FS denies being UDP ally

| 09/07/2009

(CNS): Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson did not allow the dust to settle before rebutting the leader of the opposition’s statement yesterday (8 July) accusing him of colluding with the UDP to discredit the previous administration and demanding an explanation for the deficit. Jefferson said he was not a “willing ally” in discrediting but he and his office were allies to the truth. He said he also welcome the first admittance by the PPM leader that his government had received a prediction in February from the FS of a $68 million deficit.

Stating that he stood by his statement delivered to the Legislative Assembly on 1 July, he said that the public should get themselves a copy and that there was no need of further explanation as requested by Kurt Tibbetts as he had already answered the questions.

“This 16-page statement is available at the Legislative Assembly and the public is encouraged to obtain a copy of it to acquaint themselves with the facts,” the FS said. He said he welcomed Tibbetts’ most recent comments as it was the first time he had admitted to receiving Jefferson’s 9 February deficit prediction, “…in stark contrast to recent public denials,” Jefferson added.  

The financial secretary also denied telling the previous government that the $29 million deficit was still true on 5 May.

“The Leader of the People’s Progressive Movement’s 8th July statement questions the credibility of the recent $74 million forecast deficit, by stating that on the 5th May 2009 the previous administration was told by the Financial Secretary that the projections for a forecast deficit of $29 million were holding true,” Jefferson said. “On the 5th May 2009, the Financial Secretary was in Miami, Florida. Moreover, the 5th May 2009 Cabinet Note did not contain projections; it contained actual results for the nine months to 31st March 2009.”

He said yesterday’s charge that the present hovernment had found a “willing ally” in the financial secretary in carrying out an exercise to discredit the previous administration was not true.

"The Portfolio of Finance are allies to the truth and are not involved in any exercise to discredit the previous administration,” he added.

Jefferson indicated that he stood firm on the 28 May forecast deficit of $74 million – broken down as a central Government deficit of $55 million and a net deficit of $19 million in respect of the activities of Statutory Authorities and Government-Owned Companies – for the year to 30 June 2009. He said it would prove to be more realistic than the 20 March forecast deficit of $29 million.

He also re-affirmed that the health of public finances at 30 June 2009 was severely challenged, and going forward a determined effort was required by legislators and the public service to restore balance between public revenues and public expenditures.

CNS note: There is now a link to the 16-page statement made by Ken Jefferson on 1 July on the bottom of the right hand column (this page below the CNS comment policy).

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Comments (13)

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  1. Show me the money says:

    None of this really makes much sense. It is now time for everyone to admit to their mistakes and move on to working toether to find solutions.

    PPM, spent too much money, of that we are all aware. “A” grade for effort and intentions, a failing grade for commonsense and foresight.

    FS, you screwed up royally, deal with it, learn from your mistakes and move on.(If he was indeed a UDP ally, then it would have made much more sense for him to expose the true financial position prior to the election surely).
    UDP, the jury is still out on your term as Government, you were a crap Opposition clearly. Let’s hope you do a better job in this role.

  2. PPM = Failure says:

    "Mr. Jefferson has called his own professionalism into question by the political nature of recent statements and his own admission that he knowingly misled the legislature and the public as to the true financial state of the country."

    Firstly, what’s so wrong with the Financial Secretary’s statements? The PPM called in to question the man’s integrity and called him ‘derelict’ before he ever said anything negative about the PPM. So in my opinion he was only defending himself.

    Secondly, in no way in his statement (IF YOU COULD READ!) does he admit to knowingly misleading anyone regarding the financial state of the country.

    Here are the facts:

    • The FS warned the PPM of a year end deficit in October so the PPM decided to cut operational expenditure by 6%.
    • The FS also presented to the PPM an actual deficit of $64Mil at the end of November but the government at the time decided not to take too much action because they hoped that the revenue from december – february would reduce the deficit…. it did not. The 6% cut did not materialize as anticipated.
    • The FS then predicted a deficit of $68mil at year end. The PPM didn’t want to go to the LA and the Public with a $68Mil deficit (especially in an election year) so they decided to hold several meetings with the civil service to discuss more cuts and ways to save money.
    • After these meetings the various ministries presented a series of cuts that would allow cabinet to present to the LA a supplementary budget which showed a potential deficit of 29Mil.
    • The attempts to reduce the deficit failed due to poor implementation of the budget cuts and the failure of the PPM’s stimulus package thus leading to our current $74Mil deficit.

    Sooooo… how has the FS been involved in deception again??? Kurt should be ashamed… He has no honor! He tries to make it seem like because the cumulative deficit from July to March was 19Mil that something must be wrong with the FS for saying that there was a year end deficit of 74 Mil. When he was certainly aware that there was a deficit of 64 Mil at the end of NOVEMBER and the only way it reduced to 19Mil in March is because of the high revenue months of December – February.

    In the end the PPM will continue to blame the FS or whomever they can find to blame because that’s what they do. And those that want to believe them will, while the rest of us who can read and think for ourselves know that the PPM can’t run away from this. They must accept some responsibility for their incompetence.

    • Anonymous says:

      Failure, you are so rabidly anti-PPM that you are obviously incapable of exercising any objectivity. So long as any statement is against the PPM it will find favour and approval with you. I am by no means absolving the PPM from blame (they were not prudent with their spending regardless of projections), but they have been chastised and are no longer in govt. On the other hand the FS has clearly failed in his responsibilities and he remains in govt.   

      You clearly have a very limited comprehension capacity if it is not clear to you that in effect Mr. Jefferson has admitted to having misled the legislature and by extension the public. The Projections and Supplementary Budget were prepared by the FS and his portfolio and presented by him to the legislature. He is now saying that he was aware that they were not "realistic".  He implies that this was a mere deception on the part of the PPM govt. If that is correct then he was a co-conspirator to deceive the legislature. Mr. Jefferson cannot hold on to a 9th February prediction to Cabinet of a deficit of $68m when, having introduced various cuts, he presented the legislature in March with projected deficit of $29m.         

      • Anonymous says:

        The FS submitted projections to the LA based on Government/s commitment to cut spending in its various departments after it was brought to their attention that there was a possible deficit of $68M.   It being close to a general election they could never have thought to have tabled such a monstrous figure.  The LOG called meetings with the department heads who agreed to reduce spending but they did  not.  Instead they spent as if there were no tomorow, in fact it was busines as usual.

        After receivig this commitment, it was then up to cabinet to ensure that those COs responsible for making those cuts were doing as they agreed. The FS simply compiles those figures submitted to his office and now has every right now to speak up in order to clear his name, every body should have the right to do that , no matter which party  is currently in power or whether civil servant or not.   After all, at the end of the day, when  one is no longer defined by the job, you have to be able to look in the mirror and be proud of what you see .

  3. Anonymous says:

    CNS – would it be possible for you to print the relevant  16 page minutes to which the FS is referring or at least a link?    This would end the specualtion and the rumours; let the minutes speak for themselves and the chips fall where they  may.  Just asking.

    CNS: If we can get hold of an electronic version I’ll post it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    To many of us in the upper parts of the civil service who know Ken and what’s going on, he is behaving -shall we say unwisely-but he is not the incompetent stooge of Mac some are making him out to be. His problem is he has to rely on information provided by a totally useless Portfolio of Finance (except for some honorable exceptions like Michael Nixon), headed by someone who he is very loyal to and who is not even a qualified CPA but in that grand old civil service tradition has been around for nearly 40 years and so has floated to the top not on merit but on years of service and nationality. Ken is much much better than that but is paying the price.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Kenneth Jefferson:

    Stick to the truth and tell the people everything.  Honesty will overcome all political slanders and machinations.  Hold your head high, and shine a bright light upon all of this.


  6. Anonymous says:

    the Hon Ken Jefferson is a professional accountant with strong personal and professional ethical codes to adhere to. It is unneccessary to attack his professionalism just because the message he delivers may not sit well with the Opposition or there supporters.

    Mr Jefferson explained the deficit and the basis of the divergence from his earlier prediction.  There is no legitiamate basis for the public to question his honesty nor his professionalism. 

    Let all rally behind him and the Government to find ways of resolving the deficit and stop playing the blame game.

    • Anonymous says:

      "the Hon Ken Jefferson is a professional accountant with strong personal and professional ethical codes to adhere to. It is unneccessary to attack his professionalism just because the message he delivers may not sit well with the Opposition or there supporters".

      Mr. Jefferson has called his own professionalism into question by the political nature of recent statements and his own admission that he knowingly misled the legislature and the public as to the true financial state of the country. That is a separate issue from whether the PPM is guilty of excessive spending.   

  7. M. Lite says:

    Mr. Jefferson,

    I don’t care which party you support, PPM or UDP.  What bothers me is that your previous predictions and current predictions for the financial position of the Cayman Islands are so greatly varied!  $29 million – $ 74 Million in 3 months!

    Either you completely screwed up in March or you have screwed up now.  The other option would be that you lied to the people of the Cayman Islands in March or now.

    Mr. Jefferson, you are either completely incompetent or you are in/were in the pocket of the current/previous government.  Either way you should be immediately removed (and not transferred to another post) from your position as FS and dismissed from government.

    • Anonymous says:

      Like what Mr Jefferson said, all of this information is made for public viewing.  Maybe people should just go and get a copy of the document.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Which party appointed the FS? Was’nt it UDP. Please refresh my memory!!!

    • Anonymous says:


      Ken was appointed by the UDP, alongside his "two" allies, Bulgin and McCarthy.  Little wonder that any other individual can get them to work other than McKeeva.  Little wonder that PPM was stone-walled for its entire 4 year term in many ways.