The Government notes the private members’ motion set down by the Leader of the Opposition in relation to the Tax Treaty with Spain.
The Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo QC MP, said: “It seems to me that whilst we in the Government are diligently working to ensure Gibraltar deals effectively with the many challenges we are presently facing, the Leader of the Opposition just wants to play party political games and to hear his own voice repeating the arguments he put and that people rejected at the last election. In his latest motion what he is doing is suggesting that he would have been able to negotiate a better tax treaty with Spain than my team. Given he could not even persuade more than a quarter of those voting at the last election to choose his team, and that he wasn’t even able to top the poll for his Party, I am surprised he thinks he could have persuaded anyone in any negotiation of anything more effectively than my team did. The fact of the matter is that it is very easy for Mr Azzopardi to sit on the side lines, throw stones and say that we should have negotiated something better – but most people will see he is just being opportunistic and not putting Gibraltar first. What most people know is that we in the Government are doing everything possible to steer Gibraltar safely and securely through our departure from the EU and ensuring our nation’s prosperity in the process. Mr Azopardi, however, seems keener to talk about putting in place mechanisms to help Spanish residents to avoid existing Spanish tax rules – all of the things we say we are not involved in doing as a finance centre! I shall very much look forward to the debate in Parliament and to seeing the text of the motion that Parliament finally approves when it hears both of our arguments.”