Govt critical of GSD ‘U-turn’ on civil service

The Gibraltar Government has accused the GSD of inconsistency in its stance toward the public services, which according to No 6 Convent place has undergone a “U-turn of historic proportions”.

Earlier this week the Opposition had asked what the government planned to do about filling 177.5 vacancies in the civil service.

But the government contrasted this with the GSD’s past criticism of the civil service as “bloated” and too expensive.

The government accused the GSD and its leader, Daniel Feetham, of being selective in their positions depending on whether their audience was from the public or private sector.

“Civil servants and public servants generally are too clever not to see the clear and unreconcilable contradictions in Mr Feetham’s remarks,” said Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, whose ministerial portfolios include responsibility for the civil service.

“Unlike Mr Feetham, we do not think the civil service is bloated.”

“In fact, we are committed to the manning level of the service as it was at the time of our election and to the modernisation of the offices and other tools available to public servants to enable them to do the best and most efficient job possible for those they serve in our community.”

Mr Picardo said Mr Feetham was “an unreliable advocate” both for civil servants who wished to see the vacancies filled or for those in the private sector who wanted to see the size of the public sector reduced.

“By trying to be ‘all things to all men’, Mr Feetham deals his political credibility a fatal wound from which he cannot recover,” Mr Picardo said.

“Additionally, Mr Feetham talks about reducing £50m in the costs of the public sector, but he doesn’t identify which are the jobs he would cut or the other austerity measures he would propose to implement.”

“At the same time, he selfishly suggests on GBC’s ‘City Pulse’ that he is not well paid enough for the job that he does as Leader of the Opposition, showing he would prefer to see more money lavished on his own salary turning up in Parliament for a few hours each month instead of seeing that invested in other areas of the public service.”

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