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30th April 2021, 17:31

Government will repay cost of COVID without introducing austerity, Chief Minister says in May Day message

The Government will ensure that it repays the cost of COVID without bringing any austerity into the economy, the Chief Minister has said in his May Day message. Fabian Picardo says the Government must ensure that all COVID expenses, including BEAT payments and salaries for public sector workers who were not working, are repaid - but said austerity always hurts the weakest in an economy, adding those on lowest pay and benefits must not be the ones to suffer further.

He said the Government would stop all waste and all abuse detected in its spending, but will continue to invest in Gibraltar's people and country, and grow the economy and revenue to ensure the public sector is sustainable and fit for purpose as we emerge from the pandemic.

Mr Picardo also said the Government is preparing to start a consultation "very soon" on the equalisation of the pensionable age for men and women. He added that a Bill for an Act for Trade Union Recognition is expected to be published and become law this year, with a Command Paper already having been published. And, Mr Picardo said the coming months will see the application of new rules to require that every private sector worker be offered a pension.