Jul 16 - GSD Say Government “Misleads Parliament”

The GSD has issued the following statement on the Sunborn floating hotel:

The Leader of the GSD Opposition, Daniel Feetham has written to the Speaker of the Parliament making a formal complaint that the Chief Minister and Minister Bossano have deliberately misled Parliament on issues of fundamental importance to the public finances of this community and the use to which the Government is putting hundreds of millions of pounds of savers’ monies.

Daniel Feetham said: “If the Chief Minister is right and Ministers can answer questions in the manner he and Mr. Bossano have done, it will have huge implications for the accountability of the Government to Parliament, not least because all the Government would ever need to do is to hide behind a curtain of secret companies, which the Opposition knows nothing about, to avoid being accountable in Parliament”. 

“In the light of what we know, the Chief Minister’s claim that everything that needed to go up is going up and everything that needed to go down is going down sounds hollow.  It is very easy to lower public debt, if all you are doing is effectively transferring public debt to the Gibraltar Savings Bank and then using £300 million of savers’ money to fund projects or expenditure.  It is also a recipe for disaster because the Government has sowed the seeds for a future financial crisis.”  

The Opposition believes that it is clear beyond peradventure that the Government has deliberately dodged very pertinent questions posed on matters relating not only to the financing of the Sunborn but also how savers’ money in the Gibraltar Savings Bank was being invested in a company called Credit Finance Company Limited (“Credit Finance”).  It is clear that as far back as May this year the Government could, if it had answered question 384 truthfully, have told Parliament that some £289 million of savers’ money had been invested in Credit Finance and that this company was providing loans to third parties.   

The Opposition, Parliament and more importantly the people we have been elected to serve have been kept in the dark on these issues. Indeed it was not until the day after the by-election that the Chief Minister revealed to the press that in fact £30M had been loaned by Credit Finance to the owners of the Sunborn Floating Hotel and other parties. The GSD has been elected to serve this community as the Opposition and it is our obligation and duty to bring to the attention of our people a matter which has wide ranging implications for our economy.