The Coalition for Reform recognises and accepts that both Parliament and the government play a crucial role in facilitating the legislative and administrative climate and environment to facilitate the growth of each sector. The Coalition for Reform will continue the policies of previous administrations from time immemorial to sustain these sectors and to ensure growth.
The Coalition for Reform will ensure that the legislative, fiscal and regulatory environment remains an incentive for doing business in and from Gibraltar. This will include a review of existing restrictive legislation, for example the repeal of the Trade Licensing Act, to encourage a freer and more entrepreneurial environment to do business. The Coalition for Reform will encourage a reasonable balance between the needs of business and environmental considerations.
The Coalition for Reform recognise that all government revenues are received and must be applied for the benefit of citizens, as it best considers subject to systems in and out of parliament that allow for criticism and ensure accountability. The Coalition for Reform will continue the funding of health services, government and low cost housing, public spaces, traffic solutions, sports, leisure and culture, education and training, heritage, law, order and civil protection, social services, social security and pensions.
The Coalition for Reform will prioritise various aspects of this expenditure:
a. Assisting the needy, disadvantaged, impaired and the disabled by providing more focussed and tailor-made solutions to cater for specific situations of specific persons. This will be achieved by creating a less rigid and more discretion based social services and social security system without taking away the incentive from those who can help themselves from helping themselves.
b. Encouraging and promoting efficiency and savings.
c. Employing more astute and incisive methods and systems to choose government contractors and suppliers. The Coalition for Reform recognises that, often, the cheapest contractors and suppliers are often not the best option. The cheapest often result, in the medium or longer term, to be the more expensive choice.
The Coalition for Reform will cut out capital expenditure on grandiose non-essential schemes that result in the taxpayer incurring increased recurring annual expenditure. Expensive and grandiose capital expenditure projects can lumber the citizens with substantially increased annual expenditure for years and years to the detriment of expenditure on more needed and deserving causes.
It is essential that expenditure be trimmed down. Government borrowings are ballooning to unacceptably large sums. When measured per capita the amounts owed by government on behalf of each individual is scarily high. The consequences of a default are frightening both from what the UK can impose (the Turks & Caicos Islands example being the extreme) or, worse, how it can weaken Gibraltar in the face of the claim of sovereignty by Spain.
The Coalition for Reform would urge the employment of experts to undertake an in depth study of future long-term liabilities that will fall on government to assess affordability. The experts would be asked to advise on steps that should or must be taken over time to avoid mortgaging future generations with the liabilities of today’s generations.