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Feetham making Brexit ‘a divisive issue’, Govt says

The Gibraltar Government yesterday slammed comments made by the Leader of the Opposition, Daniel Feetham, regarding the public sector which, it said, seek to divide the community over what should be a non-partisan issue.
In a statement the Government explained that it has a clear manifesto commitment to maintain Public Sector staffing and to modernise the Public Services to ensure the highest possible efficiency and thereby the best value-for-money for the taxpayer.
This issue has been dealt with extensively both by way of Press Releases and Parliamentary debate in October and November 2016, it said.
“Once again, Mr Feetham sticks by an impossible catch-22 demand: that the Government should simultaneously curb cut numbers and spending on the public sector whilst at the same time insisting on us filling every single public sector vacancy,” the Government said.
It added that such a “contradictory approach” is “politically unconstructive” and not in the interest of those who would be most affected by it, i.e. public sector workers.
“Over the past five years the Government has made fantastic headway on employment issues in both the public and private sectors, tackling both current demand and anticipating future need.”
Unemployment is at a historic low and the employment development service has been created to match our graduates with the right vacancy, the Government added.
“Simultaneously, Government deals holistically with education, training and employment and is taking steps to ensure that Gibraltar’s expertise and skillset matches our future requirements.”
Hitting back at GSD suggestions the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, is using Brexit to shield him from basic accountability on domestic issues, the government said Brexit is not a smokescreen to be ‘hidden behind’ but the “most important diplomatic challenge facing Gibraltar at present”.
“It is entirely regrettable that Mr Feetham’s has used headline-grabbing comments in an attempt to make Brexit a divisive issue,” it added.
“Conversely, the Government strongly considers Brexit as an issue on which Gibraltar must get behind the Government in our universal best interest, and the Government will continue to work tireless on behalf of the whole community,” the Government said adding that it will make no apologies for this.”