Public assets will be sold

| 02/02/2010

(CNS): The government will be selling off some assets before 30 June, officials have confirmed. With only five months left to go, the administration is under pressure to raise at least $75 million from selling either a government business or property in order to be compliant with the Public Management and Finance Law and satisfy the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The UK’s approval on the borrowing government needed to address the deficit and get through the 2009/10 financial year was not only dependant on government balancing the books on earnings and spending but also the generation of cash to add to the country’s scarce reserves.  

Although Premier McKeeva Bush has not yet announced any deals that may be on the table to seal any specific asset, officials say Bush is confident that government will meet that obligation and be able to generate the necessary cash. There are a number of assets which have been discussed and Bush has pointed to the sale of the new Government Office Accommodation building, the sewage system, the Water Authority, the Turtle Farm and even the dump as potential sources of cash for the Treasury’s empty coffers.  However, both the opposition and the UK have warned about the dangers of selling government’s more valuable assets.

Aside from actually privatising some government services, such as the Civil Aviation Authority, road construction, garbage collection and computer services, Bush has been pushing the potential sale of government business and property for some time, and again made the announcement at the recent CBO that he was looking for investors to buy something.

“There is vast possibility for you the private sector to come forward now and invest your money in other areas … So what are you waiting on?” he asked the audience of largely private sector representatives.

Although assets such as Boatswain Beach, which are considered by many to be more of a liability  rather than an asset, may be a hard sell, the Water Authority, which is a profitable organisation, and the new government office building would likely generate considerable interest.

However, Kurt Tibbetts, the Leader of the Opposition and the man behind the construction of that particular asset, has said that selling the GOA before it’s complete would mean making a loss on the investment and would defeat the purpose of trying to cut government’s hefty annual office costs.

“That specific project is not only badly needed but it will pay for itself in ten years,” Tibbetts said. “On completion it will be one of, if not the most, energy efficient buildings in the country.  It cannot make sense for the government to dispose of it in any form or fashion.”

According to the memorandum sent to investors purchasing the recent government bond offering, the new building has been valued at around US$126 million, but as the building will be sold before it’s finished, government anticipates that it will not achieve the full value as the price will be based on work completed to date.

In the same document, which was issued at the end of last year, it states that government hopes to generate around US$23.3 million from the sale of the sewage treatment plant and that it also will be selling two fire trucks. However, it states that, at the time of the publication ofthe offering document, government had not entered into any agreements to sell any of the assets.

“As of the date hereof, no agreements have been entered into for the sale of these assets, and we cannot assure you that we will be able to sell these assets at favourable prices or at all,” the offering memo states.”

Alden McLaughlin also recently warned that selling government’s most profitable enterprises, such as the Water Authority, for short term gain and a quick fix, while holding on to the investments that drain government coffers would not address the government’s long term financial difficulties.

The opposition has persisted with the idea that trying to address the deficit, which was caused not, it says, by the previous administration’s spending, but by the global downturn, was overly ambitious and unrealistic. McLaughlin has said that the UDP government should have at least tried to negotiate with the UK a plan to reduce the deficit over three years and not over one, which has put the country under such pressure to force it into a fire sale.

The UK itself has also warned the government about the dangers of selling off assets. In his letter to the premier last year confirming the UK’s approval for borrowing Chris Bryant, the FCO minister with responsibilities for overseas territories, wrote:  "I would have concerns if CIG put long term sustainability at risk through a rapid depletion of government assets, or through certain types of public private partnerships and I would want to take a close interest in any such proposals."

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Comments (71)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    People

    Although privatization sounds like a good thing, especially, for a “fat” government that needs trimming, consuming the countries wealth with fees and duties, the process towards privatization, could have negative consequences. Making government shrink in size is SERIOUS BUSINESS, and people should be informed of the pros and cons about this process. Reducing the size of government consists of making money-transactions that could cause political opportunist, especially, backers of a government party to appropriate funds for their own gain whilst selling or transferring the ownership of public assets. Once the certain government entities are privatized (depending which entities), the new owners could concentrate the wealth into the hands of foreigners and disregard Caymanians. The entities could economically control the Island like how CUC does; moreover, these entities could provide little benefit for the hardworking local. These are conditions we don’t want or need for our economy. I don’t recommend though that we don’t “cut” and just allow the government to grow larger in size and enforce more regulations on the private section. I would suggest that a “public-private partnership” is a safer and smarter way of trimming. Public-private partnership is where a business entity is funded and operated through a partnership of government instead of “privatization.” It is a sort of a partial ownership of governmental services where government can have some legislative control in case of civil injustices and economic downturns. France is one example where you have public-private partnerships with other businesses or companies. The cost of using the service can be borne exclusively by the “users of the service” and not by the country or “taxpayers.” That way government would be less burdened without increases extreme fees and duties on others. We would have a small civil service to financially maintain. There is right now, a state in Germany that is planning to buy shares in an energy company, identified as “E.ON.” The purpose of having the German state retain shares in the said company is an attempt to control the spiraling costs, which the company has incurred on the people of the state.

    Peace
     

  2. Anonymous says:

    Dear Premeir i must applaud you Yes we need to get rid Dan Dugay so you and da boys can Squeeze through some of these transparent deals the government  has to sell its Assets. Government those in society not bound by  the law.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Tom Jones International offered to buy the two new high schools last summer.  Is that deal off the table?  If not, such a arrangement would go a long way to solving the governments current cash crunch.

    The deal offered wouldgive the Ministry of Education back all the monies paid up to date on the contract.   In return the new owner would enter into a long term lease back to the MOE.

    Sounds like a Win/Win scenario.

    • BORN FREE says:

      I think it will be a grave mistake for government (M. Bush) to sell public assets, especially CAL or the new government building.

      I do not have to go into the many reasons why CAL must not be sold (except to name one, Air Jamaica), & I do not care who will be benefitting most financially from the sale of the new government building, but of all the mistakes & foolish decisions made by the udp over the years, one of the most tragic will be to sell that building (nearly as catastrophic as the 2003 status give aways). 

      The new government building will pay for itself in just a few years. Presently, government is paying untold amount for rent, but with most of government departments in one building, in a matter of a few years we the people of Cayman will own that building & government will not have to pay rent. That adds up to hundreds of millions of dollars saved in no time, & it will be forever! I simply do not understand how M. Bush & his udp do not understand this. I beg the udp to think about this. We do not want to be paying rent for our government offices ever, whether it is to Dart or anyone else. That does not make sense. If the udp do sell that building, I would have to suspect that there is more to the decision than selling it for Caymans sake. There is no better decision than to own it. I am dumbfounded, it is stupidness & selfish. Ask anyone if they prefer to own or rent. M. Bush says we are broke, well how is it he finds millions to spend & waste? And if he thinks we are broke now, just wait until we have to pay rent for ALL government offices & departments, and we will have to pay WHATEVER amount the owner tells us, or we will be sitting under a coconut tree running the country. I say NO!! NO NO!!

      If the udp do go ahead & make plans to sell the new government building, I will beg the Cayman people to get together & have a MASSIVE public protest to put a STOP to theirfoolishness. We, the people of Cayman, must make sure that never happens, we MUST stop it!

      BORN FREE

       

  4. Anonymous says:

    casino at turtle farm

    maybe someone buy it and turn it into a casino… surrounding property becomes hotels.. and dock in the area…..

     

    wonder who owns all that prime property adjacent to turtle farm ?????????????

  5. Anonymous says:

    Kurt and Alden should put the PPM up for sale and then put their UK passports to use!

    • noname says:

      How childish can you get? Sell PPM & go to the UK? At this moment in our history we need people like Kurt, Alden, Arden, Tony, Moses & the rest of the PPM at the helm! With what we have now we will be non-existent is short time. I have never seen a leader or a government so willing to sell their country, & the sad thing is that they don’t care. They are now telling us that Cayman’s assets are for sale! UNBELIEVABLE! The vast majority of Cayman has already been sold, & Bush plans to sell more! I honestly believe that it would be far better for our future & our continued existence if Bush, O’Connor & the other wimps & cronies of the udp leave Cayman for good. That is the only hope we have, otherwise we finish!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Casino time

  7. Booker T says:

    They already have buyers the questions you have to ask yourself is how much certain politicians are getting for them putting these deals together because you know a sweet deal always needs sugar$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Now you people understand why the hell MR Dan Dugay needs to go??????? Come on Cayman start Thinking on you feet don’ let these corrupt people Blind you Dont let DEM FOOL YA! Let the revolution begin

    • BORN FREE says:

      So true Anon 10:02. I would surely love to know who is getting paid for arranging these deals, & which company (or who) will be getting the cut from these sales! "Let the revolution begin," I couldn’t agree more!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I hope he’s not serious about selling Water Authority- one of the few Gov’t entities that actually make money. Not to mention Gov’t would lose control over the supply of the most basic need of its population to private interests.

    • Anonymous says:

      YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS! What is this man doing?

      The reason for building the New Government Accommodation Building is to vastly reduce rent Government has to pay for certain Departments having no space for their offices, and with the new building all Government Departments will be under one roof (where possible) and very little rent being paid.

      It is projected that the new building would pay off for itself within a handful of years and if it is sold, as Mac wants to do, the Government will have even LARGER rent fees to pay – Absolutely no common sense!

      I wonder which Real Estate Company will be the broker and maybe when it is looked into, we will see the real reason for all Government assets being sold!

    • Invisible Hand says:

      The ones that lose money tend to be difficult to sell.  Especially in a country where the citizens are notorious for not paying for services (garbage fees). 

    • anonymous says:

      If he sells the water authority to his friends when you talk about him he can tell them to CUT OFF YOUR WATER"!

      Big Mac is a trip, he has to go!

  9. Anonymous says:

    The First Sale

    Lets start by selling the first Govt asset, being Boatswain Beach/Turtle farm to the Premier himself for the price of the original cost of the project, as it was the peoples money he wasted on this project. The Premier personally has the money, so let him put his money where his mouth is and help support his constituents in West Bay and return to the country the peoples money.

  10. Anonymous says:

    BRING IN CASINOS!  It is profitable and will provide jobs.  If the church people don’t want to go then let them stay home.  You can’t let the church people rule everything when half the time their members are only busy trying to bring in the money.  Why are there so many churches going up. MONEY so at least let us gamble for some enjoyment and a possible piece of the pie.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you think the violence is bad now start a casino and watch it sky rocket!

    • casinoMan says:

       Casino = huge tax for government = eventually equal trade surplus = money for a police force that can actually solve crimes.

      The reason most people commit these crimes is because they know they can get away with it! Why wouldn’t you. It like cheating and knowing youre not gonna get caught everyone would cheat if this were the case.  RCIP needs to out source the CSI to florida and bring down CSI teams when such violent crimes happen until eventually they deter the criminals… this is a start! better than anything the worthless police are doing now…

  11. Anonymous says:

    I will buy Boatswains Beach so long as the Government guarantees me that they will keep out of its future operations in all manners except the Bar Licensing and business Licensing to operate the premises, but I bet it will be  a case of selling the cake but want to eat it too.

    Fact is no one will touch Boatswains Beach with a long stick, unless they can be guaranteed that the Politicians wont be coming back for turtle meat at election times.

  12. NW Pointa says:

    Well structured asset sales could lead to economic benefits to the country and to a real improvement of government finances. Thus asset sales would be good policy even if the government were enjoying a healthy surplus. It gives the government breathing space to carry out more orderly restructuring and reductions in costly programs, as an alternative to the savage and inefficient across-the-board cuts that might otherwise be required.  Sale of assets leads to an improvement in management that leads to improvement in productivity. Good managers drive out bad,to the benefit of the whole economy.  When an assetis sold, it reduces either existing debt or future borrowing.  By reducing the debt or borrowing, government would simultaneously cut the interest payments it needs to make in the fture. Thus the effect of the sale lasts well beyond the immediate infusion of cash.  Isnt this what we all want? Better mangement of some of government run assets.  

  13. Anonymous says:

    Let us all support the Government in its effort to fix the financial problems of Cayman.

    The UK Government is selling its non performing assets to raise cash. This is a Cayman problem, not a UDP or PPM.

    Mr.Bush i pray the good Lord give you strength and courage for you, Cabinet Ministers, Governor, Deputy Governor,Leader of the Opposition, MLAs, Chief Secretary, Attorney General, Auditor General,  and the entire Civil servant to sort this problem out.

    Mr. Premier if you got to sell asssets to fix the problem, go ahead you got my full support.

    David

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      What if he sells the assets and the problem is not fixed? Will he still have your support then? Would you regret the sale of the assets?

      It looks to me that you are just offering blind support David, and that does us no good if the person you offer your support to is also blind.

  14. future development says:

     Hate to break to everyone but if you haven’t noticed Grand Cayman has left its old island style behind and there is no turning back.  Therefore we need to stop trying to prohibit the move forward with future developments, it is only hindering the islands ability to stay competitive or much less survive.

    Why does everyone think Casinos are a bad thing? have you ever seen the size of revenues generated from casino! or better yet the Profits? They are enormous…

    Casinos are our saving grace, speaking of a new town, we need to band together and build a new "city" in East End full of casinos. This would spur huge developments that could sustain the local economy far beyond our dreams and we would never have to face bankruptcy again.

    40% tax on Casino Profits would generate more than enough to take care of every Caymanians needs and sustain the Government into and beyond the next 20 years.  We would become the next caribbean Mecca.

    Obviously there are more details and specifics than this but you should get the picture, if you don’t like it, move to Cayman Brac or Little Cayman.

    Help us polish this magnificent pearl and let our island shine!

    Thanks 🙂

  15. Anonymous says:

    By the mere publication of this article, including the possible timeframe for divestment of these assets have now caused them to be considered at fire sale value only…..No good investor would consider otherwise.

  16. Anonymous says:

     sell boatswains beach..it makes no money anyways.. the new private partners may be able to change it to a sea world" style aquarium

  17. noname says:

    Government House and the adjacent beach front property should be the first to go. What a waste of prime real estate. The Guv can get one of Mac’s Ritz condos instead.

  18. Sybil Suirvant says:

    Just trim the civil service.  10% this year.  No-one would notice the difference in terms of service to users.  The civil service is Cayman’s biggest charitable organisation.

    • Anonymous says:

      Couldnt have been put together any better, accept you forgot to mention cutting the politicians fat checks, and the unnecessary body guards that is the LAUGH of the Islands.

  19. Anonymous says:

    There is a very good reason to sell the new government office. Provide a solution for the traffic problem. Take an example from Florida. Government at Tallahasse, industry at Tampa, tourist at Orlando/Miami. Build a new government office in Breakers and "Go East". A new community of shops and businesses will follow. Dont be afraid to follow Dart and build a new town.

    • Anonymous says:

      CIG should seriouisly consider leasing Bosuns beach on a long term basis for a peppercorn rent. Part of the lease arrangement would have to deal specifically with the maintenance and research for the turtles and some Govt oversight in that regard.  The asset is still owned by the people, its a great business opportunity for a private venture, and CIG can reduce the huge losses of one million dollars per month.

    • Twyla Vargas says:

      Now, somebody is makng sense.!!!

  20. Anonymous says:

    On examining the sale of assets I would think it logical to first look at those assets that remain a drain on the public purse. You would not only gain the sale revenue but you would get the annual savings of subsidy.

    • tru baya says:

      hey XXX Mac Bush, why not lease the assets rather than sell them?  or sell government bonds.  atleast the people of cayman (and I don’t think you are one anymore) can get the assets back after a period of time (say 50 to 99 yrs) and/or can have cayman bonds (a part of the country).  the bonds can mature say in 20yrs and lets just say at a fixed interest rate of prime plus 3.  now that interest rate is so low, buyers would consider now for the same reason.

      come on Bush, stop selling the country out for a small time fix.  it is simple economics (supply and demand).

      any and every investor would rather buy into a government rather than the stock market and what better country than the Cayman Islands.

      we have what every investor wants, friendly people, white beaches and great/strong christian belief.  oh yeah and lets not forget and strong economy despite what people are saying in the world.  they are only saying stuff about cayman because lets face it, they want what we have….. 

      XXXXXXX

  21. Be reasonable says:

    Mac, its time to let go some civil servants even though it may be political suicide. The country can not afford to go on paying people that arent working.

    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely "NOT". keep the civil servants and hire many more. Sell all government assets to pay them. When the asset money finish civil servants will get rid of themselves.

      Now that makes a lot of sense dont it?????

    • Twyla Vargas says:

      Amen again !!

    • Civil Servant says:

      Sure let us go a little earlier than 33 and 1 third years ill go right now, i have in 30 yrs.

  22. Anonymous says:

    MacKeeva are you crazy or wah?  Why would you want to sell the sustainable resources like the new CIG Building and the Water Authority?  Why not sell that $600t piece of land in WB?  Why not sell Boatswaine? Why not sell the dump and waste Management?  Why not reduce the Civil Service to 3,000 persons? Why not sell off the Public Health? Why not reduce Yours and the other Elected Members Salary?  Why not rehire those valuable Civil Service members, that you don’t like and let them earn their pay? Why bother with a dock now?  Why don’t you finish the schools? Why don’t you stop taking so many unnecessary trips? Why don’t you get the books balanced? We need to see our TRUE financial situation.  Why are you so anxious to undo everything the PPM has done, when you know damn well they are all sustainable projects for our people.  Stop pointing fingers MacKeeva, stop picking fight with the PPM, Governor and the AG and start being transparent in your actions and do what is right and sustainable for your people.  MacKeeva stop hiding in the church and start using some common sense and lead your people on or you are going to have many regrets that you will not be able to riseup from again.  Stop being greedy and rushy in your actions. Remember the status grants? C’Mon man!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Why don’t you go with your gripes to the PPM since they are the ones that left us in this situation.  I always try to blame the world economy but it wasn’t the world economy that was fool fool enough to build outrageously expensive and extravagant schools, a huge government administration building, build loads of roads and never pay the owners for their land, all at once.  It was plain and simple bad management.  You McKeeva haters should really focus on the losers that left this country in the state it is in.  At least Mckeeva has kept it afload.  And please stop complaining about his travels to get business done.  You simply sound like a jealous anal-retentive whiner.  How do you expect the Premier of our country to go out and get the business?  Do you think Cayman is so great that people just naturally HAVE to come here for everything.  Man that is complete ignorance and you show the level of education you have – have any?

      • Anonymous says:

        22:29 i give you an A+,you are so correct!

      • Anonymous says:

        Anon 22:29, You say that the PPM left us in this situation? You go on to say "fool fool enough to build outrageously expensive and extravagant schools, gov building, loads of roads." Are you honestly telling us that you are so fool fool yourself that you would prefer to see the udp waste $78 million on Boatswain beach attraction rather than the PPM spend $60 million on a school? You would prefer to see the udp waste money on the Royal Watler cruise terminal than the PPM spend money on schools? You would prefer to see the udp waste money buying family members land for twice the value or paying friends millions for consulting than for the PPM to spend money on much needed roads & a government building? Is this what you are really trying to tell us? Are you being honest? And are you serious? Well if so, I feel very sorry for you!

        I can honestly say that I am proud & pleased that the PPM tried to give us & future generations 2 much needed modern new schools. I am proud & pleased that they gave us long overdue new roads & a much needed new government building, and I am proud & pleased that we know "where" the money went! I think it is the udp that has got us into this situation!

      • Anonymous time keeper says:

        McKeeva has been in power for 8 months. He was elected to a 48-month term of office, so one-sixth of his time in office has already expired.

        He has travelled extensively, and expensively, telling us that it is necessary to bring in new investments. So far he has not been able to bring back one red cent from all of his travels. However, he did find out that many world leaders did not like the name Pirate’s Week.

        On the home front crime is rampant, the same crime that he and his UDP cohorts made a center piece of their campaign platform by constantly harping on the fact that it had increased under the PPM administration.

        McKeeva was elected because he promised to bring prosperity back to Cayman. Perhaps he is doing that one supporter at a time and I just can’t see it.

        If you are better off now than you were before the lastr election, please raise your hand.

         

         

  23. Anonymous says:

    This government continues to ruin a good thing.

    The turtle farm was one of governments biggest money makers until… McKeeva and his crew decided we needed a multi million dollar building.  Now it loses money. No turtle meat to even sell anymore.

    The part that amazes me is that they can’t figure out why the turtles aren’t breeding as much.  Hmmmm… the public can’t put lights on a house (located on the beach) because turtles come in to nest at night requiring silence and darkness but the turtle farm has bands playing and lights flashing all around the breeding and nesting tanks on a regular basis .  Who was the genius that designed this???? Oh that’s right… the same people in government that we have now. 

    This explains so much.

     

  24. Anonymous says:

    The Tax Man (UK Style) Cometh,

    That is my prediction for budget year 2010/11.  The inability of our Government to handle the finances of our nation is known throughout the Motherland. The FCO would be negligent if it did not use its "good governance" discretion to see that the Cayman Islands has some form of Direct Taxation (with payroll tax implemented and overseen by the UK as being the most obvious solution). 

    Let the public opinion and battles begin – you heard it hear first.

    Only a matter of time before we have gay marriages, casinos and pornography shoppes.

    Sign Me,

    The UK Version of the IRS, here in Cayman . . . just waiting.

    • Danger Mouse says:

      I am not going to pay direct tax in a country that does not offer me any future here.  Although removing homophobia and allowing a little gambling and porn may make the decision more difficult  . . . .

  25. Anonymous Politico says:

    At first I thought this was crazy. Who is going to purchase a non-profitable entity? Why sell a profitable asset? What do we do in the next recession when there are no assets left to sell? Then it dawned on me……

    All of those politicians who don’t have a hope of getting elected under the present system could form a Nationlist Party. They could run for office and get elected on the promise of nationalising all government assets that were previously sold.

    Every four years, or maybe change it to sixyears to give businesses time to forget, we could have a change of government with each successive government selling and then nationalising all local assets. This could be the elusive third leg of the economy that everyone has been searching for.

    OK it sounds stupid, but compare it to some of the ideas that you have heard since the elections. Pension holiday, no pension holiday; no more Pirates Week, maybe one more Pirates Week; Civil Service pay cuts, no Civil Service pay cuts; No more garbage fees, six more months of garbage fees; Now we are going to sell a service that is free????????????

  26. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure they’ll soon be trying to sell us also………

    • Anonymous says:

      When you see men above 50 years disposing public assets it is because they do not have a future to sow into. Auction of government assets only means that tomorrow Caymanians would not have avenues to create jobs, because such a right would be with a few rich people trying to maximize profits with the least body count as possible.

      The UDP is taking us to a fox hole, the government should either beg, borrow or steal before being given a chance to give away state assets.

    • Anonymous says:

      Of course Public assets will be sold – cash is needed to fund all the "round the world vacations", chaffeur and cook/housekeeper. Remember, we have an image to uphold to the world so don’t question the Premier!

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately we hate furriners and gays so nobody will buy us.

  27. Anonymous says:

    "Chris Bryant the FCO minister with responsibilities for overseas territories wrote:  "I would have concerns if CIG put long term sustainability at risk through a rapid depletion of government assets, or through certain types of public private partnerships and I would want to take a close interest in any such proposals.”

    Looks like Mac wants to make haste with Government’s only true resources – it’s businesses – to satisfy an agreement he made – also in haste.  I urge everyone – especially those with voting power – to think long and hard about the long term implications of Mac’s obvious (and oblivious) reckless selling-off of CIG assets to the highest bidder.  

    What’s next up for sale?  7-mile beach?  Why build a new, energy efficient government building in the first place?  To save on rent and energy costs of course!  But what’s the point if it’s then sold to someone who we have to pay rent to?  Sell off the Turtle Farm to someone who can focus on running that business properly, but don’t let Mac sell off your water!  When our bills rise, who will be accountable?  You, voters of Cayman.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Lets not forget that the UK too, have found it necessary to put some of their own assets up for sale, such is the dire state of their own affairs.

  28. Anonymous says:

    yet more talk about ideas… we heard all this 6 months ago…when is something going to get done?

    same applies for port re-development, new hospital project, mount trashmore…etc…… when is action going to be taken?…every day is like the typical caymanian ‘soon come’ attitude

  29. papelcaymanian says:

    Selling assets brings in much needed cash, cuts salary expenditures and (hopefully, but not necessarily) streamlines and improves services. The benefits continue after the sale.

    At this juncture it is the only sound way to reduce CIG payroll. You cannot lay off public servants in the midst of a recession. Protect their jobs for a fixed time past the sale.

    Mr Bush, please make sure that the buyer is contractually obligated to offer the services at a reasonable price. We do not need another CUC raping us with a contract they wrote for their benefit. 

    Above all, government must give precedence to battling inflation in everything it does, as this is the root of every evil in Cayman. Stop inflation, give the middle classes a breather and a chance to expand and you will see Cayman flourish.

    I think that is something that all variety of Caymanians can agree on.

    • Anonymous says:

      You have a very naive and short-sighted view of the merits of selling of assets. The ‘assets’ we would wish to be relieved of are those that are loss-making. The question who is interested in purchasing a loss-making business? Selling profitable assets off can also mean loss of a future revenue stream. Very foolish to sell off the new Govt. Admin Bldg and then pay rent. This defeats the original purpose of eliminating rent as a recurrent expenditure while pushing maintenance costs lower. The bottom line is that this is not a sustainable way to balance the budget. We only have so many assets. 

      BTW the CUC contract was negotiated between CIG and CUC. It provides a reasonable price to the consumer while permitting a reasonable rate of return to CUC. The application of the Rate Cap Mechanism means that CUC’s rates are required to be reasonable.  World oil prices are not eliminated by a contractual clause that states "rates must be reasonable". 

      As measured by the CPI you will find that Cayman currently has very low inflation.  However, most of our inflation is imported. It is not something that govt. can magically "stop".      

      • papelcaymanian says:

         I agree with you on the particulars but not on the whole premise.

        While owning government buildings makes sense, some of the assets mentioned in the article can and should be sold. Cayman Airways, the turtle farm, the whole waste management system, etc. As a small nation we should keep our government footprint small and light. Contract unessential government during economic booms and expand temporarily during recessions, if necessary, to stimulate the economy.

        Notice I call it the turtle farm. Yesterday I sat on a plane where a Caymanian was trying to explain to someone they should visit Boatswain Bay and finally gave up and said "you know, the turtle farm…."

        CUC was awarded a contract where they are assured a fixed return. They have been able to manipulate the situation to their advantage ever since. Notice their resistance to home generated energy etc. World oil prices are high because oil companies and speculators are given exactly that kind of latitude by governments. Price controls work. The whole idea that corporations and the market can be left to its devices, has resulted in the near collapse of the world economy and the impoverishment of billions.

        Some inflation is imported and some is created right here. Governments can use policy to put the brakes on inflation if they choose to do so. Put 12 economists in a room and you will get 12 opinions, but a think a few will agree on this.

        This forum does not allow for a in depth analysis of complex issues, but the time has come for people to take sides and decide what kind of government and what economic philosophies we will embrace. Your views are sound and reasoned, but have gotten us where we are now.

        thanks 

         

         

        • Anonymous says:

          We agree on those businesses of which govt.can relieve itself.

          You clearly have not read CUC’s contract. It does not assure a fixed return. The 15% guaranteed return was provided for in the old contract. Instead we now have a Price Cap Mechanism (i.e. price control). What you say about oil companies and speculators is correct, but the point is that the Cayman Islands govt. has no power to do anything about this.  

          Re inflation that is not really the issue right now. However, govt. itself is contributing to inflation by its increases in taxes and fees.

          My views have not gotten us where we are now.   Waste, inefficiencies and politically driven decision-making have taken us here. The failure to trim the civil service which is now bloated with many duplications. A number of the statutory authorities could be combined to create synergies and avoid duplication.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Thankfully the UK will be watching our Government finances a little closer.

    The FCO and Governor Taylor should request up-to-date fully audited financial statements before authorising any future budget requests.

    The Government (or should I say Cabinet) can do what they want to , when they want to behind closed doors and under the protection of "Cabinet Papers".

    In this day of Freedom of Information and transparency  in our nation what decisions are made that need to be kept so secret that the public (who elected the same politicians) does not have any right to know?

    Just remember all you with fancy titles that GOD is watching everything you do – can’t keep the closed door proceedings from HIM.

    Sign Me,

    Honourable, a title reserved only for GOD

  31. Anonymous says:

    There goes the public park in Barkers. That was always on the agenda. Lets see how many people will object to this!

  32. Chris Johnson says:

    I trust that any assets that are likely to be sold will be valued by a properly quailified valuer. With regard to operating assets such as the water authority that means profit projections etc etc. Maybe these are available anyway. They ought to be.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Central Government do not get any revenue from these bodies. I am in favour of selling them.

    Government must also cut civil servants.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Still won’t tackle the issue of trimming down the civil service or cutting government spending?

    Here is how another small government is doing it:

    http://www.thisisjersey.com/2010/02/01/states-spending-to-be-slashed-by-50m/

    It is killing the country to keep so many government employees on the books…

  35. Anonymous says:

    sell the Dump !

    • Anonymous says:

      Dump the seller !!

      • BORN FREE says:

        To Anon 14:14. No one could have said it better, I totally agree, & Cayman would be far better off for doing so: "DUMP THE SELLER" Oh GOD I beg you DUMP THE SELLER!!