Miller offers tough pill

| 08/03/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman headline news, Miller Shaw Report(CNS): Although McKeeva Bush has promised to release the report prepared by James Miller III and David Shaw following his return from London next week, the content of that report is already being leaked and early speculation suggests it will be a tough pill for the community to swallow if the government chooses to follow its recommendations. The report suggests the CIG need to dramatically cut the number of civil servants as well as sell government assets and privatize public services. CNS understands that the report does not offer many new revenue raising options but recommends that government focuses on drastic spending cuts without new fees or taxes.

Although Bush has not made the report public, he has stated that it presents difficult challenges and focuses heavily on reducing spending, not just salary cuts but how public services are delivered.

CNS contact James Miller III, former Republican aide to Ronald Reagan, to ask him about his work. However, he said that until the report was made public he was unable to comment on the content but admitted that the report was “bracing”.

The report is over 100 pages long and focuses not just on reducing the salaries and benefits of government workers but also on reducing the numbers of civil servants and privatizing some services. The jurisdiction is criticised for having a disproportionately large public sector for the population size. The recommendations will come as no surprise given the political position of the authors (David Shaw was a former UK Conservative MP), but according to some who have seen it, the report does not address how to make these dramatic cuts.

According to informed sources, the major flaw in the report is that it does not address the problems associated with Cayman’s current limited revenue base and suggest any new ways of generating more income for government coffers or introducing any wider or fairer indirect of direct contribution from the community in the form of fees or taxes.

However, CNS has not yet seen the report and other reliable sources stated that the revenue raising measures have been addressed but the conclusion is that it would be counterproductive for CIG to impose a system of direct taxation and cayman’s problem is spending not  lack of revenue.

Following the budget deficit from 2008/09, which placed the CIG outside the requirements of good financial management set out in the Public Management and Finance Law, the UK government said it was time for Cayman to introduce some form of direct taxation, a position rejected by both political parties. As a result, Bush increased duty, work permit and offshore sector fees in order to balance the 2009/10 budget and bring the finances back in line with the guidelines of the PMFL and secure permission from the UK to borrow.

The problem now, however, is that the budget brought to the House in October 2009, which, with the various fee increases, was set to bring in a small surplus and boost government reserves, is looking at a deficit of over $62million, and if government is unable to sell any public assets the reserves, or the government’s cash balance, will also fall below the required amount of 90 days operational expenses.

It is expected that during the London discussions this week the UK is likely to return to its position that the Cayman government must introduce a new broader based form of taxation.

Category: Headline News

Comments (77)

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  1. Marek says:

    We have a $500 million outstanding loan balance and are running losses of $75 million a year. At 5% simple interest we are racking up $25 million in interest payments on that debt…

    To operate in the black and pay this debt off in ten years would require additional annual income of approximately $150 million …

    That’s simple math and those are simply the facts. Cutting costs by $9 million (while admirable) isn’t going to put a dent in a $150 million problem.

    Income tax, is out of the question. You could kiss our banking industry and half our population goodbye.

    Lotteries are just plain silly. PLEASE everybody stop saying lottery…lottery…lottery… there are only 50,000 people here. Remove all that are too old, too young, too poor or have personal reasons for not getting involved. NOW, take the remaining number and divide by two for households… at BEST you would have 5-6,000 weekly players spending perhaps $10 a week… it would take FOUR MONTHS to get to a million bucks … assuming 100% of ticket purchases went to prizes. 

    Property tax, is unfortunately the only practical way to solve this problem.  We can/could/should agree/approve a property tax of 2% provided that these funds were used for the sole purpose of paying off the national debt and that once this is accomplished the property tax is repealed.

    This solves ALL our problems. Government is funded, UK is happy, we all save money in the long run… all projects get funded and completed.

    In ten years… we would be the only totally debt free country in the world.

    By the way, by paying off the national debt. We are not paying $25,000,000 a year in interest payments… that savings then become excess income that can be used for so many good local causes. Education, housing, social activities, historical properties, housing for the poor, health care and more.

    We could cap the property tax at $25,000, we could exempt all senior citizens or homes that have been with the same title for more than 25 years.

    Between all the business properties and private homes this would be a tax base of perhaps 20,000 properties… meaning ‘average’ annual taxes of about $6,000… 70% would be well below that number, with the remaining 30% being above that number.

    As a homeowner, I am willing to contribute 2% a year for ten years … to pay off the national debt, to support the building of our schools, the retention of the new government office building and making The Cayman Islands the only debt free country in the world.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      There is no way your property tax can remain at 2% if excessive government expenditure is not brought under control. It is simplistic to  do the math on today’s figures  . No tax rate in the world has EVER remained the rate at which it was introduced .;How do you feel about a 20% property tax once the carve out for low income Caymanians has been introduced  ?

        

      • Marek says:

        The 2% figure is more than enough. It not only pays the ongoing shortfall, it also pays all the interest on the outstanding debt (and) a 10% reduction in the outstanding balance.

        In fact, you could actually reduce the amount of property tax as the interest costs would be reduced by $2.5 million in the second year, $5 million in the third year, $7.5 million in the four year, $10 million in the fifth year, $12.5 million in the sixth year, $15 million in the seventh year, $17.5 million in the either year and finally $20 million in the last year…

        Collectively over the term of the payout… Government spending could increase by almost $90 million without either the need to seek additional capital or raise the property tax rate.

        Please note, I said that this special tax would be used specifically for the purpose of paying down the national debt and once exhausted the program would end.

        ALSO NOTE, the tax rate is capped, exempts retired homeowners or persons who have held title for more than 25 years… so that addresses a lot of concerns.

        We would have all schools and government projects paid for, no national debt of any kind and once the tax was canceled the government would enjoy increased income because they were no longer servicing that half a billion dollar debt load.

        You have a better idea… please feel free to present it.

    • Anonymous says:

      solution = well run, high end casinos….

    • Anonymous says:

      In the real world, giving the government more money is like supplying drugs to a junkie. The solution lies in insisting that government uses the existing resources wisely.  

      It is naive in the extreme to think that a new tax would by used next year or the year after exclusively for a current objective. No government is going to be constrained to using any form of tax revenue for a purpose agreed by a previous government. Under our law no future government can be legally constrained to follow an agreement on the use of tax monies made by a previous government. A property tax designed to pay off the national debt would likely end up being a property tax some future politician’s private jet and royal palace.

      Anyone thinking that a future government will be able to resist the temptation of using the taxpayer’s money on ego boosting or self-serving deals (Boatswain Bay comes to mind) needs to think again.

      The only thing for certain is that if there is a property tax of 2% introduced this year, then in 5 years it will be 5% and the country will be in more debt than ever.

       

    • Anonymous says:

      In the real world, giving the government more money is like supplying drugs to a junkie. The solution lies in insisting that government uses the existing resources wisely.  

      It is naive in the extreme to think that a new tax would by used next year or the year after exclusively for a current objective. No government is going to be constrained to using any form of tax revenue for a purpose agreed by a previous government. Under our law no future government can be legally constrained to follow an agreement on the use of tax monies made by a previous government. A property tax designed to pay off the national debt would likely end up being a property tax some future politician’s private jet and royal palace.

      Anyone thinking that a future government will be able to resist the temptation of using the taxpayer’s money on ego boosting or self-serving deals (Boatswain Bay comes to mind) needs to think again.

      The only thing for certain is that if there is a property tax of 2% introduced this year, then in 5 years it will be 5% and the country will be in more debt than ever.

       

    • Lawless Caymanian says:

      Or we could run Government efficiently and do great on 350 million a year, which should be more than enough.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lotteries are not silly! What is silly is not having one!

      Yes, it would be overly ambitious to think a lottery would answer the revenue shortfalls in the Government’s Annual Budgets – but it would be another "income stream that can help offset some the expenditures as in, road maintenance, and education. Moreover, there is a bigger picture in taking this "road". This type of legislation could lead to opening the way to resort casino development and gaming (now tell the Bahamas this does not make financial sense).

      We can keep our tax free status if we will cut the "dead branches of the tree”..as in…Cayman Airways, and Boatswain Beach (are we now “cutting” considerably more than 9 million?), and introduce gaming to attract multi-billion dollar developments. Yes there are policies that need to be put in place, yes there are some cons as well, but Bahamas will tell you that there is indeed more "light than "dark" to their tourism gaming product ( as our tourism arrivals, and revenues paid to Government are “marginal” in comparison to theirs).

      Therefore, I must agree with you (and so will the “holy people” of the Island) that income from property taxes, are a more immediate and “revered” revenue generating measure. However, taxes in any country have a common similarity – no regression after implementation.

      I engage you with the hope of courteous debate.
       

  2. Anonymous says:

     Who paid for this report

     

    The Cayman Islands Government will doubtless pay for this report although obtaining the report was a requirement of the FCO consent to the CIG  bond issue .I think it is a mistake to publish ill informed comment prior to  the release of the report Evidently the report cannot be released before it has been presented to the FCO. Those in CIG who are leaking comment should be fired thereby providing an easy start to the recommendations.

  3. slowpoke says:

    What were the terms of reference for this report? 

    Something like “Seeking conservative wingnut, who lacks credibility and spews out the same predetermined message, in spite of the failed policies, for the last 150,000 years, please apply directly to the P or T.T.”?

    As I posted before (03/04/2010 14.31) whether you support him or not, the recommendations were very predictable. 

    So, why not just release the report? 

    A little more extreme than even you bargained for?

  4. noname says:

    This is madness.

    Cayman is the equivalent of a tiny town in the United States. We don’t need anything more than a mayor and a small city council to run this place (at half the pay of our current elected officials). All this pretending and posturing by politicians is absurd.

    It is ridiculous that we have a big district elections, a "Premier" with party stooges in tow and an opposition sniping at them. Half of the problems we have today are because all of these silly politicians have spent the last 30 years running around squawking and babbling as if they were in charge of some huge nation. They are delusional. I’m surprised they haven’t budgeted for an army and air force yet.

    If our politicians would just behave like they were mere officers in some Rotary Club chapter, focus on fundraising, and make sure not to spend too much money on the annual Christmas party, everything would be fine.

    This is just a little town. Our population is barely above 50,000. Just shut up, straighten out the schools, the crime, the landfill, and balance the budget. Jesus Christ, an average mayor and one good sheriff could handle this. We are a tiny TOWN. Wake up and adjust your egos. This should be the easist country to govern in the entire world!

    –CNS, please ask how much our government paid for this report. I’m sure that it is not a state secret and we should be able to know.

    CNS: Why don’t you request an FOI? It’s a tool for the public that is not being used enough.

    • Anonymous says:

      "Cayman is the equivalent of a tiny town in the United States. We don’t need anything more than a mayor and a small city council to run this place (at half the pay of our current elected officials)".

      Only in terms of the number of residents. In no other way is Cayman comparable to a tiny town in the U.S. The issues here, both domestic and international, are far more complex. If you think "one good sheriff" could solve our crime problem then you are living in cloud cuckoo land. Our elected leaders have a formidable task ahead which you are clearly underestimating.  

    • Anonymous says:

       Well said.

      Since their inception, party politics have done more harm than good. It would do us well to rid the LA of this McKeeva v Kurt feud.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Government can cut civil servants income by allowing them to contribute to paying pension and insurance and not cutting their salary.

    • Can't hide it forever says:

      McKeeva, just release the Miller/Shaw report so your EMPLOYERS, the Cayman people, can read it and make their own judgement.

      We don’t want to hear your opinion as we know that wont be straight, so release it, or is it that you are afraid that your Employers will see the truth and will have to "fire" you as you are incompetent.

      Come on man, we are in a free society and that report is for us and you have been keeping it from us for quite a while as you have now had it for a couple weeks.

      I believe you know your time in office is drawing to an uncerimonious end.

       

  6. anonymous says:

    I once provided solutions to McKeeva and I am doing it again.  First of all cut the housekeeper, the personal Secretary, the Cook and other Premier servicing agents.  Tax anyone making a salary over $10,000, Tax the Real Estate people on every sale they make, Tax any Properties valued over $1mio, Let every person that has a child attending the Government schools pay their school fees, Let everyone over the age of 18 pay an annual head tax of $50, let everyone that creates garbage, pay their garbage fees, let the Civil servants pay their 20% on their CINICO Insurance/Hospital bill, let the Civil Servants contribute at lease 2.5% on their Pension, Tax everyone who are sending $6,000 and over, through the wire transfer systems(excluding the overseas students school fees), give Government scholarships to only the poor people children, tax the Law firms, the Real Estate Companies and tax anyone that imports a car valued over $50,000. Cut the Civil Servants that are foreign based, they are using up resources and taking the place of a qualified Caymanian, sell the Boatswaine Beach, sell the unusued WB Properties that we over paid for and sell the collect from the Ritz Carlton and Dart the waived concession monies.  In doing all these things MacKeeva you will see a big difference in revenue and perhaps you may have that excess you need for spending again.

  7. Anonymous says:

     

    Why does FS still advise gov
     
    Question why does the financial secretary still have his job? While both parties are o blame for this financial fire storm surely the person Ken Jefferson who gave both of them financial advice needs to go. He told PPM x in hopes the economy would turn around and it seems that he sung the same tune to UDP. I believe that is call gross incompetence. Please correct me if I am wrong.
  8. Anonymous says:

    The government has a huge budget and huge revenue sources for such a small place, even now during the recession it’s huge. The problem is spending more than you earn. More taxes will just be wasted on more useless bureaucracy and damage the private sector. Why don’t people realize that a 25% import duty is a huge tax on everyone living or doing business on Cayman. 

  9. Anonymous says:

     

    What about gambling and a national lottery? if managed correctly, would this not be a brilliant way for CIG to earn some cash!! Or maybe the church could help bail us out??? They have been so supportive lately, especially when it comes to issues that don’t matter at all…
     
     
    • Anonymous says:

      that’s a big, huge, enormous, gigantic, ginormous IF.  meaning, when has anything been ever mangaged properly in the cayman islands???

  10. Chicken licken says:

    Has anyone in government thought to auction the rights to operate a Casino here to the highest bidder?

    The profits from a sole casino license might be enough of an incentive for any future operator to pay off our national defecit in one move!

    At a time like this, any income generation shemes should be closely examined for their potential benefits to the nation…..we are broke, the FCO are going to impose draconian measures on us unles the defecit can be corrected and we have now had a year to sort this out, but our politicians seem more concerned with wheelclampers and visits to the Olympics than addressing the financial woes of the country.

    The mire will hit the fan in the next few weeks and the first people to suffer will be government employees, unless our politicians can start behaving like statesmen and make the hard decisions that should have been made when we were warned last year…….instead, they have spent a year behaving like a bunch of spoilt school children, consumed millions in wasted time, failed and unworkable contracts, subsidising pointless government enterprises and generally stuck their collective heads in the sand hoping that someone else will take the blame……wakey wakey folks, reality is about to bite your collective backsides and meke you all look like a bunch of third world fools. 

  11. Common Sense says:

    We have asked a right-wing, ultra conservative to prepare a report on our economy? Good grief. Well, I hope everybody’s hanging on for the ride. If you think it was tough before – just wait. Unless, of course, you are filthy rich, then you won’t have a problem. 

    This government has been told by the UK not to sell off government assets or tax more — that will shrink the economy. It has been told by the UK to introduce another, reliable, revenue stream. Of course, the rich don’t want to pay property tax, as they will be paying the most.My heart bleeds. Let them pay — whether or not they stop being McKeeva’s buddies, who cares? If we ordinary Caymanians are going to survive the next few years, it won’t be with the help of this report. Uhuh.

    • Anonymous says:

      "This government has been told by the UK not to sell off government assets or tax more — that will shrink the economy".

      I think the UK was suggesting that we need to introduce taxes, e.g. payroll taxes.

    • Anonymous says:

      "This government has been told by the UK not to sell off government assets or tax more…"

      Not in the real world.  In the real world, the UK told Cayman to introduce taxes just like every other country has. 

      Yes, income taxes reduce the amount you can spend on beer and turtle meat, but you do get roads and hospitals out of the deal.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is there something he doesn’t want us to read? He cannot hide it forever. This man is very strange. Does he think by holding it back it is going to go away? Get with the program man, let us see the XXXX report whether you like it or not!

    • Anonymous says:

      typical caymanian response… ignore the real issues and blame the messenger

  12. Anonymous says:

    The free ride is over folks.  You need to start paying taxes like the rest of the planet;

    and balance your budget;

    and cut the Civil "Retired Caymanian Corps", opps I mean Service;

    and cut government spending;

    and sell money-losing "assets" (i.e. the Turtle Farm);

    and deport or incarcerate the criminals that are half way done destroying your country.

    Thank you for your attention.

    • Anonymous says:

      We are paying taxes genius.  It is in the form of an indirect consumption tax.  Everything consumed is imported, everything inported had approximately 20% duty(tax) levied on it (now 22%).  Hence why virtually everything here is more expensive then almost anywhere else in the world.  Up until the past year or so this system has worked exceptionally well.  But due to the bafoons in government, most of whom who have never run anything except their mouths for a living, have spent beyond our means and now were all about to pay for their mismanagement.  By the way, a lot of "the rest of the planet" isn’t in much better shape.  The difference is they can endlessly run up their debt or try to print their way out of it.

      • Anonymous says:

        There’s another bright idea being offered up by some Caymanians these days, including that intellectual beacon writing columns for Net News.  It suggests that there should be income taxes, but only for expatriates.  Assuming legislators and the UK would allow for the taxation of only the disenfranchised, I wonder how many expats would actually stay here if they had to pay income tax as well the extraordinarily high cost of goods and services?  I’m sure some would see an exodus of expats as the perfect solution and a way of finding employment for Caymanians.  But then who would be left to pay the taxes when they left?

        • frank rizzo says:

          Agreed. "No taxation without representation" ring a bell?

          • Fact is . . . says:

            The UK is already in breach of its human rights obligations by not giving UK citizens (or at least those that have been here for a couple of year) the right to vote in Cayman elections.  One day the denial of this consitutional right will result in a big $ judgment against the CIG.

  13. Anonymous says:

    What is going to happen to civil servants that will be fired ?

    The young ones will join a gang, to prosper.

    The older ones will lose their homes, cars and be miserable.

    I don’t see that as a solution.

    Tax foreigners on their real estate gains.

    Make government more efficient, streamline procedures and listen to what the people say.

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      "Tax foreigners on their real estate gains".

      And you really think that is going happen when the Premier owns a real estate agency? 

    • Annoyed says:

      why is it always tax foreigners, what is wrong with you people, tax yourselves, come on, we are all in this together, whether it be caymanian, jamaican, or any expat, get real here, why should we have to pay taxes, you live here, this is your country, if tax is introduced it should be across the board like anywhere else in the world (save tax havens of course).  Wake up and smell the coffee people!!! your government is to blame!!!

       
  14. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva is to blame! He’s the grandfather of the LA and has been in there long enough for him to have made decisions over the last 30 years that impact all of us!

    I think we really need to input term limits! That would fix the excuses we keep hearing.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Government isn’t serious about cutting costs or they would demand an internal review of all of its agencies NOW.  A team from the audit department, financial services and portfolio of the civil service should be conducting interviews of teams from every entity that are made up of equal representation from boards, senior and junior levels.

    Line item budgets should be put under a microscope. 

    Demand efficiency. Perform an HR audit.  Measure knowledge, experience and skills against post.   

    Wastage must be corrected.  Do this now and great savings will be yielded.

     

  16. Anonymous says:

    No new revenue sources? How uncreative are Messers Miller and Shaw?

    I certainly hope that they have a detailed rationale for rejecting the proposed ‘community’ or property fee.  Designed and implemented in a progressive way – this seems like the most sensible, sustainable way forward (along side of a leaner civil service). It would not impact our financial industry (still no income tax and no tax on profits etc) , it would slow down the out of control speculative land development (property development/real estate), and provide much of the additional revenue the government needs to generate. A system similar to the UK’s council tax – an annual fee, that can be paid monthly, and with numerous exemptions so that those who genuinely cannot afford to pay it, will not have to pay it, or recieve discounts on the amount to be paid. Those more well off who can afford to have numerous properties, will pay the community fee for thier numerous properties – but have built in exemptions for those who own multiple properties through inheritance, however are on a low salary and cannot afford the fee. Something of this nature. Many similar successful systems exist.

    I do agree that the civil service needs to downsize, making redundant its many dead weights. However, in a time when we are facing serious social problems which probably most would agree outweigh or at least equal our economic/budgetary issues – this is NOT the time to cut spending on social services, education, health and other vital services that stand a chance of counteracting the rising crime, delenquincy, low educational achievement of Caymanians and other serious problems we now face.

    Granted the current approach to education and crime prevention (intricately linked) are failing us all. But that certainly does not mean that we should spend any less on them (rather, spend this amount in more effective and efficient ways).

    Those Caymanians made redundant from the civil service will need to be absorbed by the private sector. With a sensible approach, and focus on retraining for integration into the private sector, while it will be unpopular, it does not have to be in any way disasterous. But certainly could be if we in a years time have another 1,000 unemployed people trying to survive.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Mon 10:46:

      The private sector won’t absorb very many civil servants made redundant because government is already the employer of last resort. Government for many years has taken those Caymanians let go by the private sector for poor (or even mediocre) performance, dishonesty etc so it is unlikely there will be much interest in hiring ex civil servants unless they have excellent records in the Service. But those won’t-of course- be the ones who are let go (unless they are expats who will go home), it is the "dead weights" as you call them and, trust me, you can’t retrain them for integration-no siree!

      • Anonymous says:

        To Anonymous at 18:17 What you have posted is utter rubbish and disrespectful to the civil service .If you cant find something nice to say ,then say nothing.

        • wwwaaaaaaaaaaa!!!! says:

           I don’t understand. People argue that laying off Civil Servants will cause undue hardship and that now is not the time for layoffs?

          Can we not all agree that there are too many Civil Servants? (disproportionately high Civil Service compared to total population with no justification)

          In the current situation of overstaffing/under production, hasn’t this created a false economy of sorts? I think it has. 

          I don’t wish any hardship on the families- I just don’t believe anyone should be earning/employed in a gratuitous/coddled way (execs/politicians included).

          time for a drastic change of work ethic and productivity to bring Cayman out of the doldrums. 

           

           

        • Anonymous says:

          truth hurts?

  17. Shamrock says:

    Who paid for the commission of this report? Was it we, the people of the Cayman Islands? If so, what a collossal waste of public funds!

    According to these preliminary  recommendations, we, the Cayman populace, Caymanians and expats, alike, have been making these recommendations for many years! Why do governments always re-invent the wheel and slap us with a bill afterward?

    What’s worse is that this report might end up like previous ones – on a shelf somewhere collecting dust.

    • Anonymous says:

      You must understand that when a Caymanian says something it is ignored, but when a foreigner comes along later and says the same thing it is a huge revelation and great wisdom.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is so true, could not agree more.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, yeah, Mon 10:29, that’s an original statement of "huge revelation and great wisdom". I bet you just thought of it. Powerful stuff.

  18. Anonymous says:

    "According to informed sources, the major flaw in the report is that it does not address the problems associated with Cayman’s current limited revenue base and suggest any new ways of generating more income for government coffers or introducing any wider or fairer indirect of direct contribution from the community in the form of fees or taxes."

    Wasn’t that the whole point of the report? To review the current revenue base and suggest sustainable options?

    • Anonymouse says:

      The answer to your comment is very simple.

      The report do not recommend any new revenue sources because we have already exhausted every source of revenue. There simply is no more sources for exploitation.

      We have taxed the caymanian populace to the hilt and squandered it on an over ambituous civil service.

      Now we must revert to a diet to trim the fat and consume the waste or else we go the route of most other caribbean countries who now eat out of the hands of the IMF or the British Government.

      Get ready to bore some new holes in your belts otherwise your pants are going to fall off.

      • Anonymous says:

        "The report do not recommend any new revenue sources because we have already exhausted every source of revenue. There simply is no more sources for exploitation."

        That is obviously incorrect. A number of ideas re new sources have been floated, e.g. property taxes, payroll taxes, taxes on the exchange of USD/KYD.   

        • Or says:

          Or we could have such radical alternatives as income tax, property tax, estate duty, sales tax . . .

  19. Anonymous says:

    The Hon. Premier and the present government is not to blame for the oversized/top heavy civil service and the out of control spending and debt on capital projects, that could have waited until after the recession had passed or ended. 

    When the UDP government told the PPM to "proceed slowly" with all the spending/hiring they were doing in 2005-2009, for which the recession was hurting the entire world, they replied, "Not over our dead body will the schools, roads and all the other capital projects be put on hold now."  

    When the Hon. Financial Secretary Ken Jefferson told the PPM government the same thing about their spending, what was their reply ?? "It’s your job to make the money Ken, it’s our job to spend it"

    Ok, so who is to blame now; McKeeva, Kurt, Alden and Arden or is it the latter three ??

    • Anonymous says:

      What a load of c**p. This issue with public finances has been festering for several decades. For example, little infrastructure development, civil service growing every time there was any change in their services. Had these been dealt with over time, when revenue was steady, we would not now have these issues. Instead it was left until it got to critical mass which happened to come under the last Governments watch which coincided with revenue dropping.

      If you do not believe this then sit down and just think about what the lack/failure of education has meant to the rise in crime.

    • Twyla Vargas says:

      Know what I have to say, All of them is alike.   All for themselves, families and buddies.   But the time will come that those who have caused this problem  will want to find somewhere to hide.  I blame all of them past and present and the wannabees Independent too,  Enough s enough.  One big ^%$&U* promise.

      The people of Cayman has been bitten by their own lice.   No surprise to me.//  I only wish that the next thing I hear is that England is taking full control of Cayman an taxing all those *&^%$. who is wrecking Cayman.  All of una PAST AND PRESENT,AND INDEPENDNT WILL DO THE SAME 

      One thing about an Englishman, you will be treated fairly. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Twyla, I am guessing you haven’t had many English bosses.  

        Did Gov. Jack’s governance of the country inspire that confidence?

        • Twyla Vargas says:

          Yes I did had many English Bosses, both men and women and all three of them treated their staff with respect and did not undermine or harrass.  Want their names.

          Ronald Tompkins, Roger Davies, and Jacqueline Hennings.

          • Anonymous says:

            Then you were blessed indeed. Unfortunately that is not the experience of most Caymanians.

            • Anonymous says:

              With all due respect, I don’t think you are in a position to speak for ‘most Caymanians’, only yourself based on your own experiences.

              Have you any idea how demeaning and patronising Caymanian bosses can be towards Ex Pats?  Believe me I’ve seen plenty of that too.  I’m not trying to point the finger back at Caymanians, I am just trying to demonstrate that lack of respect by bosses is international, not restricted to English.

              Just trying to add some real perspective.

    • Anonymous says:

      The same Fin. Secy who told the PPM that they had a $19m surplus apparently told the UDP in October ’09 that they would have a $5m surplus rather than a $56m deficit. If the PPM was to blame then, the UDP is to blame now.   

      • Anonymous says:

        The only difference star is that the UDP has not done anything to increase expenses since they took over, in fact they have decreased the operating budget by 9 million.

      • Anonymous says:

        The FS clearly has no idea of what the numbers are, however he seams to be unmovable from his role. His comlete incompetence apparently is not enough to remove him (main problem of the civil service, there is no accountability, the good apples thar are their get frustrated, the bad ones stick to their jobs forever)

        However, you don’t need the FS to tell you that increasing spending from CI 300 to 500 million is unsustainable. Now, if you can’t figure it yourself because you don’t have the knowledge, then you can at least listen to all the people that was trying to warn you.

        • Anonymous says:

          Well, it all depended on expected revenues. Perhaps naively the previous govt. priced in a rosy future. On the other hand, no one, including the Premier, had any concept of how bad it would get.

  20. Anonymous says:

    It isn’t so much our income/revenue sources or lack thereof that is the problem. It’s our refusal to spend less than we earn-in otherwords our expenditure. There’s no rocket science here; everyone knows we need to stop spending-mainly on a huge civil service.

    • Anonymous says:

      Re spending less than we earn. I suspect it is not just Government that is spending too much. At a funeral and just driving around this weekend, I was amazed at the number of new or nearly new huge trucks and SUVs on the roads. I could see no signs of a recession. The same was true at A L Thompsons and Fosters at the airport-shopping carts piled high.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, but we are entitled to spend our hard-earned money or save it for a rainy day as we so choose.  In contrast, the government has no right to spend our money so recklessly; without an audit or any idea how dire the financial situation is (and you can bet its a darn sight worse than any figure they’ve publicised to date); and without expecting to be held accountable for their actions by the people whose money they so love to lavishly spend, and then expecting everyone else to bail them out when the proverbial hits the fan.

    • Anonymous says:

      They are both the problem. By definition spending less than you earn depends in part upon what you earn. We do not have sustainable sources of revenue. If your revenue suddenly dives by 20% it makes a great deal of difference to about what you can afford. Right now I can afford to eat out at nice restaurants, so I do. If my salary were to decrease by 20% I would not be able to eat out at nice restaurants. It is relative.

      The point is that we didn’t need expensive consultants to tell us to cut govt. expenditure. We asked for any actually do need advice about diversifying our sources of revenue so that they are sustainable.    

  21. noname says:

    I feel sorry for Caymanians. You have no idea what is coming your way. McKeeva Bush is taking advice from James Miller, Ronald Reagan’s former budget director. Put on your helmet, Granny, a storm’s comin’.

    Reagan, depsite being a god to conservative zombies, was one of the most destructive presidents in US history because of his economic policies. His budgets were shockingly heartless. For example, the number of homeless people in America soared when he cut funding for shelters, mental health facilities, and children’s aid. Of course, at the same time, Reaganomics made sure to further enrich the ultra-wealthy to obscene levels.

    It’s a fact that many of Reagan’s policies, including widespread deregulation of Wall Street, set the stage for the global economic disaster that we are now in. How ironic that we are in deep economic trouble and are seeking guidance from a man who was a key reason the problem developed in the first place.

    So here is the easiest prediction of all time:

    McKeeva Bush, taking advice from Miller, will brutally squeeze poor and middleclass Caymanians, while doing everything possible to protect every penny that belongs to Cayman’s richest people.

    Watch and see.

    • Anonymous says:

       

      President Reagan’s Reaganomics had four primary goals:
      1. Reduce government spending,
      2. Reduce income and capital gains marginal tax rates,
      3. Reduce government regulation of the economy,
      4. Control the money supply to reduce inflation.
      This policy helped the middleclass, it did not hurt them. President Reagan believed as did Thomas Jefferson:
      “A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.”
      Taking money from those who work and giving it to those who don’t, isn’t fair and it is detrimental toa productive society. It is a shame there were more homeless people, but it is the community’s job to take care of them. Not the government. We the people are capable of raising our own children and do not need the government “helping” us. And again from Jefferson:
      “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”
       
      Even with that being said, keep in mind President Reagan signed into law the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act in 1987—this remains the only piece of federal legislation that allocates funding to the direct service of homeless people.
       
      And I am not trying to be rude here, but seriously, “was one of the most destructive presidents in US history”. The winner of that award has yet to complete his term in office. Furthermore, since liberalism is in fact a mental disorder, you may want to get your head checked while you are brushing up on US history to determine who caused its current problems. It sure as hell wasn’t President Reagan. And yes, I am a conservative Zombie. 

      I wish James Miller the best of luck in his endeavor.

      • Fuzzy says:

        zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzOMBIE being the key word.

      • noname says:

        Ridiculous. I usually don’t argue with people who voted for George W. Bush and then have the nerve to say Obama is a disaster, but I’ll make an exception here.

        First of all, be careful quoting Thomas Jefferson so much. It’s almost certain that as a conservative zombie you are a member of the Baby Jesus cult. You do know that Jefferson dismissed Christianity as primitive superstition, right?

        So you don’t want people who work to be burdened by those who don’t? Yeah, those lazy homeless children and schizophrenics. Let ’em starve. It is so bizarre how conservatives are passionately pro life–until life leaves the womb. Then to hell with them.

        You don’t think it’s right for government to take money from working people and give it to poor people? But I bet you have no problem with government taking money from working people and giving it to massive corporations that then fire them and move their jobs to impoverished nations (Reagan was key to that big change in US business, too).

        It’s funny that you fear Obamaas some horrible liberal monster. He’s just a watered down Republican. Why do right wingers get so worked up over Democrats anyway? Relax, you won. Both parties are now conservative servants of corporate America. Celebrate your victory and stop whining.

        You people are weird. You preach freedom and noninterference from government, yet you want your prayers forced on children in schoolsand you want to persecute gay people. Relgion and sexuality are two of the most private things of all and conservatives obsess over them to no end.

        You abhor welfare for the poor children, yet you nod in agreement when corporations get welfare (except when a Democratic president is involved, of course. Must maintain your inconsistency).

        You say "liberalism is a brain disorder." How stupid. Neither conservates or liberals necessarily have a brain a disorder (okay, excluding Glenn Beck). They are just two different mindsets.

        A conservative worldview generally is more primitive and dangerous to the world (backward looking, anti-science, tribal, prejudicial, pessimistic, fearful, aggressive, territorial, nationalistic, etc.)

        Liberals are generally more hopeful and much safer for the world (progressive, optimistic, trusting, inventive, forward looking, global, tolerant, peaceful, etc.)

         

        • Wake me when it's over says:

          16:11……You got my attention!  Whenever I hear someone spout-off about Ronald Reagan being some sort of economic saviour.  I have to cringe.  Here is the guy who went out of his way to release big business and banks from government regulation.  What did he say? 

          When it was held up in front of him to read?

          "Government can not solve our problems.  It is the problem."

          Something along those lines?  Then, upon instruction, Reagan dis-membered every regulatory agency he could lay his hands on.  Wall Street was overcome with joy!  Finally they bought a President brain-dead enough.

          And finally…. they could get down to the business with Alan Greenspan at the helm, of doing some serious gambling.  They made fortunes….for themselves. Derivatives, sub prime mortgages, collateralized debt obligations.  And, with no one looking over their shoulder or regulating.  What amounted to nothing more than enormous ponzi schemes.  The DOW climbed.  They couldn’t print money fast enough.  Everyone was rolling in it and saying what a genius Reagan was!  "I am???"  "Sure you are if we say you are. Get back to the ranch."   Clever ‘ol  Alan Greenspan and the FED too.  Amazing!!!  We can make money without… making… anything!

          It took awhile.  But it all came to pieces.  And when the dust settled.  Jobs had been moved to Mexico, or any place cheap, peoples’ homes were being foreclosed, there was mass unemployment, massive public debt,  and a deficit of over 7 trillion dollars.  And each an every one of those brilliant characters who raped the American economy. Were sitting pretty.  Still espousing, like the previous commenter what a great guy Reagan was.  What a brilliant economist, what foresight and it was damn good thing a failed B-movie actor was elected President. 

          Otherwise.

          Who knows where the U.S. would be today.

          They’re in like Flint.  And The Gipper left the door open with his economic policy.

          He had a brain disorder. 

          George Bush Sr. was corrupt.  Clinton was a coke head and pervert.  George Jr. was a puppet and imbecile.

          And Obama, even if he means well.  Can’t fix this mess because Wall Street. 

          Bought Washington.

      • papelcaymanian says:

         I think I speak for all other zombies around the world when I forcefully state that we resent being associated with Conservatives.

        Even zombies can recognize a failed, obtuse presidency when they see one. Reaganwins hands down.

    • Anonymous says:

      If the message in the report is to dramatically cut the number of civil servants that won’t be destructive….rather it will take us off the destructive path to bankruptcy. 

      Don’t be swayed by who is giving the messsage…for once just listen to the message.

      Oh, and don’t think this is the same as cutting all civil servant salaries as the waste and inefficiencies will still exist unless the civil service sheds those jobs that it no longer needs and those people who underperform in their jobs.

  22. Joe Bananas says:

    

    Oh good .  More commen sensereports.  What Cayman needs to get out of debt and back on track is the same thing all the other countries need.  Discipline.    Discipline is not easy to come by especially when there hasn’t been much around to begin with.  Discipline is not taught here.  Not in the home and not in the schools.  Lack of discipline is apparent everywhere you look in Cayman from the terrible drivers on the road to the lack of customer service in much of the public and private sector.  The government of the day will continue to show how much this country has by either having the discipline to do what is necessary or just more of the same "we are trying our hardest but just can’t understand why its not working" lame attitude.  So far I don’t see it happening here.  Those who have personal discipline in their lives will just have to try a little harder to make it work in Cayman.

    • Fuzzy says:

      BAITING.Assumes fact not in evidence >many families do teach disciplne,as well as many schools.Joe appears not t have any respect for Caymanians or our way of life.Sure we have problems ,but not all of us are lacking in discipline.

      • Joe Bananas says:

        Then I’m obviously not talking about you.  Relaxe and be happy.

      • Sad says:

        BAITING?  No, simply offering a view ofthe Caymanian way of life that is not positive is not tantamount to baiting.  There is a great deal of elements of life here to which an individual living here can validly hold a negative, albeit it a subjective, view.  Stop being so thin skinned and calling "tattle" to teacher.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Bureaucrats all think alike.

    They all want to grow their bureaucracies, constantly think of new ‘services’ to sell or manufacture them using scares.

    It does not matter if the scares are true or false because either has the desired effect – namely bureaucratic growth.

    Of course they need increased income to support these new ‘essential services’ , so they sick the politicals onto the citizens to extract new taxes. 

    All over the world, bureaucracies are growing as quickly as they can, sucking the life blood out their countries while choking their economies with ever more ‘creative’ and stupid regulations.

    They are nothing different than cancers growing on the body politic.

    It is well past time to apply chemotherapy. If we do not, they will eventually kill all the world’s  economies.

     

  24. Anonymous says:

    great news but why is the report being withheld?

    finger crossed that gov press ahead with the nesseccary salary and job cuts in caymans over staffed, underworked, overpaid, inefficent civil service…