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

Movement for Change

By | News

Meet some of the new faces joining our campaign to get Gibraltar back on track. Together, we can #MakeTheChange!

 

Sudden Departure of Financial Secretary Strange!

By | News

The sudden announcement that the Financial Secretary is standing down at the end of the summer raises more questions than answers. We are told that he has worked hand in glove with the Government and the Chief Minister in particular not just on public finances but on the BREXIT negotiations. On previous occasions the Chief Minister has lauded his work on both. However the contradictions are striking. We are still without a BREXIT deal, are told we are in the delicate final stages of those negotiations and that the Financial Secretary’s work has been crucial to those. We are neck-high in debt at a time of our worst financial crisis ever, a huge financial deficit and on the cusp of a potential global recession and worsening state of public finances. And yet we are led to believe that it is a convenient time for the Financial Secretary to leave?

Is this more smoke and mirrors from a Government that has made spin the default move in its playbook? Given all the above it begs the question whether it is actually because the financial plans are going wrong and the Financial Secretary despite his best efforts has been unable to instil financial discipline among the political Government that continues its reckless management of our public finances. Is it that the Financial Secretary is, in effect, abandoning the sinking ship of this Government?

Compounding the strange timing of the decision Gibraltar is being told by the Chief Minister that the departing Financial Secretary who will return to legal practice will continue advising the Government.

To have also had the departing Financial Secretary sign up to a statement where he talks up how Gibraltar is poised on its recovery as “we maintain the discipline on spending and revenue raising” and how he looks forward to working with the Chief Minister in future is self-serving and inappropriate for someone occupying a seconded civil service post and contemplating a potential future professional client. It clearly crosses the lines of neutrality and impartiality which the civil service should maintain and demonstrate with the political Government of the day. Additionally, talk of great discipline on spending will be understandably galling to all those people who will have seen precisely the reverse of discipline in spending from the Government and will be financially worse off because of the mishandling of public finances by this Government over the last 11 years. The Financial Secretary has been in post for 8 of those years. During many of those years and as we have repeatedly pointed out there has been recklessness by the Government, ill- discipline and an inability to address issues of waste and abuse which are impacting on our state of public finances today. We are clear that the responsibility for that lies with the political Government and not the Financial Secretary.

Govt Must Ensure Safe & Efficient Return of the Mortuary Service Post Covid

By | News

The GSD have received reports by concerned citizens regarding the failure to reopen and therefore re-establish the Mortuary service at the Hospital. The GSD calls on the Government to issue a statement explaining in detail, the circumstances surrounding what now appears to be a permanent closure of this important service to the public.

It is understood that those families wishing to spend time with their loved ones before the funeral, currently have to visit their deceased relatives in hospital fridges. It cannot be right for grieving families not to have access to an area which is respectful of their loss and their faith.

Shadow Minister for Health, Elliott Phillips MP said:

“The Mortuary has always been a respectful place where loved ones can sensitively and with space grieve and mourn the passing of their loved ones.

We as a community have always prided ourselves on providing a sensitive and compassionate environment for family members and friends to mourn. We all understand the demands placed on the GHA service during Covid, but we must ensure a safe and efficient return of this service so that families and friends can bid farewell to their loved ones in a dignified and respectful environment”

Government’s Rental Housing Response is Weak!

By | News

The recent government statement on rental housing is nothing other than a weak and ineffective attempt at deflection from the obvious reneging of their now twice repeated manifesto commitment to build extra housing for government rental.

Last week’s GBC interview with the Minister for Housing was clear – he said that the government was not committing itself to rental housing and would only build for the elderly. The 2011 and more importantly, 2019 manifestos committed them to constructing more rental housing stock both for the elderly and the general housing list. This glaring departure from what was promised at election time to what is being said now has quite properly been exposed by the GSD.

The government has been given an opportunity to apologise and correct the record. What it has done, however, is confirm that they are U-turning big-time from their twice repeated manifesto commitment. They are clearly saying they WILL NOT be building new rental housing stock for those on the general housing list despite their original commitment to do so.

Damon Bossino, the shadow minister for Housing said: “The government cannot get away from the fact that this is a significant change of tack and they should have the decency of at least admitting the drastic change in policy so that a mature political debate can be had on a proper and honest footing and not on the basis of falsehoods.”

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