The GSD is a new invigorated team. Our primary objective is to restore security and peace of mind, to govern Gibraltar in an open, fair and transparent manner and to respect the role of Parliament in challenging the Government and to uphold the rule of law. The GSD will assess the true state of public finances upon being elected by investigating the web that the GSLP/Liberals have created over the last 4 years to move to use hundreds of millions of pounds of savers money.
The GSD will implement policies in accordance with what is affordable. There will be no austerity. What the GSLP/Liberals are calling “austerity” is the GSD rightly targeting and cutting out bad spending and wastage of the GSLP/Liberals; much of this lavishness is attributable to Mr Picardo himself. Over the last 4 years, he has become the most extravagant and wasteful Chief Minister in Gibraltar’s history. Even Mr Bossano has publicly chastised Ministers for over-spending- he called it being brainwashed by consultants!
The principal elements of these policies are:
1. In education. and training the GSD will provide a new co-educational secondary school at Rooke, improve current schools, start an apprenticeship programme for real jobs and introduce a dedicated careers advice service and student counselling.
2. In democracy, the GSD will follow open and transparent processes in non-civil service public employment and tendering for government and government related contracts and enforce laws to prevent corruption and cronyism. We will make reforms to improve parliamentary democracy, reinstating the supremacy of Parliament.
3. In environment and power, the GSD say no to LNG: it is dangerous to our citizens, will build a new power station at Lathbury away from densely populated areas, upgrade the electricity grid, encourage the use of renewable energy sources, provide a new sewage treatment plant and encourage electrical transport means and cycling.
4. In the public sector, the GSD will work with the public sector and unions to motivate staff, invigorate working practices and provide a first class service, provide adequate training and professional development, develop succession planning and substitution criteria at different levels, advertise external posts in the public service and provide parliamentary explanations for any post attracting a salary of £60,000 or SEO equivalent, and appoint a minister with responsibility for the public service not being the Chief Minister.
5. In housing, the GSD will continue to provide social housing but will deal with a culture of entitlement so as to control cost and ensure fairness, so means testing for new applicants will be introduced, as will zero tolerance for rent arrears and vandalism. Works on estates will be completed and flat sharing introduced. Naturalised Gibraltarians who have 10 years pre-naturalisation residence will be eligible to buy affordable housing.
6. In social services, will deal with domestic violence and abuse, pass the UN Convention on the Rights of the Disabled into law, bring into the benefits system those disabled after birth, improve opportunities for the disabled within secondary education, and introduce fair employment in social services.
7. In taxation and business, the GSD will simplify the tax system, improve PAYE to prevent overpayments for overtime earnings, continue to develop the finance centre and, in the event of BREXIT, seek alternative markets for the finance centre, establish start up incubators for business, introduce a 1 year Social Security holiday for first time employees and lower rates for certain businesses.
8. In health, the GSD will make GPs the centre of all health communications, paediatric nurses will visit schools, instigate a family planning clinic and teenage drop in service, ensure workings of Primary Care Centre, establish an Alzheimer and dementia centre and provide supported housing and employment for mental health patients.
9. In public finances, the GSD will ensure that the Chief Minister will no longer to act as Minister responsible for Public Finances, the Financial Secretary will answer questions in Parliament, government companies will be reviewed by the Principal Auditor after an independent audit of all is undertaken to determine the true level of public debt, parliamentary approval will be required for all government companies, the Savings Bank will not be used to finance Government projects, Credit Finance Company to be investigated and liquidated and specific savings products will be designed for pensioners and first time home buyers.
10. In the “forgotten agencies”, will strengthen the Housing and Works Agency to enable it to undertake the public works it was intended to undertake, favourably harmonising conditions within the Borders and Coastguard Agency and improve its role to achieve its original purpose, favourably harmonise annual and sick leave within the Gibraltar Bus Company and other Government companies and employment schemes and work with the Gibraltar Defence Police Federation and the MoD to safeguard security and find means to reward members of the force appropriately when performing duties equivalent to the Royal Gibraltar Police.
There is no doubt the GSD will deliver a better Gibraltar. It is your vote that will allow it to do so. Additional information on all our policies is available on www.GSD.gi.