Government has Only Itself to Blame say GSD

Update
Government has Only Itself to Blame say GSD

Date : 
03/08/12

Ref   : 
PR101/2012


Government has Only Itself to Blame say GSD


The GSD Opposition is astonished at the latest statement by the Government, after losing the vote on the adjournment of Parliament at the last sitting. Not only has the Chief Minister had the dubious distinction of leading the first Government ever to be defeated in a vote in Parliament in decades, but he now seeks to mislead public opinion to justify so many absences of highly paid Government Ministers from Parliament.

It is not true to say that either the Leader of the Opposition, Peter Caruana or his Deputy, Daniel Feetham, asked for sessions of Parliament to be held on a Thursday and Friday, thus justifying the adjournment to Thursday 2 August. What was agreed is that questions and answers would be dealt with on the third Thursday and Friday or every month. What has been happening is that the Government has been adjourning those sessions on a weekly basis because Ministers have not been in Parliament to answer questions. So Parliamentary sessions that should take two days, are drawn out over weeks because Ministers do not attend Parliament. That is easily verifiable by looking at the past adjournments of question and answer sessions.

Opposition Members plan their diaries around the third Thursday and Friday of the month to attend Parliament and a Government Minister ought to be able to do the same. On this occasion, neither MPs Isobel Ellul Hammond or Jaime Netto were able to ask questions because Ministers were not present on two separate occasions and the Government proposed to adjourn the session into its third week, and in August, when understandably they were not in Gibraltar. The Chief Minister also says that he and Mr Linares were on official business, but there were six Government Ministers missing!

The Opposition takes this opportunity to refer the Government to its own press release (No 234 of 2012) where it confirmed that Parliament would not be meeting in either May or August, ‘in line with the practice in the United Kingdom…and [following] a conversation [with] the Leader of the Opposition’. We therefore do not understand on what basis they can possibly blame the Opposition for the predicament it has got itself into.

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Government has Only Itself to Blame say GSD

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