The GSD have, in their own traditional fashion, cherry picked the facts underlining the report made by the Principal Auditor for the GPA Accounts for the financial year ended 31st March 2016 in order to create their own version of the reality of the matter.
The figures quoted by the Principal Auditor as an ‘undercharge’ arise from a pilot scheme introduced by the then Captain of the Port with the aim of incentivising the use of the Eastern Anchorage. The scheme being trialled was to charge vessels (regardless of size) a flat fee of £100 per day for their stay at the Eastern Anchorage, as opposed to applying the Port Dues fees legislated in ‘Port Rules’, which charge vessels on a sliding scale based on the vessel’s gross tonnage.
The Principal Auditor in his report himself concludes that “…undoubtedly the move by the Captain was done in the best economic interests of Gibraltar” (Page 3, Section 1.2).
The GSD have also conveniently overlooked the reality that most, if not all of these vessels paying the reported fees, would NOT have called at and stayed in the Eastern Anchorage at all were it not for the introduction of this scheme.
It is therefore simply untrue to quote these figures as ‘loss of revenue’, as they can only represent significantly increased revenues to the Gibraltar Port Authority as a result of calls to the Eastern Anchorage, when there would otherwise have been none, or very few.
Minister for the Port, the Hon Vijay Daryanani, said: ‘In jumping on yet another electoral bandwagon, Mr Clinton has conveniently cherry-picked only the figures that he wants to project, completely ignoring the fact that the fees collected during the pilot scheme represent vessels calling and staying at the Eastern Anchorage when they otherwise would have chosen an alternative Port. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Gibraltar Port Authority for their continuous and tireless efforts in promoting Gibraltar as the port of choice in the Mediterranean.’