Dec 18 - Government Says GSD Is "Out Of Touch" With Reality

The Government says the latest GSD press release on housing is "baffling" but also demonstrates the how "out of touch the GSD is with reality".

A statement from the Government is as follows:

"For the first 8 years in government, the GSD did not lay a brick to provide housing for anyone, whether for purchase or rental. Their rush to build in the end resulted in the poor workmanship that can be seen in their construction, particularly in estates such as Cumberland Terraces where the tax payer continues to foot the bill for necessary remedial works all of which could have been avoided.

"In 16 years (4 terms in office), the GSD provided the following: By way of construction of affordable housing, Waterport Terraces, Cumberland & Bayview Terraces and Nelson’s View. By way of construction of rental flats, the GSD built Mid Harbour Estate, Bishop Canilla and Albert Risso House.

"This administration has already provided over 1000 flats at Beach View Terraces and Mons Calpe Lodge, provided 2 blocks of purpose-built flats for the elderly at Charles Bruzon House and Sea Master Lodge and have already announced a further 1500 flats in 3 new estates and former MOD properties.

"The GSD should be ashamed of proclaiming their provision of 2000 flats in 4 terms in office, this Government has already provided 50% of that figure in its first term and committed more than double in its second term. By the end of this Government’s second term in office it will have provided more flats than the GSD did in double that time.

"In addition to that, this administration has embarked on an ambitious project of urban renewal of pre-war properties in the upper town. Government has been very proactive in identifying many properties that were empty during the GSD years and many have been sold at tender to provide further housing. To date, a total of 18 tenders have resulted in the provision of 118 dwellings. The Ministry for Housing continues to co-ordinate the decanting of pre-war properties for tender.

"Essentially what differentiates the GSD from this Government is basic ideology. The GSD believe that those who have more money should have an advantage over those who do not. It is a basic socialist principle that everyone should have an equal chance and that is why those who may wish to purchase in the affordable housing schemes at 50% of the purchase price will not be disadvantaged over those who may wish to and are able to purchase more.

"The most baffling argument proposed by the GSD is that young adults be precluded from joining the housing waiting list, essentially preventing them of the chance to get into the system to aspire to any type of housing. This shows very little understanding of how the system works as, obviously, those who will be given priority are those who have been on the list for longer or have otherwise been assessed as having an urgent need."