No answers to deficit issue

| 30/03/2009

(CNS): The leader of government business told the media last week that there was little that could be done through legislation that would address the country’s current operating revenue problem even if the Legislative Assembly was still sitting. Kurt Tibbetts said that the $29 million was an estimate and included some $14 million of extraordinary expenditure that could not have been accounted for. But he said government departments were doing all they could to watch spending and everyone was aware that they could no longer go and “shake the money tree".

Speaking at last week’s media briefing, Kurt Tibbetts said the estimation that Cayman would be short some $29 million was just that — an estimation based on projected figures. He said that we would have to wait until after the actual expenditure to determine the accuracy. However, the government did not want to underestimate so they reflected the worst case scenario, and there was still a possibility that more revenue would still be generated.

“What it does tell us is from an operational stand point — all of the layers are now fully appreciative and now know that you can’t just go and shake the money tree,” the LoGB added.

He explained that the deficit would be addressed under the next budget where operating costs would have to be trimmed. Tibbetts also noted that the predicted operating deficit includes some $14 million of extraordinary expenditure, such as Hurricane Paloma, the Special Police Investigation and Justice Priya Levers’ tribunal, things which the government did not have control over, he noted.

“This is not a shortfall we could have predicted and we did not know these would be the circumstances at the beginning of the fiscal year,” he said. “And anyone who tries to tell you that we could is not telling the truth.”

The budget appropriation which was passed in the Legislative Assembly at the eleventh hour has enabled the government to trim money in some quarters in order to pay for other things, given a predicted fall in revenue not least because of the global financial crisis which has seen the government revenue earners from the offshore sector and tourism hit hard. According to the notes accompanying the Supplementary Appropriation Bill, government has earned $21.1 million less than it expected at the start of this financial year.

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Comments (15)

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  1. Disappointed PPM Supporter says:

    Guys I am trying not to find reasons why I should continue to support the PPM. Why I should vote for them one more time. Can the PPM supporters help me on this one please?

    Sincerely

    Desperate!

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    A school child knows to save for a rainy day. The entire world has been predicting a downturn of varying degrees for at least a year or two..Saving a couple of dollars back would of helped.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The people of this country should stand and demand that all government spending stop – for all new projects to be put on hold and also a review of which current projects can be put on hold for the time being.

    The people should also demand that the government stop their weekly press briefings or should I say campaigning at the people’s expense. This is what elections are for. For the ALL DECLARED candidates to spend THEIR OWN thirty thousand dollars. Not use the people’s money to do so. They did the same with the constition and they are doing it again.

    People of Cayman stand up to this government and demand accountability.

    • Anonymous says:

      True…I was disgusted at the full page ad in the paper recently with Chuckie’s speech at the women’s conference., with the big fat Cayman Islands logo at the bottom. If not political posturing, then please let me know why the minister thinks that we need him to print excerpts of other women’s speeches…This is a good use of funds why??? By quoting Condi Rice’s remarks and rehashing them in a FULL page ad, this is advancing women’s causes how? An I would sure like to know who paid for it as it had a Government logo on the bottom….Ah, our money so well spent, once more.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The PPM never had things easy… they inherited a country with infrustructre problems up to the hilt thanks to too many years of McKeeva Bush politics, where problems were ignored (unless they were West Bay problems) and allowed to get proggressively worse. The PPM knew they had to spend lots of cash in order to get things to an acceptable level (we needed new roads, new schools, replacements for the Glass House and Tower Building, appropriate facilities for our Police Force and so much more). They knew from Day 1 the plans were ambitious but that’s what they had to be otherwise today Caymanians would be saying how little the PPM got done! The economic problems, drops in revenue, and all of these extraordinary expenses were:

    1) Out of the PPM’s control

    2) Caused primarily by the problems in the USA

    Had the UDP diversified our target markets like they were told to do 8 years ago, then we would be like Jamaica and seeing GROWTH in tourism overall, thanks to newly established markets in South America, Canada, and Europe. Had the UDP payed attention to the crumbling schools, inadequate roads, and lack of security infrustructure, then the costs of such ventures would have been spread out and not concentrated over three years (which by blow of bad luck happened to be these particularly bad 3 years). 

    And if there ever was a time to borrow money, now is that time! It has never been cheaper to buy money on international markets so even if we didnt have such immediate borrowing needs I would say borrow as much as is allowable and spend the cash on building marlets overseas and improving the bits of Cayman ignored by the previous government. 

    The PPM has been far from perfect as a government, but Caymanians seems to forget why we removed the UPD from government just 4 years ago! 

  5. Only For Caymanians says:

    Let’s Get them ALL Out from the  present UDP (Unwanted Dictating Politians) and the PPM (Poor People Mistake)

     There has been more false statements made from this Government and the the past Government than will ever be pleasing to any "Know better types of people"

    We are realisticly Tired of this fony Government we have here and lets all do the right thing and take them ALL out of the Governmrnt

    Come down May 20th and we are looking for a clean slate in the Government and the wipinout of All UDP and PPM   they need to GOOOOOOOOOO.

    Only For Caymanians

  6. Anonymous says:

    The ppm government was warbed about this deficit over a year ago by Mac. But politics and arogance prevented kurt from taken note. Now we must pay. But the ppm should pay on may 20.

    • Anonymous says:

      One the UDP are good at – organizing posts on CNS!

      • FORMER PPM SUPPORTER says:

        Not to worry; the PPM is also utilizing this medium as well  and are having their supporters post comments too.  After, all, what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander.

        GO UDP!! You have the support of this Former PPM Supporter.  Can’t wait to say good bye to the PPM!

    • Anonymous says:

      "The ppm government was warned about this deficit over a year ago by Mac."

       

      And what is the UDP’s and Mac’s solution?  What specific actions will the UDP take, if voted into power, to correct the situation?

       

       

  7. USED TO BE PPM SUPPORTER says:

    The PPM does not have a clue about fiscal management; that’s why we are going to vote them out in May.  If they continue to rule they will totally destroy us and the economy.  It took of forefathers years to bring this country to where it is today and took the PPM four years to demolish it.  Our forefathers must be turning in their graves.

  8. Anonymous says:

    $29 Million just Estimate!

    What the LOGB is saying is that the deficit will be a LOT worst by June 30th. Unfortunately, the LOGB will be gone by then and it will not be his problem.

    However, this Government is still spending away…paving the industrial park, building a single-storey Vehicle licensing building on a million dollars of fill opposite Country & Western, and on and on….when will they stop?? They are already in a deficit…where will the money come from? The Government does not have the right to spend at this point.

    This problem is not just Bridger and Hurricane Paloma, it started 4 years ago with unrealistic spending proposals, all for completion in 3 years…total nonsense. LOGB, Deputy LOGB and their followers has taken the Cayman Islands into a serious situation. Thank God for “Divine Intervention”.

    They clearly are the “toxic Assets” of the Cayman Islands. Make sure that they are not returned in May.

    • A Destitute & Out of a Job Caymanian says:

      The PPM need some sort of  advanced  financial counselling for their out of control spending.  Talk about  spend-a-holics . God help us all; by the time we vote them out  on May 20th,  Government will be destitue just like me.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Of course they don’t have any answers! They’re the ones that got us into this mess in the first place.  May 20th can’t come quick enough!

  10. Anonymous says:

    The ppm government was warbed about this deficit over a year ago by Mac. But politics and arogance prevented kurt from taken note. Now we must pay. But the ppm should pay on may 20.