GSD rejects CM’s ‘scaremongering’ over budget
The GSD has accused Chief Minister Fabian Picardo of “the worst type of scaremongering” over its decision to vote against the budget last week.
In a statement, the GSD said the government’s absolute majority in Parliament meant it did not require any votes to pass the budget Bill unless minster voted against it.
“The staggering level of indirect debt of £772 million in addition to direct gross debt of £447.7 million giving a total of £1.2 billion and the lack of Parliamentary oversight over the £772 million required a strong stand to be taken by the Opposition in considering this year's budget,” the GSD said in a statement.
Deputy GSD leader Roy Clinton, who shadows the public finance portfolio, said: “The torrent of verbal abuse directed by the Chief Minister at the Opposition benches during his budget reply was not only distasteful and disrespectful but the worst sort of scaremongering in raising images of schools closing, people dying and hospitals shutting down just because the GSD Opposition exercised its parliamentary right to oppose the Bill on the grounds of lack of full financial information and transparency on indirect borrowing and associated spending to assess its merit and risk to the community.”
“The Government has always had full control over the passing of the Budget and there was therefore no risk of it failing.”
“If the Government was genuinely interested in ensuring cross party support at budget time it would have provided the Opposition with all the financial information necessary in respect of Government companies, indirect borrowing and spending so as to provide a complete picture of the Government’s financial position against which the budget could be assessed.”