GSD promises ‘the future you deserve’
The GSD yesterday launched its manifesto, highlighting a number of measures that it says will help to enhance the economy in a post-Brexit Gibraltar.
With a tagline of “the future you deserve”, the manifesto focuses on a number of themes such as better services, quality of life and issues of skills and training.
During the manifesto launch at the GSD headquarters yesterday morning, party leader Keith Azopardi accused the GSLP/Liberal Government of “mishandling the Brexit issue” over the past three years.
Mr Azopardi said the caretaker Government “does not have a monopoly on Brexit”, adding that they are not ready and are hiding behind “smoke and mirrors”.
Although the “GSLP want this election to be fought on Brexit”, the GSD will base its campaign on the day-to-day issues that concern people.
“Our plan to deal with Brexit is entirely here [in this 124-page document], and this plan is premised on the fact that Brexit will happen,” Mr Azopardi said.
“And that is when we will need to reposition our economy, create a skill space, look at new markets for business, look east and south, look away from Europe and look at new markets.”
“We need to ensure a much more conservative approach to the management of our economy and our debts.”
“All of those are in response to Brexit.”
Mr Azopardi described the Memorandums of Understanding agreed as part of the Gibraltar protocol in Theresa May’s Brexit deal as a “lost opportunity for Gibraltar”, and said he does not believe they “protect our fundamental objectives”, namely freedom of movement and single market access.
“The Irish seem to have done it well because they have a backstop, where is the Gibraltar backstop in all of that?” Mr Azopardi asked.
In addition, the party leader accused the GSLP/Liberals of “tripling economic debt” since coming into office in 2011.
He pledged the GSD would tackle debt and economic deficit if elected on October 17.
“The GSLP/Liberals cannot be trusted on the economy which is the most serious area which would affect our sustainability as a political, economic and social community,” Mr Azopardi added.
The GSD pledges to ensure economic success and sustainability; environmental sustainability; a long-term strategy for Gibraltar as set out in Gibraltar 2050; modernised care policies and services; ensure that the workforce is trained and “has access to secure, stable and dignified employment”.
The GSD also set out policies to maintain its financial services that allows the workforce to succeed and opens opportunities for them.
“The GSD has a track record of putting money back in your pocket,” Mr Azopardi said.
“We lowered tax massively during our term in office between 1996 and 2011.”
“We are a team that guarantee financial good management, accountability, and a better way of handling matters, of social policies as delivered in this manifesto.”
The GSD also remains committed to terminating the Tax Treaty with Spain, which Mr Azopardi described as a “disincentive” to business and does not allow the attraction on business while also being “discriminatory to Gibraltarians who lived in Spain”.
If elected into Government, the GSD proposes to terminate the tax treaty and replace it with a “fair and neutral” tax treaty with Spain, Mr Azopardi said.