Sunday, 20 March 2011

Our Money Goes up in Smoke

If you want to get bad news out do it on a Friday.  This Friday was no exception. The news was that the Government had written off £5,000,000 in taxes and social security and £1,400,000 in rates, a total of £6,400,000 of public monies that have gone up in smoke. Undoubtedly write offs are a fact of life. No government can or should be criticised for having to write of an element of debt.  What I believe requires some analysis is the reason given and what requires some comment is the nature of some of the write offs, namely social security and PAYE.

The reason given is that the amounts are in the main due by companies that either have been liquidated, struck off or do not otherwise have the wherewithal to pay or self employed individuals who are no longer in Gibraltar.  The reality is that this reason simply analyses the final situation faced. It does not analyse the cause of the problem. It is important to analyse the cause to reduce the level of bad debt owed to government.

Businesses do not get into trouble overnight. It is a process that develops over time. There is little or no doubt that businesses will go down.   When businesses go down there will be bad debts owed not just to government but to other creditors.  The only way to reduce ultimate loss is to limit the amount of credit that businesses are allowed. It is in the process and efficiency of collection that the solution lies. It is important to ensure that no business is allowed to go into such large arrears that the ability to pay is compromised. Inability to pay debts as they fall due is the main ground for bankruptcy.

Permitting growth of debt when dealing with social security and PAYE is the most unconscionable of acts. This is money due in part, not by the business, but by the employees of that business. It has consequences on the employees. It is essential that a culture of prompt payment is instilled. There is no excuse for any delay. Non-payment at due dates give rise to criminality. Businesses should be made fully aware of the consequences. This is achieved by an efficient and unyielding collection system with immediate consequences flowing from non-payment.

The final consequence to a business, other than potentially criminal prosecution in some situations, of non-payment is usually bankruptcy. There is an argument to say that this should be avoided if possible to safeguard, for example employment. This argument has some force if there are facts and circumstances that are indicative of a probability that a business can trade itself out of a short term cash flow problem. In most other eventualities allowing a failed business to continue trading only achieves an aggravation. It results in increased write offs in the end. It also permits unfair competition in the market place, thus increasing the chances of other businesses getting into financial difficulties, which in turn also leads to increased write offs. Ridding an economy of failed businesses is curative for the economy as a whole.

Crticising for past occurrences and write offs is easy. The reality is that what has happened has happened already and whatever action needs to be taken now, including write offs, has to be taken. The write offs that we have been told off will not be the last. There will be more. What needs to happen is that steps are taken to reduce the risk of write offs and so reduce the loss to the public purse. There are clear signs that the present GSD government are tackling this issue head on. It should be supported and not criticised in this endeavour.

Making political capital of any steps taken in achieving what is a laudable aim is opportunistic, of no benefit to the wider community and counter-productive, not least, because those in opposition today may need to be doing exactly the same in government tomorrow. Politics is about doing what is for the better good of the community, not for selfish short term electoral gain. On occasions opposing political parties criticise in manner that is not for the greater good of all, perhaps it is time for this type of politics to come to an end.


  1. It all boils down to bad policing and a deficient civil service.

    The recent tax reforms impose hefty fines on self-employed individuals who submit their tax return late. This could be the solution to identifying problems earlier rather than letting them run on. Some argue this will provide the necessary measure to make sure taxes are paid promptly.

    However, will the courts not be faced with a flood of cases in which individuals have submitted their tax returns late and are faced with fines, legal costs and damages which they cannot afford? What if their motive for late submission is genuine? Would this issue place the courts in Gibraltar under further strain?

  2. Ask any anybody who owns a business and they'll tell you the Income Tax department is not exactly generous when it comes to extending pay-by dates, nor are they particularly understanding about low cash-flow months, etc.

    So what I don't understand is how some companies end up owing so much!

    How did they get past the Income Tax Collections Department?

  3. Anonymous at 18:53

    I agree, my own organisation, which invariably pays on time, gets chased immediately there is an administrative delay. How others get away with not paying vast amounts is a mystery to me!

  4. I agree with you that everyone must pay taxes. I am also interested in the other side of the equation - how are our tax £s spent?

    You see if the money is spent on paying for projects which are over priced and badly planned and executed, as almost every project has been since 2003, I would have expected those responsible to be asked for compensation. If consultants are paid huge sums for projects that fail they should be made responsible.

    How much taxpayers’ money has gone on low cost and housing projects rescued by government using tax monies? Who was responsible for those calamities and why is the taxpayer expected to pay for their incompetence? Is it fair that the tax payments of bona fide businesses struggling to make ends meet in the current world wide recession be used to support private developments for example?

    Why should the economy be rid of some failed businesses and others rescued specially when Mr. Greg Butcher's Trade Centre project shows that Gibraltar's needs for office space are being provided by a developer with a proven successful track record and there is no need to use our money to bail out other projects, which should be put out to tender again. There is something rotten and repulsive when some businesses, which may be struggling through no fault of their own, end up in court and others have taxpayers’ money lavished on them. Also without a fair system of tendering for government requirements some businesses are unfairly preferred at the expense of others.

    I do not think the GSD is tackling the real issue head on. If they were they would ensure that there is an even playing field and ask for a forensic audit to see whether any of the recipients of the millions that have been frittered away in the last 9 years can be asked for compensation. Tax you see Mr. Vasquez is not something that can be used as a limitless resource. It represents people's efforts and should be treated with respect. Since 2003 taxpayers' money has been misused and abused.

  5. Anonymous at 19:54

    I fully agree with you. You are preaching to the converted. I already wrote several blogs about the wrongful spending of public money to rescue projects. Scroll back to past pieces. You can do it by clicking on the Contents list.

  6. There is a need to sort out this "Mafia" like state we currently live in.

    Preferential treatment is given to those who "know" people. The others well.....

    During the last 4 years the GSD Government has attempted (or so I have perceived) to turn our Gibraltar into a little Monte Carlo (and a concrete Jungle). Where the locals have been driven out of their homeland and are the ones who least benefit from a “prosperous” economy (rich ones aside).

    On a different note L.E.F no news yet, due date was today. Thanks for asking :)

    PS- This coming from someone who at the last elections voted for mostly GSD candidates (I don't believe in block voting).


  7. Anon at 19.54 is bang on target. Non payment of taxes is a scandal but the waste of taxpayers money is even worse. Unless there is a radical change in official behaviour at some point soon we are going to reach the point where the collection of tax to fund incompetence and pay "fees" to a small group of people will not be tolerated by voters. The current system of favouritism and heavy taxation disincentivises ideas and hard work. It is seriously damaging to our economic propspects.

  8. Ghost says:
    I note that I am missed. Is this flattery Mr V? Or desperation, I trust the former; although recent (limited) postings might suggest the latter......;) not that i ever had down as a desperate character.
    I am away but still find time to support a cause which I feel may going see, thanks to you I am a fan of the HJ Society, independent, respected and sought after by all political parties. I maintain my belief that your pursuit and desire for accountability is best achieved from outside the political arena, not from within.
    Stay well Mr V.

  9. Problem is the Government goes for the soft touch. The Tax Office relentlessly pursues you and I for relatively small amounts owing but is averse to going anywhere near the big boys for fear of getting aggro from them. Funnily enough, I came across an old issue of The Key dated Issue 2, 2007. The front page story covers a previous auditor's report and, in particular, the non-payment of two and a quarter million pounds collectively by 37 high-net-worth individuals, now known as Category 2 individuals. This huge amount was written off. Those who can most afford to pay are not pursued for fear of scaring off other prospective Cat 2 individuals who are contemplating establishing their 'tax residence' here. Sure, they can come here but it is only fair to make them pay at least a minimum tax charge. More difficult for them to evade the tax if we charge them monthly and they pay us by standing order.

  10. why were the favoured construction firms allowed to keep pay as you earn collected

  11. When a particular building company working for Governemtn went under, one of its companies, owed hundreds of thousands of pounds. In October 2009, the Chronicle reported the following referring to the Chief Minister in reply to questions in Parliament: 'He declined to give exact figures but added: “It’s not a million miles from a seven-figure sum.” 2 main questions come to my mind . The first, I've already asked yesterday, how did they get past the Income Tax Collections Department, and the second, when giving out contracts worth millions of pounds, does Government not ensure, before issuing any money, that they are not owed as much in turn? A debt like this one would not be accrued overnight!

  12. Will the GSLP guarantee that if they are voted in they will comm8ission an independent audit? I think so far all they have done is to call on the government to carry out such an audit. If Picardo & co give a manifesto commitment to get to the very bottom of the things that we are discussing the GSLP / Liberals will have my vote but somehow I do not think that they will commit to an investigation of this nature.

  13. This is another of those Government moments which clearly spells out the favouritism /special treatment enjoyed by the better off and more importantly the non-locals, whilst the local populace is harrassed.

    Those high net worth individuals who set up shop here in our hoeland for tax reasons only enjoy major benefits, including getting away with not paying tax, whilst the hardworking honest Gibraltarian is severely harrassed and punished for same.

    And then they say that this Government is not trying to evict us from our homeland to make more room for these "cat" type residents!

  14. Robert,

    Your support of Anonymous at 19:54 is surprising. We can deduce from his intervention that, whoever he is, the guy has a couple of axes to grind. Greg Butcher is probably a client AND the writer is also a GSLP activist - just look at his GSLP inspired "forensic audit" spiel. No prizes for correctly guessing authorship.

  15. Annonymouus at 15:56, it may have escaped your notice that it is equally possible that the Anonymous at 18:54 simply agrees with the position stipulated by the official Opposition; unless, of course, you are firmly of the view that any commentator to this blog who echoes the position of the Opposition is a hard-core GSLP activist. I hope you will indulge me and let me point out that it could have been a Liberal activitst, or a PDP activist, or a CIR activist or any activist who is sick and tired of the GSD. Just some food for thought for those who view the world through the blinkered George W Bush prism of "you are with ur or against us".

  16. If we are to follow Anon at 15.56's logic: (1) a citizen who believes that tax payer's money is systematically misspent has an "axe to grind" and should not be heard(following Anon 15.56's logic anon at 19.54 should just pay his taxes and shut up) (2) GSD supporters are perfectly happy frittering away their tax money and their children's inheritance in serial botched projects and the ever present associated consultancy fees (ergo according to 15.56 GSD supporters are profoundly stupid - an insult indeed to the very many fine people who vote GSD); (3) if you point out that there is no need for taxpayers money - your money -to be spent in supporting certain office property developers because G. Butcher is already building 1.000s of square feet of office space on his own resources, then Mr. Butcher must be your "client" (4)How dare any body build offices when that would compete with governmemnt assisted tax payer funded projects (5) In Gibraltar nobody has ever heard of nor has the intellectual capacity to understand what a "forensic audit" is, so if you do mention the term you must be a GSLP "activist"; (6) whereas everywhere in the civilised democratic world government accountability generally and in terms of public spending in particular is a matter for normal public debate, in Gibraltar it is reprehensible; (7) all criticism of the government is GSLP inspired because no Gibraltarian has any capacity for rational thought. I was going to end this by saying that Anon at 15.56 strikes me as being the biggest p*llock that has ever written into Llanito World but I have decided that that would be to mock the seriously afflicted. Anon at 15.56 may not know it but he / she needs urgent help and should never be allowed any where near any position of responsibility.

  17. anon @ 15:56


  18. Shouldn't the Commissioner of Income Tax, what’s his name, Carreras be answering a few questions? Give a few explanations? Should he not give an explanation 'in the manner and to the same extend' as his responsibility to his office merits or indeed requires him to?

    Tax Office forensic audit now!!!


  20. One of the GSD Government's first actions on being elected was the dismissal of a man right in the front line chasing businesses in default of payment of taxes. The man appealed for wrongful dismissal and received an undisclosed substantial sum in an out-of-court settlement. The signs were there from the start: GSD = Big Business, the Gibraltarian individual is only a statistic, cajoled, inveigled, manipulated or harassed for electoral purposes.

  21. One minor correction to anon at 01.16. The GSD is not for big business it is for SOME very few big businesses. That is why the GSD is far from popular among many in the private sector.

  22. Time is ticking . . .

    Let's face it without the working masses who diligently pay their taxes, rarely fall into arrears and keep the cogs in motion, the privileged few in Gibraltar would be unable to sustain their lifestyles of luxury. That this occurs is commonplace universally. However, we do not baa like sheep and in this age of information and enlightenment, that any government attempt to pull the wool over our eyes is pathetic, self-defeating and immoral.

    Look around you Mr Caruana, you're actions are surely catching up with you.

    The time for change is now . . .

  23. "The time for change is now . . ."
    Is that the DR again? Time for change only means something when the party offering change actually has something to offer.

  24. HOTONG: It is interesting that a consensus seems to be develping that the rot set into the GSD in 2003 after Keith Azopardi'd departure and Joe Holliday's appiointment as minister for TITS (Trade Industry & Telecommuncations) interesting, very interesting indeed.

  25. Anon 09:57. You clearly don't live in Gib. There are far more active flourishing business of all sizes in Gibraltar today than ever before. The fact that there are also some beasts like PG, Gibunco, Bassadone Motors, AON and other blue chip companies is a testament to the success that we are and the trust these companies have on Gib.
    Sometimes I feel as if half of you guys would live to see failure so that you can then justify change.

  26. Anonymous said...
    anon @ 15:40

    There are more active flourishing business of all sizes in the WORLD than ever before, its called advances in technology, internet, etc

    This Government does little for the small business, except increase electricity, water and rates, and ensure income tax is up to date, from month to month. What incentives are available to them?

    And yet, some big guys, can go under owing hundreds of thousands. How did they get there? Why where they allowed to miss payments?

    Are some helped out?

    Is this fair?

    Perhaps you don't live in the same Gibraltar I do!

  27. 17:34. Same gib mate, I choose to be realistic and appreciate what we have and are. You talk about help and have the audacity to compare with the rest of the world? What news channel are you watching. Our economy is a successful one and supports local business. We are not however about to become a nanny state.
    Missed payments are common worldwide, are you seriously suggesting we persecute a Govt who has increased the size of our economy by 300% in 15 years because of a couple of defaults.
    Get real and stop pulling our leg

  28. Gib Money Goes up in Smoke.

    Government had written off £5,000,000 in taxes and social security and £1,400,000 in rates, a total of £6,400,000 of public monies that have gone up in smoke.

    What’s required is a full analysis and reason given; Social security and PAYE monies deducted by employers should be paid on their behalf to relevant government depts. THESE MONIES DO NOT BELONG TO THE EMPLOYERS, NON-PAYMENT GIVE RISE TO CRIMINALITY BY THE EMPLOWERES.

    Gibraltarians applying for a new jobs have been told they had not worked for x years, their social insurance had not been paid in some cases over x 4/5 years and would affect their pension. Does anybody care?

    Government says amounts are mainly due by companies that either have been liquidated, struck off or do not otherwise have the wherewithal to pay or self employed individuals who are no longer in Gibraltar all this is unsupported information, what we need are the NAMES OF THE COMPANIES AND THEIR DIRECTORS. AND A FORENSIC AUDIT.

    It all boils down to bad law enforcement and a deficient civil service, what steps if any have government taken to recover any of these debts. Have they employed professionals to investigate any of those companies or individuals involved in the £6.400.000 Write off. I AM SURE SOME PROFESSIONAL FIRMS WOULD JUMP AT THE OPPORTUNITY TO RECOVER PART OF THE £6.400.000 ON PERCENTAGE OR EVEN ON A NO FEE NO WIN BASES IF GOVERNMENT COOPERATED FULLY WITH THEM.

    Many local businesses and individuals end up in court for owing petty amounts many have had their electricity, telephones water turned off and had to pay reconnection charges whilst other big fish, friends and business associates get away with murder.

    There is no even playing field and ask for a forensic audit to see whether any of the recipients of the millions that have been ooze away from 1996 to 2010, 15 years can be asked for compensation.

    There must be laws constantly in place to save abuse of our tax, social security; rates etc and those responsible should be made accountable.


    £6.400.000 would pay for new schools, hospital equipment, and old people’s home, Cancer patients etc the list is endless it’s our money and not the government to write off.


  29. Just heard the Great NEWS,
    Govt is building a New power station for the sum of 123 million pounds:0 (I hope the consultants have got the price right this time)
    It will be ready by summer 2013 :)
    I must be having a Deja Vu because I am sure I heard this before sometime back in 2007 about a power station that was going to be built by 2010!!
    But then again this GSD Govt never break their promises! Do they:)

  30. 18:09 its obvious in which half you live!

    missed payment is one thing, owing close to a 7 figure sum is another.

    perhaps you need to get real and join the rest of us who aren't that well connected!

  31. RE: POWER STATION: £123,000,000 plus a complex finance package [total cost still unknown]. Who is the financier? Who advised the GoG on the negotiation of the contracts? What qualifications do the consultants have? How can we be sure that we have got the best possible deal with (a) the contractor (b) the financier? In the midst of a world recession it must have been possible to get a good deal from the contractors. How much have consultants been paid thus far in relation to (a) the building contract (b) the finance contract? What interest rates have been agreed for the finance? How much will consultants be paid for the life of the construction of the power station? Who has advised the GoG on the actual construction contract? what performance guarantees have been obtained? Who will be supervising the project on the government's behalf? What are their qualifications? What fesibility study has been prepared to ensure that the large generators which will no doubt be needed can be transported thru' the narrow roads up to Lathbury Barracks? These are the questions I would ask if I were building an extension to my house and are surely the questions every Gibraltarian will be asking [except of course the guy who has just interviewed the Chief Minister on Radio Gibraltar]. Will Gibraltar's biggest ever project be subject to parliamentary scrutiny? I know that Gibraltar is the one of the most succesful economy in the world today but a little bit of prudence, openness and consideration might not be completely out of place. [and no I am not a GSLP supporter]

  32. Anon 19:04
    I am a GSD supporter and as a prudent Llanito would also want to know all the answers......we will ultimately pay for this, and frankly I am concerned at the level of spending....not just in building the station but future running costs....

  33. £123,000,000 represents £4000 for every man, woman and child in Gibraltar.

  34. Robert, as mentioned, issue is not the cost, can we really afford it . What would the GSLP do? Would they do it or would they link to Sevillana ?

  35. Anonymous at 20:05

    Cost is indeed an issue especially in the context of having expended huge sums on other non-essential capital projects. Politics is about priorities. Has the power station been given the priority it deserved and needed? Or, has money been spent on an air terminal to please a political agreement with Spain? Or is the expenditure on the Leisure Centre more important than essential power supply? These are just examples that one has to judge the present GSD Government by. Has the GSD Government got its priorities right? That is what has to be and will be judged by voters.

  36. £123 million y ya esta? or £123 million plus un poquito mas pa esto, y un poquito mas pa aquello!

    anon @19:04 makes a lot of sense, how will the generators get up there, indeed?

    Let's hope this last-ditch attempt to look better before what looks like an imminent election, dosen't explode in our faces!

  37. 'temporary barges at camp bay': adios al Quarry!

    If we carry on like this, nos baniamos en la fuente del capullo!

  38. Eastern Beach dirty, full of debris, windblown contaminated soil and closed in part due to Airport / Road works plus the fact there is a building in danger of collapse - or so it must be if the residents have been evicted without warning.

    Catalan Bay similarly dirty and exposed to the windblown contaminated soil and dirt of the ever enlarging neighbouring Rock replica.

    Sandy Bay non existant in part due to the neglect on behalf of the Govt. In other parts of the world Authorities / Govts work to counteract the effects of natural erosion and actually fill up their beaches every year to avoid them being eaten away by the Sea. Next year we will probably have a new threat - danger of collapse of Both Worlds due to erosion of the shoreline!

    El Western Beach cerrado por el contamination de nuestros neighbours despite all the efforts and campaigning done by the ever present Janet Hewitt.

    Ahora el Quarry will be in part sealed off in connection with the building of the new long overdue power station, which has obviously been years in planning and plans have not been prompted / reawaken by the recent scandal!

    Anon, you are right pero creo que ni la Fuente del Capullo pa bañarnos este summer. When is it working? Un dia si, veinte no!!!!

    Supongo que piensan que we should all become members of the Yacht club o alguno de los rowing clubs if we want to access the Sea!

    Scandalous! LLW, with beach weather just a few weeks away (3/4 weeks actually with most of us usually starting at Easter) wouldn't it be an idea to write something up on the matter of Beaches, bathing Season etc! There's more than just the current state of the beaches to discuss! Year long maintenance, the failure to employ qualified professionals for specific jobs (Lifesavers, First aid), and so much more!

  39. Valiente cachondeo lo del "rushed" Generator plan.

    The GSD Government whilst attempting to over achieve and deluded by visions of grandeur have clearly got their priorities mixed up. They are turning our beloved Gibraltar into a Monte Carlo like state (or so I have perceived).

    Am I the only who has noticed that as “prosperous” as we claim to be our cost of living continues to rise? And relentlessly at that!

    Furthermore we find ourselves surrounded by an ever expanding concrete jungle and beaches that are in dire straits, giving rise to pollution levels. Pollution levels that are incidentally at all time high (or so I have been told) and regrettably our Spanish neighbours are for once complaining with reason.

    PS- 2morrow (hopefully) the Panorama will publish an article I have written in regards to Nationalism and the need for it (which the Chronicle refused to publish). Staying true to form I have also highlighted certain......hahah. I don’t think there is a need to elaborate is there? Find out for yourselves ;)


  40. A fellow blogger has complained to me that 'Llanito World... Freedom Of Speech!'is censoring posts that he (or she) claims could not be considered as 'backbiting'. This gives rise to concerns that the new moderation policy may conflict with your transparency and freedom of speech values. I hope there is a good reason why these particular posts (which point out the '11th Minister', Nigel Pardo's connection with the new power station project) could not be published as it is a subject that could certainly use some debate. Sir, we are pretty concerned about this and unfortunately in the absence of knowing why these posts were censored your sincerity can be questioned. I suppose if this post never appears either then we will no longer be pondering! Hopefully there was a good reason for the posts being black-holed?

  41. Anonymous at 11:30

    I have explained over and over again that there is a law of defamation. It is all very well for anonymous commentators to assert matters as facts but if I do not have the proof to support the assertions I cannot publish. The reason is simple I can be held responsible and liable for any defajmation. I am not willing to take that risk.

    If any commentator wishes to publich accusations against specific people let them (a) do so in their name (b) come and see me and (c) provide me with supoorting evidence so that I could defend a defamation action.

    Otherwise my suggestion is that they ask a member of the Opposition to take the matter up in Parliamnet where rules protect MPs.

    Freedom of speech is cutailed by the law of defamation.

  42. Robert can you please explain to me how Kaelan's post at 22:35 is on point, every time I read your (sometimes) superb blog I woul dlike to engage, but then scroll down and see his usual, off point, gsd slurring diatribe and i am just not interested anymore...

    i hope it changes!


  43. 2 THOUGHTS. 1. Hotel occupancy rates are falling. This does not reflect fall in tourists because overnight tourists do not come to construction site Gibraltar, it reflects a fall in business travellers which is just as worrying 2. Why is the GSLP hiding behind Llanito World when it comes to calls for planning balls ups and consultancies. Picardo's GSLP presents as a very wet party :)

  44. Robert, I agree entirely with your last post. You are absolutely correct to protect your position in law; given that, as you rightly say, the law of defamation attaches to you as the person publishing the material. Moreover, as you say, if people wish to accuse others of anything, let them do so in their own name and by their own means. This blog is rightly dedicated to furthering debates on policy not to enable those with axes to grind to do so under the convenient cloak of anonymoity thereby protecting themselves from legal action.

    An Opposition supporter.

  45. ANON 22 March 2011 20:58

    Can't do'll be arrested by the police!

  46. A few simple honest questions:

    What is the relationship between Nigel Pardo and 1)The Chief Minister? 2)Mr J. Holliday?

    VOX states that Mr Pardo is the brother-in-law of Mr Holiday but on what capacity? ie: is Mr Holiday married to Mr Pardo's sister or is Mr Pardo married to Mr Holliday's sister?

    If the answer is the former, then what is Mr Pardo's wife's maiden name?

    I do not consider the above slanderous, defamatory or libelous and if they are, Mr Vasquez, please inform me as to why through the blog..

    Maybe if these answers get questioned then other issues concerning various government commercial decisions might become clearer.


  47. Anonymous at 16:55

    Family relationships are not defamatory (in writng they cannot be slanderous, they may be libellous) but insinuations or implications or suggestions arising from them or concluded from them may be defamatory.

    Fact I am a first cousin and ex-partner in Triay & Triay of the Chief Minister.

    Fact Mr Nigel Pardo is married to my first cousin who is also the Chief Minister's first cousin.

    Fact Mr Joe Holliday is married to the Chief Minister's first cousin who is also my first cousin.

    ... so what!

    Put your name to the post and make the allegations with evidence i.e. put up or shut up!

    I am no longer on the FSC, why?

  48. Dear Mr Vasquez

    Just wanted the whole relationship issue clarified...

    Many Thanks... a follower and supporter of LLW and you.

  49. Below please find a blog by some GSD fanatic which was directed at you robert and now he will have to eat humble pie, since the GSD GOVT has signed the deal in relation to the power station and no mention of a private developer paying anything??
    I also believe that the person who did the post below could be a prospective candidate for the GSD which means that they have not got a clue of what they talk about.

    Anonymous said...
    Dear Robert of Little Faith,

    How dare you ask where we are going to find the money to pay for the new power station. Have you not even bothered to read our manifesto from 2007?

    "The developers (of the Eastside project) will pay at least a further £70 million. The Government will use this money towards the cost of building Gibraltar’s new Power Station, new Rental Housing Estate
    and new roads."

    You see? Sorted

    Next question.
    Anon 22.14 YOU ARE scaremongering according to the GSD Govt. Our beaches are and will be alright.
    For those who criticise the opposition, what are they to do when you get a govt that tries constantly to ridicule them. It is incredible that they say that they are scaremongering about the beaches. Have they recently visited the non existent sandy bay, ever decreasing Eastern beach, western beach with s**t and catalan bay full of rocks from the contaminated Mount Caruana.
    We are all stupid or we are scaremonging.
    This is not backbiting the power station is going to cost the tax payers £122m .
    One last comment Robert don't you think that the GSD govt is acting irresponsibly by signing for this unenvironment power station run by diesel which will be around us for the next 30years when the GSD Govt is on the way out and will loose the next election and therefore giving those who will benefit such as unnecessary consultants as has been mentioned by some bloggers above?
    Remember it will be the biggest contract govt has signed and consultants will benefit to the tune of 2% of the value of the contract ie approx to £2.4m.
    What will the opposition inherit when they get to govt? I pity them!!!

  50. Why is the Betting Division of the Finance regulatory Authority moving into and becoming part of the Ministry for Finance who will now regulate the Betting industry locally? Members from a supposedly independent body are now part of Govt????

    And why is the Govt now regulating the Betting INdustry?? Shouldn't it be regulated by an independent body?

  51. I note that one of the companies that has been successful in the tender for the new power station is Volker Stevin.

    The name sounds familiar. I Google them - I note that they are a subsidiary of a company called VolkerWessels. Out of curiosity I Google "VolkerWessels Gibraltar" - the first page of results includes a Panorama article (linked below) which shows that VolkerWessels are investors in the Midtown Project - together with the Montagu Group.

    The Midtown project - remember that project that the Government announced they were thinking of investing tax payers money in?

    So our £120,000 power station will be built by a company with close links to one of Gibraltar's most successful developers.

    Just interesting to know I thought.

  52. are we getting value for money
    Check out these websites which shows what other countries are paying for their 60 megawatt power stations

    Tanzania - 55 million Euro

    Mauritius - 66.3 million Euros

    Also wondering what those 50m chimneys will look like from Jews Gate. Lovely I'm sure...welcome to Gibraltar.

  53. I understand that the Gambling Supervision Division of the GRA has moved into the offices recently vacated by the CEO and staff of Gib Car Parks Ltd, who have moved next door to the Parcel Post Depot. Guess the CM wanted them to be closer to the Gambling Licensing Division of the Ministry of Finance.

  54. Todays Panorama's extract from the Principal Auditor's report on arrears relating to the Education Department is interesting to say the least.
    As a business owner, if i default on paying PAYE & Social Insurance on time I am served with a 21 day statutory notice. Failure to pay can lead to criminal prosecution.
    These strict laws are are vital tool in ensuring that all businesses keep up with their financial obligations.
    Should we not impose the same sort of strict regulations on those who default paying their fees due to the Department Of Education?
    Ley para uno, ley para todo!

  55. anonymous said:
    Anonymous at 2200
    What a coincidence! Lucky for some.

  56. anonymous says:

    While chasing anonymous 2200 posting, along with VolkerWessel and Montagu Group in the MidTown project, I come across Credo Espana and Credo Gibraltar. Who are they?

  57. anon @ 22:00

    anda ya, que te lo estas imaginando, mira lo que vas a decir!

    que gracia!

  58. I agree with anon 22:12... In my opinion, the Windmill Hill site is wholly inappropriate for such a large industrial structure. It will do even more damage to Gibraltar's currently dwindling attractiveness as a tourist destination. Just imagine what visitors to Gibraltar will think when they fancy gazing across the Strait from Jew's Gate only to have their view impeded by Clifftop House to the right, the prison complex to the left and 50 metre high chimneys belching out smoke slap bang in front of them. And people wonder why our hotel occupancy rates remain low? Pressing ahead with the Windmill Hill site shows a remarkable insensitivity to the context of the area's surrounding natural environment.

    Why can't the power plant (if indeed we should even build one, why Gib can't at least consider a commercial arrangement with foreign suppliers seems for several reasons rather short sighted to me) be located in already industrial areas such as along the north mole or already grossly polluted areas like the ghastly land fill on the East side or even Western beach?! Ah yes, I forgot, the available space along the north mole has already been used to build housing directly adjacent to the existing industrial zone, the land fill on the Eastern side just exists to annoy the mayor across the way and Western beach may in fact be open for bathing sometime next year...! ;)

    I think that a lot more thought needs to be put into the zoning of the proposed new power plant as otherwise the short term electoral desires of the party currently in office will inflict an environmental and touristic carbuncle on us all for decades to come. To say nothing of the proposed bill and actual value for money. Money going up in smoke...? Quite possibly.

  59. I`m with Paco on this one. In my opinion there seems to have been very little thought gone into the sites of recent developement over the last few years. If we did indeed have an industrial zone then this would be the ideal place to site a power plant, as it is what we do have is a mis match of mini industrial areas all over Gib quite obviously sitting aside an array of residential areas.

    I`m left wondering whether the total cost of the new plant will have in any way been influenced by the action taken by the residents of Clifftop House and the Govt`s subsequent commitment to limit the noise levels.

    By the by the document I`ve just been reading which was written in Oct of last year quotes a cost of £50m for the new plant. Thats one big jump from £50m to £123m... don`t you think ???

  60. Have we gone mad? Is there NO town-planning at all?

    Can you picture the view of Gibraltar from the Straights? The iconic rise from the sea-bed of one of the Pillars of Hercules... with 50 chimneys spouting black smoke, right there, in the middle, blocking everything else!

    The area of Lathbury Barracks could have been transformed into a beautiful residential area, with the most beautiful views. Where else in Gibraltar can you see both sunrise and sunset, 2 continents, the meeting of the Atlantic & the Mediterranean, migrating birds, south facing... The list is endless.

    Instead, we give prisoners the best views, build the ugliest block (has anybody else noticed the big crack on the cliff underneath it? That wasn't there before!), squeeze in an industrial area and finish it off with a great big power station!

    We desperately need this power station, and considering the huge expense of £123 million, it would have been prudent to build it before the airport, but we should have sought a better, more accessible site, for it.

  61. It would be very interesting to learn how the costs of the new power plant breakdown.

    How much of the cost is for the building of the power station?

    How much is related to the building of the plant in its current location ie the difficulty of getting the generators up there, and the costs of linking the site to the current distribution network?

    I suspect that given that the Government previously predicted a cost of £50 million for the build, that the balance - 70 million - could relate to the specific site and the infrastructure to make the site work.

    If this is true then one would think a rethink might be in order. Clearly the Government are hellbent on delivering their manifesto promise of "moving the generating station away from residential areas", but surely this costing calls for a rethink? Is linking to the Spanish grid so unthinkable given that the diesel that powers our generators comes from Spain anyway?

    Lastly - I find it laughable that the Government seriously give "the legal action of Clifftops residents" as a reason for delay in the project. The REASON for that particular delay is that the Government C0CKED UP the Environmental Impact Assessment and DID NOT DO what the LAW requires them to do. Therefore they only have themselves to BLAME for being at the wrong end of a law suit. Another SETTLED LAW SUIT settled at the public expense behind closed doors.

  62. anon @ 22:52

    These children continue to attend our schools, despite the non-payment from their parents,
    whilst classrooms get bigger and resources are stretched. Its just not fair!

    And yet, why does the Department of Education not act? Surely they have every right to do so.

    Perhaps it would it be embarrassing for Government to be seen acting heavy-handed with these students, whilst turning a blind eye to the many, many more who travel from Sotogrande, Guadiaro, Alcaidesa, etc every morning!

    Ley para uno, ley para todo, indeed!

  63. Chirpy Charlie was the lawyer for the Cliftop residents maybe he can tell us what happened, he seems to have gone very quiet lately. Seriously I am astonished that the prediction of £50,000,000 has jumped to £120,000,000. What is the Opposition GSLP/ Liberals and PDP doing to find out if this can be stopped until an explanation is given.

  64. si people have to take all new buses at 'el reloj' por que do we have so many new bus shelters in winston churchill avenue?

  65. if you want to know anything about the new bus routes and stops, ask any spanish cleaner who comes and goes on the bus from the frontier everyday, estan entera de todo!

    De todo, that is, menos de registrarse, paga tax, social insurance, etc!


    "I find it laughable that the Government seriously give "the legal action of Clifftops residents" as a reason for delay in the project."

    Surely the Govt had earmarked the Lathbury Parade Ground site for the new power station long before Clifftop House was buit. So why did the DPC, chaired by a Minister when it should surely have an independent chairman, give planning permission for Clifftop House?


    Regarding fees owed to the Education Dept, I noted in yesterday's Pano that the Director of Education has not bothered to respond to the Principal Auditor on this matter.

    Bt Gianni

  67. Why not build the new powerstation at the incinerator site??? It's away from any residential site, it is next to the crematorium, it would be an excellent chance to remove the quasi shantty town thats the Governor Cottage Indutrial complex and also with respect the delivery fo fuel via pipes, there is a tunnel entrance right at the back of the site through which the pipes can be routed all the way down to the dockyard. This would have probably made more sense and kept industrial activities within an industrial site. Also it would minimize the visual impact from Jews Gate and the Bay Area. The current incinerator already has a relatively high chimeny stack so the new stack wouldn't really create much of a visual difference.

  68. So what was the cost of the settlement paid to the Clifftop residents to US the taxpayers???

  69. very good idea Damian!

  70. Anon at 23:20

    Very good idea Damian??

    I very much doubt he has discovered a corner of Gibraltar that we are unfamiliar with!
    It would be logical to site the power station there, especially as the site was deemed suitable for a waste incinerator previously that would produce more harmful waste by products (especially dioxins!). It surely would have a minimal impact as nobody lives there, and can really only be seen from the sea or as one leaves or approaches Dudley Ward Tunnel. It would no doubt save money on the build considering the extra outlay committed to reduce noise pollution for Lathbury! Was there a public consultation? Where do the ESG stand on this? Were they listened to? I get the horrible feeling we are going to be living with a horrible legacy from the incumbent government for a very long time. Not to mention a big, very expensive (not mention empty)airport terminal.

    Was the site actually considered? If not, why not, and on what grounds was it rejected?

  71. A GSD purist would answer Power2People's question by saying that We have in Gibraltar the best economy in the World, remember the fast launches and the threat of direct rule and would you rather that we got our electricity from Sevillana, you treacherous person? With that formula of irrelevance, threat and untruth the wise guys in the GSD have been able to do the most outrageous things. Of course such propaganda can only propsper if there are sufficient numbers of not very intelligent people in an electorate and / or the political opposition is useless.

  72. Ultimately the question is why the site has to be Lathbury Barracks specifically. Personally I know that GOHNS rasised objections to this site and now I am aware that there was a settlement given to Clifftop House. Has the Government disclosed what the settlement was?
    Has anyone considered how the suppliers are going to get oversized components(generator engines etc) through the Devil's Bellow's tunnel? I imagine that certain components will be delivered as preassembled deliveries via ship/containers/HGV's. This is sounding that this will turn out into a logistics and delivery nightmare...

  73. Oh ye of little faith anon at 12.05. The logistic pit falls will have been predicted by the consultants and if they have not been then we can pay for their mistakes. the alternative as you know is the GSLP and the fast launches and the threat of direct rule and would you rather that we got our electricity from Sevillana? You can't take money with you when you die so what is wrong with spending it on taxes to pay for Government projects even if they are always botched up?

  74. Not too sure that a `monetary` settlement was given to the Clifftop House residents. The settlement as such was that the Chief Justice requested that the EIAC should be amended so as to include a limit on the noise level to
    42dB(A). The Govt (meaning us) was also ordered to pay the claimants costs.

    Going out on a wild card here.. I`m assuming there will be extra costs incurred to the cost as a whole on Tax payers so as to ensure the noise level limit.

    As someone else has already asked where was Town Planning when within a short period of time a prison, luxury housing and a power plant all within a stones throw of each other were given the go ahead. Although in all fairness to TP there`s not much room for the professionals around the table at the DPC when the captain of the ship hasn`t got the foggiest and is just taking orders fron the Admiral !!

    The professionals so to speak are just making up numbers y haciendo el papel.

  75. Apart from the legal costs which we had to pay to the lawyer representing the Clifftop House residents the costs incurred so as to ensure the noise level came within limit ordered by Chief Justice cannot be extra since it should have been factored in in the first place. If it had the residents would not have had to brief Chirpy Charlie Gomez in the first place. If the experts got it wrong on the noise limits what other expensive skeletons are there in the cupboard? Funnily if it was not for Llanito world none of these things would be known to the public.

  76. Our money does not just go up in smoke. Smoke screens hide where all our money goes.

  77. Llanito World should have Gibraltar's Richest List:

    Rank Name Worth Rise/Fall SOURCE OF WEALTH

  78. This blog vindicates RV's premise that we need more independents in the House: Our leader may be an acknowledged wizard at finance and foreign policy, but I don't think that even his most ardent supporter can praise his town planning skills; yet he insists on making these decisions too.

  79. why's the courts taking forever giving its rulings on the homosexual ages of consent?

  80. I am working for a company that is 5 months behind in paying worried how that implicates me as an employee...but more to the point, and in line with this thread, how are they getting away with it?