The Government reiterates once again that TNG Global Foundation were prepared to pay more than anyone else to develop the Bayside/St Anne’s site. Their bid for the site was for many millions more than the next interested party.
The Opposition are doing no more than splitting hairs in order to criticise the Government for the allocation of the plot in question. The Government has already given an accurate, full and transparent account of the procedures that have been followed. In fact, we have given more information about this award than the GSD ever gave about any allocation of land in the time Mr Azopardi was a Minister.
It has been made clear that the highest bid for the site after lengthy negotiations was for £17 million and that the Government instead awarded the site for £ 21.2 million to the successful party because this represented a better deal for the taxpayer.
We have confirmed the dates when interest was first expressed.
We have confirmed that the negotiations with the party with the next highest offer ended.
So there is absolutely nothing untoward in the way that this exemplary process has been followed and determined to achieve the objective that the GSLP Liberal Government sought to achieve, namely that we should achieve the best deal for the taxpayer.
Indeed, the logic behind the Opposition argument is plainly absurd. They point out that the same entity will separately be paying £ 3.7 million for the new Park at Midtown. This is unconnected to the award of the Bayside/St Anne’s plot. However, in their rush to connect the two, the Opposition have failed to realise one important fact. The logical conclusion of their argument is that by linking two separate payments, this would make the total payment to the taxpayer £24.9 million – which represents an ever better deal, not a worse deal! Therefore they have even undermined their own argument, which is in any event nonsensical.
The plain fact is that the Opposition are behaving as if they wanted the site at Bayside / St Anne’s to be awarded to a developer that paid less instead of to the one that wanted to pay the most. The GSD are doing this for their own selfish and self-serving political reasons and this will not be lost on anyone because they can see that this is a great deal and they want it to fail.
The fact is that the Bayside / St Anne’s deal is an excellent one for Gibraltar and when coupled with the deal for the Eastside Development it is an even better deal for Gibraltar and its people. The social and economic value going forward will be excellent for the whole of our community.