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6th February 2017, 20:03

Chief Minister meets Opposition MPs to discuss £300 million loan

A meeting between the Government and the Opposition has failed to quell disagreement over the £300 million housing investment by Gibraltar Capital Assets Ltd, with the GSD and Independent MP Marlene Hassan Nahon insisting this still substantively amounts to public debt. For its part, the Government says the the funds raised will be invested to ensure positive returns, and used for capital projects designed to generate economic activity.

The meetings, first proposed in Parliament, focused on the objectives, and legal and financial aspects, of the transaction, with the Chief Minister claiming the investment aims to allow Gibraltar to benefit from historically low rates of interest. Fabian Picardo adds that Government tenants will enjoy all previous protections and rights, with the Housing Authority still responsible for the allocation and maintenance of the estates.

However, the GSD says the loan is secured on the six housing estates by way of mortgage, claiming the Government has burdened an entire future generation with £300 million of new debt and interest. MP, Roy Clinton, says we still don’t know exactly what this money will be used for by Government, nor see in Parliament what happens to it.

For her part, independent Opposition MP Marlene Hassan Nahon says while there are many pieces of the deal that are commendable, the Government is bearing most of the risks associated with this, and urges it to disclose a broad range of information on the deal.