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GSD hits back at Govt ‘gobbledygook’ in £300m mortgage row

The reason why the Gibraltar Government has ‘mortgaged’ six housing estates is because it has ‘spent and borrowed too much money’, the GSD said yesterday as the row over the deal continued.

The Opposition, in a statement, described the Government’s response to a leaflet the GSD distributed to the estates as “nonsensical”, adding that “it is jargon intended to confuse the public”.

“The simple fact is that the Government has borrowed £300 million and to do so has mortgaged six government housing estates,” the GSD said.

“A mortgage puts this housing at risk if there is a default, despite that the Crown may still own the freehold,” the Opposition said, adding that talking of institutional investment is to camouflage that simple reality with “meaningless gobbledygook”.

What the government’s response does not say and which is significant, the GSD said, is whether the £300 million is additional borrowing or to be used to pay off existing debt.

“If it is the former, the public debt of the Government and its companies will shoot above £1.1 billion in contradiction to GSLP/Liberals manifesto promises at the last election,” the GSD said.

The GSD also hit back at accusations regarding its own time in office, insisting that “the government has it wrong”.

“At the time of the 2011 elections these housing estates were not owned by Government companies,” the Opposition said.

“They were all owned by the Government when the GSLP-Liberals came into office.”

“It was Mr Picardo who placed the Mid-Harbours estate into a Government owned company after this election.”