Sunday, 13 February 2011

How Exposed is Gibraltar to Economic Pressures?

Put simply, this piece examines some possible effects on Gibraltar's finance centre and political status, were the government of Gibraltar to face liquidity and deficit related problems in its public finances such as would require the UK (or another jurisdiction) to come to our aid.   Gibraltar becoming economically vulnerable has far greater, wider and more detrimental consequences to it than would result to other jurisdictions.  Some of these consequences are frightening.

Recent events in Ireland are indicative of a risk that has come to the fore.  A risk that is unique to jurisdictions that are economically reliant on fiscal, legislative and regulatory leverage to attract economic activity to their shores.  This activity, in turn, provide and  shore up government revenues.  Gibraltar is in this position.  Events in the Turks and Caicos Islands, recently reported in the Chronic have brought these closer to home.  These islands are more comparable to Gibraltar, both being United Kingdom Overseas Territories (UKOTs),  than Ireland, which is a fully independent country.

Ireland has been hard hit by the banking crisis, public finance deficits, liquidity crisis and the recession.  Hit so hard that it had to resort to the European Central Bank (ECB) for massive amounts of financial assistance.  Assistance of this type comes with many strings attached.  Strings that are, on the whole, economic, for example, cutting deficits and imposing huge austerity measures to redress the financial situation.

These economic terms that are imposed, in themselves, have internal political consequences.  For example, in Ireland it has led to civil unrest, the resignation of the government and a general election.  What is of more concern is that these situations open up the possibility that external forces can use the circumstances to impose  political conditions on the economically weakened country, on the basis of the application of the age old principle that beggars cannot be choosers.  In the case of Ireland much was made of Ireland being bailed out by money provided by countries (primarily Germany) who suffered economic consequences resultant on the competitive fiscal policies followed by Ireland.

Part of this argument went, Ireland has low taxes in order to attract business away from us, who have higher taxes, yet our tax payers' money is being used to bail out that economy.  In turn Ireland had loose regulatory practices that contributed to the onset of the banking crisis.  To boot its attractive fiscal environment stole, based on unfair fiscal competition,  deposits from our own banking industry which also had an adverse effect on our economy and consequently tax revenues.  Time will tell whether, either by reason of unpublicised political terms and conditions imposed on Ireland or because of the pressures of having to meet the economic obligations imposed on the loans, Ireland will be forced to become less fiscally competitive and fall more in line with mainstream EU countries.

The increased vulnerability of UKOTs to political pressures and criticisms , which unlike Ireland are not independent countries, can be seen from recent events in the Turks and Caicos Islands.  The government there has not fallen simply because the UK imposed direct rule due to the rifeness of corruption undermining good governance.  In addition. however, the UK has recently had to assist the Turks and Caicos Islands with a £160,000,000 package (see the Chronic, Friday,11th February 2010) to assist it to pay salaries of public servants, including doctors, nurses, teachers, police etc.

As the Chronic put it, "The decision to provide support for a country that levies no income tax or capital gains tax, particularly during a period of severe austerity in Britain, has bought criticism ... the loan was dependent on evidence that the country was taking steps to reduce its deficit.  The [UK] Government has sent in Caroline Gardner as the new Chief Financial Officer.  She has the task of eliminating the deficit by 2013.  She can impose tough austerity measures and has power to strip the islands of their tax-haven status".   In the Chronic report there then appear quotes from several persons highlighting the incongruity and unacceptability of the UK providing this type of aid to a tax-haven that lives to take away UK revenues and that loans should be conditioned on these practices ceasing.

The Chief Minister has assured Gibraltar that our overall borrowings are highly manageable and that Gibraltar runs, not a deficit but a current account surplus.  I do not know whether this is the actual cash position or is based on receivables.  If the latter, the cash position may differ, which would be a concern.  I am also not clear whether these figures cover all contingencies or budgets for future increased recurrent  expenditure that will be inevitable from government capital projects like the new Air Terminal.  What seems clear is that Gibraltar has much lower, if any, reserves for contingencies than before.  What is also a fact is that a new Power Station has to be built and paid for.

Joe Bossano of the GSLP opposition has expressed reservations and concerns on the financial front, about the public debt levels and about future contingent financial obligations that have bee increased by the GSD Government.  Let us hope he is not right in his analysis.  If he is, and the financial strength of Gibraltar is compromised,  the consequences for Gibraltar could be more serious than for the Turks & Caicos islands.  Gibraltar cannot go forward believing in that it is immune from the world economic downturn.  Aside from undermining our finance centre, they do not have a neighbouring country  that seeks sovereignty.  Would they consider filling any financial breach, were the UK to refuse, and if so what would be the political consequences for Gibraltar?  That scenario does not bear thinking about.   


  1. Why don't we have Gibraltar's own richest list including all those from abroad supposedly living here?

    Rank Name Worth Rise/Fall Source of Wealth

  2. One does wonder RV.....

    Why has the CM changed the way in which Gibraltar's TOTAL debt is calculated?

    The opposition (as others) claims that he has done so to SUCH an extent that only HE KNOWS (staying true to his micro-manager moniker) exactly how much WE OWE.

    Could his Andorra statements be intertwined with the aforementioned?

    One does wonder, wonder. Just my thoughts, just my humble thoughts....


  3. I am of the view that both personnel working for the public sector and public infrastructure itself are way beyond Gibraltar's economic potential in terms of sustainability.

    And when outsourced to companies we get 11 million that renains uneplained!

    How much does the following cost per annum?

    Gibraltar Electrical Authority (don't laugh)!

    Gibraltar Health Authority

    Gibraltar Port Authority

    Building and Works (or whatever it is called now)

    Gibraltar Police Authority.

    Refuse collectors (not the blue van ones the yellow ones that work overnight)

    Just to mention a few.

    What about banks, how much does the government pay them on an annually basis for loans.

    How much does the government pay individuals or companies in relation to rented estate like the primary care centre?

    I am in no way criticising the above named,it is just that it would be interesting to know how much we spend on these.

    Are we the tax payer getting value for money or is the government throwing money at everything?Money that we don't really have and money which most importantly does not belong to them but to all of us who pay taxes.

    I think we are living in bubble and once this explodes we will be left on our underpants/nickers!


  4. Interesting piece Robert.
    UKOT's are not only vulnerable to political pressures but the difference is that islands have not got political pressures from another country other than the UK. Here in Gib we have the sovereignty issue with Spain and it would be disastrous if we were to get anywhere near the situation in Ireland.

    Therefore it begs the question how is that the present administration is embarking on big projects, pay deals, eccentric expenditure such as placing toilets, buying busstop at great cost, or spending over £6m on an unrealistic vision such as the Theatre Royal?
    The reality is that although many will have us think that everything in hunky dory and that as some have said in this blog that "it has never been as good in Gib under this adminisration" are just looking at the economic realities in a very irresponsible way.

    Gibraltar is currently in debt Well over £400m and is continuing to borrow to complete projects and at times pay more for these projects because of mistakes made or because of extras that have been ordered. eg leisure centre estimated to cost £5.5m actual cost over £11m
    Like this there are many other projects in which the same occurred.
    The problem with these projects is that they do not generate revenue and therefore the investment will never be recovered and you are left instead with running costs.
    The Air Terminal is a case in point in which for it to become economically viable there has to be at least 14 to 15 planes a day to cover costs forget making profits.(imagine the environment impact and the traffic chaos 15 planes a day will cause anyway even with the tunnel functioning as it should!!!!)
    What people have to look at is the big economic hole that the current adminisration is going to leave whoever wins the next election.
    So frankly I believe that the spending spree from our current adminstration which has left community care dry, putting their hands in the till (sort of speak) in the social security pension funds and further has got money from both the Savings Bank and from the debentures which it issues to people at a higher interest than banks give, will leave Gibraltar very vulnerable as you say in your piece. The consequence to Gibraltar is that then the UK could well tell us when we reach a critical situation to look at our sovereignty issue and that we will have to turn towards Spain. Some cynics have said that this is the actual policy and that eventually we will go bust and then we will have to look towards Spain.
    The feel good fact and complacency is very dangerous and this is what people like Louis Montegriffo expounded in the viewpoint programme. "Never had it better" he said "more of the same"

    These issues are of extreme importance and I am glad that you have written this post and therefore give us a good opportunity to see the woods from the trees in relation to the way the current administration is handling the economy.
    This year we will have a government announcing a big surplus in the economy to give us the impression that it's all OK in Gib. Just as an example the the surplus from last year has been eaten away with extar supplimentary moneys that the government have had to get for "unexpected expenditure" in the Health services and we will have to pay all the extra that has been signed off to Building and Works deal.
    So we should all interest ourselves to what critics of this adminisration is saying in relation to the economy.
    Y ahora a empesado a llover con que I'll get it a rest!!!

  5. I would not worry too much LW, Joe Bossano has proven to be wrong on most occasions. Laughable that you choose to explore these critical issues relating to finance and bank your conclusive arguments on Joe the economic guru. LOL this is comical Sunday reading.

  6. just think, as D says, the bubble explodes and we realise, we have spent well beyond our means.

    Then we get another wet and cold winter like we did last year coupled with all the new Gibraltarian housing (Nelson's View, Rooke, etc) all handed out at the same time, in time for the elections.

    Without a new power station (by then we won't be able to afford the portable generators), the ones we have now won't be able to meet the increased demand.

    Power-cuts galore and financial crisis, but the British Government can't afford to bale us out. Or maybe they can but prefer not to, kicks por si pega, after all the have given us enough rope, why stop us from hanging ourselves at this point?

    Who we gonna call?

    Ghost Busters? or will Spain come to the rescue, complete con el cable para conectarnos a la Sevillana.

    But at what costs?

    Andorra? anda ya, terminamo con un alcalde!

    (Me esta entrando ardentia!)

    far-fetched? I hope so, I so hope so!

  7. Anonymous at 17:56

    I do not come to any determinative conclusions nor bank anything on Joe Bossano's arguments. I simple express a hope that he may not be right but what if he is ... you seem to bank the comedy aspect entirely on his being wrong, PRC being right without a single substantiating fact ... dear oh dear ... very frightening, its an act of faith in a politician?

  8. K's right! The CM has clearly shown the Andora card in an attempt to quietly sell Gib and recover monies for our dying economy. Este K es un genio.

  9. Good points Anon 17:38

    The GSD Government seems to have got us all in a pickle (that being an understatement) deluded by visions of grandeur they have been found WANTING whilst attempting to over achieve.

    They keep portraying this perfect Gibraltar that DOES not exist. The really scary thing is that they actually BELIEVE what they are saying! Kinda creepy don't ya think?? lololol

    Anon 17:56

    Lo postings tuyo si que son comical reading.

    Your unsupported arguments carry no weight. Please feel free to enlighten.


  10. So what's your gut feeling Robert are we in good shape or not? Will we survive with prudent fiscal leverages as has been the case so far? Oh and on Andorra what was your feeling on that given that K has brought it up, what do you really think Robert, was cousin Peter in your view suggesting he wanted an Andorra model?

  11. Vale K and marrying the economy and Andorra really is substance. LOL.

  12. Anonymous at 18:09

    It is not about "gut" feeling but since you ask, I believe there is economic vulnerability as a result of profligacy. I also believe that there are contingencies building up that Gibraltar will not be a be to afford into the future. I also do not see any of the existing political parties represented in Parliament coming to terms with the sorts of difficult decisions that inevitably will need to be taken in the not too distant future. I see stormy times ahead ...

    On Andorra ... we have flogged that one to death in earlier blogs ... go back and read ... I do not think Andorra models will resolve economic problems. I do not see it as a possible solution in the minds of Spain and certainly not one that can be envisaged in a weak economic negotiating position. Spain will want more ...

  13. Anon 17:45

    Sometimes FACT is STRANGER than FICTION.

    Desperate times may indeed call for desperate measures.

    Please do note I merely suggest the possibility of it being so. I have not concretely stated YES it MUST be that and there is a big difference between the two.


  14. Spoken like a true politician. Well done Robert you have their attention, it's doom and gloom campers. This for all of those who might be falling for it is Robets old school propagandist techniques (he learnt them with the socialists at Uni in the 70s) simply called comerte el coco heavy. Before you know it you'll be buying tins of corned beef and baked beans and rallying in the streets for Red Rob.....;)

  15. Oh thanks for enlightening us all K, so your not sure then. Ah I see.

  16. Anonymous at 18:26

    Thank you for your compliments, most appreciated :) I do not think that I preach doom and gloom. Now give us your view, please.

  17. My view? Simple I live in probably one if the most progressive comunutues in the world, with the lowest unemployment in Europe, economic growth, low crime, Free education, safe, secure, multicultural, tolerant of religions and much much more. It seems that the biggest problem we have is boredom, but LW has seen to that though..:)

  18. Anonymous at 18;36

    Progressive? multicultural? Tolerant? You must be delusional ... or live in a different place from me.

  19. By implication you then suggest we are regressive, not tolerant and not multicultural - when did you move to Queens?

  20. Anon 18:27

    Not sure? NO ONE can be sure!!

    As I have previously stated (please note reasons why) only the CM knows the true extent of our debt! Therefore if you want a CONCRETE and ABSOLUTE response you must ask him, not me or anyone else for that matter.

    Anon 18:36

    Lowest unemployment in Europe? We are only 30 000! Por el amor de dios!! How can you compare us to other EU countries?

    On another note, RV I support your assessment in regards to the Andorra "arrangement”. If we were to give Spain a “hand” they would SURELY proceed to take the WHOLE “arm”. Vamo ve por donde sale esto del Airport 'Deal'......


  21. Robert have you moved to Queens NY?

  22. anon at 18:36

    progressive? when our Government-funded television station entertains the notion, in this day and age, that the role of women should be limited to the care of her home, children and husband, with the odd one, if she's pretty, allowed to work as a shop assistant?

    dream on!

  23. Anonymous at 18:44

    What a black and white world you live in ... no your assessment of what you consider is implicit in my statement is way off ... it is all about degree and not looking at Gibraltar through GSD rose tinted spectacles ...

  24. Ok K let's compare ourselves to Turks & Caicos then. They have a population of 36k and unemployment that makes Spain look like Disney. But hey whatever tickles your fancy, please give me a mire appropriate example.

  25. Anonymous at 19:01

    That comparison is plain stupid Turks and Caicos does not have a land frontier across which there is tourism and legal and illegal trade based on differences in indirect taxation. Full employment is nothing to do with politicians it is to do with many factors that benefit Gibraltar ... not rocket science mate!

  26. Great substance there Robert, back to the GSD again. Maybe your right. Realities really do suggest otherwise though. But as you say, hard times ahead, which imply that we are under good times or are you gonna spin that one too? Best spk to Joe see what he thinks.

  27. Ok so what are you saying that we are blessed with fortune then?

  28. Anonymous at 19:05

    Realities or smoke and mirrors created by spin? Time will tell ...

  29. There's really no pleasing you lot is there. Gloom gloom doom doom.

  30. Llanito World is under a GSD viral attack ... :)

    Are they worried?

  31. Smoke where ? At least you allude to a time will tell which at the very least suggests that we are currently in good form but that you expect it to go down hill.

    For now I'll leave you and say, it's been emotional...;)

  32. Worried? About who, the no show GSLP?

  33. OF COURSE their worried Robert!

    People are starting to realise (because of you & others alike) that the “perfect” Gibraltar they portray is merely an illusion formulated by their incessant propaganda ploys. Se huele a cacita……hahhahahaah :P


  34. Is there such a thing as a "universal formula" which Government's use to calculate it's overall debt?
    Or are we at the mercy of the two main political parties interepreting the figures as they see best, and for their own ulterior motives?
    If such a formula exists then it would be very easy for the electorate to asses to state of the economy without "political interference".

  35. Yes of course the independent super heroes under red Rob......;)

  36. Anon 19:25

    No el GSD, con el Monty, el Selwyn y la Isobel!! Enga ya mengggggggggggg!!! haahahhaahahahahahahah

    Give me RV and Gomez anytime!!!


  37. Po yo voy a votar po el Kaelan el Dr Norbert Borge, RV y Bossano que son lo mejo !!

  38. Yep Red Rob, Gomez and maybe just to spice things up we could have Louis Andlaw too, according to anon 18:56 he has single handedly made us regressive and intolerant. Forget the smoke, this is a forest fire.

  39. It's genuinely surprising to this anon that anyone can have the affront to claim that Gibraltar is one of the most progressive communities in the entire world considering the age of consent inequality that still exists here.

    Gibraltar is far from perfect, nor is it as close to being considered as such as the current administration would like us to believe.

    It really is a shame that the GSLP is currently in a state of disarray. In my opinion this election is theirs to win if they manage to get their act together, sooner rather than later.

  40. Have been awaiting with interest a response to my blog with good sensible arguments but unfortunately the GSD sychophants are out responding by insults, smokescreens and the opposition. Quite frankly it is very worrying since I suspect that some response from these sychophants might well be those who will present themselves for election for the GSD.
    It seems that due to lack of arguments from these people I will from now on just concentrate on what is sensible.!!
    For those who say that it is gloom and doom they either are totally blinded by the GSD or are too young to remember the vicious campaign launched by the GSD in 1996 in relation to the economy.
    The fact is that when the GSD won that election and in a way I was glad they did, they where the masters of telling the people that everything was gloom and doom and when they got in they reaiised that it was simple not true. the economy was booming and as you have said on previous ocasssion Robert they built the foundations to the economy we have now. The reclamation which the GSD is now using for Waterport terrace, the Hospital converted from an office block which the GSD labelled as a WHITE ELEPHANT, the finance centre and all its infrastructure, Which the GSD have ignored and the consequence is POWER CUTS.
    I'm now going to have supper so I will await with interest a SENSIBLE RESPONSE from those who think that the sun shines off PC's back side.

  41. A good article Robert. I also strongly agree with "D" 17.30 and Anon 17.38.

    In addition to what has already rightly been said, Gib Plc is really pushing its luck regarding its long term financial affairs, despite what the last Government Budget would have us believe. The home grown private sector is creaking with the burden of keeping the public sector going. The profligacy with which public monies are being squandered is alarming. This state of affairs is not sustainable.

    To some extent, I think that many in Gibraltar are living in a fool's paradise. If some think that we've never had it so good, have they ever paused to reflect that perhaps we are actually living substantially beyond our means? There are similarities to the case of Ireland. Anyone who visited Ireland only 5 years ago, as I did, would have recognised the signs of a society with all the superficial trappings of success and nothing tangible to sustain it in the long term. The financial crisis in Ireland, Greece, Spain and Portugal was a disaster that was always going to happen, it was just a question of how long the gravy train would go on for.

    In Gib's case, our potential financial problems come back to how Gib operates in practice and not really who sets our interest rates. As we know, Gib really is a one man show, for better or for worse. Nobody is infallible and everybody makes mistakes.

    This means that when that individual, the CM of the day, takes financial decisions on behalf of the people of Gibraltar, can he honestly say that his decisons have been taken with the best available knowledge and proper input from others at his disposal? What is to stop him taking Gib Plc along the wrong financial path simply because of his own personal vision or political leanings? As far as I can tell, absolutely nothing and this is dangerous for our society.

    It is important for the person in ultimate charge of Gib's affairs to be able to take important decisons, of course it is. It is equally critical for that person to be subject to some moderation of his actions. Absolute power is thoroughly unhealthy for a society and the option of voting in one virtual autocrat for another every few years is no consolation.

    The airport project, new toilets, mid town development, theatre royal, OEM developments, Rooke housing, Cordoba agreement, GHA agreement, Building and Works pay offs, lack of power station etc are all one person's vision. The financial implications of all of the above are also down to the same person who is looking to get voted in again at the end of the next 4-5 year political cycle.

    This is arguably not a responsible position for Gibraltar to be in. My suggestion? Essentially what I believe Robert has been advocating for some time: to make our elected Government and Chief Minister more accountable for their actions (and inaction). Reform Parliament, change its make up and the representatives within it so that more balanced decisions regarding matters are taken following proper assessment and debate of issues. If Gib Plc is going to bankroll a "vision" project like a new airport then make sure that it is worth the risk as decided following proper debate and approval by a cross section of elected representatives, not just the CM of the day. Get real with the public purse and all the issues stated by "D" and anon 17.38.

    Gib Plc needs to have its cloth cut accordingly for the times in which we currently live. As far as I'm concerned, this means less political tub thumping by those stating that "we've never had it so good", proper and frequent debate of live issues, more transparency over our public finances, public sector and increased accountabilty generally from our CM and other elected representatives.

    We owe it to ourselves to get our House in order before somebody else does it for us. Just ask the Irish how much fun that is.

  42. K, rates of unemployment are percentages so yes they can be compared with the rest of Europe. I do however, think that more needs to be done to help graduates returning from UK and finding themselves with a 'useless' degree. (Note the 'quotes' as I am of the opinion that no degree is actually useless)

  43. Great piece Robert. Thank you for taking time on a Sunday to write up another thought provoking blog and remind us how easy it is to bury our heads in the sand.
    For those who accuse you of doom and gloom, I wonder what chord of realism strikes true with them - possibly the rose-tinted vision promoted by the deluded agents of the GSD and the mastermind Caruana himself.
    We are waking up and smelling the coffee. And once the veil of delusion is removed things are too clear to ignore. The time for change is imminent.
    You have my vote Robert.

  44. It's true anon 20:24 is bang on, it was the GSLPs genius forethougt of 16 years that has allowed the GSD to create the growth and prosperity that we have had and only now that things are becoming so intolerable and socioeconomically disastrous that we now have a youthful, fresh, regrouped GSLP ready to show us the way again. Is that sensible enough for you?

  45. L.E.F.

    In laymans terms .

    Our population is approximately 30 Thousand.

    If Gibraltar owes £400 million it means that each one of us owes approximately £13,300.

    Yes ,That includes each pensioner and each child .

    So if you have 2 children you would really owe £40,000 approx.

    If lets say we have to pay 2.5% interest on £400 million per annum it would be £10 million interest per year before we even tackle the repayment.

    That is £330 per person per year to just cover interest.

    If interest were to rise to 5% , it would be double that

    The sorry thing is that we have had good growth but have not replenished our reserves for a rainy day.

    We just seem to throw money at problems without having any plan B should things drastically change overnight.

    Remember that in the same way that we have attracted new businesses here, what if there is a mass exodus one day. Could we cope?
    Would we be prepared?

    There are many ways to interpret figures but these illustrate on an individual level how much we owe.

    The GSLP was criticized by the GSD when in opposition because we owed too much money. Well nowadays we owe 4 times or more than the GSLP did, but today it seems to be no problem for the GSD.

    Lets be cautious with our money because who knows what each one of us might owe in 10 years time if we carry on as if viva la pepa.

    (Please anyone correct my figures if they are wrong ) I am doing calculations in my head)

  46. Correct you if you are wrong?????? You cannot be serious. Our debt as a percentage of income is substantially lower than in 1996. we have N economy that works and is real with investment and growth, our debt is only used for infrastructure unlike other countries, our stability as an economy is shown in GDP growth, an example of why we do not live beyond our means unlike other credit driven economies is the non existence of bank repossessions plus the fact that banks in Gib have inherently never lent at the sane levels as they would in the u.k and lastly your example of all gaming companies upping and going us akin to walking accrues the road and getting run over by the number 22 en route to Brixton.

  47. Talking about mass exodus of businesses....

    Carmen Media is relocating to Malta (or so was published in the Chronicle), what if other private firms where to follow?

    One has to question the GSD's blind faith in such a fickle industry.


  48. I never tend to agree when people say we enjoy "free education," I always thought that it was provided by the Government from revenue received as a result of taxation. Just like any other Government Service. Dick

  49. Anonymous at 21:03

    As a percentage of income ... a dangerous measure that has got many a country into trouble ... that relies on growth for ability to repay ... if there is no growth but shrinkage then we are in the same place as many a country, whether or not spent on capital projects, which is an irrelevant consideration if the capital assets are non-revenue producing.

    The gaming industry not walking out of Gibraltar? What was the CM's visit to the UK Gaming Minister about? What if more EU countries do as Germany does the EU Court has endorsed such behaviour in matters of gaming ... no one thought the banking crisis could happen but it did.

    Is the ice we walk on thick enough? Only time will tell...

  50. has the criteria for calculating debt in relation to GDP not been changed by this administration during its tenure ? If so we cannot equitably compare like for like.

  51. Anon 21.03 "Past performance is no indication or guarantee of future returns", a phrase which always comes up when dealing with any investment. The point is that Gib Plc may well not be properly placed to satisfy its financial obligations in future because circumstances can and do change.

  52. Carmel media accounted for 8 employees. In the last fee
    months there have been three new gaming entrants, PG's merger with Bwin has translated to a net gain for Gib, the insurance industry continues to grow, the funds industry grows (Robert will know this as Triays are fairing well here, Hassans take the rest of the cake), our budget surplus is £30m plus and will increase in the next year with gaming taxes. According to Red Rob and Joe it's going to pot though.

  53. Anonymous at 21:24

    You put words in my mouth nowhere have I said that anything is going to pot. All my piece says is that we should err on the side of caution and LEF's calculation is correct.

    I say we are spending too much, borrowing too much and investing in projects that increase expenditure and provide little or no return.

  54. There goes anon 21:22 on that number 22 to Brixton again....:)

  55. Anon 21:24

    The PG/BWIN merger has resulted in a net gain for whom exactly? Gibraltar? The Gibraltarians? The RICH Gibraltarians?

    I think you are jumping the gun on this one. Let us see what happens first.

    Company "restructuring" normally leads to REDUNDANCIES.

  56. "I say we are spending too much, borrowing too much and investing in projects that increase expenditure and provide little or no return. " and this suggests what Robert, good fortune? You paint a grey picture and them say it might happen but hide behind the fact it has not. Please dont spin, it does you no good and questions credibility and motive.

  57. Anon 21.24 The funds and online gaming industries are indeed currently doing well. Taking into account the transitory nature of the online companies, do you also think that it is wise to take the revenue generated by them for granted in the long term? Too many eggs in one basket perhaps?

  58. Anonymous at 21:35

    You really are a tiresome, cantankerous and argumentative individual who distorts debate without rhyme, reason or substance. Every other European country faces problems, yet you fail to see the possibility of this for Gibraltar or the wisdom of proceeding cautiously for these reasons. The words living in a fools paradise come to mind. I assure you I am not the only one who expresses words of caution. Much of the private sector has engaged in programmes of cutting unnecessary costs.

  59. L.E.F.

    To anon at 21.03

    Have got out my calculator and my calculations are correct.

    You cannot deny or argue that each one of us owes over £13,000 today when way back in 1988 we each owed £3000 at most.

    That is a realistic measure which is used in Ireland at the moment so that normal people can grasp the reality of how much their nation owes and how much it affects the ordinary man in the street.

    That is what my figure is intended to indicate.

    Whats the use to them now to see their past GDP growth figures when they are in the ruin.

    You are quoting GDP figures and you are right in saying that percentage wise we owe less now
    than under the GSLP.

    What you fail to mention is when will we start to repay the loan. Ah it doesn't matter to you.
    Just leave the mess to our children and let them pick the tab.

    In the meantime you can keep concentrating on GDP figures and carrying on selling the dream.

    Next year we will owe 500 million and our annual interest will not be 10 but 13 million.

    GDP will again show we are growing, which is the good side , but we will have to tackle the debt when the good times are with us.

    We cannot ignore the amounts that have to be paid sooner or later.

  60. Anon 22:24, it's happened already. They have just taken the larger offices. Generally everyone has done well.

  61. " tiresome, cantankerous and argumentative" i would have thought that was a perfect description of you...:)

  62. Anonymous at 21:53

    At least I have the courage to be so in my own name not cowardice when it is not needed, as a GSD sycophant you must believe the philosophy that they espoused a society without fear ... go on tell us who you are.

  63. Half a billion for little Gibraltar is far too much.... Sh.t if that is what we owe we have a What does the GSLP propose to reduce this debt ?

  64. Ah, so you agree...:) Its been fun sparring with you Robert. With respect I shall remain a spirit is this entertaining society, not through fear but just because.

  65. Anonymous at 22:28

    I could understand that someone who fails in his argument might consider me to be all those things :)

  66. Robert you're the one that came up with the characterisation not me. I suspect that it applies both ways, but if it makes you a happy bunny, fine you win. I concede that balance and caution is a worthy approach....;)

  67. Anonymous at 22:14

    I just want Gibraltar to win ... we are not being careful enough in the present world economic climate and we still have to build a new power station and meet international environment standards, which will be expensive. It really is a simple message.

  68. In other words you want to see us bank our growth and success and continue to do well. I agree.

  69. Ignore that last one, it was spiteful.

  70. Anonymous at 22:29

    Exactly, reduce debt but not eliminate ALL investment just be prudent ...

    not spiteful at all totally right ... we have been a success for the last 24 years save in one regard ... the fast launch episode ...

  71. Totally agree! Christ man what have we been doing all night..;) numbers are up though. You should be proud.

  72. I like it Red Robbo and Gomez who is an ultra nationalist y se pone de muy mala leche cuando se cree que insultan a los llanis. Cuando menos esta gente tiene cojones y no los entreaos que teneno en la politica hoy.

  73. Devils Advocate...

    Interesting comments with regards the Gaming Industry.

    I have always viewed with sceptism this particular type of industry. Certainly as I mentioned in a previous post, this type of industry based in Gibraltar is not something I am proud of; mainly due to the fact that it appears to be a powerful leeching type of industry.

    When the chancellor increased levies on Gaming Companies in the UK, Victor Chandler decided to move his business to Gibraltar with all the advantages provided locally. As a result this initiated an influx of betting companies taking advantage of the current perks offered locally in contrast to local businesses.

    These companies have no loyalty to Gibraltar and are just exploiting an opportunity of advantage which has now ended.

    Now that a level playing field has ben offered to all local buisness including the betting companies. Evidence of their loyalty is demonstrated by the number of Gibraltarians made redundant. Surprisingly in most cases these redundancies never appear to target the imported UK employees; possibly using the argument that they are the skilled personnel.

    Interestingly enough the availability of other more attractive jurusdiction will be a measure of how loyal these companies are to Gibraltar.

    If Im not too mistaken already a few companies appear to have moved to Malta.

    Time will tell.

    Robert whats your prediction with regards the life expectancy of this particular industry in Gibraltar?

  74. Devils Advocate

    I believe Ladbrokes were the first.

    I do not know the industry but I have no reason to believe that it will leave Gibraltar en masse. There will always be migration but I do not believe that Gibraltar will lose the industry.

  75. D.A

    Great points.

  76. Go and see

    if bossano's analysis is wrong, why does caruana not explain his figures on a white board like bossano did, if he is right?


  78. Anon 01:00. Joe makes a great case, but fails as always to consider the real world. For starters a major factor of his £352m GDP was driven by the winston trade which was a false economy in itself and unsustainable on so many levels.
    His calculation though correct are like comparing a household to a PlC which is what we are today.
    In short his economic perceptions are limited to a basic level and do not take into account how an economy like ours with the near 300% growth (with a real legal economy) needs to function.
    What is suprisingly is that over the last 4 lost elections Bossano tells us how bad our economy is but continues to promise all these Goodies which are views by most as unaffordable and an insult to our inteligence.
    Then again he may well be an economic genius.

  79. GAF:

    I am not a politician nor a financial guru but i have alwys worked on the principal that if i have £10 in my pocket and something costs £20 then i cannot buy it even when i have £100 coming in at the end of the month as "el mundo da muchas vueltas"....
    I am wondering why Government doesn't produce a simple statement of accounts? i.e two columns: 1. Money coming in (real money) 2. Costs
    Subtract one from the other and if we still have money left over then the economy is good, if not then the economy is not that good.....
    I wonder how many financial gurus manage to do their house keeping every month? When they go to Morrison,s to buy their shopping do they issue stocks, bonds, credit certificates at the till or do they pay?
    My simple model has always served me well, i live a good life, have everything i desire and i sleep very well at night knowing that i have enough put away for "a rainy day or a few of them..."

  80. Anonymous at 10:35

    Unfortunately the basis of your argument is incorrect. My information is that if the tobacco trade did not continue today, it does but in a more discrete manner but to a much greater extent and higher turnover than under the GSLP, the government would be running a current account (budget) deficit. The false economy that you allude to (a statement to which I do not subscribe, as Gibraltar's economy has always relied on cross-border trade) continues and has expanded to a higher level than under the GSLP government of the past.

  81. GAF, your not Joe are you?
    Your principles are worthy of merit and I applaud you. I myself work on a similar household economic model and value the fact that I the comfort of living in a prosperous economy where the economic model is based on the same methods used around the world and in which we come out very well.
    There is a big difference between managing a household and a country or PLC for that matter.
    Delighted to hear that you live a good life.

  82. Give us a break Robert, cross boarder trade is one thing. Hundreds of 16 year old smuggling tobacco on fast launches is quite different. Yes tobacco is accounts for large sums, but please don't compare today's reality with that of 16 years ago.

  83. Anon 11:33

    Robert is 110% correct in his assessments concerning the Tobacco trade.

    I do not know what Gibraltar you live in but it is COMMON knowledge that the Tobacco Contraband trade is stronger than ever.

    Furthermore I will repeat what I have previously posted on LLW that being....

    There is now MORE contraband taking place in Gibraltar than what there was 16 years ago.

    The difference being that the ‘Winston boys’ have now been replaced by lo ‘Pirata con Corbata’. Whilst the ‘Winston Boys’ had the typical “in your face” approach/mentality this new generation of smugglers are not only intellectually gifted and sly but also far more capable.

    They blend in effortlessly with a society led to believe that the smuggling days are over, “a thing of the past” like the GSLP. Additionally those who know differently are too comfortable to state otherwise. After all in Gibraltar (as in all EU countries) we do have relatively high standards of living. Why should they go “looking” for trouble right?

    Everyone knows what is going on, but no one wants to come out and point fingers for fears of retribution. Gibraltar is too small to make such menacing enemies.

    Aqui lo que ay es una “MAFIA” and everyone knows it. Yet few (if any) are willing to stand up and do anything about it. Has it never occurred to anyone that these smugglers, drug dealers etc, which we consider to be lowlifes are supported financially by wealthy sources? I don’t think it takes rocket science to figure out the rest.

    Ps- Sorry to burst your bubble.


  84. GAF:

    No, I am not Joe. I was just wandering that IF Gibraltar is in an economic deficit, then how is it going to pay when the bubble bursts?

  85. GAF:

    I agree totally with Kaelan referent his last post.... I think Phillip Morris and Reynolds think that in Gibraltar all the inhabitants walk around with 12 cigarettes in their mouths at any given time.

  86. GAF:

    By the way Anonymous 11:24, not only do I manage a household but also a large and successful business.

  87. Come on guys. Tobacco revenue now is massive massive massive. The numbers are not published anymore; but it is clear that the increase in duty from tobacco must be near or over the £100m. Its not difficult to work out. Just look at the numbers that are published for duty collected, what the breakdown says and what it doesnt say. That increase in tobacco revenue is many multiples of what it was in the pre 96 days. Great if we can make this money without the lanchas, frankly. But the issue for the GSD is that they have made Gibraltar totally dependant on tobacco to pay the civil service and all other recurring expenditure. Its that simple. Caruana, of all people, has made us more dependant than ever on tobacco. I want to vote for Azopardi and may give one of my votes to the Vasquez gang. Until Bossano goes, I wont vote GSLP. If he goes, my votes will go to the GSLP as the guys who can remove Caruana.

    Viva La Pepa

  88. GAF you run and own you're own large successful business. Given your household economic model i assume you also apply this to your business. You will note that you are one of the lucky few business owners in the world fortunate to have low borrowing if any and an economy with corporate tax levels of 10%, reduction in personal taxation which will benifit your employees, a Govt committed to infrastructure at levels never seen before with continous investment and interest from outside investors and companies expressing huge interest in relocating to Gib.
    I am pleased that you are doing so well and would urge you to follow your gut feeling on the very clear transformation Gibraltar has witnessed in the past decade. I too am a business owner and can assure you that I would never have survived under the climate which we had years ago. I would add that my business is dependent on Gibraltars reputation for regulation, finance centre activity and our confidence in our own future.

  89. Tobacco pays for civil servants and is the feeder to our economy with over £100m made. This is becoming a platform for wannabe comedians.

  90. Pepa, well said. The only comedian is the GSD guy who wants to pretend Tobacco revenue is still low. Ask your master, Caru, for the numbers or ask him why he wont publish them. Then come back here and remind us all that he who laughs last laughs the longest. Lets see what the GSD comedians come up with next.

  91. Anonymous at 17:25

    Wow ... you must know something ... if its not £100m how much is it? Go on be a devil tell us :)

  92. To the anonymous GSD sycophant who has taken to nickname me Red Robbo:

    When you stop writing CRAP and get serious I will publish your comments until then ... flush it down the toilet! Aside from anything I am doing the GSD a favour by not publishing such excrement!

    Whether you believe it or not there is more tobacco trade now then ever in the last 25 years.

  93. Robert, we are waiting for you to reveal more about your proposals for reform regarding independents. When will you be telling us more?

  94. Anonymous at 21:35

    I am finalising the Core Principles, which I have already written but need some fine tuning. I intend to organise a get together next week for fans of Llanito World next week in a pub (of course!). Those who attend will get a sneak preview and, thereafter, I intend to publish these here/ Once published I hope to get volunteers to help in my project. We will see how it goes after that!

    I have written about much of it here over the past 13 months.

  95. So no more Red Rob comments then? Shame that last one was a screamer. Bueno hasta la siguente. Dont take yourself so seriously, it's good to have light hearted fun and what about the suit brigade and the independent super heroes, come on..;)

  96. Anonymous at 21:40

    I really do not mind being called Red Robbo or Blue David but there is a limit to what comments are acceptable and certainly your last one was not even funny!

  97. Ah I touched a nerve. Sincere apologies, I think I know where and yes you're right. A pub I hear you say, I'll get beaten up by your squad, but I'll keep my eyes peeled and pop in for a pint...;)

  98. anon 14 February 2011 10:35 you people keep on doing the same f...... stupid trick of deflecting

    that's no use to the independents and superheroes

    tell your big boss to get a white board and do the same exercise as bossano. he can then hang it on facebook

    we want to compare and decide for ourselves thank you very much

    whoever's right's that easy

  99. haven't people in this blog noticed the latest rubbish tactics (14 February 2011 21:40 and 14 February 2011 21:47)

    - when it's very hot under the collar for them they tell LLW "Dont take yourself so seriously, it's good to have light hearted fun"

    WRONG MATE - have fun elsewhere and at someone else's expense

    - on their way down their expensive toilets they tell LLW that "I'll get beaten up by your squad"

    WRONG MATE - your people have beaten every dog that's barked and every donkey that hasn't worn blinkers just for the politics of it

    drink your provocstive pint somewhere else

  100. Maybe I'm thick but can somebody answer me this.
    Does the majority of tobacco bought in Gibraltar travel over the border in Juanito from the Campo's moped? I assume not given the alleged revenue.
    I ask because unless you personally export your own legal allowance from Gibraltar I cannot see any advantage in exporting large quantities from Gibraltar at all. Because where ever your tobacco is going it will have to pay import duties and excise upon arrival thus making the low cost of tobacco in Gibraltar irrelevant. Well irrelevant unless your entire operation is illegal and u are not paying duties.
    I have to say that I rather suspect that the latter scenario is more likely , primarily because it's the only one that makes sense.
    If it is true then it would be very interesting to learn what percentage of GOG annual income is derived from tobacco duty. Is this income a substantial part of our economy which We are constantly told is so prudently managed by the current incumbent.
    Also if it is true then surely it somewhat undermines the moralising of GSD types on this issue?

    Ps paco I like you. I want to vote for you

  101. I think the Chief Minister has far more important things to do. You make a valid point though, whoever is right wins so let's hope that the CM is because if Joe the economic guru us, we will no doubt have austerity measures and huge cuts in public spending with high taxes. I suspect as with previous elections that he will play both sides.

  102. I take it from 00:00 that the LW reunion is no go for GSD bloggers then. Very democratic that. You'd think Bossano was in power already. It's evident 00:00 is in desperate need of the new toilets..:) va mal la cosa, look around you and guys, do you really expect people to believe that we are living in some sort of third world, illegally funded state, with Mugabe at the helm? Is that why so many people and companies choose to relocate here? Come on!

  103. it's not about hope or faith, wrong wrong wrong again, it's about figures

    you deny us contently and waffle us incessantly

  104. L.E.F.

    Please remember that we have had enough of both Caruana and Bossano. This is not a question if Bossano or Caruana wins.

    Gibraltar has to win collectively as a society.
    That means all of us. Lets try to look at things beyond party views. Lets concentrate on the figures and the facts and not on the spin.

    Lets focus on which message is sound and proper and lets forget the messenger. We have to reason for ourselves and not be blinded or conned into towing the party line.

    I have to agree with LlanitoWorld on this article.

    We Llanitos are a resilient and resourceful people and that is what makes a population successful or not.

    Governments can assist and help diversify our economy but our wealth is generated by private enterprise and not by Government.

    I have in the recent past admired our Governments effort and record in improving infrastructure and securing jobs but I think that they have totally lost the plot since the last election.

    If we concentrate on our Net Pubilc Debt we can see that figures are creeping up steadily and maybe even dangerously depending on which way you want to see it.

    Government and accountants will argue that our percentage of Net Public Debt to GDP is financially prudent.

    You see for accounting and statistics they use Net and not Gross figures.

    That it is only approx 20% , well below normal European Government Levels.

    That is correct but being one not to trust any government and less so an accountant I present Government figures and measure them by my calculations.

    Year end 31-03-09
    Net Public Debt was £61.9 million
    Gross Public Debt was £191.5 million

    Year end 31=03=10
    Net Public Debt was £139.1 million
    Gross Public Debt was £446 million

    Carauana estimates for year end 31=03=2011
    Net Public Debt will be £180 million.

    From March 2009 to March 2011 our Net Public debt will have increased by approx £120 million. Yes in 2 years £120 million.

    Yes believe it in 2 years we have gone from
    62 million to 180 million. A whopping 300% increase in value. No one mentions these frightening percentages.

    These are the figures we must question ?

    Why are we spending so much all of a sudden?

    Is it necessary all at once?

    For some these figures might be prudent compared to the rest of the world on percentage terms.

    The frightening aspect is that by law Government can borrow up to 40% Net Public Debt and still some would argue that we compare well to Europe.

    The more we borrow the more interest we have to pay. That interest is money down the drain. Money which could buy us many things witout resorting to extra loans and more interest.

    I hope for the sake of all us Gibraltarians that we can forget our party colours and see that we might be getting into dangerous territory with so much debt hanging around our necks.

  105. Tobacco "pays for civil servants and is the feeder to our economy with over £100m made" says another one of our GSD apologists. Presumably £100m pays for some other things as well. Whither the "moral fibre" of the party that, during its time in opposition, liked to dress itself in the robes of the morally righteous?

  106. Anonymous at 09:45

    The LW reunion is for all commentators of any persuasion, including GSD, so long as they are well behaved :)

    No we are not living in a third world illegally funded state led by Mugabe ... what we want is systemic safeguads built into the government to ensure that we do not end there ... the journey on the eyes of some has started, so no one could possibly object to this ... or could they?

  107. everyone should come to such a meeting but they should leave their parties at the door.

    we should discuss issues, based on facts.

  108. As a civil servant I think that we all owe the government a strong show of support for the way in which it stands up for us. While our UK colleagues are seeing their positions and livelihoods axed the government of Gibraltar continues to be a generous employer. I cannot understand people in the private sector complaining. If the companies are not making money they should get their acts together or close down. They have just had their tax slashed to 10% what else do they want?

  109. Gibraltar PLC is the best run organisation in Europe. The various pillars of the economy expertly manged by Peter Caruana ably assisted by Pepeito Holliday are an example which poorer countries like the UK and Spain would do well to emulate. WE ARE THE BEST!

  110. I hope that Joe Holliday stands for election again. He is a business genius and I do not think that a lot of people know just how instrumental he has been to Gibraltar's present economic situation.

  111. I see that Fabian Picardo wants to report to the EU consultancy payments which were not advertised. Fabian think of Gibraltar first, if the consultancies were not advertised it must have been best for us.

  112. I believe that knighthoods should be gracefully bristowed on the 2 architects of the Gibraltarian economic miracle Peter Caruana and Joe Holliday.

  113. There is a grwoing trend to refer to the Hon Mr. Joseph Holliday as "Pepeito" I am sure that those us use that nickname mean well but remember that he is a government minister and we have to be careful not to use undignified names in respect of our seniors and betters.

  114. To Anon 1735,

    I am also a civil servant and see in you the typical lazy civil servant.

    The civil service needs to get its act right and ensure that there is more work produced and less of the following;

    Sick notes



    I come from the private sector and i have worked in some of the most successful companies in the world and i simply can adjust myself to the way this civil service works were three staff is needed to do the work of of one as would do so in the private sector!!!

    Lo que hay son mucha paga muerta pixa and before criticising the hand that feeds you, you should critisisng the service you provide!!!As i am 100% sure it is not perfect!!!

    Dont bite the hands that feeds you or is it PRC that sends you a check every month from his current account?


  115. The privare sector does not "feed" the civil service. We work for our living and the private sector do nothing but moan and avoid paying taxes. If they don't like it here why dont they move to Spain?

  116. Anon 18.21- I suspect that you make your point in a rather tongue in cheek tone but just in case you are being serious...

    A 10% tax rate on company profit means less than zip when businesses are effectively being taxed much more through increased PAYE contributions, increased rates, utility bills, reduction in early payment discounts, etc..

    I echo much of "D"'s sentiments at 19.38. The taxpayer is entitled to value for money from its public servants.

    Anon 19.58- The private sector is Gibraltar's financial engine. It should not therefore come as a surprise for discontent to be voiced when the private sector continues to be squeezed by ever increasing costs in the midst of a prolonged economic down turn, whilst also supporting an inefficient and expensive public sector.

  117. to anon 15 February 2011 19:15


    If procedures have not been adhered to, if protocols have been overshot and rules applicable to all EU territories have been sidelined, then it would be reasonable to have these seen to.

    That is precisely what this blog is about.

    ‘Don’t tell’ attitudes are not acceptable. Paedophiles and other psychopaths thrive on such attitudes.

  118. spoken like the true communist shit that you must be
    Economic miracle? Move to Spain? Knight hood ? I have never read such garbage.
    it's so easy to spend, spend, spend,
    I would like gib to be in credit for a change
    Unfortunately the GSD will probably not be in power by the time the shit hits the fan.

  119. What exactly does the private sector do for Gib? Most well paid secure jobs are in the public sector. That is why the government supports the civil service and does not take the "private" sector seriously.

  120. The GBC thinks that the statement of the elderly gentleman (and the views of the other 2 elderly gentlemen and elderly lady) are ok in todays world. Quite amazing.

    I wonder what the world would think if a clip was placed on youtube or a UK tabloid got a wiff of it.

    johnnie chimpo

  121. Why should the consultancy contracts be advertised so that foreign companies get the jobs? No Caruana is right to name good Gibraltraian companies for these contracts. Picardo butt out!

  122. y lo civil serants ,luchar por gib que tambien es como un negocio grande
    y como cualquier negocio no se debe abusar

  123. Anon 1938,

    You are correct the private sector does not feed you but it does help.What is even worse is that the normal tax paying worker is the one that feeds you!!!!

    Just to highlight a simple case scenario, Hasn't anyone been to a government counter and encountered someone that thinks sunshine comes from their arse????????


    The general rule is that the civil service is badly managed and a lot of tax payers money is being spent on individuals who often don't even turn up for work.I can tell you that when i am on my way to work there are others who are returning home after clocking.

    There is plenty to be done in the public sector and i must say that there are some good workers with a lot of talent and good intentions that are deprived of achieving a lot because of this autocratic government were PRC even chooses the colours walls are going to be painted.

    It would be interesting to know what the rate of sick leave is in the civil service in comparison to the private sector!Falling sick is something that does not necessarily target the civil service is it?


  124. Well done Fabian.

    I have just seen your explanations on tender process on GBC and they make sense.

    These are the type of issues that makes constituents think there is no smoke without a fire.

    Did I hear the name Pardo in relation to your interview?

  125. ANON 15 February 2011 09:45 spare us your sheepishness and just come along

  126. new version



  127. Smoke without fire? What are you talking about? Put up or shut up! This is a simple case of a reputable Gibraltarian company having been selected for a few small consultancy jobs. I suppose that the GSLP would have been happy to get a foreign company from across the way. I trust the GSD completely and do not believe that there is always fire when someone says that he sees smoke. What smoke? ahora todo el mundo se creee que es un smoke detector humano. Aqui habemos muchos que ni vivimos ni dejamos de vivir. Puerca envidia, I call it y no mencionar al EU, que sabe esa gente de little Gibraltar? Concentrate on the real issues like Mr. Andlaw offending modern women y la mierda en Westen beach and stop talking about what you do not understand like consultancy agreements. What qualifications do YOU have about consultationcary?

  128. Further to my prervious I see in Panoarama that even Mr. Picardo is referring to £5,000,000 not £11,000,000 like the malas lenguas said on Llanito world last week. Those malas lenguars should apolgolise for the warping £6,000,000 mistake. Get your farcts rights and shut up! Dejarse de smoke y tonterias que teneomos el mejon gobierno de Europa y no sabemos cuidarlo.

  129. valiente opposition tenemos ... un medio circo ... un ex-GSLP voter

  130. Anonymous at 13:17

    I would suggest that it is not the amount that is the issue it is the substantce of the questions raised by the Hon Mr Picardo. I would also suggest that the figures refer to different consultancies.

    The issue is, let the voters have an explanation be it 1 penny or £11,000,000.

    It is the principle that is in issue not the amount.

  131. To 16 February 2011 12:30
    Perhaps as a GSD supporter who seems to have inside information could enlighten to other small medium and large reputable companies in Gibraltarian, confirm if these jobs ever went out to tender after all its our tax money being spent by government, many local individuals and companies will completely disagree with you. If there is smoke it’s because there is FIRE. And all the buckets of water you pour will not reduce the facts, please give as an honest reply


  132. If the consultationarcy is 1 p why we are we borthering. We should forget this and move to other topics that we are all more quarfilied to deal with. First there was a witch hand with Mr. Andlaw and now with the consultancy agreement. El mundo esta loco y Gibraltar va de culo.

  133. What are you purporting? The only smoke is in your head and there is no fire just an honest allocation of a consultancy to the best qualified operator in Gib. You are just jealous beceuse you do n't get government work. may be your not good enough!

  134. TO ANNON 2011 23:55-15:28

    Wake up please. It does not matter if its I penny or the actual millions of pounds being official spent or given as loans,subsidies, commission etc WITHOUT OUR KNOWLEDGE we have the right to know where our tax money end up.

    Tax Payer fill up tax forms with all their entitlements and expenses, Business and Companies have to present AUDITED ACCOUNTS annually and account for every PENNY SPENT supply receipt and documents to justify the claims for tax deduction etc.


    Tax Payer

  135. Ghost says:

    Two days away from LW and you have 20k + hits....! Some of the substance is questionable though..;)

    I can take no issue with your post which touches on very real issues of concern in any economy and particularly a finance centre driven one. Any regulation that provides transparency and holds to account the industry sectors that are our mainstay has to be a good thing, all on the basis that there is the provision for balance that allows the ability for organizations to function and prosper.

    Interestingly, this touches on the latest topic of posts being the famous consultancy fees and whether or not they are subject to the current tender process or not as the case may be. I will attempt to give my opinion in the matter.

    The vast infrastructure projects currently underway were all construction schemes which had all indeed been subject to the tender process and which were all duly considered and appointed in most if not all cases to Spanish construction firms who were deemed the appropriate organizations for the level of expertise and size of the projects. The fact that some of these companies have for financial and contractual reasons found themselves in strife and have had to either be dismissed or have chosen to walk has no bearing on the due diligence that the Govt as developer undertook. All these projects continue under the original contractors or GJBS who have filled the gap very well indeed.

    The consultancy programmed is engaged only to oversee and provide the developer being Govt and in turn the tax payer to ensure that fiascos like that of Harbour Views and Montagu Gardens are not repeated. In other words, the developer employs a separate consultant to ensure that contractors adhere to their contractual obligations. The question is whether or not it is required or even feasible to tender for this sort of service, which can (like it or not) only be supplied by a local company, because it is local and because it is the only organization that can provide the level of expertise and manpower to oversee these projects. So, this is not an issue of tendering for a build, it is essentially an extension of the developers (Govt) arm to make sure that its interest are protected, something I would add that is a benefit to us all.

    In my view the intention by Picardo is simply to tarnish the Govt with negative implication which will amount to nothing, will however have achieved its intended cause, that being to create distrust where quite the opposite is the case.


  136. Anon 16 February 2011 12:30 & 16 February 2011 16:19

    Hit a nerve, did I?

    If, as you say it's "just an honest allocation of a consultancy to the best qualified operator in Gib". Then, there would be nothing to hide, right?

    Would you not agree?

    Open and transparent government… what ever happened to that?

    Hit another nerve?

  137. Anon 17.03
    There is nothing to hide, before you claim this check in the House of Assembly, the fact are their as all details were given to Mr Picardo in his question.... You are all making a massive issue when Govt has given details of the contract.... Let's see if this comment is posted !!!

  138. Ghost says:
    What's the score Robert?..:)

  139. Robert, no pass nada, Los gunners ganan el partido ! Tranquilo

  140. Ghost

    Gunners 2 Barca 1 ... YA BOO SUCKS! :)

  141. the opposition members should also be full-time MPs like the government MPs

    because some of them have been making very good money out of many of the policies of the GSD government since 1996

    that's why they're not a totally credible opposition as once upon a time y por eso the GSLP will not get into government

    that's their political hypocrisy Mr Britto and you don't have the CO Jones to say it y you mix it with the environmental issues

    and that is your own political hypocrisy Mr Britto

  142. To the Mr Anon who posted this: 'By implication you then suggest we are regressive, not tolerant and not multicultural - when did you move to Queens. NY.?'
    “So, your implying that all Americans are 'regressive, not tolerant and not multicultural' or just those Americans who live in the area of Queens? How can you make what amounts to a soft ball racist comment? Why do you think it's fine to make that suggested negative comparison? Maybe, because you don't like the place? Did you live there? Or, did you just visit? Maybe, you have relatives who are there and they don't like it? If, so let them make the comparison. Maybe, you thought you wouldn't be challenged? Truly, you are a sad, little person. Man up and put your name down. Otherwise, bugger off and let the adults have a chat.” Andrew Rodriguez/Dark