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GSD’s transparency motion draws Govt flak

A GSD motion calling for increased transparency in the operations of the Gibraltar Savings Bank was met with an angry response from the Gibraltar Government yesterday.
This comes as Roy Clinton, shadow Minister for Public Finances, moved a motion in Parliament requesting leave to introduce a Bill for an Act to amend the Savings Bank Act.
The aim of the motion was to make provision for the “timely” publication in the gazette of the annual accounts of the revenue and expenditure of the Savings Bank, including deposits received and repaid and interest credited to depositors.
In doing so, Mr Clinton said his motion was one that the House should have ‘no difficulty with’ adding that it is in keeping with the government’s avowed policy of promoting transparency and accountability in public finances.
Although pegged by GSD MPs as simply to enhance transparency, the exchanges at times represented a renewed attack by the Opposition on the Government’s handling of Gibraltar’s public finances.
But the Minister for the Savings Bank, Joe Bossano, immediately slapped down Mr Clinton’s suggestion.
“When people are elected to Parliament and then they form government they are committed to deliver what is put in their manifesto,” he said.
“If we had wanted to put a date we could either have put it in the manifesto or we could have done it without it being in the manifesto or the GSD could have done it in the 15 years they were there.”
Mr Bossano added that this was not about wanting permission from Parliament to change a law, but about “having an opportunity to make the speech he has made.”
GSD MP Trevor Hammond, however, said the motion was “very reasonable” given that it was designed simply to enhance transparency and “no more than that”.

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