Feetham to set out GSD vision in party meeting
Brexit presents an opportunity to change the way Gibraltar approaches politics, the Leader of the Opposition Daniel Feetham will tell a general meeting of the GSD this evening.
The party is voting new members into its executive and Mr Feetham is expected to use the opportunity to set out the GSD’s political, social and economic vision for Gibraltar.
He will argue that while Gibraltar enjoys benefits that few other communities have, this needs to be “nurtured and protected”.
“The lack of transparency, spending, debt and the expectations that has generated, is literally going to kill the goose that laid the golden egg,” he will say.
“At the end of the day if we get this wrong it will not be those well off like Mr Picardo who will suffer, it will be the most vulnerable - the infirm, disabled, the unemployed, the little guy - that will suffer and it is for their sake and ours that we must get this right.”
“Brexit is, therefore, an opportunity to change the way we approach politics in Gibraltar, an opportunity to do away with the culture of populism underpinned by unrealistic promises at election time.”
The GSD Leader will reinforce the party’s message that the challenge of Brexit demands “honesty” from government and a “simple” approach, rather than “unrealistic” proposals about a different deal for Gibraltar that risk alienating UK support.
Mr Feetham, who will underscore the need for continued vigilance with Spain, is also expected to highlight what he sees as huge overspending and debt over the last four years, particularly against the context of Brexit.
Given the uncertainty about the future, it is “reckless in the extreme” for the Chief Minister to say that he will be able to meet every single manifesto commitment, he will say.
Mr Feetham will also highlight the need to emphasise individual responsibility in the community and move away from a “culture of entitlement” that creates an unfair drain on finite resources and risks depriving those in genuine need of help.
The Opposition leader will pitch his flag to “a realistic programme of debt reduction and prioritisation of spending”.
Priorities include education, health, training and employment, social and caring services, instead of “plush ministerial offices, parties and Upper Rock bridges”.
He will urge greater openness in the management of the Rock’s public finances and no more “secret loans” through government-owned companies, pledging to publish details of every loan made by Credit Finance Company Limited if elected into government.