22nd July 2021, 20:38
Gibraltar's economy is in a good state, but public finances are not, Sir Joe Bossano has told Parliament.
The Minister for Economic Development and Financial Stability said he was happy the impact on the economy of Brexitand the pandemic lockdown had been “much less” than many feared.
But he warned: Gibraltar does have a very serious problem, Government revenue is down very significantly.
He said it is a golden rule that the Government should not borrow to meet the costs of the public sector. We were living within our means before, but no longer.
He spelt out what the projected deficit for the coming financial year of 51 million pounds means: running Government will cost almost £1 million more every week than can be covered by Government income.
Sir Joe said Gibraltar’s public services are usually provided at a loss, and therefore the Government will have to look at what is being charged for them.
And, he said, controlling the number of jobs in the public sector is the only way the Government can protect the jobs of those in employment now and for the future.
Of the culture of entitlement, he said the rest of Europe is also facing an ageing population and is raising women’s pensionable age to 67, not reducing men’s to 60. He heavily criticised the Opposition’s support for demonstrators on the 1st of July.