The Government is surprised by the GSD’s intervention supporting the Gibraltar Catering Association’s claim for even more financial support from the tax payer.
This is unfortunate because it serves no useful purpose other than to politicise the issue. It will not be lost on anyone that the press releases issued for this organisation are issued by the GSD’s own Executive Committee Member, and General Election candidate, Mr Orlando Yeats. Moreover, the Opposition have failed to put across any meaningful solutions of their own.
At yesterday’s meeting of CELAC where all representative organizations were present, the Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Small Businesses welcomed and expressed their gratitude at the recently announced Beat 3.0 measures – the exact same measures of financial support that the GCA are complaining about. At that same meeting all groups agreed and recognized that the aim of these measures was to “survive” and not expect profitability during this period.
The Beat measures have previously been discussed and agreed with the Opposition and Mr Clinton in particular, and he has never raised these concerns on restaurants and caterers with either the Chief Minister or any member of his team.
It is ironic that Government is being accused by Mr Clinton of not being generous enough in the financial support being granted to this sector. The Government has provided a generous package of measures to the business community in Gibraltar as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those measures have also benefited the hospitality sector where there are some establishments that have done and continue to do very well, particularly with their take-away and delivery services.
Government believes the financial support granted is significant, fair and reasonable and does not accept Mr Clinton’s intervention as anything other than playing politics. The Opposition need to understand that the Government has a broader duty and responsibility to balance the aspirations of particular sectors with the needs of Gibraltar as a whole.