his watch that hundreds of millions of pounds of the people’s money are not properly accounted for. All these are reasons why his Government is now the problem and not the cure.

He presides over an administration where there are conflicts of interest left, right and centre and where the truth is buried. There have been big failures in standards, transparency and accountability. His narrative that he is the great reformer and things have never been better is just a hollow fiction built on false premises and promises.

Leader of the Opposition, Keith Azopardi said: “We stand by the assertion that there needs to be a systems overhaul to attack waste abuse and corruption and that the GSLP aren’t the ones to do it.

As usual when we hit a raw nerve the Government’s knee-jerk reaction is to say it is a disservice to Gibraltar to talk about it. But people see through that self-serving protestation. We won’t shut up because the truth is inconvenient. This is a Government that is now so adept at spin that it cannot be believed and that regularly resorts to spin and outright lies.

There are many reasons that show why his Government is now the problem and not the cure. That is why the GSD will not agree to bury the issues into yet another committee that doesn’t meet so that reform is held back.”

Letter to the Chief Minister

It is simply not true that Mr Azopardi and Mr Clinton “did not show up at a meeting [to discuss reform] and sent a letter afterward.” Mr Picardo had the GSD response to his invitation before the time he had suggested for the meeting. In fact, he had also seen it as is clear from the electronic transmission receipt. In this and as always Mr Picardo gets overtaken by his own enthusiasm to make cheap points and resorts to lies to make them because the truth is less attractive than his fictional story. Mr Picardo knows full well why we refuse to be taken in by his false agenda of promises on reform. Our letter to him of 20 April is attached to this PR. In our letter I invited him to respond with clear proposals. Predictably we have not had a response and still less proposals.

Download the letter from the Leader of the Opposition to the Chief Minister: https://docdro.id/eekgt2j

 

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