Mac reveals $56M deficit

| 25/02/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman headline news, Cayman finance(CNS): Update 1:50 pm — Answering a question by the opposition in the Legislative Assembly Thursday this morning, Premier McKeeva Bush admitted that his government was facing a deficit of $56.1 million for the end of the 2009/10 financial year. He said the forecast was based on a serious decline in revenue. Despite a reduction in government spending of around $9 million, as predicted at the time of the budget statement in October, the decline in government earnings is forecast to leave a significant hole in its finances, which Bush said had to be filled by the sale of government assets. "If we do not achieve the sale, he said, " this budget will fail."

The ever present question of the on-going state of government finances was brought in to sharp focus in the LA on Wednesday morning, 25 February, when the premier revealed the latest figures on the government’s accounts. He said the Cayman Islands government revenue was now forecast to be some $72 million less than had been predicted when the UDP administration brought its first budget following the general election in October 2009. At that time projections had suggested the Treasury was expected to earn around $562 million from core government revenue. That forecast has now been reduced to $490 million. Balanced then with revenue and losses for the statutory authorities as well as a reduction in government spending of $9million, the 2009/10 financial year-end balance is set to be in deficit to the tune of $56 million, as opposed to the $5million surplus that government had forecast when it first brought the budget.

Bush said government was seeking to cut spending further before the year-end in an effort to bring down the figure as he was not content with the $9 million reduction. “Government will be examining the costs again with a view to reducing them further over the coming months,” Bush stated, adding that this deficit forecast was down to a fall off in revenues and not a loss of control in spending. He said the need to divest government assets was critical in order to ensure government would have enough cash in the bank at the end of the year to meet the Public Management and Finance Law requirement that says government must not only balance the budget but have enough money to cover 90 days worth of government operating costs.

He criticized the PPM for their opposition to the divestment of government assets and said it was easy and popular move. “Of course it’s popular for him to oppose it," the premier said of Alden McLaughlin, who had asked the question about the state of government finances. Bush said government did not want to utilize assets to put the cash in the bank, but if he didn’t do it there would be no money to pay bills and the UK would force taxation and civil service cuts. He said government policy was to attract investment back to the country not divest assets, but that the opposition were throwing up road blocks in the way.

“You can grin, you can laugh and you can march,” he yelled across the floor ofthe House to opposition members," but those are the facts.”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What happens when there’s nothing left to sell?

    CNS: This is an interesting comment, but rather than keep posting it in various threads I’ll happily post it as a viewpoint if you send me a pen name via email here.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So wha Mac saying to his wonderful lackeys now? Them same ones he was praising for giving us a magically created balanced budget with a $5M surplus?!

  3. Jacob Mils says:

    Folks

    I may get a lot of thumbs down for this, but I have to say this!

    Both parties, UDP and PPM have allowed the government to increase like a fat cat!  They have failed to contain the size of the Civil Service, put a cap on their big salaries, and at least privatize certain non-essential government serviceswhere the government could have at least become of shareholder, not having to spend at all to maintain the services.

    Now we are talking about re-electing the PPM party and overthrowing the UDP.  Folks, that is like taking per one step forward, two steps back!  No one can tell me that the expenditures of schools, roads, the administrative building in George Town – all massive projects, did not contributed to our economic crisis as well as the global recession, Ivan, and Paloma. You would have to be so blind by partisanship to come up with an elementary excuse that these things did not contribute! I recall during an LA meeting how Mac brought up the news of an impending global recession and requested for his opposition to reduce spending and ease-off with the country’s projects. We all knew what happened! Kurts reply  to Mac was a negative reply. He said to the effect, "No way!" The costly projects must go on!

    Not defending Mac, who is making between 15,000 to 20,000 a month, and has allowed the government to pay for his own cook and housekeeper, BUT WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU WANT TO PUT PPM BACK INTO POWER???  All I am saying folks, is that these two parties have not done enough!

    INDEPENDENTS NEED TO GET ON THE BALL!  IF WE REALLY LOVE THIS COUNTRY, WE WILL SPEAK OUT AGAINST BOTH PARTIES!

    THINK!  Use your common-sense and stop this partisan bull!  It will ruin and end up dividing the country!

    • Live Free.... says:

      Jacob, I give you thumbs down, however, I only could agree with you on 2 things that did contribute to this massive economic crisis.1.Ivan, now this whole Island was completely damage beyond recognition and if the PPM did not spend on the roads, schools and assisting the people in getting their homes and their businesses back together, we would still be the same way today, but take a look around and see how beautiful the Island has turn out under PPM Reign. 2. Paloma the same can be said as in that of the Ivan recovery, look at the Brac today, it looks like they never been through a Cat 4 Hurricane, thanks again to PPM. This spending my friend was necessary and no one should argue with that and use it against PPM. And also the recession came during the Paloma year, so how then can you blame the economy crisis on PPM? If the schools, the new Government building and the roads without the recession and with the exception of Paloma, was the only projects that the PPM was spending on during their four years, the Cayman Islands would be sitting good financially, yes there would still be a deficit no matter what, but it sure wouldn’t be 83 million, I would say maybe 18 million or less. And there would not be no need for a high increase in revenue for that would have meet the budget year 2008/09 requirements.

      So the people in Cayman need to be careful in being brainwashed by some Politicians, especially those of the UDP Party, whom same to love blaming PPM for the financial crisis. And like I had said before, the Schools, Roads and the new Government building could not be blame for this crisis, for these projects could not cause the deficit to be that high in four years, just listen to the figure of 83 million dollars!!! That is not a little bit of money my friend, so it is pure foolishness to blame the opposition for the financial crisis! It makes me sad when people like you beat up on them for only doing good things for the people of these Islands, shame on you for blaming them for that. And please give the Civil Service a break, how would you feel if your boss put a cap on your salary, I’m not no civil servant and the cost of living in Cayman is too high and cutting their salaries would not help the economy, why? Because they would cut back on their spending just like you if your salary was cap.

      • Jon says:

        Hmmm…

        I note you did not mention anything about Kurt’s reply to McKeeva when he adamantly pursued the projects, which costed millions. This was after McKeeva advised him not to do so because of the impending U.S. crisis effecting us.

        You speak as one of those "blind" followers for the PPM party. You apparently have some sympathies for them, and feel sorry for them.

        What a pity!

        • Live Free.... says:

          Jon, for your info I’m not any party supporter, but I know a good party when I see one and the UDP is not that party. And Mckeeva only oppose Kurt about the projects because he don’t like progress as you can see by his performance today, he stopped everything and introduce some dangerous policies and you know them. And that’s why the people of Cayman is going to march on the 13 of March to the Glass House, for him to reverse those dangerous policies he plans to put in place. You need to pay more attention to what is really going on, before posting any comments especially to me because I understand Politics.

  4. Victor E says:

    This PPM and UDP fun and games is so funny.  Caymanians are unwilling to cut the civil service and instead are running the protectionist card pushed by Hazzard Miller which will end up costing Caymanians jobs.  Ah well the country will run out of money, look to the offshore industry to pay for an overfat civil service while turning away job opportunities under the guise of "fair trade".  Taxing the offshore businesses will just drive their customers away and the spiral Hazzard has already encouraged will only get worse.  Opening up markets is the right thing to do, closing them done is the stupid populist route. 

    This weekend’s homework boys and girls.  Write a sentence using the words : Hazzard Miller, stupid and populist.

  5. Anonymous says:

    they dont know what the amount is because the premier has commented two different amounts. quote from the compass,

    ""According to figures presented by Premier McKeeva Bush in response to a parliamentary question posed Thursday morning in the Legislative Assembly, the total operating deficit in Cayman’s public sector had reached more than $73 million between 1 July, 2009 and 31 December, 2009 – the first half of the fiscal year""

    so if they do not know how are we too, i see a setup for taxes coming this year aswell as pay cuts and layoffs, premier has dropped the hint in different forms now, accept it and also more exits of business and people, not just expats will leave, caymanians will have to go elsewhere to find work, how do you think they will be treated,, think about that

     

  6. Anonymous says:

    solution=casinos

    (but civil service must be cut too, their incompetence must be punished not rewarded)

    • Oh Shoot says:

      The incompetent Civil Servants will in turn be the Casino workers. It’s all part of the overall plan.

  7. Anonymous says:

    why did mac refuse the civil service offer of a 2% pay cut????

    if he can’t even accept this ‘offer’ we have no hope at all…..

    this is proof of incompetence and economic mis-mangement and should be a resignation matter…….

    • Anonymous says:

      Sar 10:14.

      Because they never made it? Can you direct us all to where this offer can be confirmed as having been made………by whom and on behalf of whom and at with whose authorisation??

  8. Anonymous says:

    MacKeeva, Why in God’s name did you take on Finance? You had Rolston there with an Accounting degree, why not put him in charge of Finance? and Mark in charge of Education?  In these harsh economic times you need to curve the spending and tighten the belt, but you as Premier is spending out of control.  Why is it you are making this Premiership go to your head so much? you came from humble beginnings and you knows what its like not to have, so why not exercise your knowledge of hard times in todays economic situations? There are things that should be done, first starting with cutting the elected member pay for about 6 months, let the Civil servants pay 20% on their medical, let them pay 2.5% on their pension, cut all those free travelling family member and past connections to Cayman Airways, sell Boatswaine, it serves NO purpose to Cayman, keep the turtle farm, though for obvious reasons. Turtles cannot lay eggs in lighted areas and noise around them. Reduce the Civil Service by getting rid of the non-Caymanians, sell the hospital, sell the Sewage systems, the dump, combine the PWD with other essential services, Sell the NRA to Island Paving or ARCP sell the WB corner lots, curve the travelling and excessive spendings and see where you go from there. Try listening to your OWN people and you will be further ahead. Work with the PPM party as a family, not as the enemy.  You ought to take the time and listen to yourself as you gets so defensive when others question you, especially the PPM members. Leadership for ones people comes from within oneself and you needs to lead by listening to us the voting public and your opposition.  Start now MacKeeva and listen…to lead!

    • anony says:

      8:19 you must be a republican.

      You have put Cayman Up for sale . Selling the dump is in good taste. Selling the sewage, to create rake hikes? Not a good idea. Laying off expats? Yes a good idea smaller government, why import bigger government, Makes no sense..

      Sell the hospital? You’re a nut! Every country must have government health care services to offer its citizens they get price gauged with private hospital high rates. so that suggestion is definitely a No No ! It can’t happen we would lynch any government that tries that. Such action would cause a revolution.

      Cut Big Mac and the MLA’s pay Yes, good idea.

      The turtle farm needs an investor to partner with government.

      Bottom line,

      What’s the use of Rolston and Cline having degrees in economics or finance if they’re just going to be manikins collecting high pay and is of no use to the people of the Cayman Islands.

      Why does an uneducated person get to sit at the wheel and the educated persons take orders? I don’t get it.The answer, is clear, the man is a dictator and controls younger more vulnerable and timid personalities. this of course excludes  Mr. Ezzard Miller, a man with guts.

      We can not keep displacing the gifts and talent of persons elected to our legislature. This man is just simply exploiting the people and the power afforded him.

       

  9. Scrooge McDuck says:

    After sifting through the Premier’s statement.  And carefully analysing the figures with the purpose in mind of comparing revenue vs. expenditure.  I sat down and studied everything carefully.  Here is my conclusion as a duck:

    WE’RE QUACK BROKE!!!

    Comparing the budget predictions given immediately following the election with the present statement of the financial situation.  Just a few months after the aforementioned prediction.  It would appear to a duck:

    WHAT THE QUACK WAS HE TALKING ABOUT!?

    I followed that up with reading the posts from the many, many, many, contributors. The result is as a duck I believe:

    MANY MANY QUACK PEOPLE ARE QUACK PI$$ED OFF

    In carefully surveying the results of the poll vis a vis the performance of the present Premier it appears:

    HE REALLY QUCKED-UP

    But that’s just as a duck.

     

  10. RVT-D (scratching head) says:

    Some people are suggesting massive civil servant layoffs. I know the CS is bloated now but this is not the time to make such a drastic move and add to the growing number of un-employed.

    An alternative to massive layoffs we could let the CS contribute to their own pensions/insurance. Why all these bloated benefits and sense of entitlement? Better yet, there should be temporary salary cuts across all levels of the CS – not just central government but also the authorities. Not sure of percentages but I would imagine 5-20%. Something like:

     

    5% cut on salaries < 5000 p/m

    10% cut on sararies 5000-8999 p/m

    15% cut on salaries 9000-12999 p/m

    20% cut on salaries >= 13000 p/m

     

    This would just be a temporary measure until better times, at which time there would be a salary review. Examples of reduction figures based on above proposal:

     

    $4000 reduced by 5% to $3800

    $7000 reduced by 10% to $6300

    $11000 reduced by 15% to $9350

    $14000 reduced by 20% to $11250

     

    Can anyone honestly say that they cannot make some sort of a lifestyle adjustment to be able to survive on these lower figures instead?

     

    I know this would not be pleasing to CS but at least they would still have a job and our people would be closer to having a solvent government without UK breathing down our necks over the next few years. If they don’t like it they can always browse the classifieds to find something better in the private sector. In so doing, the CS could possibly start it’s self-out reduction without us forcing people out of their jobs.
     

  11. Anonymous says:

    I cant understand why the Government is having a cash flow problem. Are we not now converting our garbage into a much more valuable commodity?

    Or is the Government blind to what is happening with this too?

    If anyone thinks that the Matrix deal was a scandal, just wait until this one comes to light.

  12. G Man says:

    I am afraid Cayman is doomed or at least destined for a much lower standard of living.

    Most Cayman voters are in some way reliant on either a government job or direct support. Since the U.K underwrites your borrowing, they can force the gov’t to drastically shrink the civil service whenever they want, once the tap is turned off , that’s all she wrote.

    All of this idiotic talk of Independence is a waste of time. The UK will never let this happen as long as they are on the hook for a billion dollars of cayman government debt. Furthermore, NO-ONE, and i repeat NO-ONE would lend a dime to an independent Cayman after defaulting on a billion dollar debt. If the U.K goes, so does the loan guarantee, and its immediate bankruptcy. Cayman would become a banana republic overnight under this scenario, and the U.K will help themselves to most, if not all cayman assets to cover their losses. True, maybe Cayman would have no debt in the end, but no assets either.

    Cayman has ZERO bargaining chips with the U.K so stop pretending that you do, it gets boring after a while.

     Cayman made huge mistake creating the government as the first resort hire for the locals. This created far too big a voting block of people reliant on government, hence these constant "popular" policies of soaking business and foreign workers first, foremost and always. Well the gov’t has just been given a dose of reality: you can’t kill the goose that laid the golden Egg.

    A friend of mine was formerly  top level up in gov’t finance/accounting (he reported to head of Government business directly) and when I asked how many gov’t employees could be eliminated and this was the answer. "You could terminate 1/2 of government employees with no discernible change to services, as long as it was the 50% or so that currently do little to no work at all". I was shocked to hear that essentially all of the work is being done by half the people. Well i guess we all know how many people need to be canned. Cayman could save ten of millions having 3000 of these useless workers on welfare instead of on a white collar executive’s wages. At least that way they wouldn’t have to go through the "indignity" of working for a low wage, they could sit at home and do the same as they did for the government…absolutely nothing!

    I figure the only way to cure many Caymanians of this delusional superiority complex is to go through a generation or two of hardship again. I believe its coming

     

     

     

     

  13. Anonymous says:

    Please read the below web link then think long and hard about what this country’s economy needs.

    http://www.yogonet.com/english/2010/02/16/bahamas-tourism-minister-explains-recipe-for-casino-success

    • Dennis Smith says:

      Thanks for the link.

      Imagine actually doing something that makes a Caymanian vacation fun. Off the top of my head I can’t imagine anything else that will revitalize Cayman tourism as dynamically or as quickly. I can think of a few properties that could be put into service quickly.


      • Joe Average says:

        yep.  maybe the answer is too clear to comprehend.  casinos=employment +$$$$=getting out of debt but oh no we’re god-fearing people and we’d rather rattle on about the price of turtle meat.

  14. Fanning the Flames says:

    Hey, if the NRA are sitting around doing nothing and will be for some time according to the Minister, why not allow them to take on private contracts and make a little profit for a while? Surely they could undercut some of the private paving firms like ARCP and find some work to pay themselves for a while.

    Oh, that’s right, never mind.

    • Anonymous says:

      "Fanning the Flames" your comment is so true I wish I could have voted for it more than once.

      Now that is a bunch of rubbish, got employees that are sitting around and giving all the paving work to ARCP.  I hope it is all going through the right process and not just been giving to ARCP becuase of who the owner is.  I will continue to look and see if they get all contracts or if NRA or Island Paving gets any.  I can say that when PPM was the government the contracts were done through the correct process because ARCP got many of the contracts.

      I know the UDP big supports can’t say they are being taking care of.  UDP government is sure giving wht they promised before the elections. 

  15. Anonymous says:

    I have the scoop! I spoke with someone "in the know" about the Civil Service Pension Fund (CSPF) and was told that the fund CANNOT invest in real estate. That explains Mac’s "the building is for sale" then "we are not selling the building" a few days later.

    Apparently the CSPF can invest in more liquid and income-producing ventures. The current talks revolve around the CSPF "partnering" with a bank or someone and their "ownership" of the building (this part seems a bit fuzzy still because of the CSPF rules) will result in them receiving a steady stream of income, ie rent from government, which would in turn be used to pay the monthly pensions of retired Civil Servants. These rent payments from CIG would then become a suitable "investment" for the CSPF.

    From what I can gather there are many hurdles to overcome and it is not a given that it will come to fruition.

    I can only hazard a guess that no rich benefactor in the private sector wants to risk buying a building with a tenant that might not be able to make rent payments in the future, so Mac is hanging his hat on CSPF pulling him out of the mess that he has gotten himself, or more precisely us, into.

    CSPF administrators are not going to be bullied by Mac, but they do realize that if the government fails that ultimately they will fail as well.

    We do live in interesting times.

  16. Anonymous says:

    How about we start balancing the budget by selling Mac’s condo at the Ritz !

    • Anonymous says:

      What about Elio’s new Mercedes? Maybe we could sell that before he loses his job and can’t afford the payments.

      After his "performance" in the house yesterday his days must be numbered.

      Or is it Three Strikes you are out!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Great idea ! If we use the UDP’s theory on the sale of assets between Elio’s Mercedes and Mac’s Ritz  and Britannia condo’s we could balance the budget in no time! 

        Let’s get them listed, someone has even helped us write the advertisement for the SUV.

         

        Mercedes FOR SALE

        BRAND NEW

        MLA’s car is for sale.  But.

        I haven’t paid for it.

        So I don’t actually own it.

        But if you buy it and give me the money.

        I’ll drive it.

        And give you a little money each month.

        Then eventually it will be my car.

        Serious Inquiries Only.

    • Anonymous says:

      Condo or condos?Isn’t it three condos?

    • Anonymous says:

      Idiots like you we can do without in this country…

  17. PPM=Rhetoric no solutions says:

    It is my understanding that the PPM is strongly advocating a massive reduction in the CIVIL service the majority of whom are already strugling Caymanians; for those civil servants supporting the PPM i can only say Be careful what you wish for…… 

    • Anonymous says:

      Until PPM announces that, thats when i will believe you

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, it was Arden that told the UDP that this one year budget was unrealistic, raising duties and cutting civil service was not the way to go during these hard economic times. As it would only lead to unemployed Caymanians, higher cost of living and more unnecessary hardships.

        He then suggested UDP go bad and revise their plan. They did not listen.

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t hold your breath, they won’t state so publickly because they understand that this would amount to political suicide but they are hoping that the UDP do it.

    • Anonymous says:

      NOWHERE has the PPM advocated massive cuts in the civil service, so please stop your malicious lies. I’ve been following you on these forums and the vast majority of your posts are pure drivel, UDP propaganda and full of lies.

      Please stop listening to everything your dear leader and his attack dogs say, then adding on conjecture from your own sick mind and turning that dangerous combination into a comment on CNS that people might actually believe!

      • PPM=Rhetoric no solutions says:

        I’ve been following you too and you seem to be the PPM propaganda machine…you should listen more closely to your Party leaders when they speak, specially alden comments to the premier yesterday.

      • Anonymous says:

        correct, ppm has advocated nothing…typical ppm..no solutions

    • Anonymous says:

      There should be a massive reduction of the (massive) civil service.  I’m not PPM or UDP but anyone can see that its needed and that in itself would make a massive difference to Cayman’s current financial predicament.  Or perhaps we should protect the jobs of all these ‘poor struggling Caymanians’ at the expense of the entire country’s economy and possibly resulting in the UK taking back the reins?  Don’t you see that by not making the cuts that any efficient business would make (overstaffing) the Premier is hammering nails into Cayman’s own coffin? 

      At the very least civil servants should have to pay their own pensions and life insurance contributions just like everybody else – I wonder what just doing that would save (and thus reduce the country’s deficit)?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!! The sky is falling. Quick everybody panic!!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Was it really PPM fault why  this country is in this mess or is it the finaicial secretary and his crew .they are the ones that have to present the budget they are the ones that should be in control of the spending thats happening I’M sorry but but Mr. Jefferson and his team needs  to answer to the people of this country.Mr Bush i’m sick and tired of hearing you running your mouth off and it time for the people of this country to take control and save it.  Mr. Bush did you ask your finiacial team what happen because surely hell some one head should  be on the chopping block.

    • Anonymous says:

      (a) neither the Financial Secretary or his crew have to present a budget, the Minister of Finance does.

      (b) neither the Financial Secretary or his crew control spending, that rests in the hands of the various Chief Officers in Government — none of which report to the Financial Secretary or his crew.

      (c) Mr. Bush doesn’t need to ask his financial team what happened because he knows what happened — this is as a result of failed Government policies, not the people who prepare the documents that communicate what those policy decisions were.

      (d) How about you keep your mouth shut until you find a topic to discuss that you actually have a clue about.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Bullying???

    Did I hear right?  Did I hear Mac threat the civil servants by saying something like ‘you’d better stop shoo shooing if you know what good for yah’.  My goodness, I guess its not only Gordon Brown that can be labeled a bully.

  21. Anonymous says:

    ‘I man born yah’ is a song written by Pluto  Shervington and used by Michael Manley in his campaign in 1975.  However by 1976 the situation in Jamaica had deteriorated so badly that even Shervington had migrated to the USA. Given the financial path that Mac is currently on as well as the burgeoning crime in Cayman, combined with theuse of this song in what appeared to be a ‘campaign speech’,  could this mean that any of us with brains should be considering migrating elsewhere.  Alternatively we could learn from history and get Mac and his ineffective team out of our government and put someone with a educated and  sustainable plan in there.

    • anony says:

      I man born ya.

      I man staying ya.

      Big Mac and his croonies must leave through the upcoming March   on March 13h  or in 2013, one way or THE OTHER !

      A March in the month  of March ! Well even nature is crying out against what’s happening!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Responsibility equal Accountability!!! 

    Eight months ago, Mac grabbed all the Ministries that supported the economy of Cayman and declared that as Minister of Finance he would be responsible.  Now that he has clearly got it so wrong we are asking him to be accountable.  Instead of addressing the concerns of his people he’s asking for more time with the only proposal that he sells more and more of the country’s assets.  Unless Mas is able to provide us with a proper sustainable plan that will put this country back on a path to success he must go!!  Responsibility must equal accountability!!  

     

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      A great many voters and knowledgeable people feel that the next "cash crunch" for the CIG will have a much deeper line drawn in the sand and it will be crunch time….no more band aids. With the not surprising revelation of a 50m+ deficit over a few months it should be obvious to everyone that the CIG cannot even tread water. To many capital projects during a world reccessionary time, a bloated over benefited government payroll, an entitlement society after 3 decades of prosperity, CIG projects with millions in over runs and cronnie pocket padding, CIG red ink investments like CAL, Turtle Farm, Pedro’s…which just cannot be sustained any longer, too much focus on just the financial services and not enough focus on tourism, an antiquted tax/fee/duty system that even with a fiscal responsible CIG it probably would not be able to sustain the CIG especially with the world situation and a electoral system that the island has grown out of. Along with the above we have "one man" running the country. We should have 5 ministers and an opposition running the country. 

      It is my opinion that our country cannot continue down this road for another 3 years. Ok…I have critized so here are some suggestions.

      ** Stop the capital projects except for the schools until solid income and fiscal responsibility is achieved. ** Have an objective independent mediator explain to teh CIG that there must be hard changes in order for the CS to continue. Better to have a job with reduced benefits than no job. ** Increase the auditors powers in order to get the waste under control. ** privitze certain CIG departments…not just for income but for future long term budget management. ** get teh CIG under control with checks and balances then have a constant income stream like a "land tax" so budgeting can be achieved. ** Re focus on tourism and new income streams for the CIG and finally some how we have to get back to a cabinet running the country.

      This needs to be sooner than later or more serious pain is ahead…..

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Lach,

        I agree with most of what you say except finishing the schools.

        Now is a time to cut back on spending.  We should be in full crisis mode.

        The minister of Education says that we do not need any more space for students therefore the existing schools will do us just fine in these tough times. 

        The  new schools will cost at least 70 million dollars more to finish.  That figure does not take into account the fixtures, furniture and equipment needed to run the schools.  That will likely be another 10 million dollars.  On top of that you will have operational costs which could be enormous considering the size of the facilities.  The CUC bill alone will probably give the minister a heart attack.

        With a deficit of 56 million dollars and growing the last thing we should do is continue building these two palaces.

        I would rather we board up the buildings so they are weather tight until such time that we can afford them.  They should not deteriorate since all that is there is concrete shells.

        • Rising From the Ashes says:

          The Minister knows full well that we do in fact need the schools. He knows exactly how many children are in the Primary Schools and how overcrowded they are. You are delusional if you think these were being built purely on wants rather than needs.

        • Lachlan MacTavish says:

           13;27….there is a good argument for shutting down all capital projects until we are stable. I have been very frustrated over the years that when we were "flush" in the great times our country did not focus on eduaction. Wealthy Caribbean country that could have easily moved that generation half way up the ladder in one fell swoop. You could very well be correct…..if we keep falling short 5-10m a month where will we end up. I have pondered in the past that our society seems to be either full speed ahead or full stop. If that is the case then "full stop" makes huge sense right now

        • RVT-D (scratching head) says:

          I think it’s a bit more than just concrete shells; and the minister does not want to loose the waranty on all this work/equipment, which could also cost millions down the road.

           

          I say the schools are needed and should continue. I say cut civil service compensation and benefits NOW. That is a HUGE portion of our recurring expenditures. At least until times get a little better. Private sector is laying off for crying out load. If they can do this then certainly CS can take a paycut. They just need to make a lifestyle adjustment to match their slightly lower pay.

           

          I agree that CUC bills will be huge. Maybe the honorable minister should sacrifice some of the aesthetic features and spring for a few hundred thousand dollars to install a solar powered solution that will pay for itself over the years.

        • Anonymous says:

          I could not agree more.  First of all, the reason given for these schools was to help alleviate the traffic from the eastern districts.  Has anyone who travels on the road every morning thought about the statement.  Parents who go to work in George Town drive their children to town on their way.  Buildng the school in Frank Sound is not going to stop that.  The mothers are still going to have to drive to town, so that is not the real reason.  It is like the new roads.  It started with putting in the East/West Arterial Highway.  Coming from Beach Bay in the morning, things are fairly smooth untilyou get into Savannah.  There is a merge lane left over from before the arterial highway.  Now everyone is still using that lane to cause accidents as well as agressively force themselves one car in front of where they would be normally.  There are excuses given for 4 lanes of westbound traffic from the Spotts roundabout to the Red Bay roundabout, but travelling that route every morning shows me that the people coming from Newlands as well as Prospect all believe they have permanent right of way, so traffic coming off Spotts road have no choice but to sit and wait and that is not fair.  Tell the new government to expend some of their non-existent money to fix this. 

  23. Anonymous says:

    Hello ???

    It was his intention to push Cayman into financial ruins and fail budget all along !  Wake up !  Mac has been pushing for independance since he got in office 9 months ago. Why do you think he has been having a good time spending all our money and touring the world with his entourage?  Broke yet?

    Did you not hear him threaten the new governor "your in my country now" . Then proceed to say that one day our flag will be redesigned without the British symbol. Have you not seen the pendant he wears on his jacket  (he had designed) this is what he says will be our new national flag / crest. Do you not hear him say wants to take the queen off our money? 

    Starting to get the picture?

    Now imagine an independant Cayman (in financial ruins) with this arrogant, self serving dictator at the helm… need I say more.   I can not imagine a worse fate ! Emperor Bush – with his Chavez crazy rulings. 

    What he did not expect was for the majority of his Caymanian people to protest his stupid decisions and lack of leadership. Folks we will get one shot at taking back our island and control our own fate! Whether or not you believe in the PPM  we all need to pull together and protest this government !  

    PPM – may I suggest ? This country is divided and needs new leadership they can feel confident in ! 

    Go Caymanian !  Work on putting an elite qualified team together that could run this country – with a mixture of Independant,  PPM and UDP (Rolston it would be nice to see you there).

    The color is not red or green and blue.  It’s  blue, red and green 

    ONE country  

    One chance 

    One elite team to bring us back from the brink of disaster !!!!!!! 

    Let’s get it right !

  24. Anonymous says:

    I’d just like to make a point that will lead most people to believe that I’m crazy.

    This issue as to keeping the country’s finances in line with "good fiscal governance" as the wackos at Whitehall call it, is simply a method to either:

    a) implement taxes and destroy our finance industry so that London can have our business…remember that London produces 25% of the UK GDP (very important to keep that going)

    or

    b) make us rebel in the end against taxation and go independent…the UK doesn’t really care about us, and just see us as a liability anyway…if you don’t believe me go search for what Captain Underpants says in the Commons hansard

    If the UK had to conform to the "fiscal principles" that they’ve outlined for us, they would have been in contravention since the Act of Settlement in 1701.  Does anyone here really believe that a debt service ratio above 10% is really that horrible?  Most people carry a personal debt service ratio of 40%

    I guarantee you that what will happen is one day Kurt or Mac will go to the UK and be told to implement several taxes.  They’ll come back and tell everyone we either implement taxes or sever ties. 

    We’ll sever ties, and the truth is that it won’t be that bad.  We’ll be fine…

    • durrrr says:

      or

       

      c) we cut the civil service down to a managable size.

       

      This is the only real option, and the sooner the Government realises it, and stops worrying about alienating the electorate, the better.

    • Anonymous says:

      Finally the Premier has had to acknowledge that the global economic environment is what has caused the significant fall off in government revenue over the course of this and the previous fiscal year.  What he must also come to acknowledge, and the sooner the better, is that his government’s asinine decision to attempt to bolster revenues by imposing draconian increases in fees paid by the financial services sector has had a disastrous effect on business.  The result, no matter how much is PR puppet, Tony Travers, attempts to spin it is that the increases have made the Cayman financial services product uncompetitive.  Business flows  are down even more than previously and have resulted in less company, mutual fund and similar fees being paid to Government.  That this would be the likely result was acknowledged by the Financial Secretary when he presented the budget.  But they increased the fees anyway.

      Deficits don’t get carried forward from one year to the next. A deficit is simply the result of spending more money than you earn in a paritcular period.  So the Premier can shout as much as he wants and try to deflect responsibility to his favorite whipping boy, the PPM, but the reality is that this is his budget, his government’sperformance and his deficit.

      The truth is the budget was "Pretend" from the start, put together not based on reality but in a desperate effort to avoid having to sit down and have a frank and difficult talk with the FCO.  Mac is not good at dialogue or negotiations.  Bombast and threats are his stock in trade.

      But his unwillingness to talk to the UK about the way forward over the course of these next, bound to be very difficult years, has put Cayman in a most difficult place because now that his budget has failed he will have to sit down with the UK whether he wants to or not.  And now he will do so from a greatly weakened position.

      The UK has already indicated its concern about selling off key government assets so it will not be happy with the Premier’s determination to do so.  Divesting a critical asset like the new Government Adminstration Building is a terrible idea anyway but in light of the fact that the government now finally admits that its sale will not affect the deficit position one bit, it has to be extreme stupidity to do so.

      The UK is concerned about our non -compliance with the PMF Law and our breaches of various ratios imposed by that legislation such as debt service, net debt ratios and cash reserves as well as failure to produce an operating surplus.  They are concerned about the cost of running government even more than the overall debt.

      So far the Premier has achieved little in reducing the cost of running Government and the deficit is good evidence of that.  So he will have to sit down with the UK after all, something he should have done 9 months ago.  And he must have a plan. 

      He must show how he proposes to reduce the cost of operating government over the next few years and negotiate  a relaxation of these various ratios to allow the government to function during the recovery period.

      Reducing the cost running government is not easy  Massive lay offs of Caymanian civil servants is simply not an option. Where will they work? The private sector in the present economic environment? If educated, trained Caymanians can’t get work to  pay their mortgages and feed their families their will be riots.  So the government needs time to work on the cost reduction project.

      If the Premier does not take a more considered, rational and realistic approach to the budget issues Cayman will really be in crisis.  Let us pray that Mac’s handlers work hard on him.  He must not go to London, screaming, shouting and banging on the table.  We need him to come back with an arrangement with the UK that allows us to work through these difficult problems without having to take drastic action.

    • Dennis Smith says:

      Independence will be great.

      We will need to expand the civil service to staff at all our new overseas offices, Agencies and Embassies. Cayman will also need 100’s of Ambassadors and official representatives for international bodies like the United Nations. Given our small population and shortage of career diplomats everyone on the island will be pressed into service starting with our experienced civil service members and extending down to farmers and fishermen who can fulfill roles in developing countries.

      Except for brief visits home, Caymanian diplomat families will live overseas. Back in Cayman most workers will be imported on work permits. New taxes: payroll, property etc will pay for government and diplomat salaries and the cost of offices, travel and entertaining and of course future pensions, even retired ambassadors need pensions appropriate to their prestige and station.

      Think of it; Cayman could become the only country in the world where its entire population was employed in the civil and diplomatic service. Independence will be great.

       

  25. Anonymous says:

    Honestly this UDP and PPM crap has to stop now, all hands on deck and fight for this country and our survival.TOGETHER !!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Time for tough love.

    Cut the civil service dramatically.

    Stop the spending.  That means halt all capital projects including GOAP, the schools, roads etc.

    Sounds harsh I know, but if you love this country sacrifices must be made now people.

     

  27. Buzzed says:

    Class, where is the financial secretary finding these figures?  How is he predicting these deficits?

    Hands raised

    Ooh,, Ooh, I know he is doing it on the cash basis.  What is spent now is used to project what they will need to spend.

    Wrong answer:

    They don’t know what they are spending. Any other suggestions. 

    He is a magician and pulls the figures from a hat!

    That is the correct answer.

    I love Cayman!!!

     

  28. No shock says:

    You put up prices, demand drops, income drops.  It is called elasticity of demand and it completely was ignored in the budget.  Increase the costs of offshore business via increased permit fees, lease taxes, fees and duties and business declines and so the spiral speeds up.

  29. whodatis says:

    Earlier this evening I was at a friend’s place.

    There I was in the company of a Brit, an Indian, a Frenchman, and a Zimbabwean. (I know – sounds like a riddle huh?)

    I logged onto to CNS and saw this horrific "56m deficit" headline.

    I guess my alarm and shock was evident as they all turned to ask what was the matter.

    I explained the situation, and do you know what was their colective response?

    Their exact words were – "Is that all?!" Then chased it down with dismissive chuckles and laughter for goodness’ sake!

    For a momennt I stood there – confused by their nonchalant reaction.

    Then things slowly began to fall into perspective.

    My fellow Caymanians – considering the current global economic reality of all govts, the long-standing "in the red" status of some of the "super nations", the fact that our economy is in fact a parasite of said "out-of-thin-air-money-printing-hence-currency-devaluation-but-turn-around-and-call-it-INFLATION countries", and lastly that we are currently in the middle of a worldwide recession – quite frankly, all of this is to be expected!

    Furthermore, for the UK to threaten to force any country / territory with new and sudden taxation as punishment for an 18 month deficit – in light of what is taking place in the world today – is quite frankly crass and spiteful.

    I have witnessed the words of many, however, I am yet to even see the fat lady much less hear the heifer!

  30. Anonymous says:

    It will be interesting to see how Mac’s pressure on the civil service pension fund to make aless than prudent decision to "buy but not really buy" the new government building works out. The pension funds directors have to know that even if they cave in and save Mac’s posterior for a few more months, the reality is that Cayman simply cannot afford the current civil service structure.

  31. Anonymous says:

    surprise surprise…the FS was there during the PPM screw up and he is there during the UDP screw up…hmmm…. what should we do with this common denominator?

  32. Dennis Smith says:

    Only a $56M deficit?

    I predict that the deficit will be even larger and that next year’s revenues will not increase. It would be prudent for Cayman to anticipate a revenue number closer to $450M pa for the next few years and spend accordingly.

    Even after we sell every government property, fire as many people as possible and shut down every project that doesn’t bring immediate cash in the door we will still be short $100M+ in a few years and have very little chance to pay it off.

    Mac may have been more right than he knew when he said that we were Broke. Why did we pass a budget that blatantly ignored the economic conditions?

    The income stream from offshore finance over the last 30 years was a gift that kept giving year-after-year. Like a child of rich overindulgent parents, Cayman got away with poor long-term planning, haphazard economic development and spotty management because of this easy money.

    All it needed to do was pass a few laws to support the finance industry, issue a few work permits and then watch the money flow in. Amazingly, some Caymanians even objected to the work permits.

    Well it looks like Cayman is getting its wish. The papers are full of apartments for rent as permit holders leave. In our supreme confidence of Cayman’s desirability we think this is just the short-term effect of the economy; that everything will get better soon. Don’t be so sure.

    This time around new business is going to go to the country that welcomes and supports it the most. Unfortunately for Cayman just passing laws for the finance industry isn’t a unique enough business model any more. Now we need to do a lot more of the really hard economic development things and Cayman doesn’t have an alterative game plan nor does it have the resources and knowledge needed to understand and attract new types of business. Especially if it only see them as new opportunities for taxation instead of seeing them as new solutions for economic expansion, diversification and employment.

    Cayman needs more people to sustain its current economic model, Caymanians don’t rent all those apartments: foreigners do.

    There is a very real possibility that property tax will be proposed as a solution and it would generate a lot of easy revenue for government. But before we get to that point we should seriously cut government spending and stop being so righteous about proposed projects that will have an long-term impact on Cayman’s economic development. When you are broke or poor you need to accept and embrace change. Better to do it now while we still have a little control over our future.


  33. Anonymous says:

    Well i havent seen the FOR SALE sign outside tony travers residence yet , the minute that goes up i know we are in deep trouble  

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t know where Tony’s residence is but if I knew I would be keeping watch like you!

    • Anonymous says:

      The problem is that you reall need to keep your eyes open both here and in Aspen. Here is a little excerpt from a recent article about Dow Travers.

      Dow’s mother, Mary-Anne, spends much of the year in a family house in Aspen where brothers Dillon, 18, and Dean, 13, enjoy a lot more skiing opportunities than Dow.

      Perhaps one way out of this recession if for all of us to purchase a second house in Aspen where we can retreat to until things get better.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wherever Travers goes it will be guaranteed to be somewhere where he can enjoy tax free status so there is no way hewill move to usa / uk   permanently  – not sure where that leaves as options- so I reckon he’ll stick around and try to get this mess sorted out . If it cant be sorted it wont just be Travers shipping out on the private jet 

        • Anonymous says:

          Provided Travers don’t use public money to pay for his private jet who really cares?  And what relevance does this really have to the dire financial situation the politicians (from both sides) of Cayman have caused?  From what I can see, unlike our politicians, at least Travers and others have done their best to help and offer possible solutions.

          • Anonymous says:

            I think the point the poster was trying to make is – that people like Tony Travers are trying to help however their hands are clearly tied – its clearly in their interest to do so  which is why they are fighting so hard  – if however Mac doesnt get his act together then there are going to be no incentives for these guys to hang around – at present it is clearly tax beneficial for them to be in Cayman – take away these benefits and its places like switzerland that we will lose out to 

             

  34. Anonymous says:

    cut the civil service now before it is too late!!!…. the civil service is like an anchor around caymans neck

  35. Anonymous says:

    Fellow Caymanians,

    Today I had the pleasure of listening to Radio Cayman which had on representatives from the Young UDP and the youth wing of the PPM. They are all to be commended for their articulate presentations and their love of country. I wish our government was as sensible and articulate as these young people. That being said, I fear for their futures.

    The very best that can be said of our current government is that it has no idea what it is doing and that in its ignorance it is destroying the future of our country.

    Our Premier is our Minister of Finance. He shows no ability to manage anything to do with our country’s finances. He is making no attempt to match our current expenditures to the money that is available.

    He shows no restraint in wasting our money on completely unnecessary travel with hordes of his cronies. He must have known the state of our country’s finances, yet within the past couple of weeks he still felt entitled to spend money we do not have on a lark to Canada with his cronies.  How many personal servants has he hired at our expense in the past few months? How can that be justified when so many of us are hurting and our government is already spending far more money than it is bringing in?

    He has applied no restraint on the amount of the people’s money that continues to be paid out each month to cronies. He has not ordered the chief officer’s of each government department to immediately cut expenditures to meet the fundsavailable.

    He proposes to sell some of the most valuable assets of this country to pay for his royal lifestyle and other wasteful current expenditures.

    My fellow Caymanians, do not worry about the possiblity that dog ate ya suppa. Instead look at what is happening and realise that even the dog will go hungry after Mac and his cronies eat the suppa that all of us worked hard to produce over the past decades.

    He must go if Cayman is to survive.

  36. Anonymous says:

    It is a truly a shame that people like Captain Charles Kirkconnell are no longer with us. Their wisdom and pragmatic approach might make headway into these strong winds. If you can not afford it, don’t buy it. Why do we even let politicians decide the people’s future. Most have never run a successful business. When will the people of Cayman stand up and say enough is enough.

  37. Caymanian Overseas says:

    "you can grin, you can laugh, and you can march" he yelled across the floor of the House to opposition mebers, "but here are the facts".

    I’m just wondering why the Premier cannot act professional when he is being questioned instead of defensive all the time.  It does not portray an individual with at least a formal education.  I listen to Radio Cayman via the internet and I’m embarrassed by the tone of his responses.  Don’t tell me I can turn it off……I’m very interested in knowing what is going on in my homeland. 

  38. Anonymous says:

    as predicted the sham budget of oct 2009 gets exposed….

  39. Anonymous says:

     to quote Sinatra 


    And now, the end is here
    And so I face the final curtain
    My friend, I’ll say it clear
    I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
    I’ve lived a life that’s full
    I traveled each and ev’ry highway
    And more, much more than this, I did it my way

    Regrets, I’ve had a few
    But then again, too few to mention
    I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption
    I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway
    And more, much more than this, I did it my way

    Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
    When I bit off more than I could chew
    But through it all, when there was doubt
    I ate it up and spit it out
    I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

    I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
    I’ve had my fill, my share of losing
    And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing
    To think I did all that
    And may I say, not in a shy way,
    "Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way"

    For what is a man, what has he got?
    If not himself, then he has naught
    To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels
    The record shows I took the blows and did it my way!

    Yes, it was my way

  40. Anonymous says:

    The financial secretary is responsible for these projections. I guess he won’t be too happy with his team of accountants etc! 

    • Anonymous says:

      my friend, you need to remember who the heroes of the budget were, I remember the Premier naming Canover Watson, Cindy Scotland, Len Layman, Paul Byles and the other big wigs from the Financial Industry, they got the credit then, they should get the blame now, not the Financial Secretary.

    • Anonymous says:

      His Chief Officer just got an MBA. Why didn’t she try to get herself qualified asa CPA instead? Million dollar question. Ah so it go.

    • Anonymous says:

      Reality check – the projections are highly political in nature. Anyone who thinks otherwise has never seen the inside.

      Cayman’s government projections are like sausages – no one really wants to see how they are made and what goes into them.

    • Broke!!! says:

      NOW he is blaming the world economic problems for the wrong financial projections.

      Isn’t it ironic that under PPM it was poor management that caused Caymans financial woes but now because of his poor mismanagement it is the fault of the worlds economy.

      This man never ceases to amaze me.

       

    • Who fa blame now says:

      In October 2009 it was not the PPM who projected a $5 million surplus, so for the Government now to tell the people of Cayman that we will have a defecit of $56 million is shocking, as surely its the PPMs fault – Sorry, thats McKeevas excuse.

      For real, who will this man blame now because you know in his mind he does nothing wrong.

      Please Mac, explain to us what has happened and please give us the truth and STOP blaming PPM as this obviously has nothing to do with the opposition as they did not do the budget this time.

      Talk to me old buddy, I am waiting!

    • BORN FREE says:

      Isn’t it strange how it was such a terrible thing when projections were wrong under the PPM government, but it is just a simple matter of fact when the same thing happens under the UDP? How hypocritical of Mckeeva Bush! He is as much to blame NOW as the PPM were to blame THEN!  Things are not as easy as they thought. Funny how they try to explain it away when the shoe is on the other foot! The kitchen is very hot!

    • Anonymous says:

      I HAVE TWO SUGGESTIONS FOR MACK. This is the most churches that Caymanians has ever heard of and the most crime. There should be no more permits given to those using the church as an excuse in order to get a w. permit approved. All new applications for a church should carry a fee of at least 50000, and that by the way is CI AND NOT JA dollars either. This should not apply to any of the older churches. Also this is the most CARS that ever drove on Cayman streets.If that fee is increased I feel that it dhould sit in on.

  41. Anonymous says:

    It’s all over but the crying.

  42. Anonymous says:

    With this projection being so badly off, someone’s head is bound to be served on a silver platter, any guesses as to who?

    • Anonymous says:

      has never happened before, will not happen now…..

      that would mean a caymanian would lose their job… bush will not let this happen…..

      save us duncan taylor

    • Anonymous says:

      Why? They were badly off under the previous govt. and nothing happened. The FS blamed the PPM. Will he be a hypocrite or will he also blame the UDP?

    • Anonymous says:

      Certainly. It will be that of the Chief Head Honcho.

      What a mess. How much could those wild first class trips have saved us.

  43. Joe Average says:

    let’s see

    prediction…5 million dollar surplus

    four months later… $56 million dollar deficit

    works the calculator furiously

    what’s the big deal?

    that’s only $61 million off.

    that’s just a few trips to Vegas.

    come to papa!!!!

     

     

  44. Anonymous says:

    >  "If we do not achieve the sale, he said, " this budget will fail."

    > he yelled across the floor of the House to opposition members," but those are the facts.”

     

    How can MacDinejad be so certain of the facts when it is widely known that the goverment departments have failed miserably to keep their books up to date?

    Politricks. This is a set up to justify the fire sales that are coming up.

    • Beachboi says:

      Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!!!!!!  Finally someone who gets it!!  How can we the people truly understand what is actually the truth when it comes out of the mouth of a person that does not understand the first thing about financial budgets and forecasts.  It is a well known fact that the majority of government agencies are years behind in having actual audited financial statements completed.  The Auditor General gets the blame but how is  he to audit statements that are not submitted.  Furthermore without these audited statements how can an accurate "forecast" of income and expenditure be determined???  Furthermore was it not widely publicised in the press recently that the government does not have an accurate valuation on its property and other assets!  I suppose that the only reason that McKeva wants to sell the GOAB is that that is the only property that they can actually determine the value for.

      I can’t wait to see the outcome of the petition to oust the Premier.  According to what I see and hear even the people that voted him in are now finally seeing through the fog to realize that he is truly not competent to run this country!! 

  45. Anonymous says:

    Will somebody please tell me where the hell the Financial Secretary is and what he is doing?!?   

    • Anonymous says:

      Under the new Constitution the Financial Secretary has been made an adviser to the Minister of Finance. All responsibility for Government finances falls squarely on an elected official.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Mac,

    The UK is grinning and laughing…and soon you will be marching to their tune.

  47. NO Boy...Who will the UDP blame for this one? says:

    Smart Alec MB is off the CI$ 4.8MM SURPLUS he predicted in his October 2009 letter to Master Bryant  – PLUS – CI$ 56MM, that’s a difference of well over CI$ 60MM.

    Now he wants to sell our government admin. building in order to correct this error.

    So tell me now is reality starting to set into the UDP government’s skulls?

    I’m a simple layman banker without a degree and I know I could do better than that.

    Do we really need all these technocrats in Government? 

    Way to go Mr. Finance minister for under-estimating the budjet – Do you realize you are off by over 1000%, take a bow!!  LMAO

    You should be tarred and feathered!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Dont you get it?. The GAB is not being sold. It is the Governments Piggy Bank and they are simply taking out money that was out in to it by the PPM.

  48. Just answering says:

    Ok, can we get a few things clear…

    a budget is a summary of intended expenditures along with proposals for how to meet them.

    So if Mac and his crew can’t balance an intended expediture why would we trust them to spend the real money?

    Can’t we get some people with serious, successful, business background in the LA to manage the finances of this country?  I know there are one or two in there now but they can’t get anopportunity to lead because of the joke we have of a Premeir and his deputy.

    Now is the time for us all to excercise our constitutional rights and demand fiscal responsibility from our elected officials.

    Simply put, if Mac can’t figure it out (which this article proves) then he needs to get out. 

    Our budget must be balanced to attract investment… Mac… you barely tried, you horribly failed… let’s put the real brains in there!

    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely agree about getting some serious business people in who know what they are doing.  Problem is…..what professionals in their right minds would want to work alongside some of these cowboys?

      • Just answering says:

        Lets take out the brooms and the vacuum cleaners and do a clean sweep.  Start fresh… no cowboys allowed.

    • Anonymous says:

      To be fair, there were real brains behind the budget. They gave him REAL figures and he changed them because he wanted to submit  a balanced budget to the FCO to buy a little time so he could get his loans and get on with his personal agenda (whatever that might be). I believe his travels over the last nine months are well documented so there is no need to go over them here.

      Big Mac changed the figures because, as the highest figure in the land, those who elected him wanted to hear good news. He gave them the good news, and now he is telling us the good news was not true. The voters who put him in this high position do not understand, so undoubtedly they will return him to office again and again. They do seem to be able to grasp the difference between old fridge and new fridge, paying the electric bill or asking someone else to pay it, and other similar but simple concepts.

      Even his closest "advisors" knew the budget was unrealistic but went along with it, perhaps in the hopes that Big Mac would somehow pull a rabbit out of the hat before the FCO brought the hammer down, or maybe just to ride the gravy train for as long as it lasts.

      I feel particularly sorry for those well educated and hard-working Civil Servants who could be making more money in the private sector but, for love of country or whatever reason, continue with the daily grind and have to watch their careful calculations dismissed with the stroke of a pen by some ignorant and uneducated buffoon, whilst the dross that dangles from his coattails incessantly repeat his ever-changing, but never accurate, missives on the subject du jour.

  49. Anonymous says:

    So how are we going to get out of this? The politicians have put us in a really bad position. Revenue is down and of course we know one of the big reasons for that dont we? People dont want to come here any more…who would! Its time to hold people to account. How much worse can this get? And its just not the politicians…what about the Civil Service? I guess you cant expect much more.

  50. Save Cayman NOW! says:

    It will get MUCH WORSE, Mac…

    If you misjudged  the country’s budgeted income by some $70 million while the US economy experienced a spurt of activity due to the TRILLIONS of  stimulus money just spent, imagine what the shortfall will be when the double dip RECESSION rages on in the next couple months…

    This little economic bump is nearly over, as is the stimulus money and we’re still to see the worst of this recession, as it turns into a fully fledged DEPRESSION 1930-style to last many more years…

    Cutting 10% of the Civil Servants pay and making them contribute to their Pension and Health funds would generate $55 to $60 million, which would nicely plug the current hole in the country’s finances…

    If you took such measures, I’m sure that you’d find the UK far more accommodating and willing to listen to some long term arrangements…

     

     

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      I totally agree with you. I know MB does not want to rattle the Civil  Servants cage, but I believe if they are true patriots they will want to see the country come out of the hole they are now in. Government need to understand that no matter what they do, some one will be there to criticise and find fault. Selling the Government resources is not the answer. You do not find private sectors running their business like that. It is time the Government come up with some hard decisions.

      Every private sector I have worked in I have had to contribute to my pension fund and health insurance. I have no problem with that. it is for my own good. Let the civil servants start to contribute as well. It is time they are offered the ultimatum, a three quarter loaf of bread or none at all, choose. I am sure they will choose to have thethree quarter loaf than none. I guess this  will once and for all prove if they are indeed true patriots.

      I understand that the Governmnet does not want to upset the gravy train, but it is not wise Governance for a select few to continue life as usual while the country continues on a downward path to financial ruin.

      I say to the ruling party, you did not enter politics to please a select few at the expense of the country. Stand firm and rule wisely ,care not what people may say. This country need men with a backbone, and if you have a bacbone stand and show the people of the Cayman Islands that they did not make a mistake when they put you in power.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Just imagine how large the deficit would have been had the Govt not stopped paying the Contractor for the schools projects. 

    • Apatheist says:

      Do you think suspending construction projects for 3 months plus is going to make them cheaper or more expensive? Think about it….

    • Anonymous says:

      $140 million project/ 24 schedule = $5.8 million average monthly payment.

       

      Shutdown     3months x $5.8 million = $17.5 million in addition to the deficit.

       

      How will these schools ever get completed?

       

       

      • Apatheist says:

        Sorry but this is equally as absurd as the first statement so I am not sure why people are upvoting it. A project that is suspended will not cost as much money as a project in full swing, not by a long shot.

  52. Anonymous says:

    This is a time for bi-partisanship and statesmanship and all hands on deck – keep the politricks for the next Election. None of us should be taking any glee or satisfaction from these figures.

    Mr. Premier – our financial situation is bad but i can assure you it is no worse than most places including the UK.  It is both in the interest of Her Majesty’s Government and that of the Cayman Islands Government that we find a way through these stormy waters.

    I believe it is times like this when our Governor should really earn his keep.  It is also an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the UK and CI. A new more realistic longer term agreement has to be reached in March.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       Bi-partisanship is impossible with the present Cabinet. One man runs the show. 

      When the existing tax system which is based on the vibrancy of the economy it will continue to come up short when there is crisis locally or with the USA/World. With a "land tax" budgets will be able to be made and met and contingency funds will be budgeted and accumulated for negative economic problems. 

      There is no CIG fiscal moderation, no new income streams, the world economy will continue to meander along and things will get worse for us before they get better. 

      How about another three years of what is happening now?

  53. Oh Please says:

    I see the PPMrs are churning up the blogs…first of all no one expected the government to have a surplus in such a short order in the first place; i mean it would take a miracle to get out of the hole the PPM left us inn and their only solution is to borrow more???and you people are complaining now???

    • Anonymous says:

      Er…the Premier did expect a budget surplus of $4.8m even without selling public assets. See his letter of October, 2009 to Chris Bryant, the Minister for the OTs which was linked in one of the posts. In other words, the very thing he faulted the PPM for, inaccurate projections of revenue, he has now done.   

      It is obviously an article of the UDP creed to believe that any criticism can only from the PPM.  Well, you are out of touch.     

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, it’s all Caymanians that are churning up the blogs… from all walks of life and from all or no political party.

      Ordinary people who watched this dictatorship government blame everything that  was wrong on the PPM and/or previous government. Ordinary people who are tired of the lies, arrogance and stupidity that spews this from this governments mouth.

      Caymanians that are tired of being disrespected and ignored while we watch our government raise the cost of living yet again and the quality of life decline.

      We need change !

    • Anonymous says:

      Talk about hole that the PPM left us in. if the UDP continue on the path that they are traveling it will be a completed disaster for this country

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, it took a miracle for the PPM to get us out of the hole the UDP left us in after the 2005 elections, but the PPM were able to do it! Why are the UDP incapable of doing it? No,don’t bother answering that one!

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, the government expected the government to have a surplus in such a short order in the first place. Look at their October 2009 budget, they claimed they would have a $5 surplus. Oops…

  54. RVT-D (scratching head) says:

     

    Mac – yuh ga me scratchin my head Bobo. You mean to tell me that you’re actually coming to the realization that revenues are down and will cause a hole in the budget. Hmmm….where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, virtually every other country in the world. And Bobo, PPM was not in charge of those countries.
     
    Maybe it’s time to come clean and let us the people know that the operational deficit was NOT caused by the capital expenditures of the previous administration that they took on due to years of neglect of our infrastructure by several sucessive administrations.  Oh my, look who I’m asking to come clean – Mr "I man born yah." LMAO!!
     
    For you out there who blindly follow UDP, regardless of the fecal matter that continues to spew from their oral orifices, I really feel sorry for you. Actually, I only feel sorry for the less educated ones as I expect better from the educated.
     
    The annual cost of servicing these loans for the much needed capital projects was, and still is, way less than the $81M deficit that your bright spark Financial Secretary finally came up with. In fact, I think it is even way less that the $29M deficit that that same spark originally forecasted under the previous government.
     
    Now for the blind, and especially SLOW, UDP followers (if most of you can actually read this)….The point that I am making is that, even if one red cent was never spent on these capital projects that your special, special genius of a leader and his "yes men" are crucifying the oppostion for, THERE WOULD STILL HAVE BEEN AN OPERATIONAL DEFICIT!!!
    I urge you to go to an educated person who does not blindly follow UDP and ask them to explain to really slowly what I just said. Then go andask your illustriuous leader if this is really the case. Actually, ask Rolston off the record – I think he’ll be honest.
     
    "..the decline in government earningsis forecast to leave a significant hole in its finances.." Maybe he finally gets it that revenues are down globally and not caused by PPM. Then again…!

     

  55. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva, did you really take 17 people in your entourage to the Winter Olympics? 

  56. HeartBroken says:

    Ok Ok im no genious but…

    Shouldnt govt consider cutting Custom fess..prompting local business owners to invest in their business introducing new products or services stimulating the economy?

    Gas prices are up again? I understand cayman’s gas demand is unlike the US or Canada so we will buy at a higher rate but come on…..Govt  should look into this again and at least tell us why its so high?

    CUC?????????????????????????

    Hotel industry has to lower them rates appeal to the working man and im sure occupany will rise

    Govt needs to work as one unit as difficult as that may seem it will help in the efficency of work,communication and ultimately savings.

    Private sector whilst i believe has already started taking cuts in profit needs to provide additional value….never believe your doing enough for your customer there is always someone else that will make the sacrifice to take your customer  

     

     

     

     

    • Dick Shaughneary says:

      "Ok Ok im no genious but…"  Yes, these opening words prove that point quite effectively.

      • HeartBroken says:

        Thank you Dick for the kind words,just remember to write more before you click save,would have helped if you had included why my ideas would not have helped.

        Sadly i get the impression you are not here posting to help anyone

        Be constructive my friend and above all have respect for others it will help you more than anyone else.

         

        • Anonymous says:

          I can’t speak for Dick but one reason your idea isn’t as helpful as you might think is that lowering Customs duties cuts down on one of Government’s biggest revenue sources and the (potentially) increased buying due to lower prices most likely wouldn’t make up for the lost customs duty because it’s a recession and people don’t have the money to spend.

          The Laffer Curve is part of an economic theory that raising taxes won’t always increase Government revenue, Wikipedia has a thorough article on it. Generally the curve is used to show why taxes shouldn’t be raised beyond a certain point, but it also works the other way to show that if duties are very low revenue is not maximised.

          Bottom line: stimulating the economy doesn’t always mean more revenue for Government. It’s very different in the private sector because selling at a lower price is better than not selling at all. Taxes are an entirely different concept and unfortunately they’re much harder to figure out.

    • Anonymous says:

      And his statement about increasing Work Permit Fees which only hurt companies and suspending pensions for a while so employers and employees can put that money into the increase of Work Permits and employees back into Cayman.  We are now stuck with the increase of Work Permit Fees and pensions.  This wasn’t the time to Increase Work Permit Fees. 

       

      You shouldn’t make promises and not keep them. 

  57. Anonymous says:

    This is awesome.

  58. Anonymous says:

    The fat lady is warming her vocal chords.

  59. Anonymous says:

     i agree

  60. Kman says:

    That’s close to $1,000 per resident (to put it onto perspective)

    • Anonymous says:

      Lets all go down to the bank and fork over 1k to Mac.

      You know he will pays us back when he gets back on his feet.

      YEAH RIGHT!!

    • Anonymous says:

      more like 2000 per expat, which is obviously the people that will end up bailing them out

  61. Kman says:

    Let’s paint GT red

  62. Anonymous says:

    Just couple nights ago Mac/UDP blamed PPM for the high deficit, called it wasteful spending..what’s their excuse?

  63. Anonymous says:

    Of course there is a decline in revenue.

    1. You jacked up all the prices all over the place, so that the so-called "consumption tax" that Ezzard Miller loves to talk about is also decreasing since we dont have enough money to buy anything any more,
    2.  CUC is charging us out our a****,
    3.  the gas stations are gouging us by continuously increasing prices while gas prices in the US has DECLINED over the past 6 months
    4.  the Government has paid countless millions for special operations, had to pay off Judge Henderson for that wrongfull arrest as well as the operation surrounding it
    5.  Government continues to pay policemen who are on administrative leave due to investigations but are STILL getting paid
    6.  Government has taken HOW MANY COUNTLESS all expense paid trips round the world, with how many people in each entourage
    7.  Civil service employees dont have to contribute 1 cent for their pension or health insurance which the private sector employees do, and that is one reason private sector companies thrive or at least can break even
    8.  When government increased fees on company registrations or tax certificates or work permits, companies have decided to either leave or not hire any more people so as to not put any more money in the government pocket
    9.  Permanent residency and status application are now down too (look at the stats reported a couple of months ago) and will CONTINUE to decrease because now THOSE fees have also been jacked up
    10. the turtle farm/Boatswain beach loses how many tens of thousands of dollars a MONTH? Now no one is going to buy turtle meat at $80 a 5 lb box. And even WORSE, many cruise ship tourists or even stay over tourists, when they find out it is US $50 to visit Boatswain Beach and use the pool say NO THANKS because that is way too expensive then you have to shell out exhorbitant prices for food and drink etc.

    Whew. Sorry for the rant.
    Does Government really wonder WHY there is a deficit? And it isnt just from the last 4 years of PPM government, PPM also inherited their deficit from Big Mac during the last UDP reign.

    I love Cayman, and my children will hopefully love Cayman. This is our home, our heritage. But sooner than later, we will all be forced to live in poverty it seems, except for that small percentage of people at the top who probably earn 75% of the country’s wealth.

    What else can we do Cayman right now but pray for the well-being of our country.

  64. civil servant says:

    Yea but you got alot of Idiots that dont know whats going on, Leave the man alone and let him do what he gotta do, its survival yah now!

    • Macman says:

      "Yea but you got alot of idots that dont know whats going on"

      Obviously all the UDP supporters!

  65. Anonymous says:

    Please Mr. Premier, in God’s name I implore you, read the letter you sent to Chris Bryant on October 1, 2009 and tell us how it is that you have come to get it so terribly wrong.

    http://ukincayman.fco.gov.uk/resources/en/pdf/20858871/bush-bryant7

    In that letter you projected a $5 million surplus, which you assured Mr. Bryant did not include the sale of government assets.

    Was this a case of Ken Jeffereson getting all of his projections wrong again? Well, it can’t be that as YOU are now Minister of Finance.

    Is it possible to somehow blame YOUR failed budget on the reckless spending of the PPM? That’s getting a bit old now and only your diehard supporters will continue to buy that line.

    Do you remember the name of any teachers that beat you with the strap in high school? Maybe we can blame it on one of them. Now that I think of it, he was a Mac as well. lol. If he were still alive his arms would fall off before he finished strapping you for this mess.

    • Anonymous says:

      I love it!

      Mr. Bush still thinks that this is yesterday’s world where he can say one thing and then do another and no one will call him on it or be able to prove it.  This is nothing new for Mr. Bush, and has been well documented in news articles in the past.  Perhaps his million dollars of travel has caught up with him.  Has anyone done an FOI request on his travel expenses?

      This is it Cayman, changeor the UK is coming and will force the change.

    • Macman says:

      I agree

  66. Anonymous says:

    So, Mr. Bush has discovered what it means to face a budget deficit primarily caused by a serious decline in revenue, and that cutting govt. expenditure is easier said than done. Well, well. Wasn’t this the whole platform against the PPM?   

    He will also discover that the changes in the Immigration Law were neither necessary nor sufficient for either keeping existing business or attracting new business here. Despite the claims of Fortis, there are far more significant factors on which this decision is based, in particular the cost of doing business here which Mr. Bush has now significantly increased.       

  67. I-born-ya! says:

     " this budget will fail."

    How can this possible happen???

    PPM is no longer in control of govt!!

    WHO will you now blame for the deficit, "bo-bo"!!??

     

  68. Anonymous says:

    so if the budget fails can we assume that the UK will take control and the first thing they will do is ensure that a wide range of taxes are put in place – this will drive business out of cayman and then what …. 

    • Patricia X says:

       . . .then I move to work somewhere else and it is no longer a problem for me.

      • Anonymous says:

        Typical, milk it for what you can get then abandon ship when it suits you.

        Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

        • Anonymous says:

          Great response by the way from an obvious mental lightweight. There will be no work for anyone – including Caymanians if this keeps up. She won’t have a job here and neither will any Caymanian because the businesses will be gone. It seems you just don’t get it. If businesses leave and tourism keeps going down then where will you find a job as a Caymanian? No jobs – no money – poverty for all. Oh! then you will want to be an ex-pat in the UK, Canada, U.S., etc. and you will be the ones "milking it for what you can get then abandon ship when it suits you". How willyou respond to someone tells you to go home because you are taking someone else’s job when you are living in another country? Oh! That’s right, you will be able to run this country on just the Caymanian population working here so you don’t need to leave and work somewhere else. You don’t need anybody else. Good luck with that!

    • Anonymous says:

       Ireland will benefit from all the companies that are now fleeing Cayman.  Lest we think that these are companies that were employing Caymanians.  They were not.  They were  just a brass plate on a door  that paid annual return fees.  That is all.  The unfortunate thing is that unlike in previous years where for every brass plate that pulled up stakes, we had 2 or 3 willing to take its place.  I think the UK needs to accept some responsibility for what is happening in Cayman at this time.  They have sided with the US government in its crackdown on alleged offshore tax havens.  They should have insisted in their G7 consultations that unlike other offshore countries, Cayman had proper legislation in place. If they had ensured that Cayman was not grey listed, we would not be in this predicament anymore.  Everyone is running to Ireland and other countries which are not tax free jurisdictions, not because it is cheaper to do business there, but because if they are there, then the US government may not look too keenly into their business.  The UK is also benefitting from all the funds that are making their way to the Isle of Mann, Jersey,  Gibraltar and Ireland.   This is more than just about balancing a budget.  This is about the UK not defending itsoverseas territory at a time when it needed to.