Apr 25 GSD Response - Government-Registered Companies

Gibraltar CompaniesGSD Astonished At Government Response

The GSD Opposition notes the Government’s astonishing statement that the use of No 6 Convent Place (the principal offices of the Government of Gibraltar) as registered address and provision of company formation, administration and nominee services is part of the GSLP-Liberal manifesto commitments to assist entrepreneurs and persons setting up their companies.

Of course, this, in effect, means that the Government of Gibraltar is providing subsidised company formation and subsidised nominee shareholders in the form of public servants, on top of subsidised contracts with the Government of Gibraltar by direct allocation and subsidised labour through the Future Job Strategy scheme! 

Given that this “scheme” was never advertised and the only example so far the Opposition has been able to find is a company linked to a GSLP activist, the Opposition is entitled to question whether the Government has not simply been caught out, and is, yet again, making it up as it goes along. Why has it not been openly advertised by the Government of Gibraltar so that all “entrepreneurs and persons setting up their companies” can avail themselves of this new Government company management service?

Yet further, in the particular case we cited, the company was incorporated on 2 April 2012 and over a year later, according to the company profile we disclosed yesterday, continues to be registered at No 6 Convent Place and have two public servants as its shareholders.  Therefore, the claim that the Government is also providing company managers in the private sector with business does not appear to stack up. 

It is unfortunate that the Government previously has refused to answer pertinent questions in Parliament about the identity of companies receiving contracts by direct allocation and subsidised labour from the Future Job Strategy scheme.  Yesterday’s public statement was as a result of the Opposition’s disclosure following investigation. Surely this is not the way a Government behaves in any Western democracy.

Be that as it may, what they now try to pass as a manifesto commitment may also be a blatant manipulation of Future Job Strategy figures to give the impression that companies are coming forward to train these individuals when the reality is that some of these companies, we don’t know how many, are being set up by the Government itself.  This is creating a highly artificial situation in the labour market (with questionable training for trainees) which does not bode well for the future. 

Leader of the Opposition, Daniel Feetham said: “It is obvious that many of the announcements by the Government have to be taken with a huge pinch of salt. We have seen that on occasions they simply do not stand up to scrutiny. In many cases, the Government’s spin machinery spins out of control and it is only then that the true picture starts to emerge.”