Siân Jones' Remarks on GBC's Money Debate on Corruption and Government Inefficiency

Siân Jones's remarks on GBC's Money Debate on Monday night regarding corruption and government inefficiency were made in the context of GDP and the macroeconomic impact on the economy of Gibraltar.

Rooting out corruption, cronyism and nepotism is a central pillar of Together Gibraltar policy since its inception. Recognising it exists here, as elsewhere in the world, is not only a necessary first step in tackling the problem but also necessary for prudent management of the economy.

In answer to a GGCA request for clarification of her remarks, a Together Gibraltar spokesperson said "Ms Jones made no specific allegations but confined her discussion to budgetary impact and Together Gibraltar policies relating to corruption, cronyism and nepotism, and proposed action to tackle the problem, if elected to government on 17 October."

Together Gibraltar's estimate of £59m to £117m a year loss to the economy are within the bounds of OECD corruption data. Like other budgetary estimates, the figures help inform better policy-making, in this case, allocating £25m over four years to the creation and operation of an independent Anti-Corruption Commission, £10m of which will be in the first year of a Together Gibraltar government.

Turning a blind eye to corruption, cronyism and nepotism is not only morally and ethically wrong, it is economically unsustainable over the long term. All may appear well, until times of economic stress. Eventually, the system fails, and collapses like a house of cards.

The savings to the economy resulting from tackling corruption will be reinvested by a Together Gibraltar government in health, care, welfare, the environment, education and job quality, especially in the public sector. The private sector will also benefit significantly by releasing funds for investment in productive technology-led industries.

Together Gibraltar estimates of up to £100 million a year lost to the economy from government inefficiency and maladministration are similarly made from a macroeconomic and budgetary perspective are within the bounds of World Bank figures.

Inefficiency is unproductive, wasteful and diminishes the quality of everyone's life. By its elimination and redeployment of human and other resources into better service delivery, Together Gibraltar will improve the quality of public sector jobs and reward those who bring positive impact, however large or small, to the community at large. Public sector headcount does not need to grow, and will certainly not need to shrink, in order to meet increasing demands for better and wider public services.

Ivan Hernandez