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Opinion & Analysis

GSD will open the books

By Damon Bossino

Openness and transparency. Words much vaunted by politicians. Words used by the GSLP/Liberals when they ushered in their supposed ‘New Dawn’ in 2011. They have failed to deliver. Their atrocious lack of openness is reflected in how our public finances are handled. Their spending ‘gone mad’ policy represents far from prudent planning in a post-Brexit world.

Economic and political self-sufficiency
When Sir Joe Bossano was Chief Minister, he always correctly argued that our political emancipation as a people had to be accompanied by economic self-sufficiency. Given our size and the sovereignty challenge we continually face, this analysis is absolutely correct.

The same was said by another former Chief Minister, Sir Peter Caruana, when he gave his final budget address in Parliament and stated, when describing Sir Joe’s position in this respect: “…this community, challenged and threatened as it is politically, could not without independent economic security safeguard its political security…I adopted this mantra because it struck me as absolutely right.”

This view is all the more pertinent with the added challenge that is Brexit.

The GSD has been increasingly alarmed in its 8 years in opposition at the secrecy in the management of our finances.

I recall when we found out, almost by chance, of the existence of a company many of you will now be familiar with, Credit Finance Company Limited during the bye-election campaign of 2013.

This company was central to and a radical departure from the government’s approach on how to arrange our public finances yet not a dicky-bird was said about it.

Clouds on the horizon?
The issue with lack of financial accountability is that everything may well be hunky-dory but we only have the Chief Minister’s word for it.

This is not enough. We all need to know where the money is so that we can make a judgment as to whether we agree with the Chief Minister or not.

If there are clouds on the horizon we need to prepare for that eventuality.

This is why we will have innovative promises in our manifesto which will make financial unaccountability a thing of the past.

If our calculations are right and our gross debt is at over £1.3 Billion, we need to know how that is going to be paid especially with Brexit looming.

Brexit – planning
This brings me to another important point. The Government claims that they have been preparing for Brexit, that they are the only ones who have the experience to do so.

This could not be further from the truth! They try to impress us with their tally of meetings and albums of photographs with leading political figures but at the same time they have spent many millions of pounds on a four day celeb party - Bocelli, Iglesias and Guetta do not come cheap that is for sure!

Spending many millions of pounds on yes, wonderful schools, but at what cost, when they have been built in such a short period of time? The same goes with the undue haste in building for the Island games. Is this serious and responsible preparation? We say ‘absolutely not’.

Vote GSD
I hear many people saying that they will mix their vote. I would urge you not to.

By doing so you put in jeopardy our ability to change the things that need to be changed in order to properly and confidently face the very dark clouds we face in the horizon. We are the party with the experience to do so.

Vote all 10 GSD candidates.