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GSD accuses CM of ‘Orwellian spin’ over tax agreement

Embargoed to 0001 Monday July 10 File photo dated 28/03/17 of new 12-sided £1 coins, the billionth of which has passed through the Royal Mint's production line, as shoppers and retailers prepare to bid farewell to the old "round pound". PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday July 10, 2017. See PA story MONEY Coin. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

The GSD yesterday accused the Chief Minister of “Orwellian” spin for describing the tax treaty with Spain as positive for Gibraltar, insisting once again that the agreement was damaging and favoured Spain.

In the latest of a string of exchanges, the GSD said Mr Picardo was distorting the truth of complex issues “in the hope he is not found out”.

The Opposition said it was “nonsense” for the Chief Minister to suggest that the GSD, because of its criticism of the tax treaty, was somehow suggesting Gibraltar should do business in a non-transparent way.

“This is a deal with Spain that affects our companies and people detrimentally,” said GSD Leader Keith Azopardi.

“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.”

The GSD again pointed out the UK’s own tax treaty with Spain was very different to the one for Gibraltar.

It said the UK had not agreed a tax treaty with Spain that affected it “in the harmful way that the Chief Minister has for Gibraltar”.

The UK had not, for example, applied punitive restrictions on its own companies or citizens when it entered its own agreement with Spain on tax.
The GSD said Gibraltar should do business with as many countries as possible.

“The point is that [the Gibraltar Government] 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,” the party said.

“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?”