IN a very long and detailed speech, the Chief Minister detailed the 2016 budget for Gibraltar, which despite the shock of the Brexit vote was full of good news, showing that the economy had continued to expand and that forecasts looked for even greater expansion in the coming year.
The overall budget surplus was in excess of forecast and general allowances for personal taxation, pensions and overall support continued to increase as well.
As far as import tax was concerned, there were dramatic reductions to zero per cent in respect of glasses, lenses, contact lenses, sanitary towels, nappies and grooming products such as deodorants.
A new tax of 10 per cent will be introduced on imported fizzy drinks as well as sweeteners for use in local production of such drinks, as well as a new higher tax on water pipe tobacco as part of an on-going plan to protect health.
As part of a campaign to attract new business to Gibraltar, very attractive tax breaks are being offered provided that businesses are genuinely newly created and employ five people or more.