Mac cuts MLAs’ pay by 20%

| 02/03/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman headline news(CNS): In a surpriseannouncement in the LA this afternoon, the premier announced a cut in the salaries of all MLAs. Cutting his own pay by 30%, McKeeva Bush said he was reducing all the other legislators’ salaries by 20%. The premier also told his parliamentary colleagues that they would now have to pay a 50% contribution to their health insurance. Bush said members of the House had to set an example given the dire circumstances surrounding government finances. He added that theirs would be the first pay cuts before government began discussions on an assessment of where government could cut other public sector workers’ remuneration in order to address the newly predicted $56 million deficit.

The premier said that with the latest forecast indicating that operating revenues will under-perform their budgeted levels by CI$72 million, government had to cut operating expenses further.

“Operating Expenditures are forecast to be CI$516 million, some CI$9 million less than the budgeted level of CI$525 million," said Bush. “I said last Thursday that government was not content with an under-spend of CI$9 million and would review expenditures again with a view to reducing them even further.”

He added that government has been considering the expenditure review process and members of the United Democratic Party agreed that elected members of the Legislative Assembly must set an example. “We agreed that effective March 2010, the premier would have his salary reduced by 30% and all other elected members of the House would have their salaries reduced by 20%,” Bush added.

He said constituency allowances would not be cut but government would require elected members to pay 50% of their health insurance premiums.

He said this was the start of wider salary and benefit cuts for public sector workers in government statutory authorities and government companies

Although nothing was set in stone, the premier said government would be discussing cuts to public servants’ salaries, starting with those earning $3,000 to $4,499 per month who would face a 5% pay cut, earners in the bracket $4,500 to $9,999 a 10% cut, while top earners could face a salary reduction of 15%. Bush also said the government was considering asking civil servants to make a 50% contribution to their health care coverage and a possible civil service pension holiday.

“I intend to have a meeting with chief officers and the Civil Service Management Council to examine different remuneration reduction scenarios that could be applied to the civil service and the wider public service, “ he stated. “The government will decide, once the analysis is completed … the remuneration-reduction strategy for the … public service.”

He said government would bring the relevant legislation at the next sitting later this month and that he was determined to reduce public sector costs.Given an improvement in economic fortunes, he said, any salary changes that happened would be reversed, but in the short term salaries and benefits would be cut throughout the public sector.

Following the announcement, Ezzard Miller questioned whether, now that MLAs were paying half their own health care costs, they could choose a private scheme instead of CINICO and all its limitations, and was told probably not.

Alden McLaughlin also queried whether the extra benefits that had been given to the premier’s office and that of the deputy premier with regards to the chef, housekeeper, driver and security positions had also been cut. The questioning resulted in an extremely heated exchange between the government and opposition benches in which Bush accused the PPM of creating the trappings of the premier’s office, which he had not voted for, and also suggested they had all been given security systems in their homes and issued with guns — a point the opposition noted was not true.

In the CNS online poll "Should MLAs take a pay cut?" 853 people voted and 64% said they should take a 20% paycut while 22% said they should take a 10% cut.

Check the CNS online poll: Should MLAs take a pay cut?

Category: Headline News

Comments (217)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Will the pay cut for civil servants apply to stuatory autorities like HSA, Port Authority, Cultural Institutions, Civil Aviation?

  2. Anonymous says:

    What people seem to forget is why we are looking at such a deficit.  Government pays the police, pays for lighting, pays for roads, pays for all sorts of other things that everyone, not just civil servants, use.  So why should civil servants take a pay cut to bail government out of this – why isn’t government looking for ways to generate revenue across the board?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Boy, lemme tell you – I never see so much action since Chuckie mention the word ‘march’.  Radio and CITN burning up with UDP appearances! And boy, the promises being made now! Lets wait and see if any of it actually comes to past – or will Rollie have to soon come out and tell everyone that’s not really what the Premier meant to say – again!

    • Anonymous says:

      Why didn’t the Big Boss man do this 6 months ago instead of presenting a totally unrealistc budget which projected a surplus of $5M? Why does he wait till there is a projected deficit of $74m for the entire public sector?  Might it have anything at all to do with the fact that he has now had the report commissioned by the UK on the Cayman Islands’ government’s finances for a couple of weeks and it doesn’t make good reading.  Why is he hiding the report? Is it to try to gain some credibility by doing things such as cutting salaries before the report is released?  Because I hear the report is very critical of the fact that the government has done little or nothing to rein in operational expenditure in the 10 months it has been in office.  Could the big annoucement of the Premier to cut his and other legislators’ salaries simply be part of a major PR exercise aimed at restoring some credibility to a hapless leader and a floundering government? Time alone will tell.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t the Premier & Duputy Premier give up some of their perks?  It is easy for them to say they are taking a salary cut because of these additional perks they get it will add back up. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    Mac takes 10% Salary  Cut !

    That’s what the headlines should say. 

    Reduced salary + cost of housekeeper = only a 10% salary cut and that’s being kind. I’m considering the driver to be work related and not personal.

    Who else working for government has/had the people paying for their personal housekeeper? Answer : No MLA ever in the history of the Cayman Islands has been so bold as to think they are entitled to have their house cleaned, food cooked and paid for by the people. We elected you. You are not the governor or the queen!

    I suggest civil servants only agree to pay cuts if they can have their own personal housekeepers as well ! He suppose to be leading by example… let’s follow !

  6. I would slap the hell out of Henry Morgan if he was alive says:

    Well done premier Bush………………Come 2013 the UDP is going to put another ass wipping on the PPM,how much unna wanna bet?

  7. Anthony Travers says:

     News from the real world .From the Times London. 

    “Latvia’s economy shrank by almost a fifth last year and is the weakest in the European Union. The Government slashed state salaries by up to 50 per cent.” 

    • bull..... says:

      Mr. Travers,

      With all due respect you can’t compare Cayman to Latvia, remember they had an over-inflated economy that exploded, their government could afford to cut 50%.

      They can afford these cuts after accumulating so much wealth from 1996 to 2008.

      Please stop justifying MB actions.

      See wiki article below.

      Latvia is a member of the World Trade Organization (1999) and the European Union (2004).

      Since the year 2000 Latvia has had one of the highest (GDP) growth rates in Europe.[36] However, the chiefly consumption-driven growth in Latvia resulted in the collapse of the Latvian GDP in late 2008 and early 2009, exacerbated by the global economic crisis and shortage of credit. Latvian economy fell 18% in the first three months of 2009, the biggest fall in the European Union.[37][38] According to Eurostat data, Latvian PPS GDP per capita stood at 56 per cent of the EU average in 2008.[39]

      Real GDP growth in Latvia 1996–2006.

      This latest scenario has proven the earlier assumptions that the fast growing economy was heading for implosion of the economic bubble, because it was driven mainly by growth of domestic consumption, financed by a serious increase of private debt, as well as a negative foreign trade balance. The prices of real estate, which were at some points appreciating at approximately 5% a month, were long perceived to be too high for theeconomy, which mainly produces low-value goods and raw materials. Since 2001, Latvia’s chief export has been domestic livestock.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I know the one making 3000 (5% of their salary reducing it to 2850), will feel the pinch more than anyone else. They will certainly feel it more than someone who is making 10,000 a month.

    And what about those who are getting paid low already for their services in government like the teachers and social workers who are bogged down with the work that the parents should be doing.

    No one can tell me that Civil Servants aren’t human beings and don’t have family like those in the private sector. They are so many comments here against Civil Servants it amazes me that they are the same ones who will right away: –

    CALL THE POLICE IN FEAR FOR THEIR LIFE

    RUN TO THE HOSPITAL LOOKING FOR A DOCTOR FOR THEIR CHILD

    Or, CRY TO THE JUDGE FOR JUSTICE OR MERCY

    It amazes me!  Some of the commentators here must not be Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      "Some of the commentators here must not be Caymanian". Why do you say that? Could you explain in a couple of concise sentences what would lead you to that conclusion?

    • Anonymous says:

      Since when are our government teachers underpaid or our social workers? why should they not take the pay cuts like everyone else?

    • Anonymous says:

      This is the problem. Greedy back office civil servants like you are sitting in your plush offices, reclining in your chairs spending public time surfing the web on these forums making comment such as these to try to convince people that any cuts in civil service expenditure is going to directly affect the police, hospital and fire services etc. But we all know this is rubbish.

      Deep, deep cuts are needed urgently but not from the front lines. We need to cut hundreds if not thousands of mid and high level salaries and benefits of the pen pushers. We could cut maybe a thousand jobs completely with no impact on front line services. by working the staff harder, making them work their full hours, cutting down on those arriving late and leaving early every day.

      We should also make them contribute 50% to healthcare and pension like the rest of the world. No wonder there is such a high rate of sickness days being taken. They have no regard for the cost of treatments because it is not them paying for it. In the private sector everyone knows that even in large company plans, if there is a big culture of overclaiming and abuse of the system, then everybody ends up paying more the next year, so people are more careful and less thrifty.

      The posts in civil service are already hugely overpaid. I saw admin assistant jobs with salary ranges 49-65k advertised in the paper recently. In the private sector the same job would pay 30-35k top end and would not include full medical etc.

      I vote for a 20% cut in salary for all those pen pushers in civil service getting over 4k a month. Plus compulsory 50% deduction for healthcare and pensions. Lets also start holding them accountable for what they are supposed to be doing. Ban the use of external websites and set targets for productivity to make sure more of the lazy XXXXX aren’t allowed to mess around on the web all day on our dime.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The people of this country have been calling for reduction to MLA’s salaries from the time the PPM where in power and they blatanly refused to heed the peoples cry. Not surprinsing to me seen as it was the PPM who increased the salaries in the first place. Kudos to the Premier for this very bold step, the Caymanian people highly appreciate this gesture.

    • Anonymous says:

      Come off it. The country was not at that time in condition it is now. Bear in mind that this has not touched the Premier’s chauffeur driven, $3,000 p/m domestic helper, MLA allowance luxury nor his real estate company income. This probably takes him to a little less income than when he was Leader of the Opposition, just 9 months ago. In short, he can afford it. It has also not dented his taste for expensive and unnecessary foreign travel.  

  10. Anonymous says:

    Congrats to premier Bush for making such a bold move,i have faith that our premier will take us safely thru this terrible storm. Have you readers notice what Cayman Net News did?They removed yesterdays poll question and replaced it with another topic….Yesterdays poll question:if elections were held this week who would you vote for?after more than 600 votes the UDP had around 32 0r 33%, PPM had around 27-28% and independents had around 24%.Now tell me the Cayman net News is not against the UDP?,just check out most of the editorials…….CNN no matter how hard you try you just cannot hurt the UDP, ease up and give the Cayman public the truth and nothing but the truth.

    • Anonymous says:

      they change the poll questions frequently..what’s wrong with you, i’m sure they may have poll archives or something, I like CNS poll asking if Mac is doing a good job

       

       

    • You want it all says:

      And who the Compass fa? Check the editorials of the compass, but I suppose in typical udp dictatorship style, you want ALL the media under your control, but Star, just relax nah!

  11. Ex-Lobsta Hunta - till Decemba says:

    Ain’t nothin but a sham-thing baby. 

  12. Anonymous says:

    "Submitted by livingcayman (not verified) on Tue, 03/02/2010 – 13:03.

    It think to cut the fat in Civil Servants too, give rid of those Chief Financial Officers that are collecting over $90K or $100 per year you donot need them they cannot even produce financial statements.  you have civil servants that are not just pulling their weight, just go into any Governmemt office they on the Black Berry’s sending messages or talking on the phone, obiviously there is no work for them to do.  Other words start cutting civil severants."

    Kudos to you, livingcayman, for your comments above. I agree with you 101%!!! But then again, from what I heard, some of them must be getting that big salary for holding more than one position such as supervisor, office manager, time keeper, human resources director, security guard and we haven’t reached the role of some of their junior officers yet! You would be amazed to hear some of the stories about what goes on in some Government offices on this island. Unbelievable!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Although it’s possible the pay cuts will affect me, I am happy to learn that others may also feel the crunch, especially those that are locked away in these big expensive offices all day texting and blogging while some of us are actually doing the work they are getting paid to do.

     In relation to the comments on sick leave, as another poster wrote, we are entitled to 10 days and any day illness is preventing me from going to an office where the powers-that-be believes an employee can’t get sick, I am going to take advantage of one of those 10 days!

    And by the way, I am not an overweight/rude Immigration or Customs Officer and I am not blogging at work. I really wish I could say more but, we all know the consequences one will endure for speaking out.

     

  14. Shock and Awe says:

    I’m not going to fall over thanking someone who makes over $100,000 per year plus benefits for taking a pay cut just yet.  Considering their performance.

    And I’m not going to thank MLA’s for taking a pay cut.  Not at those salary levels.

    Or for paying 50% of their health insurance.  That brings them on par with everyone else.

    And the Civil Service.  Right now, (correct me if I’m wrong) government, as employer, pays it’s 5%.  And it also pays the employee’s 5%. 

    A 10% salary reduction means the 5% won’t be picked up by government.  As there was a wage allowance used to cover the employee’s contribution.  It means a 5% salary reduction.  Which many people have also had to take. So it brings them on par with everyone else.

    Government is also asking for a pension holiday and won’t be paying it’s 5%.  Which also brings them on par with everyone else.

    Interesting how they asked employers to do that first because they knew what was coming.

    Also

    Civil Servants will also be asked to contribute 50% of their health insurance. Which brings them on par with everyone else.

    So

    All that has transpired when the smoke clears is that the Premier, MLA’s, and Civil Servants, are finally.

    Becoming on par with everyone else.  Well whaddaya know it’s starting to take place.

    I still don’t believe that’s a reason for adulation or celebration of a fix for the economy. 

    Because it’s those years of deciding "not to be on par with everyone else" that played a major role in getting us into this fix.

    And we finally got the message across we’ve had enough.

     

  15. Anonymous says:

    Macropolitics 101

    1- Give the people what they want – cut MLA salaries  (do not put through the house first – making it illegal)

    2-Convince civil servants that they are leading by example so they will follow suit (make cuts legal – put through the house)

    3- When economy recovers – get lawyer and collect all back wages and health benefits from illegal salary cut.

     

  16. Anonymous says:

    Dear Mac

    Teachers are civil servants too

    Any fool only needs to look at the state of education in the Cayman Islands to realise that the cut in salary to ALL teachers expats and Caymanians alike will be yet another kick in the teeth for dedicated professionals who are working their butts off since Hurricane Ivan in 2004 with depleted resources and lack of respect from Govt., parents and more importantly our youth who see teaching as a NO GO area for a profession.

    A cut in teacher salaries which will continue to put teaching at the bottom of the job ladder and will only ensure that the dedicated teachers cannot any longer cope with their day to day bills and will leave to an exodus of qualified and dedicated teachers who can now earn more in any other jurisdiction.

    Where will our "Brighter Futures" be then for our children

    Think wisely BIG MAN before you take this step

    • Anonymous says:

      you can use the same arguments for any civil servant…..

      teachers have got to get real too and maybe bring in performance related pay for them too…. it’s obvious they are not doing a good enough job in educating children

       

    • Anonymous says:

      Better to have a cut in salary than no Job, In case you are wondering show me a jurisdiction in the Caribbean that offers higher wages for teachers – Cayman has the highest GDP  in the region and Civil Service salaries on average are way higher than competing regional countries…So where you gonna go – In the old days the best teachers taught because they loved to impart knowledge on the younger generation, they did it knowing full well that teaching was not a major financial earner and as such took it in their stride.

      Based on the results of Caymans education system – passing students who cannot read and write properly and having a system of passing students based on attendance rather than results – puts us squarely where we are today…I blame the teachers as much as the politician for the social misfits we are producing in the schooling system that cannot and do not want to work and are not prepared for life…

      Having teachers more worried about salary cuts than qaulity education means we have the wrong teachers or supposed teachers posting self serving and selfish comments.

       

       

       

    • Leroy B. Whorms Sr. says:

      If you are a Teacher you have just taught me something. You are only in teaching for the money you collect from it.

      I sense somewhere in your post that you are threathening to reduce the quality of your teaching if your salary is reduced.

      People like you need to come out from under the anonymous umbrella and expose yourself so that parents can keep their children away from you.

      You appear to base the quality of education our children now receive on the amount of salary you collect and will adjust your teaching standard according to your salary adjustment.

      Shame on you. Is it no wonder our education standard is the way it is?

      The facts are that Government do not have the resources to sustain your lifestyle and if you are not willing to go the extra mile then I would like to know who you really are.

      • Boom Shack A Lack says:

        ….and parents posting demerit slips on Facebook in an attempt to justify their childrens wrongdoings and misbehaviour I am sure helps in the teachers efforts to get on with their jobs in an an unhindered manner a whole lot too, doesn’t it?

         

    • Anonymous says:

      You may hate your chosen profession, but trust me.. no other profession else gets such awesome vacation time each year. Your salary is just the trade-off you’ve gotta deal with. 

      And no I don’t make a lot. I’ll feel it too because I also work for government.

  17. Anonymous says:

     Never mind the rights and wrongs of cutting civil service wages…

    1. This shows that the Government of the Cayman Islands can’t be trusted to honour contracts. Not good PR these days…

    2. Why are civil servants finding out that their incomes are to be reduced in the press? Or, as is more likely, is this just kite-flying by a desperate politician, who knows that he has to do something quickly before the UK comes and takes over.

    The only way the contracts can be unilaterally re-written is through legislation. The pensions are (I think) protected by the Constitution, so nothing can change there. And I can’t imagine that the Governor would assent to a law that changes the terms and conditions of so many employees.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m just wondering, what would you prefer:

      1) the government lay off/make redundant a large number of civil servants during a financial crisis; or

      2) the government cut the wages of all civil servants, making those who make more money take the bigger hit; or

      3) for everyone, including civil servants and private sector, to start paying income taxes that will probably increase until the day you die.

      What’s that you say? You want none of those options? That’s what I thought you’d say. Now try a dose of reality and pick one. People who would pick choice 3 are completely ignorant of what would happen. People who pick choice 1 are either selfish or uncaring and probably the rank and file civil servants. That leaves choice two. Any questions?

      • Anonymous says:

        You are missing the point.

        As I said, forget about the merits of the idea. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. The pension aspect is illegal, furloughs are illegal and there is no way the FCO will allow a change in the law to ram it through.

  18. Anonymous says:

    "UDP the country wanted…UDP they get"

    • Anonymous says:

      "UDP they wanted…UDP they get"

      First of all you should have said got and second of all you forgot to mention that the PPM and their failed policies is the reason the government has to take these drastic measures….

  19. Anonymous says:

    Title should be changed to :"Finally Mac receives a lil’ praise"!

    • Anonymous says:

      I say let’s stop all this "vote vote" and have the Governor run the country.

       

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Are you crazy?

        And we, the people have no say???

        You can take your British Imperialism and go some place else!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Way to take the bull by the horns MAC!!! Keep them coming!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Something to ponder;

    Why is the deputy Premeir getting her constituency allowance to set up and MLA office when she is, and has been for years, using a government building for her MLA office? 

    Open your eyes people… MAC and JULIE are ruining our islands.

     

  22. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who has some sense realizes this IS NOT a 10% pay cut, but almost a 22% paycut for most, not to mention loss of pension earnings so no retirement.  Here is the math for those that actually had given it some though.

     

    Salary: $4,500

    Health Contribution for Family: $500

    10% "Pay Cut": $450

    Salary: $3,550

    Don’t let Mac fool you, I said last nighte (before the mention of cuts to Civil Servants salaries) that he wasn’t cutting the MLA’s salaries without cutting the Civil Servants.

    My issues are:

    1)  Where is the savings report that was due end of January?  Wasn’t there time spent on this?

    2) Do not implement pay cuts until you have exhausted other avenues or you will find big legal trouble?

    3) Why not just have a "co pay" at the hosptial?  After all, now you want me to contribute$500 a month to crappy care?  At least give me an option to opt out and choose a great company like British Caymanian and Government contribute $500 it would cost them anyways.

    4) STOP HIRING (including your cook Mac!)

    5) Don’t sell the Gov Admin building, as you will pay that for rent in just 10 years or less, and then the gov will have the savings of millions per year.

    6)  Let those that want to take unpaid leave take unpaid leave. I know of people who would take 4 months off UNPAID if you would let them!

    7) If all the above is done, I have no problem helping out by having my salary cut, but until then please just go away.

    • Anonymous says:

       If you are a civil servant and can so see why Mac should cut your pay. Why are you on this website during the day when you should be working? 

      • Anonymous says:

        Come now, perhaps you are too quick to criticise this person could have posted during a lunch break – check the time of their post.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hmmm…

        That goes for both of you!

        As for me, I post comments and work at the same time. Bet you didn’t know someone could that? 🙂

      • Anonymous says:

         You don’t have a clue, the posting time doesn’t mean the submission time.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Mac & Julie have PWD running all over Cayman Brac looking for green dye. The reason being that some of the signs for the up coming agriculture show were printed in red. Of course no red allowed.

    What a petty thing to waste money on when the country is in dire straits. As long as money is consumed faster than what it is collected there will be a cash flow problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mac & Julie disgrace their positions with this kind of petty and wasteful behavior.

      Hard to believe we have them running our country.

    • Anonymous says:

      happened before but cayman media ignored it for some reason

  24. Anonymous says:

    Why not impose a 10% payroll tax across the board!.BVI and Bermuda does it and they still are doing well as financial services jurisdictions.selectively cutting civil servants pay and denying them pension is ridiculous!

    • Anonymous says:

       Dear Anonymous 13:15 –

      TAXATION is not the best solution. In fact, taxation is legalized theft, and it is because of our tax free status to our banking clients that we became so blessed – A pearl, highest standard of living in the Caribbean!
       
      Why should we give our blessing all the other countries are doing it???
       
      I say, let us trim down the size of government and reduce spending. Simple!
       
      Taxation will only oppressed and financially burden the people even more and all our clients will SCRAM to somewhere else. The story of the Legend of the Wreck of the Ten Sails was not just a story for nothing! Legend has it we were blessed by King George – TAX FREE because of our heroism and courage at sea.
       
      As a Caymanian, I believe with all my heart that this Legend was true! My dad told it to me, my mom told it to me, and my grandparents, right down share it with me. THEY TOLD ME OVER AND OVER AGAIN, HOW I SHOULD ALWAYS DEAL RIGHTEOUSLY with visitors. THAT WAS A BANKING PRINCIPLE!  
       
      My grandmother always told me that if you cast your bread upon the waters (meaning be generous to others) after many days that same bread will come back to you. It was a saying.
       
      SO… NO WAY! TAXATION IS TOO UNLIKE THE CAYMAN ISLANDS.
  25. livingcayman says:

    How does this man work for?  They say he kinda fool fool. But he sure know how to work it over on us the Caymanian people.

    Take a salary cut on the big old fat pay cheque of 30%, which will still give you a salary of over $10,000.00 per month. The Caymanian people will feel sorry for you and won’t say anything when you try to sell use like prostitues, kill us with smog from the oil refinery, and give way statues/residency to the rich and others.

    It think to cut the fat in Civil Servants too, give rid of those Chief Financial Officers that are collecting over $90K or $100 per year you donot need them they cannot even produce financial statements.  you have civil servants that are not just pulling their weight, just go into any Governmemt office they on the Black Berry’s sending messages or talking on the phone, obiviously there is no work for them to do.  Other words start cutting civil severants.  

    Where in the world to you find 8.333333% of your pouplation works forthe Government.  No wonder we broke.

    Boy I hope we are not blinded here. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I share your sentiments, but I think you need to do a little more research.

      • livingcayman says:

        Check the Caymanian Compass on the Taxation report that should give you enough research.

      • livingcayman says:

        Here is some more facts to look at I have more email me it will give it to you: –

        Comparative public spending

        Although the report does not propose specific areas of spending to be cut, it does compare the government spending in the Cayman Islands with that of similar countries or territories.

        The comparison was made with 19 non-Europe countries and territories with a population between 5,000 and 125,000. About half of those places were in the Caribbean and half elsewhere. All countries in the group are in a similar situation to the Cayman Islands, in terms of having relatively small populations and having the logistical problems of being relatively remote islands, the report stated.

        “When that comparison is made, it becomes clear that the Cayman Islands government is wholly out of line with its peers, having far higher levels of public spending than any other comparable jurisdiction,” Teather wrote. 

        The report stated that based on UN data for the group of 19 countries and territories, “the Cayman Islands are immediately prominent as having levels of government spending massively higher than the other members, both in absolute terms and when compared to the size of the population.”

        Cayman’s total government spending is twice the level of the next highest member of the group – Antigua and Barbuda – which has a higher population at 88,000. Cayman’s total spending is also more than two and a half times the nearest jurisdiction with a similar population size – St. Kitts and Nevis – which has a population of 52,000.

        In terms of government spending per head of population, Cayman spends more than twice as much the average level for the comparison group and almost 40 per cent higher than the next highest in the group, which is Turks and Caicos.

        “…The group overall shows that spending per head is generally lower for those [jurisdictions] with higher populations, presumably due to economies of scale in government operations,” the report stated. “However the Cayman Islands break this trend, by having significantly higher spending per head than both smaller and larger countries.”

  26. Twyla Vargas says:

    I too must congragulate the Premier on this move.  I also have a suggestion.

    As Premier, President, Boss, Manager or what ever other name we can use.   In his capacity, more attention needs to be put on what districts MLA,s are doing. 

      Each district has their representatives, but are they looking after the concerns of their districts.  Are the people being able to have a conversation about the needs of the administration of the district.   This is lacking in many districts except NorthSide.   I am going to give praise where it is due.

    If the district of Bodden Town have representatives, why is it that they can only be seen with their voting buddies, and not having a meeting adressing what they have done since elected and what is on the agenda to be done.    We want to hear it.  Am I wrong for asking this.

    If you are the Boss on a job construction, to be a good boss on top of things,  You should expect your foreman to be reporting every monday Morning briefing, as to what is taking place on the building construction site.  Or are yougoing to wait until there is a strike, and then run around asking what happened.

    Check on them now, before there is a strike and you will be on top of things.   If I am wrong, then give me hell.

  27. Anonymous says:

    First of all let me start by saying Mr. Bush this should have been done a long time ago your 30% is a drop in the bucket to some of the salaries that these civil servants is trying to live on month to month as for 10.55 please dont forget the Fire Dept Becasue I for one take my hat off to those men People can say what they want but i never forget the good people has been to me and surely XXX if it wasnt for the Fire Dept alot of us would have been up XXXX during Ivan. And many more incidents.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Bravo, sir. Good start.

    Sets the right example.

  29. Anonymous says:

    How will the public ever know that the salary cuts actually took place?

  30. Anon says:

    I have to hand it to the man! He sure is a cunning one! Lord he SCARES me! He knows exactly how to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes! Especially them people who are not smart enough to realize when they are being taken for a fool! This man would do anything to keep the position he’s in now! And that’s all this little stunt is about! A ploy to get everyone back on his side and convince you that he’s really here for you! And when he’s got everyone believing in his BULL again, he’ll be right back to the same old same old and everyone will be left standing with that same old dumbfounded lost look that you’ve had for the past 8 months or so that they have been in power! IT’S A PLOY PEOPLE!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Maybe if McKeeva and the other MLA’s earned the same as the average civil servant we would see a real cut in the expenditure

    It would be interesting to see if they could make ends meet

  32. Anonymous says:

    The salary reduction was illegal ! It was not done correctly.

    This mean we will have to pay that money in lumps sums to each MLA member somewhere in the future anyway?

    Was this just a political move to calm the people ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Only the PPM members would do something so stupid..Really now, like I  would vote for them if they were suing the government to get more money than they should be getting in the first place…how stupid!I

  33. Anonymous says:

    The paycut should be a wake up call for those civil servants who encourage their ministers to squander money on overseas travel, with limousines pickingthem up from airports and taking them on personal shopping trips! The worse is yet to come…….

    • Frustrated says:

      And which civil servants could actually stop them?? Do you really think they consult civil servants about travel? How naive can you get, to even think for a moment that civil servants "encourage their ministers…"? 

  34. Anonymous says:

    Lets not lose sight of what just happened here ! McKeeva and the rest of the UDP is obviously very worried about Chuckie’s march so they pannicked again and decided to do something that would bring the public back on their side.

    Now this is without a doubt a great move but let us just pray that the next response to the pannick won’t be some knee jerk not well thought out damaging action like reducing the salaries of thousands of civil servants and thereby removing that money from circulation in the local economy which will only result in a worsening of the economic situation.

    Question : Does the government understand that its real money that makes the economy work and not the paper transactions that funnels billions of dollars through our financial institutions ?

    Does the government have an economist advising them on economic issues and how to position the country in a sustainable recovery mode in preparation for the global recovery from the recession ?

    Or is the next announcement also dependent upon whats on McKeeva’s mind when he wakes up tomorrow morning ?

    Lord help us for he knows not what he is doing !!!!

    How much longer will the UDP delay the change in leadership ???????????

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m glad someone brought this point up, I was thinking the exact same thing.  I am facing the pay cut and already planning numerous ways of cutting back my spending – less money into the economy.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist does it??

  35. Anonymous says:

    THANK YOU, MAC!

    However, as soon as times get good again, will you restore the salaries back to their original stature?  

    You very well know that what you have done, was made a "temporary political move," because the PPM was getting on your case. You could have done this for the people of the Cayman Islands long ago!

    It is sad that Chuckie and the opposition had to influence you to do this.

    Where is your heart?

    • Dred says:

      For you I give you a big fat thumbs down.

      Why should they return? MLAs almost at will every election votes to increase their salaries. The last time they got like 20-30% rate increases. When is the last time you got a 20%-30% increase in your salary? I know my salary over the past 10 years hasn’t gone up 20% much less year on year.

      Let’s not forget most of these make tidy sums outside of what they make from the CIG.

      NO RETURN!!! We need to bring CIG expenses down on a more permanent basis.

    • Dred says:

      Sorry got so pissed didn’t read your comment fully. My bad.

      I hope this is not short term.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did the heated argument also ask for  the truth about the Deputy Premier’ hotel expenses in Cayman Brac?

      More political propaganda to annoy taxpayers?

    • Anonymous says:

       

      (1) Any reduction in salary will clearly be a breach of contract. How does the Premier propose to deal with this? People are not going to simply accept this (2) Technically speaking, an employee making $4,499 with a 5% cut will now make more money than an employee making $5,501 with a 10% cut??? How can this be justified? (3) No all employees have the same benefits – example, at a particular statutory authority, older employees do not contribute to health insurance whereas newer employees do: perhaps benefits need to be streamlined across the board also (4)  mortgages are approved on a person’s current salary; whether it is a 5%, 10% or 15% cut, this will have a significant impact on meeting existing obligations which are based upon current earnings…are the Banks going to work with customers to re-finance their mortgages, loans and credit card payments when people cannot no longer afford to meet these obligations? (5) The social services department can look forward to a steady increase in patrons and should make plans accordingly.
    • Anonymous says:

      Dear Anonymous – Tue, 03/02/2010 – 11:08.

      In case you have so quickly forgotten….it was the PPM that gave themselves and all MLA’s a raise right before the election in May!! So for you to put blame on Mac or say this is a "political move" is just ludicrous!

      I commend Mac and the UDP government for being so bold with this move, as we know this will not help them gain any popularity, but it is what’s best for the country. And while I am a civil servant and not happy that my pay will be reduced or that I will now have to probably pay insurance….I understand the seriousness of this situation and am willing to do my part.

      For at the end of the day, I would rather have to do this for a period of time….than to have to pay taxes the rest of my life and risk having England takeover.

      Thank you UDP!!! God Bless you all.

  36. A rock and the hard place says:

    Well Mac good job cutting your salary and other MLA’s you guys all put us in this position so it should fall at your doorstep first. 

    To bad everybody else you employ is on contract and you & your senior managements lacked the foresight and has put you at a bad position to be neg now as we have something call contractual law.  By altering the benefits you will violate a lot of contracts even if you change the law because it will go against common law.  You only have one choice is to cut the Plebs salaries or those so loyal to their country.  Sad part is…you have  hired a lot of people in high positions that are not loyal as they come from other places and are only loyal as long as the money flows their way.  They have engaged themselves in Caymans gold rush and have often invested heavily on the sucess of this country.  Now with that idea in question and salaries starting to fall apart they do what any prudent person does when they know someone else is at fault…They seek to reclaim where they can.  The low paid will not have the resources so not a concern but the high paid well in so lies the thorns at our heads.  Sometimes things that look sweet leave a bitter taste in your mouth paaahhh! 

    And your not instilling any confidence in your real estate market as bankers have judged the loans off people salaries that are now being cut.  With this unknown the effect is known more saving less spending.  Also, you best will leave for greener pastures as they grow tired of the dogmas and seeing the mistakes you have made.  

    Do you where the best boots are?

  37. Bruce says:

    We didn’t have to go down this painful road if we had just eliminated overseas travel.  All of you in the private sector who are so happy about this. Remember you get off weekends and don’t have to work throughout the night- when you are in trouble you call us and we come running.

    How would you feel if your employer announced to the world without telling you that you just lost $1500 a month in salary.

    Think about how this will affect the already underpaid Police, Immigration and Customs Officers who risk their lives for you every day.

    • Anonymous says:

      Tue 10:55:

      How, pray, do customs and immigration officers risk their lives for us every day. The worst danger most of the immigration ladies face is dropping down from being overweight and customs officers risk passing on from boredom or rudeness to the public.

    • Anonymous says:

      The three services you mention are possibly three of the worst for rudeness and incompetence.

      Whereas the government should only be cutting jobs from the back office and admin staff roles. The police, customs and immigration etc need to be worked harder. Just because immigration are corrupt and Customs are rude, doesn’t mean they need more staff. They need to be trained in customer service and heads need to roll.

    • Dred says:

      Ahheeeem!!!

      You know it’s post like these that eat away at my soul and all but books my ticket for hell. My only safety net I feel is not even the Devil wants me down there.

      Let me start tearing this post apart piece by piece and I know I will piss some people off but woop tee doo. Here’s reality check time.

      underpaid Police, Immigration and Customs Officers who risk their lives for you every day

      Okay. Where is the fire officers? Why is it that everytime the "give them a raise" get’s thrown around the fire department is left out YET when we found our own personal hell, ala Ivan it was who that was there clearing roads, rescuing people, directing traffic and everything else you can think of? Ooh yeah it was the Firemen (and women). I am trying to remember now how many police officers showed up to protect GT from looters huuummm I believe it was 2 of them and 1 was the commish.

      Now let’s expand a little shall we. The poor police department that is all I can hear yet they get paid substantially more than the fire department from top to bottom and both are risking their lives on a daily basis. Not only that they get to retire earlier and there are also other perks they get that the Fire Department don’t. Like money on the side. Wooops. Yup we have some dirty officers we all know it.

      But in the end my point is this. We usually reward people with raises when they do a good job. Now I wonder what percentage of Cayman would say that they believe the police are in fact doing a good job? I believe right now they are partially to blame (but not completely) for the escallating crime in Cayman.

      Now the other departments such as Customs I am not 100% sure of but Guns and Drugs are coming in hand over fist so I am not 100% sure they deserve either but I don’t know how their salary structure fairs against say Fire/Police.

      Now on to your $1,500 a month loss.

      Now if you are talking real numbers let’s look at what you would have to be making to receive a cut of this amount to begin with.

      $3,000-$4,499 = 5% —Max would be $224.95

      $4,500-$9,999 = 10% —Max would be $999.90

      $10,000-???? = 15% — 10,000 would = CI$1,500

      So you are making CI$10K a month or CI$120K annnually and don’t want to loose $1.5K monthly? Is that your claim to fame here? In the public sector we loose our jobs not just get a cut. Which would you prefer? Many of us can’t find a job that replaces that salary either month after month.

      Stop the darn complaining and go do some work to earn your outrageous salary and be thankful I am not in office making decisions.

      • Dred says:

        Let me add. The FIre Service also fed the people there and protected them despite the fact that their facility was pulling apart at teh seems and the sewage backlogged back into the station. They worked tirelessly thru the night to get the sewage out and keep us all fed.

        If ANY DEPARTMENT in government deserves something its the Fire Service who constantly get no thanks and always when some department is getting praised it either the CIP or Customs or Immigration. I ask you when is the last time you saw some thanks being thrown their way.

        The police are always getting raises at like $500 a month a pop while Fire Department goes unnoticed.

    • Anonymous says:

      1) He cut MLA salaries…not those "underpaid" persons – and customs officers, just so you know, make a pretty penny considering there are no real qualifications needed

      2) I work in the private sector and work almost every weekend.  The higher up you get in the ranks no matter what (corporation), you’re bound to do more over time (and I don’t get paid for over timeeither)

      3) I would gladly take a pay cut over having worked in a department my firm lost entirely this year once the big boss over seas got his first bill with hiked fees attached.

      People take pay cuts every day, get laid off every day and, brace yourself, give up their bonuses every day all for the benefit of their company.  In this case that "company" is the Cayman Islands and it’s "employees" are going to have to make some sacrifices all for the benefit of the greater community. But yes, Mac needs to be held accountable for travel more than ever, as I’m sure this pay cut will give him more reasons to spend the governments money.

    • Anonymous says:

      Okay so I don’t agree with him airing the news without first informing the Civil Servants.  

      However, if someones salary was cut by $1500 a month, that means the person was making $10,000 (as the article states a 15% reduction in top earners i.e 10,000+), now leaving them with $8500.

      I’m sorry but I would rather take $8500 than $0.  Now for those who are not making much as it is, I can understand those people will be hit harder and I feel for them.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Did anyone listen to Rooster this morning?

    Kudos to Gillbert and Ezzard !

    Ezzard I like your solutions… Asking McAlpine to complete the building and we pay them upon completion is a great idea. The amount of money we will save on rent can go towards these payments. Yes we will have a mortgage as well but it will stop the spending for now and give the economy time to recover.

    Gillbert I agree. Marching is a good thing !  It gives our foreign investors a bit of comfort as it is a display of a democratic society not a communist one! Marching  helps the economy! It does not hurt it! This march is not for UDP or PPM . It’s about NOT agreeing with some of this governments decisions. I will be marching for what I believe in.  I hope you do too!

    Elio I hear you stepped in it again. Ezzard has called you out about your "out right lie on TV"  regarding the 100,000 you say he asked for. Will you ever learn to close that yapper ?

      

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes! Ezzard said he went through the numbers. The sewage system is making a profit not a loss ! By his calculations for 2010 it should make somewhere between 3 – 4 million.

      Is it just me or does anyone else have the feeling this government has no idea what they are doing or talking about ! 

      Do they not know how to read finanacial statements? Or are they trying to send us in to panic mode ? What the agenda? Panic? Fear of taxes and a push to independance???

      Ezzard keep up the good work!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, i am quite sure McAlpine have 40 million just laying around that they are trying to get rid of…..oh, pour it into a  building for a client with no money!!!!!! i am sure they will pay you back…..do you take IOU’s?
       

  39. ExBlueGirl says:

     

    Well done! Not that any civil servants want a pay cut, but having a job is better than none.
     
    Mr. Bush, you are doing well and trying for the country and I applaud you for standing up for what is right and not taking any flack.
     
    Get rid of Boatswain Beach, please! Sell it to someone who can make it a fun water park, something for visitors and residents alike. I know, know, know that purchasing and maintaining those imported fish for that ridiculous snorkel pool is an extremely expensive operation. Why have a snorkel pool when we have some of the world’s best snorkeling less than 100 yards away!!! With our own local fish…not imported ones.
     
    I applaud you for the turtle meat decision too…..or you can keep the same price and let the turtle farm get depleted and then…no more turtles! No more headaches! Just like all the poachers taking the conch and lobsters from the sea…soon come, they all be gone too! Maintaining heritage can be a double edged sword!
     
    I do admit that the cooks, drivers and housekeepers rub me wrong and there are people out there making a quarter (or less) of your (Members of Gov’t) salaries that hire helpers to help maintain children and the home, so the Members of Government should have to pay for those luxuries out of their own salaries.
     
    A lot of Government departments need to be weeded; there are people in high places (inside the Departments and above) that protect a lot of the money wasters. And we’ve all seen the 15 (insert Gov’t department) employees standing on the side of the road watching one guy dig a hole!
     
    I agree with another poster about the sick days, get rid of them or reduce it to three days a year. And make civil servants pay for part of their insurance. Do this and you will cut insurance costs.
     
    If a civil servant had to pay a $25.00 fee every time he went for a doctor visit (for example, those sick notes for Mondays and/or Fridays). There would be a heck of lot more people working and a heck of a lot less sick days!!!!
     
    There are a lot of ways to generate revenue; here is one area to start with.
    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry, sweetheart, no reducing or getting rid of sick days. It’s in the Labour Law (2007 Revision) that every singly employee in the Cayman Islands is ENTITLED to ten paid sick days per year.

      s.18 For the first ten days of sick leave taken during any period of twelve consecutive months, calculated from the date of commencement of employment and any anniversary date thereof, an employee shall be paid the basic wage which he would have received had he worked on those days.

      I agree that this privilege is regularly abused in both the private and the public sector, but nowhere are these sick days considered "mandatory" and the allowance in the Labour Law is a basic right, international best practice and absolutely necessary.

  40. Who you tryin fool? says:

    Maconomics 101 – Lets a) Have a pension holiday in order to see more money being injected in to the economy, then;

    b) lets take money from 6000 people who would have otherwise been injecting it in to the economy.

    These boys not dat bright.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I WONDER THOSE WHO ARE NON-CAYMANIANS and CRITICS against the Civil Servants…

    WHAT NOW WILL BE BE POSTING ON CNS? 

    You have ran out of arguments that he has failed to "touch" the civil servants and his own pay!

    Lol… this is a joke…

    :o)

  42. Anonymous says:

    A step inthe right direction after a hundred mile journey in the wrong direction. Will you still get the same amount of work done when there is NO money to pay Civil service and MLAs salaries?  Yes. 

    Watch as the inevitable happens.

  43. Anonymous says:

    You must give the UDP the respect to make such a unselfish decision. It’s extremely refreshing to see that the UDP government is willing to lead by example. I have lived in many countries and have studied the political history of many nations and this is perhaps one of the best examples of how politicians can lead by example. We should all applaud this move, as this is certainly a move in the right direction. It is great to see that politicians are willing to live up to JFK’s famous statement during his Inaugural Address on January 20th, 1961 "ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country".

    Any rational or objective person must accept that this plan by the UDP is a good one for the country. One must not look at this from a political perspective but should admit that this is much better that simple others to expect to shoulder the burden to balance the budget.
     

    • Anonymous says:

      Before you start celebrating let’s wait and see if this actually happens! Probably go down in history like all the rest of their announcements since May 20th! Someone else might soon be coming out to put an end to this move and clarify what Mac really meant to say!! True UDP style!

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      Its great to lead by example…that should have been happening 15 years ago. BUT lets not get carried away. The CIG is in a mess and more needs to happen and quickly. 

  44. Anonymous says:

    I think that all MLA’s should be working on commission. You work for your district, you put ideas on the table, you work on actioning these ideas- you get paid.

    Can anyone tell me what the capt. is doing in Government to earn $9,000+ p/m??

    • Anonymous says:

      Not just the captain-what is the rest of the crew doing for their large salaries?  "Elio"????

      • Anonymous says:

        True. But atleast Elio is out and about, other than running his mouth and breaking into radio stations- I actually thought the road clean-up wasn’t too bad of an initiated start… he tries… I guess. But some of the others are pretty near extinct until next election time. I wonder if Dwayne still Bodden Town frying up fish? Anyone knows?

  45. noname says:

    Poor poor Cayman people… This doesn’t effect the Premeir and his deputy… they have a full expense account that is not considered salary.  Alden knew this and questioned it… Mckeeva responded by saying he was being trapped by the premeirs office.  Hello!!!!!! If he can cut civil servants salaries, surely he can cut unecessary office expenses. 

    Someone below calculated a savings of under half a million for cutting the MLA’s salaries, fair enough, but imagine if Mackeeva and Julie didn’t present themselves with all the pomp and show that they currently do.  It would’ve been cheaper for Government to build a cottage on Julie’s compound than to continue paying for her to have a room at the hotel that her and the body gaurd can stay in.  Imagine the food expenses the two of them and their gaurds run up, not to mention travel, gas and all the other unnecessary expenditures.

    Premeir, you need to look better than cutting the poor mans salary… cut some of the wasteful top dog spending and then you will easily find your 53 million…. no wait I mean 73 million, no wait… ahh whatever it is… you can find it by cutting some of the spending that is not called for.

     

    • I would slap the hell out of Henry Morgan if he was alive says:

      Anonymous @ 09:02 just to correct you,forget poor poor cayman people……it really should be poor poor msinformed(PPM) Cayman people,get it now?in other words the PPM is Cayman’s worst nightmare,feel no way old buddy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. Anonymous says:

    It is all well and good to cut public servants salaries, but….this could be done with a promise to repay when the economy gets better. This move was successfully done in another jurisdiction, the then government of the day and the opposition agreed in principle to repay the (8%) when things "got better". This 8% was repaid five years later albeit by the new government (the then opposition), however, everything turned out well inthe end.

  47. Anonymous says:

    And how about videoconferencing to replace all of the travel….technology has come a long was and no travel expenses?

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       Credit where credit is due. Good start from The Premier….now keep moving for the country. While the voters are listening ….1) tackle the CS now. This will be hard but it is the fastest way to get the budget under control. 2) Crime….don’t leave this up to the Governor. 3) Stay over tourism and a tourism authority instead of the DOT. 4) Education 5) A flat tax will allow you to budget with guaranteed income 6) Give the Turtle farm away right off the investment and get rid of the red ink. 7) CAL…$200 return to Miami with all taxes etc. Get stay overs back. 8) lower fees for fin services ….make Cayman more attractive . 9) get rid of Mt Trash. 10) curb travel and first class perks for yourself……….

      I cannot speak for others but should you tackle the above issues aggressively for the country and the people I will reconsider my stand about your tenure.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed!  And perhaps a change in flights and accomodations when travel is necessary…  Why first class and 6 star hotels?

      The CEO of Ford took a salary of $1 a year to demonstrate he knew the importance of not only setting the example but ensuring his company survived.  (Google it if you doubt)  Why is Cayman so reluctant to make sacrifices if it means the recovery of our economy?  Ford knew that his TEMPORARY sacrifice would ensure the CONTINUED sucess of his company.  We need temporary (and in some cases permanent) sacrifices to ensure the continuity of this country.

      Do please keep in mind not to sacrifice the continued sucess of our island for a temporary fix…

  48. Elephant Man says:

    An interesting move from a man and party who campaigned on the promise of better pay conditions for teachers. Not that anyone really believed it at the time but one can only now trust that based on these promises, they will be exempt from the looming salary reductions.

    • Anonymous says:

      "Thats the Man" as one of your Cayman Bracer supporters referred to you as. A very good and long over due decision, the entire Public is pleased with this. Can one imagine some folks trying to survive with $500 per month when Politicians are earning $13000 to $15000 per month plus all the other perks. I can only imagine that Mack is going to catch hell from the other buddies as alot of them are only there for that FAT SALARY. We know that you genuinely have your people at heart. You was there once and you never forgot that unlike others. Even if they help you it is for that VOTE only. May God bless you and your wonderful wife who never turns no one away.

  49. Don't worry I wont stay says:

    Easy 20% expense cut for civil service.  A four day work week. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Most of them don’t do even four days work.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh… poor tweet… I guess you will cry about it…

        But please don’t touch your salary, or, else you start cussin

    • Anonymous says:

      However that would require 5 days of work in the first place….. based on the % employed in the civil service to population, these Islands should have the best civil service in the world….

    • Anonymous says:

      i actually doubt that civil servants work 4 days a week as it is…

  50. Anonymous says:

    What happens when there’s nothing left to sell?

    Premier McKeeva Bush reportedly shook other Members of the Legislative Assembly last week, when he disclosed that the total operating deficit in Cayman’s public sector had reached more than $56 million in the first half of the fiscal year, instead of the projected $5 million surplus.

    At this rate, it is quite possible that at the end of this fiscal year – seeing that the majority of year-end fees due by companies registered here was due to be paid up by last December – that we could see a shortfall of $100 million by the end of June.

    The Premier told the assembly that without divesting some government assets, there would be no money to pay bills, which would force the mother country, the United Kingdom, to require the enactment of some forms of local taxation and to cut civil service jobs.

    Unfortunately, as many local suppliers can already attest to, there seems to be no money in the Treasury to pay government bills right now, let alone at some unspecified future time.

    Further, the sale of public assets should not be seen as the alternative that Mr Bush clearly perceives to be to cut civil service jobs or other reductions in government spending.

    Over the years, the sale of the country’s assets and heritage, whether in public or private hands, to overseas investors has certainly been the preferred way of doing business and everything, from some of the best real estate holdings in the Caribbean to the right to do business in the Cayman Islands, seems to have been available if the price was right and as long as the privileged few got their share by way of the ubiquitous “commissions.”

    It should, therefore, come as no surprise that Mr Bush’s seemingly exclusive focus is the sale of government assets in order to fund the budget deficit.

    Whilst the privatisation of generally wastefully-run, state-owned enterprises is very often a good thing in terms of free market economic principles, especially when government has no business being in that field in the first place, this time around there seems to be a significant amount of grassroots resistance at this late stage in our development to “selling off” the country’s assets.

    Furthermore, with the well-publicised financial exigencies currently faced by the government, are we now going to get the best price from potential investors who no doubt smell a fire sale in the offing? And will government reveal who will be the recipient of the commission for arranging the sale?

    And, finally, if nothing is done to reduce the other side of the government’s financial equation – that of public expenditure – what is going to happen when there’s nothing left to sell?

    Ominously, Mr Bush clearly has no current plans to cut public expenditure, because one of his reasons for selling assets at this time is to avoid civil service layoffs.

    However, this is not something that can continue forever, or at all – simply because there is a finite amount of public assets to sell, and thereafter the underlying reality of state budgeting will kick in – reduce expenses or impose new direct taxation.

    The recently released report by Richard Teather on the effects of the introduction of direct taxation in the Cayman Islands, commissioned by Cayman Finance, had much to say – none of it complimentary – about the level of expenditure by the government, especially when compared to other countries and territories of corresponding size.

    When that comparison is made, Mr Teather says, it becomes clear that the Cayman Islands government is wholly out of line with its peers, having far higher levels of public spending than any other comparable jurisdiction. This is the same whether we look at total spending or spending per head of population.

    The comparator group chosen was non-Europe countries and territories with a population between 5,000 and 125,000. This gives a group of 19, roughly half in the Caribbean and half elsewhere.

    Based on United Nations data for this group, the report says, the Cayman Islands are immediately prominent as having levels of government spending massively higher than the other members, both in absolute terms and when compared to the size of the population.

    In fact, spending by the Cayman Islands government is almost twice the level of the next highest (Antigua & Barbuda, which has a higher population of 88,000); and two and a half times the level of the nearest jurisdiction with a similar population level (St Kitts and Nevis, population 52,000).

    All countries in the group are in a similar situation to the Cayman Islands, in terms of having relatively small populations and having the logistical problems of being relatively remote islands.

    According the data provided by Mr Teather, government spending per head of population in the Cayman Islands is over twice as high as the average level for comparable countries; and almost 40% higher than the next highest (Turks & Caicos Islands).

    Moreover, the report says, the group overall shows that spending per head is generally lower for those with higher populations (presumably due to economies of scale in government operations). However, the Cayman Islands break this trend, by having significantly higher spending per head than both smaller and larger countries.

    This, then, is the underlying problem that has not yet been addressed effectively or at all, but needs to be faced as a matter of urgency – that of government spending

  51. Frustrated says:

    Kudos to ‘MLA Salaries Numbers’! (from yesterday)

    Public opinion always seems to come down on the side of civil servants being overpaid and underworked. Perhaps some are, but that certainly does NOT apply across the board.

    More to the point, it’s time people realized that civil servants have endured a PAY FREEZE for more than seven years now. The media loves to refer to their pay increases but in fact there haven’t been any–only minimal COL (cost of living) adjustments. Those are a joke anyway since they always lag woefully behind the ever-rising cost of existing!

    And there are so many other misunderstandings about how well off the average civil servant is. For example, I have a relative who after more than ten years with government now receives a magnificent pension of $200 per month! That’s only half of the amount a registered indigent receives monthly!

    So what’s with "cessation of government pension payments"? (Although, as with the $200 pension payment,  while the pension contributions made by government for their employees can look good on paper, they don’t always amount to much down the line).

    Anyway, now it is decided that they must accept pay cuts–just like the Premier and other government ministers. But the point is, all Cabinet  ministers / senior officials enjoyed significant pay increases during the time of the civil service pay freeze–so who is really going to suffer here? 

    They will still be receiving more than they did before the whopping pay increases they all granted themselves not so long ago, whereas civil servants–many of whom are already living paycheck to paycheck because costs have gone up but not salaries– are now told they must endure 10-20% cuts!  

    It seems to me that it’s now that the country is going to see a rise in hand to mouth misery, not to mention foreclosures and the like. And as for morale in the public service…So much moaning about civil servants but take them all away and close all public offices for just one regular work day and just see what will happen! Talk about the country "going belly-up"!

    • Anonymous says:

      if you don’t like it, get a job in the real world (private sector)

      • Who you tryin fool? says:

        You have actually caught on to the point of the whole exercise, well done. This move is meant to force as many as possible to leave the Civil Service of their own free will so the blame for downsizing cannot be placed on the Government of the day. Many positions will indeed be vacated and not refilled. Watch this space.

        Mac Daddy might not find favour with most but he is good at playing the game, that much I will give him.

         

  52. Anonymous says:

    Sigh.

    It’s amazing how these politicians can throw out something in the public domain without simple number crunching first.

    Now someone who earned 4400 will leapfrog one who worked for 4501 per month because of a politician’s wave of his magic pen.

  53. Anonymous says:

    This token gesture sends the right message.  It means Premier Bush is at least thinking in the right direction.  But now, he must take the unpleasant but absolutely essential step of pruning back hard civil service jobs.  The dead (and even the withered) blooms must go— first and foremost, any civil servants sent home on full pay after Mr. Bush took office, and who are in their gardens every day pruning their rose bushes on a government salary. Do this Mr. Bush and public opinion about your Premiership will improve.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      lol…

      As if Premier Bush is indebt to you! 

      No matter what… Civil Servants are the HEAD and will run the show and set their own salaries like any other private entity would do!

      Adios Amigos

      :o)

  54. Save Cayman NOW! says:

    BRAVO MCKEEVA!…

    Congratulations are really in order for such a BOLD MOVE that the PPM would have  been too WIMPY toeven consider…

    You have shown great leadership: on to cutting the Civil Service – now that you have properly showed the example – along the lines I have proposed earlier in several posts:

    "CUT the Civil Service, McKeeva, starting with the politicians salaries and perks, like savvy countries all over the world are now doing with a renewed sense of urgency, as this recession is far from over…

    Without counting the Authorities owned by government, there is 1 Civil Servant for every 14 residents, consuming ~55% of the entire Cayman Budget in perks and salaries.

    The next most bloated Civil Service location in the Caribbean is Puerto Rico with 1 Civil Servant for every 23 residents: thankfully many have been laid off recently, as funds run out to pay them…

    Here are some suggestions you should seriously examine:

    – To set a good example, cut the salaries of the all the non-ministers and opposition members who are actually only working part time by 40%, the ministers salaries by 15% and grant pensions according to time and position served: ie, a back bencher who served 2 terms would get 25% of full pension and a minister who served 3 terms would get around 50%…

    – Make Civil Servants pay their 1/2 contribution of pension and health contributions currently forked out by Cayman’ citizenry and save about $25  million…

    – Reduce their numbers to be more in line with other islands in the Caribbean, say no more than 1 Civil Servant for every 20 residents, or a ~25% reduction and save about $70 million…

    – Bring their salaries down a notch – say 10% on average with large salaries being penalized more than the lower ones – more in line with the realities of other sectors of the economy that have had to tighten their belts in this recession andave about $35 million…

    – Stop guaranteeing their pensions: there is great inequality in having the citizens of Cayman obligated to make up any shortfall for any reasons – including recession and mismanagement – in the Civil Servant pension funds, when their own funds are going down the drain…

    – Stop paying them to do nothing: there is no reason why they should be guaranteed a life-long salary if they no longer have a job to do. However, neither should they be dismissed at the whim of politicians  without good reasons…

    – Stop fearing the Civil Servants – where is your courage when you need it most? – forget about the next election AND, simply do your DUTY!…

    McKeeva, you balance a budget by cutting expenses first, then if necessary, sell the profitable Authorities by leveraging their assets as public companies where government retains a majority interest – nobody wants to buy any of the losers on the government’s books – and then, only then, borrow if you still can…

    Btw, if these measures are not taken ASAP, they will be imposed by the force of circumstances, as the government will soon run out of assets to sell and willing lenders to bail out the Cayman Islands…"

    There will be some hardships, but if you manage, in these recessionary times, to balance the budget within 3 years by cutting costs to the bone and keeping borrowings under control, I guarantee you’ll be reelected…

     

     

     

     

    • Good points but..... says:

      I still haven’t been able to find an economist who would agree with cutting back the civil service and then there are no jobs in the private sector available for them, just think of all the extra problems such a move would cause and extra resources government would actually be spending supporting your 25% cut proposal.

      Remember Key Employee!

      No jobs in the private sector = no lay-off in the public sector.

      When you have the magic touch is resolving this let me know. 

  55. Not the problem says:

    This does not address the real need – a massive cut in the civil service.  We should have a government payroll of 1500.

  56. Anonymous says:

    "Bush accused the PPM of creating the trappings of the premier’s office, which he had not voted for"

    It is interesting that McKeeva loudly barks about this but does he not realize he has a choice and could simply say ‘no’ to the trappings of the premier office.  If he voted no and felt soooo strongly about it then don’t use it.  Its like he tryng to say you forcing me to use these trappings PPM against my will.  McKeevea pleeez!! 

    • Anonymous says:

      Today McKeeva has earned my respect – Something radical needed to be done and it was time that the leaders led by example.  Good job Mac.  I see some really positive things happening right now – it has taken a financial crisis, threat by the opposition and the murder of a little boy but at last some positive changes are being made.

    • Anonymous says:

      Stupid remark!  If the PPM were in power, I hardly believe they would be foregoing all the perks THEY put in place for themselves, beginning with the nice expensive vehicles they bought.  So much sour grapes from the PPM is simply disgusting.  Get to some solutions instead to help fix the mess you created!

  57. Anonymous says:

    well done… now move onto the rest overpaid, underachieving, over staffed, under worked civil service

    • Anonymous says:

      OH PLEASE!

      As if you are directing the Premier what to do. You need to also realize if the Civil Service fail, there will be less consumer spending, which is bad for the Island – Wake-up

    • Anonymous says:

      As a civil servant who works at least 11 hours a day five days a week i.e. no sick days but who is on a fixed tern contract, there is no way I will agree to a pay cut unless there is some agreement to extend my contract.

      • Anonymous says:

        lol…

        The fact is, you are not a Civil Servant!  You are just creating an argument to fuel postings against the Civil Servants…

        Why don’t you get a life and take the next flight!

        :o)

        • Anonymous says:

          On what basis have you come to this conclusion? That I put in 11 hour days or that I have not taken any sick leave?

          Unless the Government honour its side of my contract I will leave dispite the fact that I love living here. I have heard the arguement that when finances improve then those who took the pay cuts wil be compensated. For those of us on fixed term contracts there is no possibility of this occuring.

      • Anonymous says:

        You would rather lose your job than agree to a pay cut..Now that’s smart!

        • Anonymous says:

          Absolutely not. I work hard and I fulfil my side of the contract. I expect the Government to fulfill their side. If not then I will voluntarily seek work elsewhere.

          For those who will say such things as good riddence and I dont have the same committment as I am not a Caymanian. I love living here and I am committed 100% to whatever job I am doing irrespective of where I come from. I wonder can everyone say the same? 

    • Bobby Anonymous says:

      Totally Agree!

      And, I AM a civil servant, we should all pay 50/50 health and insuance.

      Will it affect pay? Yes, but If you got to pay for it, you might not take it for granted and help the system instead of riding it.

      Also get rid of these "mandatory 10 days sick".  To many people think they are a holiday and "MUST" use them or lose them. How many civil servants actually abuse these? 10 civil servants X 10 days sick = 100 days that we/I have to pay for one way or another, and it go’s on and on.

      What about a time and motions study? I bet that would rattle a few cages!

      Get rid of the baggage!!!!

       

      • Anonymous says:

        There is no such thing as "mandatory sick days". It’s an allowance for paid sick leave (the private sector has it too). But too many civil servants play sick to get the 10 days every year although others NEVER take sick days.

      • Anonymous says:

        Bobby Anonymous, maybe you can lead the way by volunteering t pay 100% of your pension and insurance and taking a 20% cut in salary.But wait you are probably in the same pay bracket as the premier so you can afford it.

    • Anonymous says:

      lol… and touch the rest of the overpaid, underachieving, over staffed, under worked private sector…

      Opps… did I step on your toes?  I know you probably make more than one of our MLA’s, and emailing from some other country… 

      :o)

  58. Tuco says:

    Now you talking Mackeewa now implement performance pay for some of these MLAs most lazy actors who do absolutely nothing but run around collecting salary. I know some people bawling now, about having no pocket money. Cut off some of these ex politicians money also who made millions in office and now running around playing like they do not know what is going on in this country after they have destroyed young Caymanian’s future. Many of them have sat down and slept on people hopes and dreams on this little island. They now expect us to hold them in reverence and shower them with accolades about their visionary policies, on the contrary they should be jailed and banished from our community for what they were malicious political parasitic pirates and pariahs.

  59. Anonymous says:

    While this move is an admirable one, how can one man just decide and announce salary cuts like this? Is there not a proper process for such matters to go through? And this is Democracy???

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman is more akin to a republic in the sense that we dont vote for every single person running for office….and come on…democracy? keep waiting and wishing…

    • Anonymous says:

      Wait a sec!

      This man, when he does not cut Civil Servant’s salaries – you say he is not doing enough, and he is a greedy dictator!

      Now when he begins by cutting his own salary, you say, he is not being democratic!

      What is that???

  60. Anonymous says:

    Preach 19.57, preach!

    And quite often not with the insurer, premium, coverage, cost of your own choosing either.  And if you ever lightly scratched your nose with the tip of your finger don’t mention it, because they’ll refuse to insure your entire face.  Oh, and better check those policies in case you are ever referred abroad due to no facilities here.  Many do not cover even the most basic overnight accommodation/travel during required treatment abroad… hotels/motels don’t come cheap, and its not easy hobbling on crutches/catching buses/taxis the mile+ journey to and from hospital every day.  Things like this when you have no facilities in your own locality (where you can go home) should be standard cover, especially at the rate premiums cost here.  And boy do they like not to pay when it comes to the crunch, even after they’ve taken thousands from you year in year out with no claim whatsoever!

  61. Anonymous says:

    Good move

                       It’s a good start in the right direction. When you get this squared up, Mr Bush, please continue with the National flag carrier — too many freebies there for empolyees. If you have any change left over, build three toll boths at three locations — Red Bay by On the Run, one on the West Bay bypass and one near the Wharf on West Bay Road. Think it is long overdue that the people who use the roads should pay to do so instead of Goverment raising duties that my grandma also has to pay to survive.  In other words, even though she doesn’t drive a car she still has to help pay for road works.  In addition, maybe when we go to the grocery store and spend $175.00, we’ll be able to walk out with more than four small plastic bags of food.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your grandma might not own a car but surely she uses a road at somepoint in her life?! And it looks likeyou need to adjust your shopping habits in the supermarket if you are only coming away with 4 small bags for $175!!

  62. Anonymous says:

    Read the story people. Mac is just putting blinders on those who already worship him. What good is a little cut like that going to do? Increase school population, decrease private insurance policies, reduce travel on CAL, increase cost of living.
    Mac would have to be a fool to do such a thing… Then again maybe he is.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Ok, it’s been said a million times, but why don’t they pay their pension and medical like everyone else?  also, PRIVATIZE sections like the NRA and parks and recreation.  i am sure that island paving and nrcp would love to bid on all the road jobs, and when two want the job, the price will drop!!!! any landscaping companies would also fight at the chance to bid on keeping the parks and cemetaries groomed, again, the more that want it- the lower  the price.  every other government already subcontracts things such as this and it always works out better and cheaper…..the only concern is conflicts of interest….but could work out….

    • Anonymous says:

      Mon 22:53:

      Can’t privatise NRA and other such government entities because the first thing a private owner would do is get rid of the many redundant Caymanian staff (these are the organisations that employ Caymanians) in order to have a chance at making a profit.

  64. PNJMKR says:

    WELL DONE PREMIER !!

    new ray of hope………….

    Time to Revise roll over policy to few more years  and restrict permanent Residency to minimun to safe guard interest of all Caymanian.

    Total estimation should be done of current goverment holding projects and revise it by neccesaties of the same.

  65. Anonymous says:

    Why can’t government use Skype for its international calls like the rest of us??

  66. Anonymous says:

    WOW McKeeva!!  Finally you are listening to the people and reading the blogs.  That is just the start, now you need to seperate Boatswaine from the turtles and try to make sale for that losing project, charge everyone a $10 – $50 annual head tax, let everyone who has a child in the publicschool pay their school fees, let the Civil Servants pay a monthly 2.5% pension and a 20% on their hospital/Insurance bill and start charging those millionairs a 10% annual property tax on their million $$$$ homes.  Collect the concession money from Dart and The Ritz, then start charging a 10% Tax on anyone who is making a $10,000 per month salary and more.  These are solutions McKeeva, use them and you will be very surprise.  Finally you are starting to show some sign of doing the right thing, keep it up.

  67. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Mac continue to do what you do best ignore thesesmall minded people who sit down and criticize whatever you do cause they just love to find fault in your doing.

    What you have done is big step and more than what the previous government would have done…Just continue to do your job the best way you can and know that they are people out there who support you.

    Many people sit back and criticize you and they can never bring any form of  suggestion’s to the forum. Sometimes you have to wonder if they are just so unhappy that they have to find someone to blame for their unhappiness.

    Sir, continue to do your job and know that you can not please many of us! May God continue to bless you and your family

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Credit where its due I commend Bush on this long-overdue move.  But I won’t concur with your sentiments until I see alot more in terms of sustained and consistent results from the man responsible for looking after the best interests of this country and its people. And keeping good, or at least diplomatic relations with other countries and individuals.  He has a very responsible position and could do a lot of good with it, but he needs good housekeeping (a good housewife could easily control those purse-strings!) and good counsel, and I worry about that latter greatly.

  68. Anonymous says:

    I’m happy this finally happened, but I strongly question why we had to wait until Mac was so low in the polls that without some kind of action to try and absolve his previous blunders. Why wasn’t this done right after elections when he kept crying out how bankrupt we were? It’s the right action now, but for all the wrong reasons. Mac should have listened to the will of the people long before they practically threatened to throw him out, back when it mattered. Good job Mac, but it’s too late to save yourself now.

    • Anonymous says:

      IT’S ALL POLITICS, MY FRIEND

      As soon as times get good again, you will see the salary increases!  What he done was just a temporary political move, because PPM was getting on his case

      • Anonymous says:

        PPM getting on his case….. ha ha ha……….They are doing a little bit more now than when they were in power,I do not want to jump the gun or swear but come 2013 the UDP is going to put another asswipping on them……………

  69. slowpoke says:

    In regards to the health insurance payment, the issue is not whether or not an employee pays 50%, co-pays, has yearly deductibles…

    The real issue is that the current scheme is totally flawed.  The lawyers, bankers, accountants and managers, who can easily afford to pay extra, all have the “Gold” plan.  The helpers, servers, dive masters and gardeners, who cannotafford any additional payments, have the “Bronze” plan.

    If we had a single payer system for primary care (that provided on Island(‘s) services), we would not only ensure proper care for all Caymanians and Expats (no more “baby on the plane”), but we would also reduce costs because of bargaining power.

    This is no more than political grandstanding, instead of solving the underlying problem.  The Plan and Law have to be trashed and replaced.

    • Anonymous says:

      For a population of our size, yes I completely agree. CINICO has been flawed from the beginning. How can an insurance co operate with a client base that are users (no deductibles) and are the old and rejected sick from all the other carriers.

      This is one of the roots of our financial problems!

      If CINICO is to exist and it must since the commercial carriers do not want the old or sick, then CINICO must change it’s focus and run as a commercial carrier. This would include offering plans in line with Aetna with simular costing structure. With this in place, I don’t think most civil servants would mind contributing to the premium. The second step would be to taget the market and write as much of the market as possible with the ultimate goal of being the largest heath insurer on the island and possibly the only. CINCO would then write enough business to off set the bad risks and be able to purchase proper reinsurance. As a Gov’t entity, for something like heath care, it could get to a position of being a non-profit organization and at the least not be a drain to the country.

      Now the problem…..again hard choices need to be made. Get rid of the expensive TPA and the person that is lining their pockets from that arrangement! Put in place a capable CEO that can or has run an insurance company and give the mandate that they accomplish what is outlined above in 3 years.

       

  70. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Premier, this is exactly what any great leader would do ,and I expected no less from you. Mr. Premier, despite what all the naysayers say or do, you need to keep focused on what is best for the country. It is clear from the recent plans to protest by the opposition that they are not really concerned about the well being of the country but are only concerned about their own agenda.

    Mr. Premier you have taken the most courageous route instead of trying to please everyone. Please try and instill the same level of courage in the leader of the opposition. It appears that he is more courageous defending the price of Turtle meat than trying to implement strategies to assist the country financial.

    Mac, you have the support of the silent majority, so please don’t let the PPM or their supporters affect your plans to take this country out of its economic problems. Mac, please continue to take an altruistic approach to all the major issues facing the country. You have support in all sections of the community.

  71. Two Can Play at this Game says:

    Better keep building those schools, because as I said before, I will be pulling my two children out of private school and placing the financial burden of responsibility for their schooling firmly on the shoulders of the Government. That’s just for starters. Your little 5-10% paycut is going to cost you a lot more than you think.

    • durrrr says:

      quit your job and apply for a poor persons allowance – that’ll really learn ’em!

      • Two Can Play at this Game says:

        Thanks for your suggestion, I did ponder it briefly but in the end decided to go another route.

        Instead, I will simply do 5-10% less work than what I do now, which essentially means 5-10% more Facebook/CNS time for me. Good news for me but not for those of you who choose to read my writings I suppose! The grossly overpaid Management don’t have a clue so my job is safe. In any case, the Civil Service is a cult of sorts. As long as I don’t rat out Management for doing nothing, I can get away with it too, we look out for each others interests you see.

        I’m off down to the Education Department to do the enrollments, I’ll check you back when I get back to the office, maybe even chat with you on Facebook later to see if you have any other ideas for me.

        Ta for now.

        • Anonymous says:

          I’m going to go ahead and doubt that you’re actually a civil servant (or at least a truthful one) because while CNS is certainly open Facebook and many other websites are very effectively blocked on the network by the Computer Services Department. Nice try though. Us civil servants have slightly less opportunities to slack off online than most people think.

          • Two Can Play at this Game says:

            You doubt incorrectly my friend. Just got in to work and feel like posing for a half hour or so. Then I will check out my Facebook page and see who is around to chat with. That’s the beauty of EDGE technology. Just because you haven’t figured it out yet, doesn’tmean the rest of us are not up to date. For the record, I saw at least 5 of my Civil Servant Facebook friends online yesterday, just to let you know. Stop working so hard, relax a little. Take your mind off the stresses and strains. You might be more productive as a result.

        • Save Cayman NOW! says:

          With the little you already do…

          There is no way you could possibly do 10% less without being totally absent from work!…

          Quit being a Civil Servant, so representative of this PRIVILEGED and  SPOILED CASTE and go to work in the private sector for around 40% less pay, if you find someone who don’t mind slackers and is willing to employ you with your Civil Servant  resume…

          And don’t forget to pay your 1/2 of Pension and Health contributions while you’re at it…

           

           

  72. Anonymous says:

    Unless I missed it, there is no mention as to when this will be effective. Now, in a month,this year or next year????? Sounds good but like most things the government plans to do it takes forever for it to happen.  So all talk for now.  I want to see some action!!!!! 

    • Anonymous says:

      Damn, and you got two thumbs up already for this… you better all go back and re-read:

       

      “We agreed that effective March 2010, the premier would have his salary reduced by 30% and all other elected members of the House would have their salaries reduced by 20%,” Bush added.

  73. Anonymous says:

    MLA Salary #’s in $$$

     I had to put this all in perspective.  

    I had no idea we were spending CI  $ 2,115,552   for our MLA’s . The salary cuts bring this down to CI $1,709,672 saving us  CI $405,910 + half health insurance.

    They are as follows:



    Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush – $14,818 per month      177,816 (annually) -53,344.80 (30%) =CI $ 124,471.20 new annual salary + 35,000 personal housekeeper = 159,471.20  revised new salary

               
    *Speaker of the House Mary Lawrence – $14,106 per month –  169,272 (annually)- 33,854.40 (20%) = CI $ 135,417.60 new annual salary
               
    *Cabinet Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly – $13,425 per month – 161,100 (annually)- 32,220 (20%) =CI $128,880 new annual salary
               
    *Cabinet Minister Mark Scotland – $13,099 per month    157,188 (annually) -31,437.60  (20%)= CI $ 125.750.40 new annual salary
               
    *Cabinet Minister Rolston Anglin – $13,099 per month   -157,188 (annually)- 31,437.60 (20%) = CI $ 125,750.40 new annual salary
               
    *Cabinet Minister Mike Adam -$13,099 per month   -157,188 (annually)- 31,437.60 (20%) = CI $ 125,750.40 new annual salary
               
    *Leader of the Opposition Kurt Tibbetts – $10,541 per month –  126,492 (annually) – 25,298.40 (20%) =CI $ 101,193.60 new annual salary
               
    *Deputy Speaker Cline Glidden, Jr. – $10,033 per month -120,396 (annually) -24,079.20 (.20) =  CI $96,316.80 new annual salary
               
    *Opposition MLA Moses Kirkconnell – $9,316  per month- 111,792 (annually) -22,358.40 (20%) = CI $ 89,433.60 new annual salary
               
    *Backbench MLA Capt. Eugene Ebanks -$9,316  per month- 111,792 (annually) -22,358.40 (20%) = CI $ 89,433.60 new annual salary
               
    *Opposition MLA Alden McLaughlin – $9,316  per month- 111,792 (annually) -22,358.40 (20%) = CI $ 89,433.60 new annual salary
               
    *Opposition MLA Arden McLean -$9,316  per month- 111,792 (annually) -22,358.40 (20%) = CI $ 89,433.60 new annual salary
               
    *Opposition MLA Anthony Eden – $9,316  per month- 111,792 (annually) -22,358.40 (20%) = CI $ 89,433.60 new annual salary
               
    *Backbench MLA Ellio Solomon – $9,090 per month – 109,080 (annually)-21,816  (20%)= CI $87,264 new annual salary
               
    *Backbench MLA Dwayne Seymour – $9,090 per month – 109,080 (annually)-21,816  (20%)= CI $87,264 new annual salary
               
    *Independent MLA Ezzard Miller – $9,316 per month – 111,792 (annually)- 22,358.40(20%) = CI $ 89,433.60 new annual salary
               
               
               
               

    Well done Mac.This is a good start.  But spending 1.7 million in basic salaries (for 16 people) to the house members is still quite a large chuck of money for our little island. In my opinion they were all overpaid to begin with.  This just brings it down to where it should have been in the first place.

    Most civil servants do not make anywhere near these numbers and live hand to mouth now.  I am afraid  for most cutting their salaries may lead to many financial hardships.

    Perhaps we close Boatswain Beach. Keep the Turtle farm and save the 9 million a year instead?

     

     

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      I still think back benchers are over paid…..most of them spend their time running their own business.

      You were surprized by the salaries…..we have many civil servants making in excess of $100,000. Some that are not even working like the former deputy FS. Now I have no problem with civil servants making a good income but they have to work for it. We have too many up in there that do nothing and should feel guilty since they are not earning their pay check. Think of all those well paid CFO’s who’s job is to do the books for their departments…..are they done yet? Speaking of highly paid dead weight….wehave some of those at Boatswain Beach that could be cut to reduce their expenditure.

      I do not support cutting Gov’t salaries for anyone making less than say $4,000/month but the rest, absolutely and get rid of some of the high paid dead weight.

       

    • Anonymous says:

      Una forgot these numbers are out of date. Didn’t Mac and Juliana got a raise when then became Premier and Deputy Premier? Making more like $ 200,000 – 300,000 ?

  74. Anonymous says:

    The chauffeur and cook has got to go too!! We just can’t afford it!!  

  75. Anonymous says:

    A very good move, Mr. McKeeva. In this  dire financial times for the country, you al have set a good example with the pay cuts, health insurance contributions etc.

    It is now time for the civil service includig those in the statutory bodies to follow this example. Right now , you are all being looked at in very poor light by the public.

    You could do better than the politicians buy constuctively suggesting which posts should be made redundant.

    Many people like me are waiting for the big announcement from you all.

  76. Anonymous says:

    ALL government air travel should be in economy class with accommodation at budget hotels!!  Lets see if Mr Premier will put that into effect!! 

  77. ruttering says:

    Before you all get carried away:  They are still going to get $130 000+ p.a. They will still keep all their perks and probably invent others that they haven’t thought of yet.  Compared with a British MP, earning the equivalent of CI$80 000 a year and who represents several tens of thousands, or a Town Councillor representing several thousand constituents in the UK who get nothing but expenses,  they will continue to be ridiculously overpaid.

    But now Bush will now be able to say to ordinary government workers, "Look, we’ve taken a 29% cut.  We’re only going to cut yours by 15%."  

    That will be his next step.  For a breadwinner with a family who earns less than $40 000 p.a., a 15% cut will have an enormous impact.  His or her mortgage repayments won’t drop by that amount and nor will food or utility prices.  Don’t be fooled!

  78. Anonymous says:

    Mr Bush has a once in a generation opportunity to be remembered as a statesman, not just another politician.

    It is said that moving to cut civil service pay and benefits is electoral suicide, and it may well be, but continuing to bury our collective heads in the sand and avoiding this tough decision is economic suicide on a scale that the general electorate just doesn’t yet fathom. 

    Time to lead, Mr Bush !

    My thoughts on the background to this.

    No amount of revenue measures or other tinkering can balance the budget in the time required.

    Just to be crystal clear on that, we now have only a matter of weeks, as even if our Financial Secretary does the honourable thing by resigning as the man responsible for radically understating the depth of government’s financial problems not just once, but twice… it is nowhere near enough.

    It is unfortunate, but right now the ONLY choice to avoid the UK government starting to dictate terms to us is to cut civil servant pay and benefits. There is no other choice that will do the job.

    To the poster who noted "why should civil servants be the ones to suffer?", it is high time that the cushioned civil service felt the same pain as the private sector, where this recession has radically impacted earnings, benefits, employment, security for so many.

    That same poster’s main defence was then the obvious one… what about this government programme or that government programme, ie pointing fingers at others (human nature).

    Nobody seems willing to recognise what is staring them in the face. By far the biggest element of any Government budget is staff cost, and without addressing that, we simply can’t make our public sector budget sustainable.

    Last point. At this point even introducing direct taxation won’t be enough for the UK Government (and for once, I’m agreeing with them, all those responsible for generating and publishing the ridiculously over-optimistic last couple of budgets have done us a great dis-service…as a country, we are the boy who cries "wolf!").

    Direct taxation won’t be enough, as the UK will see that we have done nothing to cut back on the economic tapeworm that is growing in the belly of our economy.

    Very, very few private sector employees have had any pay increase in the last two years, and many have seen cuts or been made redundant. A 10% cut in private sector pay and a (say) $125 per month contribution per employee to medical costs and 5% contribution to pension… these would make a big difference and be considered reasonable to anyone in the uncushioned private sector.

    Time to act !

     

     

  79. Anonymous says:

    Here goes everything. Mckeever trying to blind side the civil service by taking a pay cut. Of course he can take a cut because he has all of his expenses paid. What about the poor Caymanian trying to make a living? Just when they are getting ahead UDP kills there progress.
    Imagine poor people in the Brac where Government provides most of the employment.
    MLA’s can do with a cut because most of them either have other businesses or this is the most money they have ever made. Either way it won’t be a big hit to them. Civil servants should walk if this goes through. I thought UDP was going to straighten out all the problems? Let’s put poverty, robbery and murder on the next manifesto as problems to solve.
    Well done UDP, you have destroyed the Cayman as we know it.

  80. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic first step in leadership. Big Mac…keep leading by example.

    I understand that Gov’t employees don’t want to give on paying part health premiums & pension however, would you rather keep your job with a bit lower pay or loose it all together? Some of the private sector have had to make those hard choices and many are working less hours with a little less pay but at least they have a job.

    These are hard times and this too will pass but we all need to get through it together.

    Gov’t must cut expenses. We can’t just keep increasing fees while they spend at the same pace. Gov’t needs to get rid of PFI as all it did was increase the cost to Gov’t with top heavy jobs. We are too small to have a decentralized Gov’t.

    As for all the heads and tails in Gov’t taking pay off’s, you are robbing your own country.

     

     

  81. Anonymous says:

    What is the difference between a pay-cut and taxes?

    • Anonymous says:

      You have a valid point!

      I wonder how many of those in the private sector, wouldn’t mind having their salaries cut at least 5%

      And these biggies (many of them foreignors) who dogging the Civil Servants and Caymanians make more than the MLA’s

  82. Lawless Caymanian says:

    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. That is called "doing the right thing" and is what we need more of now, than ever.

    • Trying Hard!!!! says:

      I know he trying hard – trying hard to win back a little support that he has continued to lose in the hundreds since the elections, but you have a long way to go Bo Bo, but I support you in this.

  83. Anonymous says:

    I am glad to see that our Premier FINALLY seems to be listening to what the people are demanding. Thank you Mac.

    Now please set a further example by getting rid of the chauffeur, chef and housekeeper that the people are paying for and setting new rules for the maximum that can be spent per day on government travel and more restrictions on air travel.

    Please also change the rules for health insurance for civil servants and other costs involving the civil service.

    Good Start.

  84. Shock and Awe!!! says:

    money.  where can we find money?

    there isn’t any under the couch

    there’s none under the mattress

    none in the bank

    He HAS been reading these forums!!  There are going to be some unhappy BlackBerry twiddlers tomorrow.  I hear that train a comin

    While you’re at it Mr. Premier and now that you realize we’re all in this together…

    We have a million other suggestions

    Beginning with the first 6000 …..

  85. Anonymous says:

    Too little, too late.

    I don’t want to bash Mr. Bush for this decision.  It is a move in the right direction.  Unfortunately this should have been done back in September when he already knew the country was in trouble.

    Enough with the past.  Good start Mr. Bush.  Now for the next act.

    1. Cut the civil service.  You will not get enough savings out of pay cuts.

    2. Stop the spending on capital projects ie: offices, schools, roads, airport etc.

    3. Get realistic about inward investment.  Ease up on work permits and permanent residency for all investors, not just millionaires.

    • Anonymous says:

      Add to your list.

      4. Sell all multi million dollar subsidized ventures such as Boatswains beach and Cayman airways.

  86. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    Excellent move by The Premier. Leadership…..a good start with so much more to do. 

  87. Dred says:

    Now that I do respect.

    Now you have my attention.

  88. Anonymous says:

    Anyone else notice that majority of these comments looks like they came from the same individual?

    • Joe Average says:

      No.  We’re just relieved. And we all feel the same.

      Finally someone’s listening.  And is willing to make a sacrifice too.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       I believe you are incorrect…..a lot of different, concerned voters here.

  89. sick n' tired says:

    Too little too late – but good try none the less.

    Plus what really is 30% to Mckeeva?? XXX

    But like I said, good PR move on his part – way to keep the negative press on the back burner for awhile!

    Betcha those 1st time MLA’s are pissed, because this isn’t going to help them secure a $2 million dollar house mortgage now. Dang! 

  90. Anonymous says:

    well done Mr Bush and do it across board in all government departments, why private sector worker have to pay pension and health fees and suffer? There is no free sandwich! cheers to Mr Bush!

  91. Anonymous says:

    Will the premier’s and the deputy expense account be reduced as well? If not a paycut does not really affect them.  Or is this only a stunt to have the public agree to the selling of public assets?

  92. Anonymous says:

    Now that is what a true leader does.  

  93. Anonymous says:

    As others posted have stated, FINALLY!  I see this is the first step (set an example, especially with the contribution to health care), but I see that this is not out of the goodness of his heart either.  Rather, this is to set the example for Civil Servants, so that they start contributing.  

    Regardless, this is a welcome sign, now let’s see what his true intentions are in all of this fiasco.

    Oh, and by the way, it would be nice if his travel expenses were cut, I am sure he figured the cost into his own 30% cut….so really he isn’t out anything, but it looks good.  Mac is a great politician, poor leader of a country and overall plays his cards as he thinks best. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree.  UK politicians rarely get the chance to fly in luxury on the public purse these days.  The same restrictions should apply here in the interests of the public purse too.

  94. whodatis says:

    Lol!

    Scared much?!

    Looks like the mere threat of the march is already having welcomed effects in the Cayman Islands!

    Well – at the end of the day the gov’t is finally getting its act together … perhaps a march and demonstrated political unrest on the world’s stage may now actually do more harm than good?!

  95. CC says:

    I’m quite looking forward to seeing the civil service get drastically cut.  Then we’ll see how good an idea it is when there are not enough police to respond to our calls, not enough ambulance drivers or fire fighters, or nurses and doctors, or dentists, or are bins are not getting emptied, or the roads are not being maintained (mind you, they could get rid of half the NRA and still not have enough work to go round – does it really take five supervisors to watch one man dig a hole?) and so on.

    What’s that sound?  Oh, it’s the bottom of the barrel being scraped.   

    • Anonymous says:

      By cutting the civil service, they wouldn’t be cutting front line services they would be cutting out the back and middle office staff who push pencils and drink coffee all day whilst counting their ever increasing bank balances.

      The civil service is severely bloated with these admin staff who have been around years, are incompetent at their jobs and are on ridiculously high salaries afetr years of inflation busting pay rises despite the poor performance and lazy attitudes.

      Jobs like yours need to go. You would never earn a fraction of your government wage in the private sector. Nobody would have you.

      Governemtn just has to be tougher and realise we are not paying our taxes (sorry fees) as a charitable donation but rather a levy to enable them to run the island efficiently and provide vital services. Every civil servant on more than 40k could have their wage cut 25% and pay their own medical costs and they would be on par with the equivilent position in the private sector.

  96. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic. Never thought I would see the day when a politician starts leading by example. Next stop as someone said above, get rid of the staff that the people have to pay for. Nothing wrong with driving yourself and employing one Jamaican domestic and perhaps using a gardening service. A lot o f those around. Good stuff. The fact that he took the biggest pay cut himself says it all.

  97. Anonymous says:

    Why should civil servants be the ones to suffer? They signed contracts, providing a salary, health insurance and pension benefits. It is fundamentally unfair to change the terms of the their employment. Why should the government punish civil servants for the politicians’ failures?

    The financial crisis has obviously played a part in the deficit, but it would be nowhere near as bad as it is if government didn’t plough millions into the job creation exercise that is Boatswains Beach, or build over-specced, badly project-managed schools, or even tried to save some money when the fees were rolling in. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Government should bow to economic pressure just like any other "business" and if that means putting civil servants out of work, then so be it.  Why should civil servants be exempt from job cuts ?  Employees of the private sector also sign contracts that provide a salary, insurance and pension, and they can be terminated, so where’s the difference ?

      Agree that this is only one of many measures to be taken, but civil servants can’t expect to be maintained as a charitable expense by the rest of the country.  Get out and get a real job.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well in this case the Government would be in breach of contract with all civil servants under a contract.  They would either have to renegotiate with the civil servants or they would be legally obligated to pay out the remainder of the contract as agreed.  Most government contracts are for 2 – 3 years.  There is no clause in the contracts for the government to unilaterally reduce salary.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whilst I entirely agree with you on the question of government expenditure, to add to the previous posters response, if government expects the private sector pay expensive government fees, make cuts, ban overtime (yet still expect their staff to do it for free), freeze and reduce salaries, cancel benefits, suffer job losses, etc. (see who the loser is here… the workers.  Top that with the fact that civil servants have the luxury of having 100% of their pension and healthcare free; whereas the workers in the private sector have these enforced upon them by law (I lose $400 a month to these statutory deductions – no choice in the matter).  Its time for the government to "set an example" as Mac says, and make some difficult, but ultimately fair choices.

      I never thought I’d hear myself say it but good on you Bush, thank you for this move.  Still room for more as you know, I am sure.

    • TheTruth says:

      Why should civil servants be the ones to suffer?

      Funny really that you haven’t to this point, the private sector has been suffering for over a year now, with pay freezes, pay deductions, increased hours, or even decreased hours or redundancy.

      And now they are deducting 5% off allprivate sector remuneration, with the pension holiday, but nothing for the civil service

      Do you think those in the private sector didn’t sign contracts.

      Frankly I have no symapthy, this country will be destroyed if something is not done to curb expenditure.

  98. Anonymous says:

    But of course he will keep the government provided housekeeper. Continue to make world tours with all his cronies. Lets see if the security guards will still be needed for he and his deputy. Will she continue to enjoy living in a hotel while visiting her HOME district. Sorry but seems that once again he has screwed the civil service. Too bad they are not statesmen like the last Capt Charles who donated his pay to the poor.

  99. Anonymous says:

    Good move mr bush, why doesnt the government now take a look at every individual within the government employment sector and calculate their insurance coverage and ask the individual to make mandatory monthly payments directly from monthly wages towards this coverage? i for one would be happy to contribute to this ever increasing medical cost.

    think it over?

  100. Anonymous says:

    Finally, McKeeva does something I can agree with. Now, how about the housekeeper and Driver?

  101. Anonymous says:

    Now he is worried

    • Anonymous says:

      i would be worried too you silly bump head,these are some rough times we are living in……….good one premier Bush i know you got more surprises coming for those haters!!

  102. Anonymous says:

    Get on with it Mr. Premier. It is absolutely a first step in the right direction.

    BUT! Dont stop here, because the civil service has to be drastically cut and it has to be done now. Do it even if it is Political suicide.

    You will go down in History as the one to have corrected the problems of this country.

    Three cheers to you.

  103. Anonymous says:

    Now he is worried!

  104. Anonymous says:

    NOW WE ARE BEGINNING TO SEE LEADERSHIP!

  105. Anonymous says:

    GOOD MOVE BR BUSH. IM A GOVERNMENT WORKER AND ONLY TOO HAPPY TO PAY TOWARDS MY MEDICAL COVERAGE TOO.

     JUST DO IT.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you really prepared to pay the $450 per person premium whilst not being allowed to see a doctor of your own choosing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Pay towards medical only if I can choose which doctor to go to!!!!!!