Annex 5, Annex 5
Letter to Ernest Montado, Principal Secretary,
Government of Gibraltar, from J J Caetano, Gibraltar Community
Care Limited, 5 July 2002
The Board of Directors met last week when it
expressed concern about the statement made by the Foreign Secretary
to the Foreign Affairs Committee regarding pensions in Gibraltar.
In the light of this the Board agreed that you should be made
aware that a meeting was held last January between the Directors/Trustees
of GCC and FCO officials including Ian Powell, the Assistant to
the Deputy Governor. It was further agreed that I should provide
you with details of what transpired at that meeting.
The FCO team put forward a number of questions
regarding the origin of GCC and details of benefits currently
in payment. Mr Levy explained that "GCC was established in
1989 shortly after the dissolution of the Social Insurance Fund.
This action had given rise to general concern in Gibraltar regarding
the protection of senior citizens, with particular regard to household
costs such as water and electricity which were very high in relation
to other countries in this part of the world. Water was scarce
and at the time it had to be imported on some occasions, a particularly
expensive operation and the production of electricity in Gibraltar
does not benefit from economies of scale. As regards funding Mr
Levy explained that originally fund-raising activities from the
public at large were undertaken by a number of concerned individuals
in Gibraltar with the intention of setting up a charity, which
in fact was GCC. A Trust was then created followed by a limited
company. There followed substantial contributions from the Government
of Gibraltar. In reply to a question from the team Mr Levy added
that GCC was a registered charity and that it was run by the Board
in accordance with the terms of the relevant Memorandum and Articles
of Association without any control over its activities whatsoever
being exercised by the Government of Gibraltar".
I then outlined what benefits were paid by GCC
and what criteria was applied when dealing with such benefits.
I mentioned the Household Cost Allowance, the employment and duties
of Community Officers, special allowances to persons over the
age of 80, financial support in connection with the operation
of Calpe House in London, and other minor payments made from time
to time for the benefit of the disabled and the very elderly.
The team asked to be provided with a copy of
the annual accounts and the Board agreed to consider this request.
Subsequently and after the team had left Gibraltar Ian Powell
rang me up suggesting that we should meet and I informed him that
I would need to clear with the Board whether I should agree to
do so. I also informed him that the Board had agreed to make available
the accounts as requested, but there was no further contact and
the offer, which remains open, was not taken up by Mr Powell.
Gibraltar Community Care Limited
5 July 2002