School expenditure ‘boast’ highlights budget ‘failings’, GSD says
Chief Minister Fabian Picardo’s “boast” to the teachers union that expenditure in educational infrastructure will be “well in excess of £100 million” highlights “failings” in the 2018/19 budget, the GSD has claimed.
The 2018/19 budget made a token provision for £1,000 of expenditure on ‘New School Projects’, even while projecting a surplus on the Consolidated Fund of £23.8 million.
Roy Clinton, the GSD MP who holds the public finance portfolio, said: “The Chief Minister is quick to boast that he is expecting to spend in excess of £100 million in educational infrastructure but yet made no provision for this scale of expenditure in the 2018/19 budget.”
“This serves to prove that the 2018/19 budget was the nonsense I said it was,” he said.
“We are all witness to the grand scale and mad pace of government building projects but have no idea as to the total costing of projects such as the schools, Island Games and the affordable housing schemes.”
Mr Clinton said the Gibraltar Government should provide details by school of the costs incurred and by whom, together with the source of the funding.
“When we add the likely costs of schools, new housing, the waste water treatment plant and others, the government must easily have committed close to £300 million of public monies,” Mr Clinton said.
“They had already borrowed £300 million which they have, so far, refused to tell you exactly how they are using or what is left.”
“There are now persistent rumours about the Government needing to seek further financing.”
“The Government should be clear and say whether they are borrowing more money which can only worsen the already bad state of public finances because of the financially reckless way they do things.”
“The Government also needs to disclose how much it intends to lend the developers of Victoria Keys.”
“This Chief Minister who now openly displays contempt not just for Parliament, but anyone who disagrees with him, seems to be more comfortable with property developers and selling real estate rather than talking to the people whom he is meant to represent.”