The Government have released a statement where it 'notes that the public is already engaged in providing ideas to the Government and to the Chief Minister for each Budget, but nonetheless it welcomes the statement today from Independent Member of Parliament, Ms Marlene Hassan Nahon, which seeks to constructively put forward ideas that can make the important Appropriation Session of the Parliament easier for people to understand and engage with.

 

'Ms Hassan Nahon will recognise that the Budget now reaches out to the public more than it ever did in the past. It is live-streamed, published both on social media and on the website, and we distribute a booklet containing the Budget’s headlines. This Government is proactive in its attempts to bring the Budget home to people in an understandable manner.'

The Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo QC MP, said: "I think Ms Hassan Nahon's proposal is to be welcomed, although I am pleased to say that a lot of what she proposes is already happening. Throughout the year we receive representations of ideas and requests for consideration of matters that I take into account when finalising our national Budget for each financial year. Many of these proposals come to me via social media on my personal accounts (on Twitter and on Facebook) and by email to either my personal address or to the official addresses at No6 Convent Place. It is also true to say, and an important consideration which Marlene will no doubt have in mind, that many of the requests that people make have to be carefully costed to ensure that they are affordable. Ideas also have to be tested against unintended consequences which could have more wide-ranging implications for our public finances than might at first appear to be the case.

"In addition, we have been very careful to always ensure that our manifesto commitments are reflected in our Budget measures. In this way we give effect to the choices that people have made in the General Election.

"In the circumstances, and with the above caveats, I nonetheless very much welcome this statement and initiative from Marlene which augurs well for the work on which she is embarking as an Independent Member of the Gibraltar Parliament."