Clinton ‘callous and uncaring’ on capital projects, Picardo says
The Gibraltar Government insists it has carefully calibrated the investment to be made in health, housing, education and sporting projects to ensure that they are affordable and deliverable.
This comes in response to recent comments made by Shadow Minister for Finance Roy Clinton who had expressed concern that Government capital spending was “out of control”.
But, the Government insisted: “They are carefully thought out investments designed for the good of our Community and the people we serve, especially the young and the most vulnerable in our society.”
The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, said: “Roy Clinton is being callous and uncaring in his one dimensional approach to the investment in Gibraltar's capital projects.”
“We are investing in building affordable homes for our young people, we are investing in building better health care facilities for children and the community at large, we are investing in new schools for children and young people and we are investing in sporting facilities for all ages and to enable us to host the 2019 Island Games.”
“Which of these capital projects would Mr Clinton seek to stop? And how does he reconcile his calling for these projects not to go ahead with his other colleagues calling for them to be delivered even more quickly than we consider is prudent? Mr Clinton's position is unsustainable, as is his suggestion that the GSD had an "impeccable finance record.”
"Has he forgotten that the GSD threw away £10m on the Theatre Royal alone and that one of their flagship projects cost over 250% more than budgeted and was never used? Not to mention the losses made on affordable housing in their time which exceeded almost £9,000,000 on the OEM projects alone? Or has he forgotten the loan of £4,000,000 to OEM which was never re-paid? Just with these unnecessary losses of taxpayers money we would build the new Comprehensive schools or the new Primary Care Centre or the sporting facilities."
“That is the reality,” he said.
“Mr Clinton needs to beam himself down to the reality of the GSD's profligate ways.”
“Only then will his comments start to reflect the reality that this government is careful and prudent in its investment, that we have an impeccable record in the stewardship of our public finances and that the GSD that he represents has a lot to be ashamed of, in particular when it comes to the management of our nation's financial affairs."