Thursday, April 28, 2005

Government Finances to dominate House Meeting

Leader of the Opposition Joe Bossano is set to task the Government over the state of the economy as Question Time opens a new sitting of the House of Assembly this morning.

He has tabled a wide range of questions which the GSLP (Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party) say are designed to monitor the state of Government finances and of the economy a whole.

The Opposition has tabled a total of 574 questions at the meeting of the House of Assembly which opens today at 10am.

Mr Bossano will ask the Government how much money they have collected in PAYE and Company Tax each month since November 2004. He will also want to know as at the end of March 2005 how many companies had been assessed by the Commissioner of Income Tax without having made a return of taxable profit above £35,000 and below £35,000 for each of the tax years 1998/1999 to 2003/2004. Mr Bossano will want to know what the tax assessed and paid was in each case and for each category and each year and what was the amounts assessed and paid by qualifying companies.

Also on Government finances, Mr Bossano will ask the Government to state whether it has now decided how it proposes to refinance the £50 million Government Bond which matures in May 2005.

The Opposition Leader will also raise issues related to the Ministry of Defence. He will ask if Government have made a decision on whether the relocation costs and direct costs connected with the release of MOD land will be booked to the Improvement and Development Fund or to the Government Property Company. He will also want to know what has been the expenditure to date in the relocation costs connected with the release of MOD land in the last financial year.

MoD

Mr Bossano will also ask Government to state when it expects to have completed its report on the economic impact of the MOD’s contractorisation plans, should these be implemented, and has it now decided to make the report public.

Mr Bossano will also question Government on details of expenditure. He will ask what were the unforeseen Port security arrangements for the Port that have required additional funds of £75,000 beyond the £30,000 approved by the House in the Estimates of Expenditure for the financial year 2004/2005.

He will also want Government to say what was the unforeseen work undertaken by the Clinical Governance Team for the GHA (Gibraltar Health Authority) which have required additional funds of £350,000 and £200,000 beyond the £400,000 approved by the House of Assembly for the financial year 2004/2005.

The Leader of the Opposition will also raise a number of general issues at question-time.

In relation to the East Side project Mr Bossano will ask Government to confirm whether the relocation costs of commercial activities occupying 11,700 sqm of the proposed East Side Development will be met by the developers.

Joe Bossano has also tabled a question which seeks to establish whether Government is now in a position to provide the information of the technical problems and economic cost associated with the possible use of the 0044 international dialling code for calls to Gibraltar.

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