The Standard One-on-One: Thomas Maher, Minister of State (HO) Gotzborg

The Coprieta Standard had the chance earlier this week to sit down with Gotzborg’s Home Minister, Thomas Maher, for a candid discussion on various issues. As Home Minister, Maher is the senior minister of the Royal Government, replacing the Royal Chancellor whenever she is unavailable to perform her duties. He has been Minister of State (Home Office) since March 31, 2006.

CS: Gotzborg has just entered into its latest fiscal year and the numbers from last year indicate that there is a major deficit in the Royal Government’s budget. When will the public be informed of this year’s budget and what new measures are being planned to tackle the deficit problem?

TM: The budget is entering its final draft stage and once completed will be put forward to the Royal Cabinet for approval. After that, Budget Plan 2007 will be released for public viewing and that is expected to be sometime mid- to late-February. This is the first time the Royal Government has planned something like this and all members are learning the ropes, so to speak. We have a few new measures to tackle the deficit problem. As the public will already be aware, [the] Commercial Forum Rental Policy has come into effect and will boost government income. Also planned later in the year is an income tax. This is planned later due to the increasing workloads on Minister’s and Government officials and will allow the cabinet to develop a fully working, unflawed tax system.

CS: It seems as though the Gotzborg Home Office, which is the largest government organ encompassing over a half-dozen ministries, could very well be called the Economics Office. As Minister, what is your position on the issue of the other ministries being less-than-productive? Does the emphasis on the economic simulation in Gotzborg negatively overshadow the work of the other ministers? In general, what improvements in non-economic areas do you think need to be taken under consideration by the Royal Government?

TM: I can see the need for definite improvement in the other ministries. However, due to macronational constraints, many ministers, including myself, haven’t found the time to address these issues. [After] the Home Office releases the budget plan, our next project will focus on increasing the productivity levels of some of the smaller ministries such as Justice and Health & Education. I don’t think that the emphasis on economic simulation negatively over-shadows the other ministers. However, this comes down to the amount of work done by the ministers and with myself more experienced with the workings of the Gotzborg economic system this is the area focused more on. The Home Office still does substantial work through the RSPS and the Colonies. If the public hadn’t heard, a recent colonial convention was held between the Vice Minister for Colonies and Overseas Possessions, His Grace Liam Sinclair, the Duke of Montin, and the two colonial governors, Charles deMontford and Blake Palacio.

CS: You were recently elected to the Chamber of Deputies. Congratulations on that. As Home Minister, you are the senior minister of the Royal Government in times when the Royal Chancellor is unable to attend to her duties. Now, as a legislator, you’re also required to represent the will of the electorate on issues coming forth to the Chamber such as constitutional amendments. How can you juggle your duties to the Royal Government while at the same time representing the will of the people on issues that may prove divisive in terms of government-intent and electorate-want?

TM: Thanks. [Being] voted into the Chamber is a great honour for me and knowing [that] I have the support of the people makes it even more worthwhile. The Royal Government and Cabinet, not only the Chamber of Deputies, wants the will of the people to be done. I won’t do anything in the Royal Government that I believe is bad for the electorate which also includes myself; but, I full confidence in the Chancellor and the other senior ministers that they will do what is right for the Kingdom.

CS: The former Republic of Anthelia became a part of the Royal Kingdom on February 1. Has your office begun considerations on what steps to take to amalgamate Anthelian territory, services, and regulations into Gotzborg, or otherwise assimilate Anthelia to the Gotzborg way-of-life? The treaty calls for a Minister of State for Anthelian Affairs; but with the former Anthelian population jumping ship just prior to the annexation, does this leave the Royal Government in the awkward position of having a Gotzer with no Anthelian connections to oversee the liquidation/integration of the former micronation’s property?

TM: The Royal Government had been taking steps to amalgamate Anthelia into Gotzborg, and was expecting Freddy Warren would fill the role of Minister of State for Anthelian Affairs. However, we will have rely either on Darius Banting to come across to Gotzborg or John Darcy returning form his extended leave of absence back to micronationalism, to help us with the integration. If this fails to eventuate, it looks likely that the integration of Anthelia will most likely become a territorial acquisition and yes, the RG will be in the position of seeing [to] the Anthelia integration with no Anthelian connections.

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