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Govt pressed on £300m spending plans

The Gibraltar Government was pressed yesterday to explain what capital projects it will fund with the £300m raised against six publicly-owned housing estates, prompting feisty exchanges in Parliament.

Opposition MP Roy Clinton asked Chief Minister Fabian Picardo for details on how the Gibraltar Government planned to use the £300m “loan” raised by Gibraltar Capital Assets Limited.

He further queried why capital projects were not being directed via the Improvement and Development Fund, which would subject the spending to the scrutiny of Parliament.

That sparked a furious exchange on the issue of spending and parliamentary scrutiny, with the Government insisting that the £300m was an “investment” in Gibraltar that reflected confidence in the local economy despite the challenge of Brexit.

“The Government will announce what projects it intends to fund via the company structure, a funding methodology that was introduced by the former GSD administration, as and when it is ready to do so,” Mr Picardo said.

Mr Clinton, by way of a supplementary question, asked Mr Picardo if he considered the Improvement and Development fund redundant.

“No, sir” came the reply.

“Then why is it that capital projects are not being directed through the Improvement and Development fund?” countered Mr Clinton.

FULL STORY IN OUR PRINT AND E-EDITIONS