Opposition kicks into gear

| 21/02/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman headline news, Cayman politics(CNS): As the Legislative Assembly resumes this week, the leader of the opposition has filed a motion asking government not to sell off public assets. The People’s Progressive Movement says it wants the government to enter into negotiations with the UK to spread the deficit over the next three years instead of selling the new government building. Taking advantage of a swing in public opinion against some of current government policy, the PPM is also calling a public meeting on Monday evening to set out its opposition on the policy of divestment as well as immigration changes and the opposition’s goal of a co-ordinated national crime strategy.

The opposition has filed four motions to be debated in the next sitting, and the party will also be speaking out against some of the proposed immigration changes when the country’s parliament opens on Wednesday.  In preparation, the PPM is inviting the wider community to a public meeting on Monday evening (22 February) to discuss its proposals on crime and its opposition to current government policy, and in particular the proposed sale of the new government office accommodation building.

Since the United Democratic Party brought its 2009/10 budget to the LA in October the opposition leader has said the government should not attempt to reduce its deficit in one financial year but, like other countries hit by the global economic slump, aim to close the budget gap over a period of three years. As a result, the opposition has now filed a motion to stop government selling the building. After an official ‘for sale’ announcement was made last week, Kurt Tibbetts said it would prove to be a very short term gain that would lead to a far greater long term loss for government coffers.

“The result of the saleof the new Government Administration Building will be to divest government of a key asset, cause government to pay additional rent and place the seat of government into private ownership,” Tibbetts said in the motion. “The proceeds of sale from the divestment of the new Government Administration Building will produce the benefit of immediate revenue in the short term, in the medium to long term it will result in the erosion of government’s asset base and increased operational expenditure as government is required to increase lease payments.”

Tibbetts has proposed that government reconsiders the proposal to balance the budget by divestment of assets, and in particular this building, and instead enter into discussions with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to agree on a plan for the CIG budget deficit to be eliminated over three years without the need to dispose of any government assets.

Pointing out the UK’s Overseas Territories minister’s own concerns about selling off publicly owned property, Tibbetts quoted from Chris Bryant’s letter to the premier at the time when the UDP was putting together the 2009/10 budget in which he pointed out to McKeeva Bush the pitfalls of such a plan.    

“I urge you to ensure the long term costs of such action are fully weighed against the short term benefits,” Bryant wrote last year.  “As I know you well understand, my concern in this matter is to ensure the sustainability of CIG public finances.  For the most part this is reflected in our application of Borrowing Guidelines but 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.”

Although the premier has persistently blamed the opposition for the dire financial circumstance surrounding government revenue, the PPM has countered those accusations by pointing to the world’s greatest economic slump since the depression and that the need to sell the new glass house has been forced on the current administration by their own hand because of their overly ambitious goal  to remove the deficit in one year instead of spreading the debt over a longer time period.

The opposition will be holding a public meeting at the South Sound Community Centre at 7:30pm.

Vote in the CNS online poll: Should the government sell the new government office accommodation building?

Category: Headline News

Comments (79)

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  1. anonymous says:

    The Independents are not stepping up to the plate and acting responsible so we only have 2 parties to choose from  the UDP and the PPM.

    When you start complaining, look to see who’s leading you.

    A PPM Leader a UDP dictator or

    An Independent body skeleton without a head !

    Get real there are no other political parties so far this is a good opportunity for Independents but obviously there’s no Independent man with balls that’s ready to lead. So here we are stuck with the PPM and the UDP.

    There are at least 70  of coments made b;y independents in this forum and it is a shame that the independent politicians havn’t the ambition or sense enough to jump on such a golden platter handed to them, but the PPM is jumping in on it.

     

     

     

     

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    To post 8:11 – Where has all of Cayman’s love gone, it went when the Party system was introduced and when the Caymanians started to get suppressed in their own Country.  Blame it on the stupid leader we currently have.  he is spreading the propoganda all around.  He cannot open his mouth that he is not blaming the PPM.  He blames them for everything and for 25 years he has been creating or has been a part of this Mess. Where is his blame???  There are still a lot of loving Caymanians and they are becoming extinct like the turtles in their own Country, all because of past Governments and their stupid decisions.  Hatred is spurned by MacKeeva mostly, but yet he lives in the Church.

  3. HeartBroken says:

    Cayman is becoming a harder and harder place to live in everyday,People can we please work together stop the Cayman and Expat bashing.

    We need to find love do you all not realise that Cayman one of the last places in the world where most folks could prosper and enjoy safety is crumbling

    The reality is in no time alot of us will be in the poor house and believe me this new passion to hate is not going to help the situation,find peace, control your thoughts and tounge,love your neighbour, find strength in family and friends.

    I see this island as a nurturing mother who gave and gave for many years to many people but we like ungratefull children never planned correctly focusing on greed and arrogance, well my fellow locals white,black ,yellow or whichever color best describes you we have a dying mother on our hands and the family must unite.

    I love you all.

     

     

     

  4. Anonymous says:

    As a young Caymanian (mid-20s), it is extremely troublesome to see the hatred spread between the supporters of each party.  Many of the citizens of this country seem to have very short-term memories: it was only at the end of the PPM’s term that everyone was calling for a change in government because of the dissatisfaction with the leaders at that time.  Again, we see a similar response to the current government.  Voters need to realize that it is not the party, it is the politicians.  Who obviously only have their own needs (mainly money) in mind when it comes to their "stances" and "viewpoints".  I am completely disillusioned with both parties.  It is time that Caymanians look out for their country and the people who live in it, rather than solely for the interests of one political group. 

    That being said, it is irresponsible to sell a government building and pay rent to the owner.  This will, in the long run, cost much more than the outright cost of the building.  It also needs to be said that if a poster on CNS is correct about the lavish "finishes" for the government building, the leaders of this country need to take a few steps back about their "necesseties" in spending the people’s money.  This is not for their own comfort, but for the benefit of the country (which does not their "comfort" level while at work; how many of you have luxurious surroundings in your office?).  The UDP needs to take responsibility for the building, reduce where necessary, and keep it in the government’s possession for the greater interest of Cayman.

    My final thought is that, unfortunately, the PPM initiated many goverment agencies that were completely unnecessary.  There are far too many civil servants for a country of our size and we should not suffer in order to pay all of their salaries.  Let’s face it: many are very lazy, incompetant and completely overpaid.  I don’t like to disrespect fellow countrymen, but it is unfortunately a fact of this society (and will be until we upgrade our education standards).  This is one of the major contributions to our deficit, as the majority of the civil servants are grossly overpaid, hold redundant positions and are not necessary for a functionary government.  Many of these positions were created in order to increase the number of votes for the PPM in the last election and, unfortunately, cannot be terminated immediately.  I am in full support of the employment of Caymanians (which should go without saying), however, this is irresponsible and needs to be recognized as so.  We need to recognize this as a whole, review/audit the civil service departments and remedy the number of staff.

    • Fuzzy says:

      One would get the impression from this post that the civil service is made up completely of Caymanians, when in fact Caymanians are a minority in the civil service.If this is true then why are you suggesting (by criticizing only the local education standards) that the lazy civil servants are Caymanians.Remember the majority of teachers ,doctors,nurses,police officers etc . are not local ,so are they all lazy civil servants.Too many of us want to "eat our cake and have it too"i.e..we dont want to wait in lines but dont want to give Govt. Depts the staff to assist us .I wonder what would happen if all civil servants failed to show up for work one day.Please stop  talking about civil servants as if they are our door mats and remember "civil servants are real people,,with real wants,with real needs,real faults and real feelings" and be a little more considerate with your postings.

    • Anonymous says:

      Reading such an excellent well thought through post from a young Caymanian gives me hope for the future of Cayman. As a Caymanian from an older generation I agree with you completely regarding the hatred that the party system has brought out in our society. You are also correct in pointing out that some politicians feel that they are entitled to use our money to live like princes and princeses and to build monuments to their own egos rather than buildings which meet the needs of our people.

      I sincerely hope that you and others that think like you in your generation will remain active in expressing your views and that you will be able to reform our political system going forward.

  5. Anonymous says:

     It is disappointing that instead of the UDP supporters refuting PPM assertions using facts they resort to conjecture and bad mouthing….. Oh wait they can’t because the facts speak for them themselves.

    Will they explain to us clearly how the sale and lease back of the government building that has a loan against it saves this country money or achieves the benefit claimed?  I am just trying to understand which investor is going to buy the government building then allow them to occupy it for free.   Since we know that scenario is crap, please explain how paying for the same building twice is cost effective.

    Are some of those subprime wall street genius  now employed as financial advisors to the UDP?

    Where is the Financial Secretary  to explain the transaction since we have a distrust of  the politicians on this issue? Does he have a gag placed on him? 

    As for blaming the current crime spree on the past government is just plain irresponsible but I guess that that’s the usual lazy response to a very serious issue. 

     If the UDP roadmap is to be believed then I am truly sorry for the Junior Achievement participants who think they might have a real entreprenurial shot at the Cayman economy. You will no longer be required. Then again if you want to be a CEO or senior executive in  the coming years then it might be only as head of your own enterprise since the mature business will already have "Caymanians" in those positions.

     

     

  6. Anonymous says:

    Kurt, I am taping your meeting and am going to send it to all of the people that I owe money to, and see if it works. It never worked for me before but maybe just maybe if we told Mother England that we spent it and are not paying it back, they won’t do what creditors usually do and just throw the money at us and say, it’s okay bobo, just don’t do it again. Did bobo not realize what he spent? Ever heard about maxing out your credit card bobo?Just tell us what to do.We are 9 months out of election. You guys spent the money. I see that you have no shame or solutions. Tonight you sound like me when the credit card company calls. Sorry, had more to say, but just heard Arden wrap up the meeting and need to go find a basin.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I am never more convinced than I am tonight, as listening to the PPM meeting, that I made the right choice by voting them out….NO SOLUTIONS!!! It’s easy to spend money, as they proved…not so easy to rein it in,eh? The money is GONE! Okay, Chuckie, we won’t cry over the milk that you all spilt, but the least you could do at this point is show us where you hid the towel to mop it up! You are STILL throwing mud, but if you are so capable, and country loving, give us some ideas to fix it. I have been patiently waiting for you to redeem yourself and show me how you would fix it, but so far, nothing but making jokes of those that are trying to mop up your mess. Sorry, I was going to give you a chance but you have lost me for good. You don’t have a clue how to fix this country. If it is poker that you are playing, you just showed your cards my friend. All you have done tonight is whine.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Premier MacKeeva Magabe needs to be brought under control as was done 5 years ago.  Interesting that only now the Government responds to the issues since the PPM are criticising their actions and gearing up for a counter strike.  Worst of all, Government is using our depleating funds to bankrole their press campaign in a last ditch attempt to save their souls.  Lord give me strength!!!!!!     

  9. Anonymous says:

    Whipping a dead horse is a very silly idea. Thats about all we can expect from our current elected politicians.

    We need some fresh horses in our politics with some ideas that will work to get us out of this mess.

    We are a rudderless ship, we are approaching the rocks and our elected politicians is trying to use our situation for political advantage.

    Unfortunately they seem to be able to fool some of the people all of the time.

  10. Anonymous says:

    WHERE are The INDEPENDENTS when we need them??

    The two party system in Cayman is as broken as the two party system in the US. Both parties are self-serving, both with their own lobbyists, both silenced by their party caucuses. Both blaming each other and not giving any real solutions nor looking out for the Cayman people.

    Where is Wally, Bo , Burns, the Lion and others when we need them? They were not making idle promises at election time. Lets hope they will be ready to sort out this mess when it finally collapses to a stand still.

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL…

      You Caymanians are only left with only 2 choices:

      Vote PPM or  Vote UDP!  Stop the complaining! 

      Welcome to the Party-system you all wanted from the very start  :o) 

      • Anonymous says:

        There is no difference between the UDP and PPM. They are all power mongers who seek to make profit from a business called politics, and party allegiance is simply a way to get their foot in the door. The majority of them don’t believe a word they say, so whatever their party is supposed to stand for is irrellevant.

  11. loren says:

    Way 2 go PPM

  12. Anonymous says:

    please remember the deficit started long before KT or the PPM it started from Mac giving away the land that Ritz is on waiving millions in customs duties for them and DART, building BBeach a strain on the govt and PPM was the govt that had to fund around 10 mil a year for it. UDP expanding Cayman’s population with poor people who in turn our govt have to support them!

    • Anonymous says:

      You are absolutely right Mon, 02/22/2010 – 16:46!  That is why I do not support either of these bungling political parties and I am tired as heck of their blame games to try and coverup their own mismanagement.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you seriously comparing the levels of capital spending between the UDP and the PPM?

      Take a drive out to the schools building site and then wonder how the country will ever finish this project.

      The denial of the PPM that they made a mistake and over spent on capital projects makes me worry if they ever get into power again. The PPM  don’t seem to accept any blame or responsiblity for the country’s financial woes.

      Will the schools be finished in 5 years? At how much additional cost?

      Will the PPM bring in income and property taxes to pay for all their grand ideas?

  13. Anonymous says:

    You UDP supporters keep on complaining ’bout the PPM….it’s the UDP government that YOU voted in that’s trying to sell your birth right from underneath your feet!

    At least my mind is clear and I can go to bed without feeling guilty! Can’t Say the same for Mac and his party, or his supporters for that matter.

    I got to support Charles Clifford on this! My children’s future depends on it!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Kurt, Alden, PPM and maybe some of the younger politicians that are still curable from MacKeeva, listen up.  We need to impose income tax on anyone making a monthly salary over KYD 8,000. We need to impliment property tax on any property valued over 1mio.  We need to impose a real estate tax on these Real Estate Companies.  We need every one that attends public schools to pay the school fees.  We need the Civil Servants to contribute to the Pension Fund.  We need Civil Servants to pay their 20% difference on their Hospital bills.  We need to sell Boatswaine, seperate it from the Turtle Farm.  We need to stop the abuse of Cayman Airways, where every family member can travel on tax fees only.  We need to cut of the welfare state run by the Social Services Dept.  Only the disabled, elderly over 60 yrs and the uninsurables should get benefits.  We need to reduce the Civil Service to 1/2 the size. Then we need to collect the concession waved funds from the Ritz Carlton and trust me you will have the 87mio Mackeeva was talking about.  These are some pointers to help you the Government to get this much needed funds, but don’t sell the CIG Building.  MacKeeva is only looking short term, he not looking long term as he wish to leave that problem for someone else to solve.  He will be rich by the time he leaves office from the commissions he will get from all these rich deals.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Reply to 10:40 and 12:35 in one post.

    Any further increases will have to be directly to the people of Cayman, i.e. taxes, either property or income.  The question that Caymanians and expats need to ask themselves is if they are prepared to pay a portion of their income to the government.  I think most people would be willing to do that if we were assured that the income generated from direct taxation would be used in a responsible manner.  At this point, the answer to the latter question is no as we have seen previous governments spend indiscriminately.
     
    You have correctly identified the reason for the malaise that we find ourselves in. However, I do believe that we should have been holding politicians (present and past) to account for spending money in an irresponsible manner. Unfortunately, it seemed like there would be no end to our success so we simply ignored or were willing to forgive extravagant waste. We need to change our mindset and realize that the money belongs to the PEOPLE once it reaches government coffers regardless of where it came from, so we should carefully examine where every penny of it goes.
     
    You obviously don’t have any idea of the rammifications of direct tax, especially if it’s payroll tax, on the business climate here.  Do you mind fishing and basket weaving for a living?
     
    It is high time that we Caymanians pay for things that will benefit Caymanians. Why should we expect financial institutions or guest workers (via remittance fees) to pay for the schools that are for Caymanian children only? Do you know who will occupy the new government administration building?
     
    Payroll tax or income tax will never work because we would have to double the size of the Civil Service to try and keep up with the cheats. Look at pension contributions if you doubt that.
     
    What we do have that could be taxed is a healthy real estate market. I’m not talking raw land that has been in families for generations, but developed property. Every piece of developed property has a value that is well known or can be calculated by the Lands and Survey Department. How much could we raise if we imposed a 0.25% tax on the value of developed property each year? That’s only about $100 per month for someone who owns a $500,000 house. This was first suggested by Tim Ridley and, whilst I disagreed at first, I have come to wholeheartedly accept it as the best way forward. It is fair and equitable and everyone would have to pay their share, but somehow I doubt that this will ever receive consideration from anyone who owns a million-dollar condo on the Seven Mile Beach.
     
    The Premier seems to think that robust growth is the only solution. I disagree. It is time for growth to slow down so that we can plan and decide for whom we are developing this island.
    • Anonymous says:

      The new Govt building project was started under the UDP, but construction was started under the PPM.   There was talk it would be named the D. Kurt Tibbetts Government building.  The PPM will fight tooth and nail to ensure that this edifice to their political party is not sold.

      Selling a Govt asset is never a welcome or popular move with the public so of course the usual self serving people are there looking to wring personal glory from this emotional situation.

      I am not in favour of selling this asset and I am asking the UDP to reconsider the options and not to take the same bullheaded position as the PPM did with their now infamous utterances of "not on the kindest of morningswill we reconsider" and "only God can stop me from building these schools"  and " we are here to spend the money and the civil servants have to find the money".

      That attitude is what helped get us in this mess, coupled with the recession.

       

        

  16. Anonymous says:

    It is not encouraging to hear this sabre-rattling from Kurt Tibbetts. How soon you all forget the unbridalled expansion of the civil service and the profligate spending of the previous government?

    Cayman is too small to have it’s community polarized by these two camps both of which have demonstrated consistency at failure.

    I am calling on some real Caymanians, children of the soil, to stand up and be counted, for truth and good old-fashioned values. We don’t want any more to do with the secret societies that these incumbents subscribe to.

    It is time to do away with this party foolishness and bring back common sense. Look at these impotent windbags that rode to power on McKeeva’s empty promises? What has Ellio Solomon done? Where are his suggestions? What are his initiatives? What about Mike Adam, Mark Scotland and the other voiceless drones that are sitting in the MLA doing absolutely nothing? If you have any decency at all, you should resign.

    You should be ashamed of yourselves for failing to deliver on your promises.

    Your biggest enemies are in the very governments you have created as your key portfolio people refuse to cooperate with you and you are running scared of them. Now they have all kinds of "Human Rights" that you gave them that lets them squat in their positions like puffed-up bullfrogs refusing to move or be moved.

    A monster has indeed been created. Horrible times are in store for us unless we humble ourselves. Nothing is being done, absolutely nothing!

    • noname says:

      Isn’t it strange how we all forget so easily & quickly the destruction that the UDP brought upon this little country of ours during their last reign of terror! The overspending, the corruption & the selling out of Cayman (ownership & birthright) brought this island to it’s knees, & the people quite rightly voted them out in a landslide in 2005. How quickly we forget, because just four short years later we put the dictator back in, & now we are all up in arms complaining about how the UDP & the dictator are doing the very same thing again. We are hurting, we are crying, & we are complaining, but isn’t it a little too late? Why didn’t we learn from experience? Life in Cayman is harder & more dangerous than it ever has been. The UDP have been in government for over nine months & have only made things worse! Why didn’t we learn? How easily we forget!

  17. Anonymous says:

    I hope the people that are talking about the UDP understand if it was not for the PPM we would not be in this mess. We are in dept beacuse the PPM was on a spending spree, People ask the PPM how much did it cost to build two schools and how much it would cost to furnish them before you talk about the Goverment we have now

    • BORN FREE says:

      We would not be in this mess if it was not for the UDP! The PPM built new schools & new roads, but at least we saw where our countrys money was going. The UDP wasted money on unnecessay projects & deals and we were never able to see where the "extra" (overpayments) money went. The facts show that the PPM spent money on much needed projects whereas the UDP wasted money on pet projects! Is it no wonder that our country is in financial problems? The UDP wasted our money, & the UDP continue to waste our money today! 

  18. Anonymous says:

    Kicks into gear. yeah right. one of the funnyest things I read in the paper is when Kurt Tibbets was ellected and was described as hitting the ground running!

  19. sam says:

    INDEPENDENTS need to KICK INTO GEAR, and get rid of the PARTY-SYSTEM!

    UDP and PPM, are both causing this Island to become divisive. Moreover, they follow no one, but their heads!

    PATHETIC!

    • Bodden says:

      Sam, we only have these two parties that are showing interest in our country’s affairs. I have not seen an educated and independent group come together and hold meetings yet. 

      Money talks. So who will be able to hear the Caymanian’ independents? 

      • Anonymous says:

        Finally, Kurt was unwilling to listen to the financial experts

        Mckeeva (before Kurt got in) was unwilling to listen to the down-to-earth affairs of the people

        Now Mckeeva is in, doing all he can to balanced our budget within a timeframe so that the UK don’t impose tax on us.

        On of the measures he is using, is selling government assets!  Although I do not agree with the selling of "essential assets," the government building,which PPM is making all a fuss about, is not essential to me. What is essential asset would be an asset that if taken away would cause harm to the operations of a government sector. The government building will not cause the civil servants any harm, because right now –  

        WHERE IS THE HARM SINCE WE’RE NOT IN IT???

        This sounds like a political PPM initiative to gain points…

        Overall, it would be nice to see an Independent party or another party arise with new and fresh faces. Many people I know are getting sick with these two parties just trying to score political points: UDP accusing the other for the entire debt on the country, and PPM accusing the UDP for making wrong financial decisions… This is very frustrating. 

  20. Anonymous says:

    Oh, be serious! Where will the money come from, then? Who spent it in the first place? Kurt et al.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Well it seems that the pro PPM supporters have discovered Cayman Islands News are have decided to flood it with their world view.

    It escapes me everytime I drive past the unfinished schools how the people of the Cayman Islands can retain any trust in the PPM to accept any responsiblity for the lousy stewardship of the Cayman economy during their administration of the country’s finances.

    The $50,000,000.00 CI dollars they spent to dealwith crime. Was the helicopter part of that sum of money? Just where did that money go? I don’t see any improvement in the crime problem as a result of the $50,000,000.00 CI dollars.

    It is amazing how the PPM have slipped out from under any responsiblity for the current finances of the country. Their supporters simply blame the UDP and McKeeva, unbelieveable.

    Just because Austin doesn’t hold the PPM feet to the fire on the radio for excessive capital spending there are those of us who haven’t forgotten.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Why doesn’t the government just occupy a certain percentage of the building and rent out the rest of the offices to offset the cost of the building.  I am sure there are numerous companies that would pay a decent rent in order to be located in close proximity to government offices thus making an easier access.

    • Anonymous says:

      They need the whole building and are paying a fortune in rent and utilities for the numerous offices they rent. This building will pay for itself in a matter of years if it is finished and occupied.

  23. Anonymous says:

    The sale of the guilding was included in the budget last october. everyone (including the PPM) was fully aware of that. Now that the bldg is getting close to being sold (because it has to by end of june) we are all talking about it as if it is a new idea.

    Here are the facts: the government had no choice when faced by an aggressive UK but to rely on the divestment of the building as ONE of several solutions to ensure that the budget complied with the PMFL ratios. The fact that the Uk itself "warned against this measure" ina  follow up letter after the Govt did what it had to do to get the budget approved  is just another example of their attitude and unwillingnes to assist the Cayman islands. What they really wanted was to see the country introduce direct taxation to undermine the financial services sector.

    Had the government not taken divestment as an option (and they had about 6 weeks to do so), the government would not have been able to get the budget approved and be able to continue running the country and pay civil servants.

    It is not ideal but it was one of very few options with chris bryant being difficult and insisting that direct taxes was the "only" option.

    The govt found the country in a disaster of a financial situation when it came to office and needed to do something to be able to have a budget approved (quickly).

    They could not introduce direct taxation. they could not lay off civil servants (try laying off 500 individuals in the middle of a recession with the highest unemployment ever seen by Caymanians and you get problems far worse than we have been facing as a country). They could not arrive at the massive expenditure in such a short space of time (think about this—which government anywhere in this world can cut expenditure by 20 to 25% in 2 to 3  months). And of course no one wanted extra taxes so they put the vast majority of the taxes  on the financial services sector (not the so called little man as the media and propoganda tries to suggest—just take an objective look at the list of measures and see which percentage falls on the financial industry).

    In short, as a country we dont want to sacrifice anything and we want it all to be magically fixed without giving up anything. The sale of the 2 assets is the only way to meet the requirements to have the neccessary reserves as required under the law.  And that does not even address the operational deficit issues which are ongoing.

    Until the UKL gives us the leverage/flexibility to change the law we will always be under this pressure. but the UK was very inflexible about accepting non compliance so they forced us to introduce over a 100 million in extra taxes at a time when everyone was already hurting. And now we are seeing the result of that pressure.

    We cannot bury our heads in the sand when faced with a crisis aand we have to accept that some of the solutions will not neccessarily be ideal under the unique set of circumstances we found ourselves last September (fiscal crisis, UK pressure and their reluctance to assist, pressure to destroy our tax system, high unemployment, impracticalities of cutting civil services in short space of time, pressure to put most of the rtax measures on one sector–which would eventually result in immese pressure on that sector, and an increasingly divisive local community which is now getting the attention of the very people who we are trying to attarct to the country to help revive it, etc).

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not sure why you waste your time trying to educate the PPM fanatics that have decided to adopt this forum as their home. They read only until they get the gist that a post is not anti-UDP and then they hit the thumbs down button and move on to some proper UDP bashing post they can relate to. 

      While I  appreciate your analysis, these PPM fanatics really can’t be bothered with facts and much prefer to bury their heads is the sand and believe that all the current government has to do is tax businesses (and maybe rich expats) and everything will be fine. Of course, they learn by example: the PPM government’s way of dealing with the budget problem was to keep it secret and then blame the Financial Secretary when it became known.  

      With all the criticising they are doing, I’m interested to know if the PPM has even one suggestion on how to get out of this mess.  Will they really advocate direct taxation of the masses? Or will it be some expat-only tax solution. Or will they just deny that Cayman is really in a mess and suggest we just need to stay the course. My guess is the latter, with one exception: they’ll suggest the people need to call for referendum for a new election. These guys really are hopeless.

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Your face is hopeless.  I know this because I am watching you.  Just like you are watching PPM "fanatics" abuse their right to go thumbs-down-crazy. Weirdo stalker much?  And don’t you think "fanatic" is a little strong of a word?  To be one of either of these parties in this day and age is ridiculous.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Why does the PPM not defend themselves ?

    I was listen to Mac on the radio show this morning and once again… when asked his opinion on anything… the first thing he does is blame the PPM (and previous government) for our current situation.  He seems to have distanced himself from any previous government. Claiming he inherited all these problems. Was he not the previous government before PPM ?!?!

    Why is the PPM not defending themselves? They inherited a mess from Mac’s previous government themselves. Not to mention they had to rebuild the country after Ivan.

    Was it not Big Mac previous government that wrote off  Millions ( @ 120 million – I think it was) from Cayman General Insurance after Ivan just before PPM got in? What about the Turtle Farm, was it not Mac and crew that took a thriving business and built this monstrosity that losses money every month? What about Bush Tower (the new government building)… was it not Mac’s government that started this 87 million dollar project? Oh and let’s not forget, is was there not a picture of Mac and crew breaking ground for the new schools (all 3) just before PPM got elected ?  Why does PPM not pull that picture out and remind the public of just who’s idea it was to build these things in the first place that put us in this pickle?   

    • Anonymous says:

      Austin wouldn’t answer the calls, that’s why. Remember the one wrote that viewpoint in favor of censorship?

      I am a supporter of the PPM and I got cut off 3 times. So it would be no surprise to me that the PPM couldn’t get through.

  25. Rorschach says:

    "Opposition Kicks into Gear"

    WOW…only took them 9 MONTHS!!!

    • A Caymanian says:

      And here is the re-Birth of PPM 9 Months Give me a break Do they think we are all fools!!!!

      I think the worst thing that can happen to a human Brain is to think!!!! And convince himself that he is the Smartest person alive!!! Sad to say alot of the PPM members have managed to have this Dream!! and actually have woken up to beleive it!!!!.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Kurt, this morning I hear the Premier and CG get on the radio and spin us one story that is sooooo believable.  Then he is going to get on the TV tonight, just before you guys have your meeting and then tomorrow night, him and the UDP are going to have a meeting to tell the people the FACTS.  Now…my question to you guys, are you going to bash the UDP and tell us lies or are you going to tell us the REAL TRUTH and give us something more believable and solutions?  All I am hearing from Mackeeva, CG and the other UDP people is ALL the things they wants us to believe that your government PPM has done, was doing and NO SOLUTIONS!!  MacKeeva will be selling the CIG Building and the Water Authority and the Sewage system XXXXX, then he is going to take the money from the sale of the building to finish the building and then what????? After 2 years, what will he be selling next???  How will his plan be sustainable? and why will he still be building that dock?  Help the Cayman People to understand what will happen in the next 2 years under the UDP plan.  Bring that to us this evening please, I need to know….as I am a born Caymanian, making plans to move to another country.  The Born Caymanian people are becoming extinct and MacKeeva’s immigration plan is not protecting me or the people of The Cayman Islands, its a foreigner plan.  Kurt, please do what you guys have to do, to protect us from this XXXX man and his cronies.

  27. Anonymous says:

     All the UK wants is to ensure that their directives are met.  They believe that the only way for CIG to meet its budget deficits is by the imposition of direct taxes to the people of the Cayman Islands.  I am not sure whether that would work as it would cost millions of dollars to put the necessary infrastructure in place, including the hiring of professionals to implement whatever direct taxation the government eventually comes up with.  The fact is that the CIG is stuck between a rock and a hard place.  Do they sell government assets to shore up the budget shortfall, or do they impose direct taxes on the people of these Islands to ensure that they can meet the deficits in the budget.  I am not sure that even the opposition has the answer to this very troubling question.  The Opposition has filed motions in the LA calling on the government not to sell off assets and at the same time going back before the FCO and pleading with them to extend the period within which the CIG should repay its debts.  This puts the Mother Country in a very troubling position as any default by these Islands to repay its debts leaves England liable.  This is a very tenuous situation and I am not sure whether calling street meetings is the right approach as all the PPM will be doing is telling the people of  Cayman what they already know.  The country is in dire straits, income revenues are down and neither party really has much of an option as to how best to get out of the situation.  The fact of the matter is that the only way out of the problem is to increase revenues.  One of the ways is to increase fees etc., which the government has done.  Any further increases will have to be directly to the people of Cayman, i.e. taxes, either property or income.  The question that Caymanians and expats need to ask themselves is if they are prepared to pay a portion of their income to the government.  I think most people would be willing to do that if we were assured that the income generated from direct taxation would be used in a responsible manner.  At this point, the answer to the latter question is no as we have seen previous governments spend indiscriminately.  On another issue, why under the new constitution was it necessary to create so many positions which are now proving to be a burden on the government’s coffers.  Almost every week there is a new position being gazetted, positions which were created as a result of the new constitution.  

  28. Anonymous says:

    I had occasion this morning to listen to Beloved Leader on Rooster. While Mr Glidden did seem to admit that their public relations were a disaster, the substance of what BL was saying was mostly smoke and mirrors as usual. I should add that I am not a supporter of any political party. I am interested in what is good for Cayman and I am angry that our government seems only interested in lining the pockets of the few.

    BL uttered complete rubbish about the sale of the Government building saying that Government was not getting rid of the public assets. He tried to convince listeners that the Government selling the new Government building for much less than the land and building are worth and then renting the same building back for millions a year, was somehow not a sale of the building. Complete rubbish.

    My suggestion – if the government has no better idea than to sell government assets, or has promised its supporters money in relation to these buildings, then at least ensure that the sales contracts have buyback options so that a future government can recover the public assets which this government seems to want to give away at the price that they are being sold for. That way the government’s cronies can extract whatever they have been promised to them as rent paid to them by government, but at least the people can get the assets back in the future at a defined price.

    BL also made all sorts of feeble excuses regarding why his government has not brought in legislation to punish violent crime much more severely. He seems to be trying to convince the people that all his government can do is bring in legislation that the police ask for. That is complete nonsense. BL and his colleagues can bring in any legislation they want to make tougher sentences for violent criminals – unfortunately BL and his cronies seem unwilling to do anything to go after these scum. Apart from being angry at this refusal to go after the scum, I have to wander why. 

    • Anonymous says:

      the worst part about this mornings ‘performance’ was his excuse for not cutting the civil serive because it would make caymanians unemployed….. so there we have it: the lazy, overstaffed, underworked, inefficent civil service will continue to have subsidised jobs not matter how bad or inefficent they are.

      Why doesn’t he do the same with people who get laid off in the private sector? maybe gov can subsidise their jobs too …

      he then completely ignored austins question on the benefit of the civil service of reviewing themselves….

  29. Anonymous says:

    Save this country before it’s too late.

    Kurt, the country is depending on you and your party to save us from the ruin and destruction that the dictator we have as a Premier provided by the courtesy of the UDP have forced upon this country. Cayman, "wake up and smell the coffee" because you voted us into this predicament. We are under a one man rule as no other minister or member of the UDP has a say or can make a decision about anything.

    Mature and responsible Govt is about management by consensus and listening to the electorate who bestowed the honour on our politicians to represent them in the management of our country. We had it, and you through it away for a one man rule, in the last election. Remember that excessive expenditure on infrastructure is not wasted or lost expenditure, like the $65.0m Boatswain’s Beach investment of the country’s money. Infrastructure can be amortized out over many decades and we all reap the benefits of that type of investment. The PPM was the first Govt since the senventies who invested in infrastructure so why do you crucify them for it.

    Give Kurt a break because the alternative is going to take Cayman into its darkest period in history as crime, self interest and corruption takes over as our current leadership are really achieving very little whilst they are looking out for only themselves and what is in it for them.

    Admit a terrible mistake in the last election and correct the wrong by supporting honesty and good ethics to take Cayman forward into our future.

    • REALLY KURT says:

      You’ve got to be joking, Kurt to save this country like he saved us the last time he was in power right. No man stop making me laugh unna bunch of jokers. The only person that can save us now is GOD.

  30. Knowledge is Power says:

    The people who voted for the UDP and independents also bear a great deal of the responsibility for what happens in the Cayman Islands since May 2009 until the next general election. The country elected 8 UDP MLA’s + one independent MLA against the PPM’s 5 MLA’s.  So if you voted for the majority, now you are also responsible to put pressure on them to listen to your concerns.  To sit back and ponticate about the PPM is a total waste of time.  They are not in charge now — the people you elected are!

  31. Ping-Pong says:

    It is Alive!!!!!!!

  32. what a mess says:

    Thanks for stepping up Kurt…to do your job! I was beginning to think you were going to allow Mac to just do whatever he wants. I can well imagine the frustration you must sometimes feel…but so do we the people.

    We need to take Mr. Bryants advice…and PPMs advice here and pay down the deficit over time…not this sell off that Mac is proposing just so he doesn’t have to talk to/with the UK FCO.

    This is not to say that i am PPM…nor do i support everything the PPM supports. But i support almost nothing the UDP supports as they seem to have no long term plan at all…other than to enrich themselves. So in this case i’m going to support anyone who is against selling off profitable and/or needed govt. assets…PPM and Independents!

    And the deafening silence from all other UDP indicates we Cayman is currently being ruled Dictator style!

    I’ll be at the meeting tommorow night…and at the march on 6th March…and sign the petition if this current Govt. cannot come up with some sensible plan to balance the budget (over a reasonable period of time).

    Thanks for taking the lead here PPM (current) and Chuckie. And hoping that other PPM (past) and Independents will add their support.

  33. au revoir says:

    how many times do you have to bang your head against the wall before you finally understand that the wall is not going anywhere???  you people still don’t get it…  the PPM and UDP are cut of the same cloth.  get rid of both parties and start afresh with people who are visionaries, not reactionaries.  these silly arguments about the PPM and UDP are a waste of everyone’s time.  go ahead, take out the UDP and reinstall the PPM.  see how fast that gets you to nowhere…

    • au revoir says:

      be my guests – keep knocking.  looks like most of you still think that the wall is going to move.  btw, the definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again, hoping for a different result. 

      • Rorschach says:

        Sorry, I have to disagree with you…that is the definition of INSANITY…

        • au revoir says:

          you’re absolutely right, it is the definition of insanity, but it serves the purpose for "stupidity" as well – it is/should be interchangeable.  ultimately, whether it is stupid or insane to think that the PPM is going to do better than the UDP is irrelevant – the fact of the matter is, cayman needs better leadership than what any of the two parties has to offer…  and unless cayman receives significantly better leadership, the place is going to sink like hindenburg – i mean the titanic šŸ˜‰

      • Shock and Awe says:

        No 14:40.  That’s the definition of insanity.  In this case insanity refers to expecting the same people who didn’t have a grasp last time to have a better grasp next time, and all they did was change hands. And sleep for four years.

        It’s scientifically proven it takes about four years to forget how painful it is banging your head against the wall.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Kurt, I hope that you read these pages or that someone in your party tells you what is being written. 

    I want you to know that the most important thing for me as a Caymanian and a voter is that the criminals who are destroying our country have to be taken off the streets and put away for a very very long time.

    We have no future, our children have no future, and Cayman has no future unless and until these criminals are lockedup. These criminals threaten our lives, our childrens lives, our tourism sector and every other aspect of our economy.

    We need very tough new legislation to combat these criminals and we need it now. We need much longer prison sentences for violent criminals and we need an end to any chance of parole for any person who commits violent crime. Once the criminals are locked away with no chance of parole for the next 30 years, then you can have your committee meetings and discuss your strategies as long as you want.   

     

    • Anonymous says:

      You are so  right…" Kurt I hope that  you read" .

      Where is cry for our sexual abused children? Where is the cry for our children who is failng school? where is the cry for the jobs for the capable  Caymanian? where is the cry to for tougher legislationto help combat this crime wave that is sweeping though Cayman?.  WHERE?. These are some of the things that we the voters want you to stand up and do something about!!! 

    • Anonymous says:

      I am no Caymanian but I stand right behind you and applaud you for your sentiments (which I echo).

      Well said, I do hope Kurt reads this too. 

  35. Anonymous says:

    I cannot see how the udp do not understand why it is a very bad idea to sell the new government building. What government pays in rent now will go to paying the mortage on the new building. Within 8 or 10 years we will have paid off the mortage & own the new building, & NOT HAVE TO PAY ANYMORE RENT! And we will own the building! How difficult is that to understand? There must be some hidden reason why Mckeeva Bush & the udp insist on selling that building! I wonder which real estate company will get the commission for the sale of that building (WOW, that’s a lot of money) & other government assets? Surely, even the other members of the udp can see this? This is not about the udp or the ppm, this is about Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let’s hope that whomever gets it does so in an open and transparent manner and not through some back door deal.

      They tried that with the Port Development and I’m watching the sale of this building and to whom to see if I can’t spot the motive for the insistence of sale.

  36. Anonymous says:

    direct taxes here we come

    • Anonymous says:

      Dont say "direct taxes " too loud. Any excuse is better than none at all. Just say "cut down on all the unecessary spending" such as the SECURITY GUARDS, THE HOTELS, AND NOT TO MENTION THOSE FAT SALARYS.

    • Ping-Pong says:

      Direct tax? So! I dont mind paying a few dollars more towrads our country. Damm, lets get on with it Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        You obviously don’t have any idea of the rammifications of direct tax, especially if it’s payroll tax, on the business climate here.  Do you mind fishing and basket weaving for a living?

  37. Stupid does as stupid says says:

    Yes, let’s go to Britain and tell them we can’t manage our deficit.   That is a recipe for economic ruin.  We either sell the building or accept direct taxation (and watch the quality drain from our offshore industry).  Kurt was a waste of (a large) space as LOGB.

    • Bobby Anonymous says:

      Yup, and what are we going to sell next time??

      • Anonymous says:

        Just cut the civil service by 25%.  Cut the remainder’s salaries by 25% and reduce their benefits.

        • civil servant says:

          If you were a civil servant would u want yours cut when we are working all Night u be home sleeping XXXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      The Emperor has no clothes. There is no need to tell the UK that we can’t manage our deficit. That is glaringly obvious to anyone.

      Do you remember when we were crime free? How many years of criminal activity did it take before people were forced to admit that we were no longer crime free?

      Do you remember when we had no gangs? They were just rowdy kids that were passing through a phase. Does anyone believe the shooting up of young people is just youthful exuberance or do we call it gang activity?

      I’m not saying that we can’t manage our deficit, but there is certainly an unwillingness to manage the deficit. When our Premier, who has no background in finance whatsoever, told the UK that he could balance the budget in one year, did anyone really believe him?

      I have really heard enough of these scare tactics about the UK are going to impose taxes on us if we don’t sell off our valuable assets that would save us a lot of money in the years ahead. The last time I heard anything that outrageous was when 3000 status grants were handed out like candy with the excuse that the UK would have granted even more if something wasn’t done.

      It’s rather ironic that it is the same flapping lips singing the direct taxation song.

  38. Anonymous says:

    These guys are merely capitalising on their own previous failures.  The new government has bothched the handling of challenges created by the previous government, and now the previous problem players want crack at fixing the mess they started.  I say give it to them and let it hang around their neck.  Things are going to get harder here regardless of which government riding around in the fancy suv’s with flags.  What a shame. We need a real leader in this Country. Vassel Johnson is rolling in his grave.  Where are the young leaders, somebody to stand for hope.  Somebody to "do" rather than to "take". There must be someone. I’ve met many great elder Caymanians one of them must have raised a hero. We need that hero to stand up and lead.

  39. Anonymous says:

    You rent the island from the U.K., why not rent a building? Perhaps this question is too much truth to handle.

  40. Fed Up but Optomistic says:

    Alternate headlines for your story CNS:

    "Opposition Comes Out of the Closet",

    "Sleeping Giant Awakens"

    "Its About Time"

    "Whilst the Premier Goes Skiing, the Country Moves Ahead Without Him"

    or

    "At the Eleventh Hour, Opposition Leader Has Had Enough"

  41. Anonymous says:

    About time Mister Kurt.  We need your guidance at this crucial time in our country.  Mister Bush has lost his way.  We need to keep our land and buildings in Caymanian hands.

    • sam says:

      lol…

      Some people so gullible to follow like sheep!  They don’t learn when bitten twice!  How in the world, would you all of a sudden resort to supporting PPM!  We need fresh faces in power and people who can run a country!  Not people who can handle our budget situation, and start massive projects that will put us into more debt!

      lol… As a Caymanian, seeing these ignorant Caymanians make such "GLORIOUS REMARKS" about the PPM, I laugh myself stupid!  It is like them jumping from one hot pan into the next! No one has considered other options for another new and fresh party-system, or getting rid of the party system altogether!

  42. Lachlan MacTavish says:

     Kurt….it is great to see the opposition finally speaking. I do not support either party but support individuals. IMHO some assets need to be sold off, the cost to the country for the civil service/entitlemnts needs to be brought down to normal standards and % of budgets.  New income and sustainable CIG taxes should be inacted in order to allow any CIG to traverse local and global issues, stay over tourism must be revitilized AND most importantly crime must be addressed now.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Well, it is about time that we see the PPM try to action their position as the opposition in government! This is their responsibility and a job that we pay them well to do. I hope that Kurt and colleagues will continue to step up to the plate and fully understand the seriousness of what is taking place in this country and do everything in their power to circumvent the idiotic proposals being put forward by the UDP governement.

    It is heartening to read the excerp from the UK’s Overseas Territories Minister, Chris Bryant’s letter in the CNS news story:  “I urge you to ensure the long term costs of such action are fully weighed against the short term benefits,” Bryant wrote last year.  “As I know you well understand, my concern in this matter is to ensure the sustainability of CIG public finances.  For the most part this is reflected in our application of Borrowing Guidelines but 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.”  I trust that Mr Bryant will indeed take a keen interest and also take whatever steps are necessary to prevent such misguided actions by the present administration.

    Let me state that I am not a Caymanian who is brainwashed against the UK and neither do I suffer from a colonial type mentality. I am educated enough and sensible enough to understand and accept that the so called "leaders" we had the misfortune to elect to head our government, either in the recent past or at present, are by no means capable of functioning responsibly in the important roles that they have been placed in.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Be careful about how you say we had the misfortune to elect the head of our Government, either in the recent past or at present, let me tell you something, PPM  would have taking Chris Bryant advice and also PPM would have present their plans to the people of Cayman before making any foolished moves to action them like the UDP is doing. So I would say except PPM, I would not call a misfortune, I would say we were very fortunate to have them serve us for four years, but  some Caymanians made a mistake and voted in the one man Goverment with stupid plans in his head, now that is a misfortune my friend. And I appreciate the fact that you are not Brainwashed like some of our Caymanians about the relationship between Cayman and the UK, Macdinejad wants us to believe we have a bad relationship with the Mother Country, and lets pray that his plans for us to believe that fails him miserably also.