The Opposition complain when the Government fails to build a school, they complain when we build a school, they complain when we pay to construct new schools and also complain when someone else pays for the school and the Government simply rent it.
It is obvious that the GSD are always going to say something negative no matter what good the Government does.
In relation to the fact that the school is being rented, the criticism by Mr Clinton is hypocritical in the extreme.
Gibraltar RENTS St Bernard’s Hospital as a result of a deal the GSD did.
Renting of assets such as our Hospital started as a practice under the GSD.
Mr Clinton has not criticised that rental deal – which was for a much larger building and for an equally social purpose, healthcare.
The truth is that the investment in education made by this Government is second to none.
We have provided new school buildings at the tax payers direct costs for our children and a modern working environment for our teachers and other staff.
We have endured the criticism of the GSD every step of the way for every permutation of funding option we have pursued.
The GSD are clearly in the business of doing opposition for the sake of opposition and that means that the public can see that their positions are devoid of reasonableness or objectivity.
The provision of new schools is a matter of policy and a commitment made in our manifesto which the public selected at the last election.
Despite the delays caused by COVID, we are continuing to deliver to our people.
Our new schools already include St Bernard’s, Sacred Heart, Notre Dame, St Anne’s, Bayside Comprehensive, Westside Comprehensive and the recently opened St Martin’s School.
The new Governor’s Meadow and Bishop Fitzgerald schools will soon be under way also.
It is obvious that the GSD would have different priorities under Mr Clinton, that the GSD would seek to deliver pure austerity, and that our school-children would have remained in old, dilapidated buildings which were falling apart, just as was the case when the GSD said that building a new St Martin’s was not a priority for them (despite then chastising us for the inevitable delays caused by COVID).
The Minister for Education Professor John Cortes said:
“This Government has a track record to be proud of in education. We have provided more new schools than ever and our school building programme continues. It makes me very sad to see Mr Clinton negatively politicise every aspect of every issue. He has become a serial moaner who is unhappy with everything the Government does. If we buy new schools he moans, and if we rent new schools he moans as well. But when the GSD rented the hospital he was cheering as a supporter on the sidelines. He is clearly hiding the fact that the GSD would not invest in education and that they would simply have allowed our old school buildings to continue to rot and decay. I am sorry that he has chosen to make this a political football as well. The GSD clearly care more about mindlessly criticising everything the Government does and they don’t care about the hundreds of our children and the teaching and other staff who will benefit from this fantastic new school facility. We in the GSLP Liberal Government will stand with our children, our teachers and our school staff. We will continue to work to deliver for our people and especially for our children and most vulnerable. And we will always highlight the GSD’s hypocrisy when they criticise us for doing the things that they used to do. The GSD lack all political or moral authority when they chastise us for doing the things that they did and defended, and Mr Clinton is the biggest hypocrite in that respect.”