GSLP/LIBS BRILLIANT BUDGET
June 13, 2019
The GSLP Liberals prove they are best option for Gibraltar
Massive benefits for workers in Budget
Picardo reflects on growth in 50 years since Franco
The GSLP / Liberal Government has now reported on 8 years of performance and have shown that they are the safest pair of hands Gibraltar can have in charge of the purse strings.
Fabian Picardo was able to report to the House that Gibraltar this year had an £85m surplus. He was able to report the lowest unemployment in our history, with 33 Gibraltarians unemployed.
Additionally, income year on year is up to over £700m. The GDP, the measure of the size of the whole economy, was also up to £2.35 Billion. This means that the prediction the GSLP/Libs had made, based on Sir Joe Bossano’s predictions, that GDP would be at £2.4 Billion by March 2020 is likely not just to be met, but exceeded.
As a result of this great performance of the public finances, the GSLP/Liberal Chief Minister was able to introduce measures that will be to the benefit of working people.
MINIMUM WAGE UP
The minimum wage, which was introduced by Sir Joe Bossano as GSLP Chief Minister in 1989, was increased by 10% by Fabian Picardo as a GSLP/Liberal Chief Minister to £7.50 an hour over the next three financial years. It goes up 25p an hour each year for the next three years. These increases are almost double inflation for this year and for the predicted inflation for the years to come. If inflation were to be higher, the minimum wage will go up with inflation. This is important to both workers and to pensioners who take the advantage of the Government’s introduction of a floor income for all pensioners of at least the minimum wage per couple, or two thirds for an individual.
PUBLIC SECTOR PAY UP
Public sector pay will also go up. This will be increased by the rate of inflation, which Mr Picardo had reported at 2.1%. The Chief Minster stated that there will be no pay cap applied.
Mr Picardo reported to the House that the sums that civil servants officers in the wider public sector would have been paid if there had not been a pay cap last year amounts to in the region of £300,000. The Chief Minister said that this is “easily affordable” this year, given the surplus of approximately £85m. As a result, Mr Picardo told Parliament that he is instructing the Treasury to include the relevant amount in the pay-packets of each relevant officers in September as a lump sum. Mr Picardo said: “There was no Brexit shock last year Mr Speaker and we do not need to deprive [civil and public servants] of those sums this year.”
STUDENT GRANTS UP
The Chief Minister also announced an increase in the student maintenance grant of 8%. As from September 2019, student grants will increase from £ 6,939 to £ 7,500 pa in London and from £ 5,640 to £ 6,100 pa outside. This will be very welcome by students and their parents!
In a Budget Address that was emotive, the Chief Minister reflected on the failure of Franco’s plan to see Gibraltar fall like a ripe fruit. Mr Picardo reminded us all that we have not just survived in the last 50 years, we have grown and thrived.
Addressing the constant, negative comments from the GSD, Mr Picardo ended his contribution with a demonstration of the underlying philosophy of the GSLP/Liberals.
He said: “We have done the things that matter. We have invested in the services that matter. And we have delivered to the people that matter. The people who work hard every day or whose days are so hard that they cannot even work.
“That is the aim of every one of our budgets. To deliver for working people. To deliver social justice. To ensure that those who can, are free and able to do. And that those that cannot are properly provided for.”
A fuller breakdown of the Budget Measures is provided inside.