The Government is surprised at the comments made by the Opposition in relation to the use of land at the Eastside project. They have called for the construction of rental homes on the site, when such homes did not even feature in their own plans for that location.
This lack of consistency is what happens when a party jumps on every conceivable bandwagon for no reason other than to be critical of the Government.
It goes without saying that the Opposition are perfectly entitled to express whatever view they like on any subject. However, they need to understand that this often exposes contradictions in their polices and in their actions which in turn raises questions about their credibility.
The Government would point out the following.
- The Expressions of Interest (EOI) process for the Eastside has just opened. It is surely premature to make observations at such an early stage when no entity has been selected and no proposals are on the table.
- The Opposition fail to understand that the EOI process (invented by them) allows for negotiations with successful developers.
- The EOI spells out in black and white that developers can put forward ideas for “different categories of housing”.
- The Development Plan in existence, which was produced when the GSD were in office, does not identify the Eastside as a location specifically for rental housing.
- When the GSD allocated the land for the project known as Sovereign Bay, they themselves did not provide for rental housing on that site.
- The works to Hassans Centenary Terraces have already commenced on the northern end of the plot. This will already provide hundreds of homes for our people there.
- To top it all off, even the 2019 GSD Manifesto does not specifically mention rental housing on the Eastside.
The Government therefore considers that the prudent and responsible approach is to wait and see what proposals are made for the different plots and to then adopt a view. It does the Opposition no credit to jump blindly on every conceivable bandwagon without a proper understanding of the facts.