Friday, April 22, 2005

Opposition to quiz Government on increased charges

At the meeting of the House of Assembly which opens next week, Shadow Minister for Government Services Lucio Randall has said he will quiz the Government on the revenue implications of the many fees and charges that they increased earlier this month.

For his part Shadow Minister for Housing Charles Bruzon will question the Government on a whole range of social matters.

Mr Randall will ask the Government a series of questions which seek to establish how much revenue they expect to raise through the increase in a large number of Government fees and charges. He will want to know specifically what the projected yield will be in relation to the increases in electricity, water, petroleum, employment fees and traffic charges among others.

“This will allow the Opposition, which would have voted against the increases had they been brought to the House of Assembly, to monitor the effects of these increases,” said Mr Randall, who has tabled a total of 170 questions.

He will also ask the Government whether the dispute involving Examiners at the Motor Vehicle Licensing Department has now been resolved.

Also on traffic matters, Mr Randall will ask for an update on the situation regarding the re-opening of Dudley Ward Tunnel for vehicular traffic.

On a separate issue, Mr Randall wants Government to state what progress has been made in the discussions taking place with the Unions regarding the move of the workforce of the Buildings and Works Department into a proposed Authority.

He has also tabled a number of questions on the Gibraltar Bus Company.

Bruzon

For his part Shadow Minister for Housing and Social Affairs Charles Bruzon will ask the Government to state when they intend to introduce a scheme whereby divorced women will be entitled to the full benefit of a future old age pension based on the contribution of their ex-husband.

He will also ask Government to say whether their policy to introduce the opportunity for married women who have paid the reduced rate of social insurance contributions to make retrospective payments of the difference to the level of the full contribution will apply to women aged 60 and over.

On housing matters, Mr Bruzon has tabled a question which seeks to establish whether Government are now in a position to make an annoucement of the major reforms to the Housing Allocation procedures that they referred to in 2004.

Mr Bruzon also wants Government to state how many of their tenants are currently listed as requiring work done in their homes by the housing department as landlords.

In his capacity as Shadow Minister for Social Services, Mr Bruzon has asked Government to confirm whether all pensioners not living with relatives are legally entitled to the minimum income guarantee, irrespective of nationality and whether they have paid social insurance contributions or not.

He has also asked Government to state where the four emergency exits in Mount Alvernia are situated and whether Government are satisfied that they are clearly signposted.

Mr Bruzon also wants to know how many applications have been received for the post of social worker after the vacancy was advertised earlier this year.

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