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TG sets out transparency agenda

Together Gibraltar hopes to regain “economic sovereignty for Gibraltar” in plans put forward by the party yesterday, as it also set out proposals on transparency and accountability in Government.

If the party is elected into government next Thursday, one of the first things Together Gibraltar will do is to look into and assess the “true figure” of public debt.

Party candidate Siân Jones said Together Gibraltar will “assess and expose” that figure before managing their way through that debt.

While talking to reporters yesterday, Ms Jones said Gibraltar should be “rightly proud” of its GDP per capita, but added that “the reality is that we do lag behind other microstates of similar population size”.

Together Gibraltar is looking at proposals to diversify Gibraltar’s economy to steer it away from a reliance on construction, financial services and online gaming.

The focus will be to bring technology-led industries supported home-grown talent into Gibraltar.

Ms Jones presented Together Gibraltar’s 10-year economic strategy for a “diversified, better balanced economy” with party leader Marlene Hassan Nahon and former chairman Neil Samtani.

One way of overcoming this “cycle” where growth is focused on areas that require regulated industries is to move away to “non-regulated, tech-led businesses”, Ms Jones said.

There are some areas in financial services and online gaming that have become “stagnant or in decline” and this, she said, is “unsustainable for Gibraltar”.

To help promote start-up technology led businesses, Together Gibraltar will put forward an Enterprise Investment Scheme which will help provide capital for these firms to grow.

Local taxpayers who will invest in such a scheme will benefit from “income and other tax relief”, Ms Jones said.

Together Gibraltar also pledges to doubling the tax rates for those people earning £700,000 or more, while Category 2 and HEPSS tax scheme remain unaffected.

People who own a second home with a market value of more than £1million will also be required to pay a property tax, while properties bought for the rental market and investment purposes are not included.

Mr Samtani put forward proposals to target public accountability in the public sector.

Together Gibraltar’s “Public Accountability and Transparency” proposal is divided into three areas and will look at ministerial policies and standards; governance, supervision and enforcement; and reporting and disclosure.

The party also pledge to provide the public with access to public records so that “government reporting can be more open and accountable” to the people.

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