GSLP/Libs Say GSD Cannot Be Trusted On Community Care
The GSLP/Libs have said the GSD have "misled" the public before on Community Care.
A statement from the GSLP/Libs follows below:
When they were first elected – with Mr Azopardi as part of the GSD team – in 1996, they said they were committed to continuing Community Care and to funding it.
Instead, Mr Azopardi’s party run down the reserves from £60m to ZERO.
Then, in 2010, they said THE OPPOSITE of what they had said when fighting the election in 1996. Already in government in 2010, the GSD said: “It has been the Government’s policy for 15 years to run down the funds in Community Care so that we can make alternative and better arrangements.” No such better arrangements have ever been disclosed by the GSD, despite Sir Joe Bossano repeatedly asking them to do so.
So, the GSD say supportive things about Community Care when in Opposition and then do things which undermine Community Care when in Government. At this sensitive time in our history, with Brexit looming, we cannot trust the GSD with the purse strings. It is too serious for them to now once again to be allowed to neglect Community Care.
Sir Joe Bossano, the father of Community Care, said: “What the GSD’s policies in this election actually imply is that they will not continue funding Community Care but run it down as they did since 1997 leaving its coffers empty by 2010. Whatever Mr Azopardi may now say in protest, the evidence speaks for itself. The GSD deny that this is still the policy, but why should you believe the GSD when they lied to Parliament and in elections between 1997 and 2000 when they promised not to touch the Community Care reserves and make sure they could meet their running costs and then Mr Azopardi’s party - of which he was a member then - did the complete opposite in government? Additionally, the GSD and Mr Azopardi have not included ANY REFERENCE WHATSOEVER about Community Care in their manifesto. This shows they have no real commitment to maintaining the reserves of that Trust.
Sir Joe added: “In opposition after 2011 the GSD said that they would cut £50 million pounds from recurrent spending. Conveniently, they have not said where the GSD’s austerity axe would fall. They have also said and included in their manifesto that they will close Credit Finance. This provides commutations for civil servants to allow them take a lump sum instead of a pension. Therefore under the GSD civil servants would be deprived of the commutation option, even though – hypocritically - GSD members of parliament themselves have taken it up in respect of their own pensions.
Finally, Sir Joe said: “The GSD will also run down the Savings Bank and stop investing in our economy which is the priority in the Act introduced by us and passed unanimously by Parliament. This would also mean that the Savings Bank would not be able to provide 5% Debenture for pensioners. Nor could such debentures be provided by the Government directly instead, as this would increase the government debt and they are committing themselves to reducing it.
Sir Joe concluded: “Even without Brexit the GSD’s policies would be bad for our pensioners and negative for the economy. Electing the GSD would be bad for Gibraltar and could spell the end of Community Care.”