For the Chief Minister to hail the Tax Treaty as a “great achievement” or to try to sell it as some form of advancement for Gibraltar just shows how willing Mr Picardo is to simply distort the truth of complex issues in the hope he is not found out.
He holds his Tax Treaty up as some form of achievement as if the GSD were trying to advocate that Gibraltar should do business in a non-transparent way. This is nonsense. If this was so then those criticisms would be true of the UK’s own tax Treaty with Spain. The fact is that the UK has not agreed a tax Treaty with Spain that affects it [the UK] in the harmful way that the Chief Minister has for Gibraltar.
GSD Leader Keith Azopardi said: “This is a deal with Spain that affects our companies and people detrimentally. It taxes our companies as if they are operating in Spain when they are not and our people as if they were living in Spain when they are not. It is bad for business, jobs and treats our people as foreigners in their own land.”
Mr Picardo’s lies will not hide those basic truths. Nor will they hide the fact that the UK has not applied those punitive restrictions on its own companies or citizens when it entered its own agreement with Spain on tax. That speaks loudly and if Mr Picardo does not hear that then he is simply ignoring those realities to mask his bungling negotiations with Spain. To compound that by hailing those failures as achievements is Orwellian in the extreme.
Gibraltar can and of course should do business with as many countries as possible. The point is that it need not have entered into this deal with Spain that hampers business and penalises our people when they return home as this was totally unnecessary. Mr Picardo should be clear about why he entered into this inexplicable deal that favours Spain. What has the Government not told people as to why this was done?