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GSD slams Govt for ‘burning’ nearly £50,000 on National Day fireworks display

Photo by Johnny Bugeja

The GSD has criticised the Gibraltar Government for spending nearly £50,000 on a fireworks display despite the “very bad position” of the Rock’s public finances.

It was reacting after the Government revealed in response to a parliamentary question that the display for National Day cost £49,279.

The GSD said the Government’s spending priorities were not in line with its financial position, noting that public borrowing had increased by £50m on July 1.

“The total gross direct debt of the Government increased by £50 million to £747.7 million on 1 July 2021, its highest level on record,” said Roy Clinton, the shadow Minister for Finance.

“Despite the continued borrowing and the projected losses of £1 million a week the Government still sees it fit to spend £49,279 on a lavish fireworks display.”

“As much as we all enjoy a good fireworks display the point is that we are in a very bad financial position and for the time being the prudent thing is to find savings and not literally burn money when the current hole in public finances is this big and the mantra is ‘there is no money’.”

“This is not just a question of a fireworks display – it is much more fundamental than that in that it shows that Mr Picardo is intent on throwing caution to the wind in an effort to sustain his and his Government’s fast dwindling popularity.”

“I have to ask Sir Joe Bossano in his capacity as Minister for Financial Stability what exactly is he doing to identify simple cost savings and eliminating unnecessary expenditure when he is a member of a government which does not bat an eyelid if it has to burn £49,279 on fireworks?”

“This Government is spending borrowed money as if there was no tomorrow and it needs a reality check.”

“Ultimately it is the taxpayer that will pay for this Government’s financial recklessness.”

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