May 16 - GSD: "This Latest Issue Demonstrates Why Reforming Parliamentary Is Necessary"

The GSD says it notes the "appallingly bad" excuse given by Government regarding the delays in answering Opposition questions.

A statement from the GSD follows below:

Whilst is quite understandable and we have publicly acknowledged, that the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister are engaged in leading the Brexit discussions this cannot be an excuse for the failure to hold question time and ensuring that we debate the Government's legislative programme.

There are important issues and decisions that affect people's lives in employment, health, education, social services, the environment and land use that cannot just be parked. The Government should not use Brexit as an excuse to make itself even less accountable than it already is. This is not a question of loyalty, everyone of our Members of Parliament puts Gibraltar first always and it is the failure of the Government to ensure that the legislature continues to operate as normal that is having profound affects to the lives of many of our citizens. It is our duty to put this matter in the public domain and the public expect and deserve nothing less.

The churlish response by the Government criticising the GSD's handling of questions when we were in Government demonstrates that the Government has run out of excuses. The people of our community deserve better governance and accountability and not excuses and pointing fingers to score cheap points. This latest issue demonstrates why reforming parliamentary is necessary and the first step in that process is the enlargement of the House.

Elliott Phillips MP said: " The Government's response shows that they have no excuses for delaying the answering of Opposition questions or debating their legislative programme. In the United Kingdom for example the British Parliament as well as the devolved administrations continue to go about their normal parliamentary business despite the clear crisis affecting the country. I am amazed that if the British Parliament is able, for instance, to debate North Sea Seahorse Protection in the context of Brexit, why our Government cannot answer substantive questions on public finances, health, housing etc. The Government is comprised of ten ministers surely if the CM and DCM are engaged full time on Brexit the other eight Ministers can answer questions? Gibraltar deserves better."



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