UK coming to work on plan

| 17/03/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman headline news, FCO and Cayman finance(CNS): A team from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London will be visiting the Cayman Islands next week in order to work with government on a three-year plan to get the country’s finances back on track, the Governor’s Office has announced. Following the discussions held in London last week with the Cayman Islands delegation and Colin Roberts, Director of the Overseas Territories Department, the UK is now reportedly sending an economic squad to help government put together a long term budget strategy.

The UK’s representatives will conduct an economic review, according to a statement released by the Governor’s Office, and will also discuss with the financial secretary and his team the draft three-year plan to deliver sustainable public finances, which could be presented with the budget for 2010/11 in April. “The plan will need to feature measures to reduce public spending to an affordable level; a properly costed strategy for managing public assets, perhaps including private finance initiatives; a clear estimate of borrowing requirements; and possibly new measures to broaden the revenue base,” officials from the Governor’s Office said.

As a result of the London talks and in view of the financial situation that the Cayman Islands finds itself in, the UK meetings had concluded with an agreement for swift action, especially in light of the Miller Report’s findings. 

With major government expenditure cuts needed to be taken in order to bring public spending back onto a sustainable track, the UK has offered to assist in the development of the three year strategy that will address the current levels of expenditure and borrowing, as it it has been agreed by both the UK and the CIG that they are not sustainable.

“The FCO and the Governor welcome the commitment made by the Premier to bring public expenditure back onto a sustainable track. The FCO recognises that decisions on exactly how to achieve this must lie with the Cayman Islands Government but undertakes to do what it can to help,” the statement from the Governor’s Office said.

The premier said on Monday that he had presented the Miller Report to the UK, and although it was disappointed that it had not recommended any new sustainable revenue measures, it was willing to allow the CIG to improve finances through cuts rather than taxes, as well as the sale of assets.

Bush also said that the UK had agreed to any necessary borrowings at the end of this financial year to balance the 2010/11 budget provided the government comes up with this long-term financial strategy to get finances back in line with the requirements of good fiscal management.

During Monday’s press briefing, the premier said that the CIG would be reporting back to the FCO on the three-year budget plan but he did not mention that the FCO would be coming to assist in its preparation.  

CNS note: While it is true that a team from the FCO does make an annual visit to the BOTs, including the Cayman Islands, the Governor’s Office was clear in its press release that on this trip they will be working with government on a three-year plan to get the country’s finances back on track. The Governor’s Office has confirmed that this CNS article is accurate. To read the full release from the Governor’s Office click here.

Category: Headline News

Comments (121)

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  1. Da wah yah get says:

    I wonder what Premier Bush now thinks of his decision to publish the initial correspondence from Chris Bryant.

    For anyone interested, the follow-up letter to the Premier after his visit to london with the Governor is now posted on the FCO website. Also the details on the FCO’s impending visit.

    Here is a nice little excerpt.

    We will be happy to discuss your borrowing requirements once we are satisfied that you have a credible and deliverable plan to balance public finances within the next three years that can be presented through your budget in April. You agreed to provide this to the FCO in draft by 31 March 2010.
     
    As I mentioned yesterday, we will be happy to support you over the coming weeks and months as you prepare and implement the measures necessary to start the recovery. My economic team will visit Cayman in the week of 22 March to conduct the economic review and to help to with process.
     
    Yours sincerely,
     
     
    Colin
     
     
    Colin Roberts
    Director
    Overseas Territories Directorate
  2. Joe truth says:

    If you need surgery would you look for someone who has lots of successful surgerys under his belt or would you pick from your friends the one who wants to do it?  If Mceeva and Bush and the rest of their croonies are the best you got but they still fall far short in ability to lead what will Cayman do?

    A. Look elswhere.  Not an option as for better or worse it MUST be Caymanian because ??????

    B.Watch and talk about it and complain as things go from bad to worse to complete failure.

    C.The UK takes over and Caymanians talk about it and complain as they sit back and watch someone else take care of their problems.

    Or D.  Caymanian leaders work with UK and other professionals and actually listen and do what they say.

    History shows that B then C is the best bet even if A and D is better.

  3. just the facts says:

    If you read the netnews and compass version of this story it does not suggest that the purpose of the visit is for the FCO team to do a 3 year plan instead it is obvious that this is the fco’s annual visit. This may be because these guys are very familiar with the annual visit whereas CNS may not be. This whole "UK coming to do a 3 year plan" twist is a cns thing. unfortunately even the governor’s office does not realise the subtle but important difference between saying that they are coming for their annual visit versus implying that they are here to work on a plan, the latter suggestinga TCI style invasion!…and CNS did not have the awareness to suss out this distinction (or intentionally were quick to delfect /ignore it for news credits) 

    I just heard that the Governors office was planning to issue a clarification correcting this misperception but now they may not bother as this too shall pass with time i guess..

    CNS: The Premier’s Office told us that the Governor’s Office was going to issue a clarification. We called the Governor’s Office and they said they weren’t going to issue a clarification but verbally made the clarification that our article was fine. I hope everything is clear now.

  4. anonymous says:

    cns has made this strong link between the annual visit and the 3 year plan. all that governor’s office said was that the team will be discussing the 3 year plan with the FS, not that they were coming here to do a plan for the country. In fact the team is here for their annual visit and their visit has nothing to do with our budget crisis. all of this may seem a bit academic at this stage but for those that may be thinking that the UK is coming to "take over cayman " or do a plan for the country…that is not the case. 

    CNS: I think you need to read the article again.

     

     

  5. jd says:

    I think it’s good that the UK is coming over to the Cayman Islands to help clean up the government’s financial mess. Government could use some help to get itself out of it’s economic slump.

  6. Anonymous says:

    As usual…all of you are so backward and foolish you dont even stop to think. I am willing to bet that this is annual visit that the FCO makes every year that y’all making a mountain out of a molehill.

    CNS…please dont tell me you got your facts wrong. If not, it will looklike you guys are chasing sensational headlines. What plan can be done in a week?

    CNS: No, we have not got our facts wrong. Please see the note at the bottom of the article.

  7. OnePeople-OneGovernment! says:

    Incompetence

    at its best!!!! That’s why they’re coming!!!

    Well, I’m glad they have the sense to come down to keep track of him. Not only is he denying the PPM members the opportunity the contribute their valuable input to the running of this country, he wants them to ‘write their suggestions on paper" and IF they like it they will then "consider" it. This sounds VERY much like a typical game of marbles that the older West Bayer folks talk about when Mckeeva played with them.

    I also believe they have heard and heard and heard ENOUGH XXXXXX !!!

    However, I have ONE BIG concern, i.e. is this another TEMPURA expenditure?????? WHAT WILL IT COST US????

  8. the lady says:

    Memories fade

    how authentic is the Premier’s report from the Uk and for that matter,the Miller Shaw report. What a lapse in memory. How could the Premier forget to mention that the finacial wizarsa from the mother country would assist him? Oh!,did I forget, finance comes under the Governor!!!!

    FS hold on to your CPA qualifications.

    We need a verbatim report of the discussions between the FCO and MC. What’s the matter you demanded it for the constitutional talks. How our memories fade.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mac never bothered to announce that the Brits were coming in his Press Conference but he knew.  And they are coming because the last time Mac told them he was going to produce a budget with a surplus and now we are predicting a $62M deficit.  He and the government have no credibility.  And as for the expertise being provided by the Finiancial Secretary, it appears the UK may have some concerns about the reliablity of his work product.  Pretty clear now why Mac hasn’t released the letter which he said the UK was sending.  He only told us what he believed was the good parts. But slowly but surely the truth will out.

      • Anonymous says:

         Ahhh, again shade of the Turks & Caicos style of local government.

        Keep watching…..it’s coming

  9. Anonymous says:

     Great! Cause obviously these uneducated people that were elected cant seem to put Lego together! While there at it, they should send a spokesman for the Premier!

  10. anonymous says:

    Sorry to say but this news story is incorrect. The UK is coming here as part of their annual visit by  a team of 2 (usually comprising economist and a  finance/budget specialist) who visit the country every year like they do with each of the territories and submit a report after the trip.  The purpose of their trip is NOT to assist Cayman with the 3 year high level plan which is to be submitted by end of march, although they may have some follow up questions based on the recent meeting in the UK.

    CNS: you should research this point and correct this story because it is not accurate.

    CNS: Go to http://www.gov.ky and read the government release on the visit. It is on the home page.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually it most likely that the correct interpretation has both elements:

       1) yes there is an annual visit by staff from the FCO including at least one economist, and

      2) the annual visit of FCO staff this year provides a convenient and plausible basis for government’s soon to be announced politically sensitive utterings. 

      Does anybody else remember Flip Wilson’s comedic character who always used to say; "the debil made me do it." Undoubtedly we shall soon here "de FCI made me do it."   

  11. Macman says:

    Instead of just quietly getting on with the job of working out what we need to do to survive this current economic recession (yes folks it is a WORLD recession) MAC has to shout his mouth off trying to get as much mileage as he can by blaming everyone for the problems and shouting out ridiculous suggestions without the slightest idea of what to do. Then he has brought embarrassment on us all (especially those who voted for him) by claiming that he did not make the suggestions in the first place and those who said he did are liars!

    Well all his posturing has brought us to this just lets hope that as a result we can end up with a local government who are exactly that …a government and we get rid of our dictator!

    • Anonymous says:

      This is the key issue that has erroded investor confidence; real damage.

      Yet, Mac blames bloggers and everyone else.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      Wow….coming from me….I believe Mr. Bush has the ability to get things under control if in my opinion he drops politrics and partyism, he surrounds himself with a whole new group of advisors and he stops travelling….the biggest point is let some private sector experts help to lead the way with you.  

  12. Anonymous says:

    Questions…

    So why do we pay our Financial Secretary?

    Are the costs borne by this teams visit be passed on to the Cayman Islands? 

    How common is it for Overseas Territories to be put under this type of "AUDIT"…dont think that this is only "assistance" this is an undercover audit for the descrepancies in the financial reporting but also policies.

    We should welcome this review positively.  Everyone! including governments should be audited. 

    Let us all encourage positive dialogue supporting these types of endeavours.  Please lets try to refrain from negative talk and lets wait for the results of this project to be made public.  "Life and death is in the power of the tongue" including collectively as a country! 

    Blessings!

     

  13. Joe Bananas says:

    Telling the Cayman Government what to do is like telling a thirsty horse that there is water over the hill.  They will have to be made to go there.  Probably kicking and fighting.  Good luck getting them to do the right thing.

  14. I got a quick remedy says:

    how about we pay out the ACV of the pensions under the old defined benefit plan and close that silly plan.  I know that some old kings in the CS will hurt but they have had years to accumulate wealth.  Then we can start with the healthcare issue and making arrangements with Cuba and Panama instead of S.FLA. ..We can close CINICO too sorry folks only the fit get the chance to live in this new world order of greed.

     

  15. Anonymous says:

    Quite a clever ploy by Big Mac in the long run. By refusing to make any serious cuts to the civil service gold plated job packages, he forces the UK to come in and do the cull for him. Therefore he can then blame the UK for taking away Caymanian jobs etc etc and move the blame from himself.

    So at the same time he will be shouting about how he tried his best to save caymanian jobs and he also scores more points with his electorate by getting them to hate the UK government even more and push them a step closer to ‘going it alone’ and by that I don’t mean independance of course, as Mac would be gunning for a dictatorship.

    A slightly backhanded approach but the result will be some deep suts in expenditure, at least somebody will be doing this dirty work, because whichever way we look at it it does need doing and it’s going to upset those who lose out, they are too used to having an easy and incredibly well paid life.

    Unfortunately as we have seen many times before as soon as we cut expenses in one area, there will be more corruption and incompetence to eat in to the savings.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup, that was my first reaction to this news yesterday too, given Bushes track record of back-tracking and blaming everyone else, it seems very much to me like he’s trying to get the UK to do his dirty work for him so he can stand up and say he’s blameless (again) and this time point the finger at the big bad ole UK.

      Politrix I tell ya *shakes head*

      • Lachlan MacTavish says:

         Yup….I agree……stop using the Miller Report, pointing at the PPM, the bloggers and the UK to deflect the issues. Just get on with it and do it.

  16. Anonymous says:

    It’s a crying shame that being one of the largest financial centers in the world and having so many qualified and professional accountants on Island, both locals and expats alike, that we have come down to this bringing in the big dogs to smell the crap the other Government put us in. Yet you the Caymanian people only seem to be pointing fingers atthe present Government and Big Mac……..please! Where is the PPM in all this, they should be the ones made to clean up ALL this mess and yet they sit back and critize Mac on trying to do what needs to be done. I say Mac has more balls that all you put together including the PPM, he was the one to bring things to light about the lacking CS and the way they have been living for years in their own little world. They have been feeling protected for years just because they work for Government and they know its not easy to just get fired, so what’s a pay cut compared to a job cut! I say let half of them ago and let them end up in the Private Sector and do real work and get paid for it…..

    Hear the complaints now that they having to bring in a team from the UK Government to help us clean up the mess, one can never win with ignorance and small minded individuals I see!!! someone has got to do the job, be it the expats from the UK or our own Goverment, you will all have something negative to say and make a fuss about, but no one, not one has a better solution to the problem……give me a break people. Wake up and smell the roses, stop living in a world with your eyes closed and just open them wide look around you and say, "we have a big problem, lets get it fixed no matter what, tomorrow will be a better and brighter day" Nope that is too hard for us to do because it’s being positive, too sweet of words and optomistic…..

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Wakey Wakey!! Wake up my dear child!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes there are plenty of qualified and competent accountants working on the island, but unfortunately in the civil service, those near the top are mainly there by political means rather than talent.

      If we had some competent people at the top we wouldn;t be in such a mess.

      Many financial experts including the head of Cayman Finance have been telling the government for ages that they need to cut civil service employee costs but they have so far been unwilling to do so.

      Hopefully the FCO will come in, realise just what a mess the governemnt and the previous governent have put us in and they will have to take direct control. Unfortunately it is only a few that can vote to elect government ministers here XXXXX. The only outcome to any election here is therefore going to be a bad one.

      XXXXX

  17. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t it a crying shame that we have to get outsiders to solve our financial problems!!!  It does not say much of the present government!!!!     

  18. Anonymous says:

    The FCO is coming and believe me the British Tax payers are watching very closely. The British taxpayer will be up in arms if Cayman is rescued by the British tax payer in light of the fact that hedge funds etc played some part in the collapse of the banking system around the world.

    It is funny how we ask the British for help when we are in a mess and then show them the cold shoulder when we are doing just fine. Shame on us I say.

    Lets have a plan that we can sort out the problem without outside help and if it means pay cuts and jobs so be it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who told you we asked the British for help? I kinda think the British have advised Mac that we do not have a choice but to accept their ‘help’.  Let’s just hope this does not turn out anything like the Eurobank scandal or Operation Tempura!

      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t think we asked for help. This reeks of the UK’s colonial modus operandi.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Who is it in the Civil Service that is signing off on the contracts which are giving untold thousands if not more to the political cronies? Are they going to be held accountable?

  20. Missa Collecta says:

    I hope they filed their work permit applications with the appopriate fees attached.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if these chaps thought about working on their own multi billion dollar deficit in the UK before they decided to cross the pond to advise us ?

    Ah…..the lovely Cayman Islands weather, the beaches, the rum punch, the beautiful girls, the nude pool parties……this assignment will take some time ole chappies 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      ummm, that’s the difference dear they are working on it as opposed to squabbling and fighting over who’s to blame.  This is the current situation (after 18 months of working on it) with regard to the UK CS:

      "Mark Serwotka, the union’s general secretary, said there was "incredible anger" about the proposed changes. Membership had grown since the strikes were announced last month, he said.

      "Civil servants face losing up to a third of their entitlements and tens of thousands of pounds if they are forced out of their job. The government is tearing up the contracts of low-paid civil and public servants…" he said.

      The government has spent 18 months negotiating the changes, which will cap redundancy payments for those earning more than £30,000 a year at twice their annual salary. Five other civil service unions have accepted the deal, which will save £500m over three years.

      Tessa Jowell, the Cabinet Office minister, said the government had already agreed that civil servants earning less than £30,000 – 80% of the total – will still qualify for redundancy worth up to three years’ salary. "This package brings the civil service more into line with the rest of the public sector and still offers more generous terms than much of the private sector," she said.

      A stark contrast to 9 months of finger-pointing and blame don’t you think?

  22. Anonymous says:

    Hello direct taxes!

     

    Still would rather a casino…

  23. anonymous says:

    Can you say TURKS & CACOIS 2 ? This one is even more subtle ( in the typical British way) of ensuring we do what they want. “No need to come in heavy-handed in Cayman, the locals are all so docile, they will have us in and even throw a cocktail party or two for us….and we can even squeeze in a beach bash or night pool party”

    This is not a UDP/PPM issue…ALL Caymanians should be concerned about this development. Let me guess THEIR conclusion now…”we looked at everything and we conclude that introduction of direct taxation is the only way forward. The FCO and the Governor will be looking at introducing this taxation directly within the next three years.” The funny thing about this is that we will PAY for this and implement it thinking it is OUR idea. ( ohh, the British are subtle!!)

    Local Caymanians will think this is great that the “rich” will be paying taxes until one day we get up and they are gone….by that time, so will the FCO advisors.

    Wake up Cayman…

    (PS- Wendy, nice photo. We will wait for the updated one at Kai of the “new UK Squad” having Mudslides)

  24. Concerned from a distance says:

    They need to send a team to combat the crime situation too!…and quickly!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Thank you FCO and Her Majesty.  The decision by the UK to assist us with our financial plans is an excellent move.  It’s much better for us to have the UK assist in our financial planning than the IMF.  This is what happens when you don’t follow responsible financial policies. 

    The Cayman Islands are BODTC thus the UK’s responsibility.  If this country had done what was right there would be no need for the UK to intervene. 

    We were once the 5th financial center in the world where did all the money that we derived from those services go or was it all a facade? I am waiting to see if the many financial institutions on island will  assist us with some funds instead of demanding salary cuts and selling off our assets.

    As for the UK having direct rule over Cayman likeTCI, although no one wants to see that happen it’s a better option than independence. 

    Let come together and find a practical solution to this financial crisis and if income tax is one of the necessary measures so be it atleast that is one tax that is equitable and no one will be able to cheat the government out of.  I would not like to see any form of taxes but if is a necessary evil lets have income taxes vs property taxes. Most of our competitors in the financial industry pay income taxes and there are no less attractive than us, as a matter of fact the BVI’s (British Virgin Islands) pay income taxes and they are doing much better than us in the financial industry and with their tourism I wonder why.

     

  26. Anonymous says:

    They did the same thing in Turks and Caicos and that poor country is worst off.

    The Labour Govt. wants to bring back colonialism.

  27. Mr. Annoyed says:

    I wish sometimes when making comments on this website people would think more clearly about what they want to say before they post it. I believe we are ALL entitled to our opinion but it becomes annoying when they are not accurately thought through.

    I am a very proud CAYMANIAN not status holder, so I am not defending any country other than my own! I am becoming so disgusted with comments like Ms. Hurlston and all other Caymanians that perceive the same views as she does!
    I wish that Caymanians would understand the concept of being an overseas territory, it’s not to be a slave to any other country but your own and you are allowed your independence whenever you feel that you want it, the UK is not holding anything over our heads.
    I wish that before such outrageous comments are made that someone would think it through more clearly. Now you mentioned that the UK may harm Cayman’s Financial Industry in order to allow their own to survive. I hope you understand why I and hopefully others will see this to be absolute rubbish. How can the UK adequately compete with Cayman’s Financial Services? It’s impossible for a country that is so heavily TAXED, compete with a country with virtually none.
    With all the issues that the UK is faced with on a daily basis what makes you think they would go out of their way to interfere with Cayman and not the other big Financial industries that are under their rule like Bermuda? The United Kingdom has a responsibility dictated to them by the United States of America and the European Union. There is so much pressure being put on the UK to deal with its overseas territories that are assumed to be doing all of the tax evasions and so forth.
    If Cayman is unhappy with how the UK is dealing with it then please let’s have a vote to go independent! We see when Grand Cayman wanted to be ruled by Jamaica how that would have turned out. Independence and ignorance is not the answer!
    In regards to Turks & Caicos, they cooked their own goose. That country had underlined corruption that was being covered up. If they don’t like how they were dealt with then they should go independent!
    Read the news more often and see what the European Union and President Barak Obama had to say about the tax free havens that are ruled be the UK. There are so many other tax free havens in the world that are doing just as well and maybe better than Cayman, why is it only that Cayman is being picked on?
    It’s not fair the reputation being given onto the UK in regards to how it’s dealing with Cayman. The UK is in layman’s terms telling Cayman either you go independent and face the onslaught of what the rest of the world will do your financial services or you do it our way and we’ll protect you as much as we can!
    Please don’t waste the readers time Ms. Hurlston!
    • Ms. Hurlston says:

      Mr. Annoyed you are obviously very UNEDUCATED with what the FCO is capable of AND has done to other countries. I simply said that Caymanians should do their research and be aware of the FCO’s track record. Since you’re so happy with the way that Britain operates and "protects" its dependants, why don’t you move there?!?! You shouldn’t be one to talk about ignorance when you are the definition of it. Ignorance would be uneducated Caymanians such as yourselves laying out a red carpet for the FCO when you don’t even know what they have in store for the future of Cayman and Caymanians. Several other people have made comments about the state in which the FCO left Turks and Caicos and other islands – I guess they made that all up as well just because they have negative things to say about Britain. I’ll leave you with a saying which I find very appropriate for this occasion, "It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid rather than to open it and remove all doubt!" 

      • whodatis says:

        Ms Hurlson,

        I am in your corner girl!

        Anyway – don’t sweat it too much – many of our people simply refuse to acknowledge the FACT that Britain is a BEAST that will do ANYTHING to protects its own interests regardless of who may suffer in the process. (By the way – in instances like these the term "Britain / British" applies only to the mainland! That in itself should set off alarm bells but … nope.)

        From my days of adolescence I have identified the double standards and double talk (as outlined in previous posts of mine) by way of Britain both historically and in modern times. However, many Caymanians refuse to believe and accept – perhaps it is a case of "Stockholm syndrome"?

        As I always say – Caymanians have a long history of running away from themselves and looking elsewhere for validation and a sense of identity – I have long realized that the UK is the absolute worst place to turn to for such a thing.

        As for the (British) expats in the room – forget about them too … most of them are either too naive or blindly patriotic to acknowledge the truths of their country.

        No – they want us to sit back and on the day of the end of our self-governance they will simply accept and endorse whatever crap the FCO / UK pushes upon us and say "Well, it is for the best!".

        Not I – this is an individual that chooses to learn from the lessons history has taught. No one can convince me that I am wrong for doing so.

        Stay up.

         – whodatis

      • CayMen says:

        God bless you Ms Hurlston we know who Mr annoyed is and what he represents on this Island and why don’t him and the rest of the loyal stooges head on back a yard He is well aware what the FCO represents.

    • what a mess says:

      Well said Mr. Annoyed!

    • whodatis says:

      @ Mr. Annoyed

      You annoy me.

      "Read the news more often and see…"

      That right there may be the clue to your myopic mindset.

      You are so off-base in so many of your comments.

      Go on then – hug your "mommy UK" – see where that will take you.

      Understand that when the UK is ready to make a move and cut you off she will do so without a flinch and all the while with a grave look of concern spread across her face! That, my friend, is the "British way" – sneaky!.

      Lol!

      What generation are you from Mr. Annoyed? I ask because I truly, truly hope that you are of one that have been bamboozled into blind allegiance to the beast that is the UK.

      Wake up Mr. Annoyed – at the very least be on your guard.

      However, if you honestly believe that it is a wise move to welcome the FCO to our shores, in light of what has been taking place, with open arms then you are beyond help in my opinion.

      (Btw, London now operates as an OFC (Offshore Financial Center) – as does Nevada and Delaware, USA. Did you honestly believe that the super-nations would have gotten up in arms 18 months ago to "crackdown on OFCs" without first securing room for the business within their own borders?! Then again – maybe you do as you are an avid news reader – might as well read "Mary had a Little Lamb" while you’re at it.)

  28. Anonymous says:

    Some of the finest legal and financial brains in the world live and workhere. They could have drawn up a financial resuce plan in a couple of days to put Cayman back on track.

    Instead we are now to have the representatives of the British Government who have presided over the worst financial tsunami in living memory. Indeed by any sensible accounting measure Britain is bankrupt. Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s cynical manipulation of public service jobs growth will see his country suffer for generations to come.

    One doesn’t know whether to laugh at the arrogance of HM Government or cry at the state into which CIG has allowed us to slide.    

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe "some of the finest legal and financial brains of the world" that live here and work here could give a damn about coming up with a financial rescue plan for the Cayman islands because…..well….they are only allowed 7 years to live and work here. And also, they are not allowed to vote or have any say in government even if if they are permanent residents.  Why should I try to bother to fix anything that the Caymanian people messed up with their votes and their government if I am pretty much a non-entity in the eyes of Government? A source of revenue (work permit fees, car licensing fees, etc.) and spending (at local retail outlets, rents to real estate agents, etc.) for the 7 years that I am allowed here, that’s all

      Ever think of that? You are going to tell me that I can only live and work here for 7 years, well I will be a very productive "non-entity" citizen in my legal and/or financial sector during my 7 years and then you’ll kick me out and I will move on, not worryin about what you are doingto your own country.

      That’s what you have created…all yourselves. Why should I help with afinancial rescue plan again?!?!?!

      Good Luck

    • Anonymous says:

      > Some of the finest legal and financial brains in the world live and work here. They could have drawn up a financial resuce plan in a couple of days to put Cayman back on track.

      True but the politicians don’t have the guts to implement the plan!

  29. raffaele says:

    Who is responsible for the bloated civil service? Under the last five administrations, when young Caymanians have returned from University and college (for some 25 odd years now), and sought jobs in the civil service, to bring the much needed reforms, changesand streamling of jobs to make it a more efficient Public Sector, they have been systematically stifled, shunned, shuffled around and in some cases shoved out of the civil service.

    Their ideas and suggestions were dismissed and ridiculed by certain elements who view change as an enemy and a destructive element as they fear losing their very comfortable positions of power. They were so keen on this demoralising program that they allowed returning graduates to get out of government paid scholarships with no strings attached. Those they deemed to be a low threat or who had political or family connections who very lucky enough to get a job in the public sector were either quicky converted to a cuthroat lackey or demoralised at jobs way outside their degrees or qualifications.

    Those that protested or argued were simply told that they had to start at the very bottom as if they had no education and qualifications and if they persisted, a harsher program of harassment and victimization was implemented to render the person mentally unfit for service. Alot of very good students and their ideas left for the private sector, leaving behind a bunch of constipated  "job-for-life" stalwarts, doing the political bidding of whatever administration was in power and building up the political and economic power and influence they now wield today.

    Unfortunately this same power and influence attracts another element of our little society "Da Good ole Boys" network and now women,whose intentions and motives are very, very clear. If you make the mistake of ever approaching certain politicians with a complaint or problem you soon find they are part of the very problem and will not or cannot fix it. There was some fleeting glimmers of hopes when thenow Premier Bush started an aggressive program to include and attract younger capable minds this was done by making the salaries compatible with the private sector unfortunately the "job for lifers" saw this opportunity to pad their existing high salaries and benefits. However this program came to sudden halt for some mysterious reason or  certain elements felt threatened.

    I could continue outling the dynamics of this problem but it would be too long. I will conclude this by saying this, I cringe when i here about cuts to the civil service because i know that these same people will be left untouched or remain in place an as usual the performers and the most effecient hardworking civil servants will be the ones who depart or salaries cut, and you will here the old Politicians Excuse "We need a steady hand at the helm" the same one use to return their Loyal political vindictive mothballers to Government. As for the FCO/UK experts fixing the problem well all they do is fill in the slots left vacant by departed civil servants with their own, hardly a solution now is it.

     

  30. Anonymous says:

    "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’" – http://politicalhumor.about.com/cs/quotethis/a/reaganquotes.htm

     

     

     
  31. GR says:

     Is this the first step towards the UK suspending self-governance?

  32. Shaun Ebanks says:

    There is an old saying which goes like this, "Clean up your own backyard before telling me how to clean up mines"

    I heard a similar story when I was a senior police officer in the RCIPS in late 2005. They said, "we are here to assist you and to make your police service more modern and to improve efficiency and effectiveness. 

    Five years later with the UK at the helm of the RCIPS and every department now directly under the control by a senior UK officer, "where is the modern change, the efficiency and effectiveness that was supposed to be forthcoming?? Is crime more out of control now than it was before they arrived, even though they were given $30 million dollars extra in their budget to work with ??

    Trust me, they have more problems in the UK with out of control deficts, unemployment, crime and social detoriation, they are the last ones I would want to take advice/guidance from on how to improve our financial situation here in the Cayman Islands. 

    I guess this is another great opportunity for a half a dozen of them to bask in the caribbean sun at the Cayman Islands tax payers expense for about a week or so, along with a few family members who will most certainly be accompanying them as well. 

  33. Solutions says:

    Here is some $$$ solutions:

     

    1 – Jazz Fest:

    As popular as the last Jazz Fest was with not only the international but also the local audience, why don’t we think about incorporating an alotted time for MEGA YACHTS to come in to register that coincides with when the Fest is on?

    I would imagine this would be a smart move to attract the "millionaire tourist" to take advantage of the weather and the entertainment being provided this time of year.

    What will happen is, the yacht owners will be aware of the registering time, they know their vessels will be travelling to a caribbean destination so why not "kill two birds with one stone" and take advantage of the trip and the Jazz Fest?

    Yes, I am sure it will be some logistics invovled in setting up a registering period like this for the Shipping Reg. But, the idea should be explored!!!

    St. Barts is quickly becoming a celebrities "play ground" with the likes of Beyonce, Jay-Z, Simon Cowell, Oprah etc, etc. Magazine’s and papparazzi pictures will show Cayman splashed around the world! And this type of exposure would generate a new found interest in Cayman for more reasons, than just banking!

    Hotels, car rentals, entertainment, and local bands will start getting more bookings, which should generate jobs for caymanians once again, and with as many bodyguards these celebs travel with, am sure crime will go down too!!! 🙂

    We need our tourism market. And if the "millionaries club" want to save a buck by coming here to register then let them be forced to abide by the changes in our registering time or they risk losing big money. Simple.

    And in today’s economic times, everybody’s playing hard ball and so should we! We are already implimenting policies to control money laudering, so there should be no fear in implimenting something like this.

    It’s worth a try.

     

    2 – Fines:

     

    Instead of wasting man power and court time by having persons who are caught with "petty" crimes (at least compaired to the types of crimes we see occuring now) such as, speeding, ganja smoking, licensing etc. Why, don’t we just bring the offenders into the Police station document their charge and fine them there and then?

    For example if someone is brought in for being caught with a "spliff", charge then $100 for their FIRST offensive with no charges being placed on their record. Charge them $200 for their 2nd offense, $300 for their 3rd and this time with a charge on their record, and $1000 there after for up to 8 convictions, then it’s court time! The same can be done for speeders and other offense’s deemed suitable for this process.

    With the amount of resources being dished out now, for what obvioulsy will never be wiped out, it is better to at least make money off of it!!

    I knowthere won’t be too many people opting to go to court when it will only take them $100 to settle the matter swiftly!!

     

    But I do hope these ideas are carefully looked into by the powers that be.As a citizen who is not in a position to make changes to the law, I at this point just want to express my ideas in order to assist gov’t with what is quickly becoming a grave concern……CAYMAN BEING BROKE!! Am sure there will be the nay-sayers who will see the negatives in these proposals, but let’s see what better solutions are out there then!!

    People, throw your ideas out there to us/them. Gov’t needs help ….

     

     

     

  34. Anonymous says:

    well well…

    when something burns some experience helpers are welcome huh?

    its about time and i pray this plan will secure this place a better future!

    hope the crew from the uk dont need a work permit.

     

     

  35. Anonymous says:

    The good news is that they can teach us to do as they say and not as they do. Because they already know how to tax their own people to hell while their own economy drowns in debt. So at least they can tell us how not  to follow the example of their own Govt. I wonder who is paying for this? Will the Mac have to increase taxes again to pay them to tell us that we are spending too much?

  36. Anonymous says:

    "We’re from the Government and we’re here to help you."  The most dangerous words a free thinking man will ever hear. That levity placed, Britain would be wise to view Cayman with a sense of pragmatism.  Cayman competes more with Lichtenstein, Singapore and Hong Kong than it does with London.  Shutting Cayman’s system will not strengthen London.  It will strengthen those other jurisdictions, none of which are under British influence. The real battle is China and European influenced freeports vs Western Influenced freeports.  Cayman is a great financial "brand" and it is in the United Kingdom’s long-term best interest to have that brand thrive and to have influence over the stream of capital that flows there. 

  37. Ms. Hurlston says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with whodatis – now, more than ever, Cayman has to be on its toes. Those of you jumping for joy at the fact that the FCO is coming to "rescue us" might have different opinions in a few months or years. Shall I remind you that the Cayman Islands, along with many other jurisdictions, compete with London as leading providers of financial services? How are you so sure that the FCO is here to help us any if at all? I wouldn’t be very surprised if the "mother country" cuts our neck to ensure the survival of London’s financial district. If you think that it can’t happen, you’re dead wrong. As whodatis suggested, do your research. If Chagos Islands isn’t enough of an example for you, try getting a taste of what Britain and FCO allowed to happen in Turks and Caicos. God help us all. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Ms Hurlston, all of what you say may be correct but the blame for this fiasco lies at the feet of the Cayman Islands Government (past and present).

      I suspect that things will get worse when they discover most public accounts have not been completed for several years, that large amounts of money have either disappeared, been misapropriated or simply stolen (as in the recent miss use of Gas from the CIG gas station by government employees) and that our public spending is out of all control.

      Once they get their teeth in to the disaster that is Cayman, a few redundancies and pay cuts will be the least of our problems.

      Citing what happened in the Chagos Archipelago 50 years ago is neither helpful nor relevant and the reason that the Turks and Cacos are now under direct rule is because their "so called" Premier and his mates were XXXXXXX

      I do however wholeheartedly agree with you when you ask God to help us all…

    • anonymous says:

      I am afraid you have a limited understanding of how the financial world works and you are spreading that limited understanding by your post here.  London, New York, Tokyo etc needs the Cayman Islands.  They are onshore. We are offshore. Different services are provided.  99% of the work that financial service providers do in Cayman originates from the large onshore financial centers.   

    • Common Sense says:

       Hurrah! Welcome and THANK YOU.  For too long our greedy politicians have been lining their pockets and giving money and contracts to friends (voters of course).  Stop worrying about re-elections and get our house in order!!!

      How SADLY ironic for a financial center.  I hope some of our local firms can sit in, learn, and advise in the future….KPMG anyone?????

       

       

    • anony says:

      I agree with you l00% Shall I remind you of what happened in the Turks and Caicos?

      However, the people are to blame and not Big Mac. You had a chance to vote for people who were more educated and had more experience and a college degree to run the country. this is what you get when you elect uneducated people to lead. You must bear in mind that we are supposed to be a global competitor and leading in the financial industry,, 5th to be exact. Should a leader be elected if he does not have the credentials to handle finances or economics just because he is popular in his or her district? No, it cost the country too much at this stage its costing us everything. I hope you have all learned from this you sickening West Bayers you are the blame.

      The fact that the FCO has to come down here is nothing more than a confirmation that we have elected a party with leadership that is not capable of handling what is on their plate.

      Had you all rallied around educated men like Mr. Truman Bodden and others who have a college degree, and the expertise and education economically, I am sure he would have found a solution by now and avoided the FCO embarassment of having to come down here to solve our mathematics for us. People are power hungry and are not qualified to do a job. Some MLA’s are good deputys and good backbenchers, but when it comes down to Leading  the House in  a Financial Leading Jurisdiction, such as the Cayman Islands already under scrutiny by the UK and surrounded by competition, you better have all your educational credentials ducks lined up in a row or you will be embarased.Some people are not humble and they always bite off more than they can chew instead of knowing their place and their true limitations.

      This is embarasing.

    • Anonymous says:

      They are certainly going to make tough choices and follow though on them.

      If you chose to consider that the "wrecking" of the Cayman way, so be it. But the sad fact is these decisions need to be made, and if our own leaders are not strong enough to make them, they will.

      Frankly it will be for the betterment of the island too.

       

  38. whodatis says:

    What confuses me is – how was it possible for there to be a "Miller report" in the first place?

    Last I heard the Cayman Islands govt had no concrete budgetary / expenditure figures for the past few years – yet somehow they miraculously popped up in order to facilitate said report and presumably have once again to enable the FCO representatives to do whatever it is they are intending to do.

    Or have I missed something?

    • Anonymous says:

      Likely the information comes from the unaudited financial statements.

      Just because there are no audited accounts ready to be released to the public, doesn’t mean that there are not unaudited ones with all the relevant information for those with access.

      • Anonymous says:

        But the fact they are unaudited means that they are unreliable and should not be relied upon.

    • anonymous says:

      it’s a conspiracy i tell you!!!

  39. Anonymous says:

    Well thank God.  Perhaps the team from the UK will be able to bring some good sense into this equation.

    • Anonymous says:

      There’s nothing wrong with our financial management system. It is even praised by Miller. The problem is we either have chief officers who simply refuse to force their staff to comply with it or they are all incompetent or (most likely) both.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Well that’s a good start and I hope they look conservatively at the revenue and liberally at the expenditure and then maybe ken-no-nomics will produce a truly small profit. Cut out the borrowing for the next 10 years and let’s pay back what we owe, live with what have and make Cayman the best island in the Caribbean once more.

  41. Sole Provider says:

    Cayman has once again failed to get its financial house in order.

    The UK sending in the bureaucrats to solve Cayman’s budget crisis in the 21st century is akin to the IMF marching in to other Caribbean nations in the 20th century.

    History demonstrates that the IMF has a mixed record at best.

    A floating exchange rate may be suggested.

    Sale of assets  – Cayman should try to sell its non-performing assets first. Boatswains Beach, Cayman Airways, Pedro St. James, Farmers market land and building, the old Cayman Airways admin building just to name a few.

    Civil Service cuts – There will be cuts. More drastic than proposed to date and the civil servants will have no choice this time.

    Cuts to essential social programs will be included – Health benefits, pension contributions for civil servants, education and social services for us all.

    All these draconian measures will be put in place by outsiders just because we, the Caymanian people were unable to agree to sacrifice many of these very same line items.

    If Cayman fails to meet the budget targets set by the UK team, we can expect them to consider reverting to direct rule as they have done in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

    When you are sick it is best to voluntarily take your medicine, even if its unpleasant, as opposed to having a stranger force you to take it.

    The years ahead will be much tougher than they had to be and that is the real tragedy.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree wholeheartedly with Sole Provider.  It is clear what is happening here and it is all a part of the conspiracy, which former Governor, Stuart Jack said didn’t exist.  There are reasons for all that is happening….crime out of control and police looking like jackasses and can’t do anything.

      Miller-Shaw report that somehow just plays right into the whole scheme; almost word for word of what the Premier had on his wish-list!

      Unbelievable, and the Caymanian people sit and watch the soap opera being playedout.

      Chuckie, a march would have at least demonstrated that some of us realized what was happening and for what it was worth, would have shown that there was still a bit of intestinal fortitude left in a few of us.

      I say, let’s march…….

    • Anonymous says:

      The number one "non-performing asset" that we should divest ourselves of is the Legislative Assembly Building. It should be sold cheap and should be gotten rid of with everyone who has ever occupied a seat in it for the last 20 or so years.

      Then we could make a killing in certain speculative futures: If we could get a buyer for all of our politicians for what they think they are worth, having bought them for their actual value to the country, we could make a HUGE profit.

      Then we could capitalise on the energy market: One form of energy comes to mind that could lift us out of our cash shortfall. It is Rheterophysical Energy!

      Rhetero-physical Energy (RPE), like geophysical energy, is an awesome and potentially profitable source of energy if we could learn to harness it. Any surplus beyond local consumption could be sold on the open market. And God knows we have a virtually unlimited source of rheterophysical energy.  The USA is also a proven and copious consumer of RPE.

      What is rheterophysical energy, you ask? It is hot air. The kind spewed so frequently by our past and present politicians. Empth rhetoric and all the posturing that accompanies it. That is is RPE in its rawest state.  

      There seems to be a multitude of eager comsumers of RPE here in this country judging by the number of people ready to stake their country for stock in their leader’s hot air. 

      The U.S., specifically the Washington DC area, like the L/A building area, produces much RPE.  However, I am confident that the Cayman Islands stands alone as global leader in the production of RPE produced(and consumed) per capita.

      In this country RPE has proven to be a very renewable and thus far hugely sustainable resource. It is arguably the most abundant natural resource the Islands have.

      The collection process is simple: Suction devices to harness RPE could be placed near the microphones in the Legislative Assembly building. From there, pipes could be run to a huge collection plant for processing. Separators would have to be installed to segregate true RPE hot air from factual or sincere utterings. However, I do not believe there is ever enough of the latter to lower the output of RPE to any significant degree.

      Anyway, it’s just a thought.

  42. M says:

    WITH GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURE CUTS AND SELLING OF PUBLIC SERVICES – QUESTION:

    What will be done to strengthen the LABOR LAWS and ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS to protect Caymanian workers, the environment, and customers. For instance, if we privatize Cayman Airways, will its new owners employ Caymanians, rightfully protect workers, and give and manage reasonable airfares and costs.

    WE SPEAK SO MUCH ABOUT PRIVITIZATION AND SELLING OF ASSETS, BUT WE HAVE TO LOOK OUT FOR OUR OWN. PRAY THAT OUR POLITICIANS LOOK OUT FOR THE PEOPLE AND ENVIRONMENT OF THE COUNTRY! 

    • Jim says:

      Thanks for you comment!  We have so many who are against Caymanians, I won’t be surprise your comment get alot of thumbs-down :o)

      We are the only Caribbean nation that are outnumbered in our own country. Yes… we need to pray for our politicians.

    • Bobby Anonymous says:

      Is it not "looking after our own" that got us in this mess? If you are suitable,  qualified and willing you WILL find work.

    • Joe Bananas says:

      By all means look out for the very persons who are now responsible for the huge financial mess Cayman is in now.  Cayman now must choose between feeding the Government to death or feeding themselves.  So far it looks like they will just talk about it till Government dies of obesity.  For the past few years its been talk talk talk but no action.  Instead of the problems going away they are still getting worst.  See the trend yet?  Where will Cayman be in a year from now?  It is now too late to fix the crime.  It will get worse.  It is too late to figure out a way to feed all of Caymans non performing work force.  They will not be able to live on their own two feet any more.  There will not be a way to educate up and comeing Caymanian so they can compete with the rest of the modern world.The islands of Cayman will naturaly fall to those who can work and keep up with the modern world and the troves of uneducated, non performing, and self serving persons will return to doing what they do best.  Nothing.  Except crying for help.

    • Anonymous says:

      oh please, what Caymanians work for Cayman Airways?  It’s full of foreigners.  Can’t even speak English.  I can count the Caymanians on one hand.

    • Anonymous says:

      More protectionism is not the answer.

  43. Anonymous says:

    That visit will take the heat off the premier.. Any budget cuts that may be

    unpopular Bush can say….”they” made me do it!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      "They made me do it" never worked with the status grants and won’t work now.

    • Anonymous says:

      it’s not a bad thing… just as long as it gets done… we have a gov who changes policy at the threat of a demonstration…… spineless cowards

  44. Anonymous says:

    Whoops — did I forget to tell you all that? Obviously it was someone else responsibility to provide that information anyway.

     

    This team is here to scrutinize the government accounting. I don’t think anyone knows how bad the debt really is, this may add more of a burden, and the UK will insist on assurances.

    The FCO is not happy about the lack of additional revenue generating mechanisms. Financial sector and immigration fees cannot be raised further. IMHO — I would think it is advisable to agree to some form of direct taxation or allow casinos.

    Decision time is quickly coming!

     

  45. whodatis says:

    FCO?!

    Let us hope they don’t do us like they did the Chagos Islands.

    If you don’t knowgo and find out – Google "The Chagos Islands: A sordid tale".

    (Hint: Forced displacement of fellow British citizens.)

    As you do – please bear in mind that they are or WERE in the identical political category as are we in the Cayman Islands. Yes folks – Britain did THAT to fellow "Brits"!

    (Yet people wonder why I have no love in my heart for the UK? According to the FCO – I am not even human … I am but a mere "tarzan" or "man Friday".) Oh – lemme guess … that was then – this is now, right?

    The fact that I spent so many days wholeheartedly penning my little "Commonwealth essays" as a school child while my fellow "B.D.T.C.’s" were being displaced and left to die in a foreign land by way of lies and trickery does not sit very well with me today.

    Such a dirty, heartless and ruthless entity! My goodness man!

    Keep your 3rd eye open Cayman. I for one refuse to believe that this branch of the UK apparatus could truly have compassion and concern for the plight of my fellow Caymanians.

    (Maybe the Chagossians committed the apparently fatal mistake of being a bit too dark in complexion as their "mother" sold them out to the USA in exchange for a few subsidies? I say this because the very same mother took up arms, fighter jets, war tankers, choppers, missiles, marines – the whole nine – to "defend" her more advantageously hued children over in the "Falkland Islands".) Anyone remember the press coverage – wow, it was so spectacular!

    Contrast that with the Chagos Islands / Diego Garcia – I only learned of the story about 10 years ago! Many people still have absolutely no idea of what I am talking about – in 2010! I guess the BBC didn’t receive the fax on that one?

    Yes … I like to educate my people to the true nature that is "mother England" – "lest we forget" as they say.

    Am I a trouble-maker? Perhaps – people say so all the time.

    However, prove me a liar and I will gladly shut up.

    Nite, nite e’erbody …

    :o)

    • Wake me when it's over says:

      I know about the Chagos Islands.  Still, many don’t know about this inconvenient truth.  As it has been conveniently forgotten.  Funny how dat works!  For further reading whodatis: take a look at Confessions of An Economic Hitman by John Perkins. Ie.Talk softly and carry a big stick.

      • whodatis says:

        @ Wake me

        I am familiar with that particular body of work – thanks.

        You are absolutely correct – we all should keep a thick piece of bamboo handy.

        Stay up.

        :o)

    • anonymous says:

      one word solution:  independence.  oh, but that would mean standing on your own and not having anyone else to blame.  nite nite.

      • whodatis says:

        So – that’s your response to my post?

        Absolutely no remorse or concern about what happened to those poor, innocent and peace loving people eh?

        Honestly – some people in this world disgust me.

        Again – it is because of the ideology, attitude and stance of he UK (and people like yourself) why I have absolutely no love for the "mother country". She makes it clear that individuals like myself hold absolutely no value to her whatsoever.

        Many Caymanians have fooled themselves into disbelieving this blatant truth – but not this one. I’ve been around long enough and kept my eyes and ears open enough to see what is what. The year is 2010 – I wonder for how much longer do some people expect to play this smoke and mirrors crap?

        (I trust everyone is paying close attention.)

        Btw, you said:

        "one word solution:  independence.  oh, but that would mean standing on your own and not having anyone else to blame.  nite nite."

        Interesting – as I understand it the UK is facing its most dire financial outlook in recent times – even with the luxury of the ponzi scheme that is centralized fractional reserve banking (meaning they can simply print new money where we cant) – looks like the mother country has failed at carrying her OWN weight.

        Personally, I am ready for independence – have been for a long time now! However, this "western" world is not ready for that as they refuse to put trust and confidence into the people of my shared legacy and tend to regress their fickle thought process to what happened in other parts of the region way back in the 1960s and 1970s. (The "thumb ratio" below will prove this.)

        I guess people conveniently forget that the outside world came to us and found this peace loving, innovative and hard working gem in the Caribbean – and THEREAFTER, built upon its foundation all that they have today. We are the rock of everything one finds here today.

        Peace, political stability, natural beauty, warm and friendly people, geographic advantages – these are the principles upon which our industries were built.

        London is a main competitor for one of these industries – so clearly, us being "British" is far more of hindrance than a help in this particular regard.

        As for the other – I will simply say this. Our crime issue is but a tiny blip in relation to what has been happening for ages in Bahamas, Jamaica, Cuba and Trinidad – and they all have / had thriving industries of tourism.

        Furthermore, you may not realize this but being "British" does not hold the same value or demand the same respect as it did 50 years ago (I’ve always wondered why it ever did actually – I guess this world admires tyranny?). The world now sees you for what you truly are – I have given a clear example above – add to that your shared role in the illegal invasion of Iraq.

        So trust me – we could do a LOT worse than ending our relationship with our abusive and self-serving mother.

        Mornin’ e’erbody …

        :o)

    • Anonymous says:

      You are a trouble maker. I read the article, as you suggested, with great interest.

       

       "to maintain the pretence there were no permanent inhabitants" on the islands.

       It is clear from some of the disclosed documents that, in some quarters, the official zeal in implementing those removal policies went beyond any proper limits


      Mr Justice Gibbs 

       

      This was vital, because proper residents would have to be recognised as people "whose democratic rights have to be safeguarded".

      It sounds more like the rollover policy to me.

       

       

    • Anonymous says:

       Apples to oranges. Caymanians simply do not fall into the category of "victim". Quite the opposite.

    • Anonymous says:

      The inhabitants therefore became non-people. To the outside world, there must be no inhabitants, merely people living there temporarily – migrant workers and other transients.

      (Added – temporarily 7 years, because after 10 years the person should have rights, according to the European Convention. Cayman, has stretched the 10 years to 15 years. Worse, many here over the 15 year time frame received letters telling them to leave.)

      Sounds like you have learnt well from your masters. 

    • O'Really says:

      "Maybe the Chagossians committed the apparently fatal mistake of being a bit too dark in complexion…" It is difficult to read this paragraph, or your post generally, without identifying a deep racial prejudice in your words.

      I can virtually guarantee that you don’t even know the names of the FCO delegation to be sent to Cayman, let alone actually know all the individuals involved. Yet you have no problem suggesting that they may treat Caymanians differently because of skin colour than they would treat Caucasians ( read Falkland Islanders). You are pre-judging individuals you haven’t met and know nothing about. 

      The agendas of the FCO and Cayman may or may not be perfectly aligned in seeking to resolve Cayman’s financial crisis; only a fool would assume that everything on the FCO agenda got there because it was the best thing for Cayman. But there is a difference between negotiating starting from different ideological positions and negotiating starting from a position where race has any part to play.

      You are not a trouble maker, as I believe you might like to think of yourself. You are simply wrestling with your own prejudices.

      • Anonymous says:

        I see that you subscribe to the theory that the best defence is a strong offence.

        I did not read the post as having anything to do with any personal prejudices individuals who will form the FCO delegation so much as it had to do with the obvious prejudice that successive British govts. have demonstrated in their treatment of colonials.  There is absolutely no way that the Falkland Islanders would have been treated in the same way as the Chagossians. What do you suppose would make the difference? Shouldn’t we learn from the experiences of others? There is also a marked difference in the treatment given to the Channel Islands as compared to the dependent territories, e.g. the British Gov. has been very supportive of them and has told them to put clear water between themselves and us.  

        The writer was identifying deep racial prejudice, rather than exhibiting it. Please, can we just call a spade a spade and stop the dancing around the issue?

        • whodatis says:

          Co-sign!

          You said it far better than I ever could.

          :o)

        • O'Really says:

          "Shouldn’t we learn from the experience of others" Well yes and from our own experience.

          But the interesting issue is how we use what we learn and how it differs from prejudice. If one examines the performance of the FCO in the past to identify strategies for dealing with them, to recognise that their agenda may differ from yours, to be prepared for their arguments etc. this in my book is learning from others.

          But if all you take away from the study is that the FCO has been guilty of racial bias in the past, that in your opinion the government is still racially biased in its dealings and that it will inevitably bring these prejudices to the table when dealing with Cayman, learning has morphed into prejudice.

          I’ll call a spade a spade, but if you fail to see the implicit racial prejudice in the post to which i originally referred, maybe the problem is yours, not mine.

      • whodatis says:

        @ O’Really:

        "It is difficult to read this paragraph, or your post generally, without identifying a deep racial prejudice in your words."

        Lol!!

        Are you serious?!

        You get that impression from simple words in an online blog from a single individual yet you are unable to see the "racial prejudice" dripping all over the disparities of the two outlined naitonal scenarios!?

        Boy – moo’ from roun’ ya!!

        Lol!!

        Thanks a lot – I needed that laugh today.

        Frankly, if it appears this way to you my friend – blame the subject matter – not the observer.

        The bottom line is this: The UK has absolutely no defense for their actions in this regard – none. And judging by the quotes of the empowered FCO officials at the time("tarzans" / "man Fridays"), the race / color of the Chagossians was unquestionably a factor in the deciding equation and attached level of remorse – being none whatsoever!

        You must be a Brit. Are you people really this naive or are you blinded by unwavering patriotism? Either way you guys are dangerous – I am honestly afraid to share a country with individuals of such a mindset.

        Hope you find a stool to help you off that high horse there fella!

        • O'Really says:

          Well yes, I was serious. Your words display racial prejudice for the reasons set out in my original post. You wrote them, not me! And where does your assumption that I am blind to racism when it emanates from the UK come from?

          I recognise and challenge prejudice wherever I see it ( although increasingly on a selective basis on CNS as the same old prejudices get trotted out time and again). I am a Brit but not one who is so wildly patriotic as to be blind to faults in my own country. I do not subscribe to the " 2 wrongs makea right" theory so prevalent in Cayman and in your original post and subsequent response.  You cannot defend your racism simply by pointing out other examples.

          Anyway, my point is made. Your words display your own racial prejudice. You do not see this yourself. You tell me I’m on a high horse because i recognise and identify something you don’t like. Maybe, but if I am I have at least removed the blinkers of discrimination. I see no basis for you to make similar claims.

          • whodatis says:

            @ O’Really:

            Listen, I am but one man with a computer.

            My frank observation and analysis of historical truths are no more than words.

            If you happen to consider these truths as my "racism" – then so be it. It does not negate the fact that your country has a long standing policy of racial bias. For goodness sake it was BUILT on these principles – 400 year African Slave trade!? (Let us not go into modern day reviews, inquiries, reports and findings – we both understand what is what.)

            Regardless, even if I was "racist" (by the way, I am pretty sure my partner of YOUR racial background would not appreciate your accusation) it would mean absolutely zilch compared to a national shame of displacing and disposing of a nation’s own "people" as the UK did with the ("tarzan / Man Friday") Chagossians (there is a documentary of the scandal on Google Videos – have a watch this weekend.)

            Perhaps you consider me racist because you simply cannot handle the truth about your beloved UK? My perspective often results in Brits getting their panties in a bunch – however, this is normally because most have never been forced to take a long hard look in the mirror.

            It is a new day O’Really – the gig is up. If you choose to hang on to your feeble little mindset then by all means go right ahead, however, we are no longer obedient little "golliwogs". Our eyes and ears are now open – history taught us that it is the best way to be.

            Spread the word…

  46. Anonymous says:

    a very reasonable approach for the Cayman Islands– sustainability without direct taxation.

    While it is easy to start blaming one another for the dire situation, it is not going to remidy the problem, but rather divide us.

    An sincere request to all, including the big wigs of the PPM, the writing is on the wall. Let us all join hands to work with the incumbent government,who were voted in by a clear majority, to ddo what is necessary and plan and teach fiscal management for the coming generations. This is what our elders like Sir Vassel preached and followed.

    • Anonymous says:

      The PPM has been asking for this since last May….it’s the UDP who have not been willing to join hands and work together.  PS: just so you know – the UDP did not win the elections by a clear majority of total votes cast – check out the elections website and do the math – the majority of votes cast went to the PPM and independents combined – the split vote between PPM and indpendents is what landed the UDP in power.

  47. Long live our Queen says:

     So, who’s turf is in now? Oh – that’s right it’s the Queens !

    Obviously, she lacks the confidence in this governments ability to do it themselves. Way to go UDP !  When you act like spoiled children mommy has to step in!  

    Now let me guess what’s next, Mac won’t have the guts to do the civil servant cuts himself so that will be blamed on this Foreign and Commonwealth Office ? 

  48. Anonymous says:

    About time!!!!!!!                   . .

    We need someone to get the job done.

    Alden and Rolsten can debate on Rooster till the cows come home but that aint goin ta change a ting.

    Mother Country, may I be the first to say thank you for saving the day.

  49. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if these guys will need their feet washed? Cause were good at that around here.

  50. Anonymous says:

    expats to save the day again….

  51. Anonymous says:

    So let me get this straight, a team from the UK Government which is currently facing its worst deficit since the early 70’s is coming to help us fix our economy??!!

    • Anonymous says:

      it was the hedge funds in the cayman islands that got the british banks into deep water in the first place….

  52. Anonymous says:

    finally some educated people!

  53. Anonymous says:

    Like most of my fellow civil servant who feel they have been bullied, intimidated and terrorized by Mac’s antics we feel that our family’s well-being would be threatened if we put in an  FOI request in own name.  However we would very much like to have some information which could be acquired by an FOI request available to us.  In this context, an as a public service in the public interest, we would be most grateful if you CNS could FOI request the following:

    1) What is the total amount being spent on travel since the present government took office?

     2) what class of travel does this represent? What is the highest hotel cost per night and who charged that?

    3) how much has been paid to Paul Byles , and or to any company he or his family members have shares in?

    4) how much has been spent by the protocol office on chauffeurs, chefs security and miscellaneous expenses

    5) how much has been spent on Mac’s guard house and other personal and or other living expenses

    CNS: Anyone can make an FOI request and they can do so anonymously via email (so, "I don’t want them to know who I am" is not an excuse). Unfortunately, it is incredibly time consuming and we simply do not have the time to make many requests. However (I know I keep saying this) we will soon have a section for FOI responses given to members of the public. So, go forth citizen journalists and make those requests! It’s what the process is for. Hint: keep the requests simple with either one question or a couple of related questions to avoid additional run-around — which you will get, believe me. You can always make multiple requests if you have a lot of questions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Answer to all of those questions is ‘a lot of money’ but to be fair, you are in no position to complain having leeched off society for years. Your healthcare benefits, inflated wages etc cost us taxpayers more than Macs perks.

    • Anonymous says:

       You do not have to put in a FOI request in your own name. Make up an email address and false name and put it in from that, but please share the information received!

    • anonymous says:

      You should ask..How much is this UK Squad’s Caribbean trip is going to cost us?? That is what you should ask!!!

      The other questions are interesting but let’s keep perspective on the UK’s “Divide and Conquer” process….they are the ‘Masters’ of this! ( pun actually intended)

      Now that the UK/FCO has gotten the party system entrenched here ….it makes it much easier for them to control….makes it simple really.

    • Anonymous says:

      AMEN!

      Many of us would like the answers to those questions but we are worried about what asking such questions in our own names might do to our families.*

      I understand that it is possible to ask FOI questions using an anonymous email account set up in a foreign country together with a name like "Mickey Mouse" to go along with that email account. Does anyone out there know if this would work. Perhaps there is someone associated with the FOI office who could anonymously answer this question here on this blog.

      Having the ability to put accurate information into the public domain regarding the waste of our country’s scarce resources without putting one’s family at risk would be a great benefit to the country as a whole. I have no doubt that if this information was brought into the light of day that the taxpayers of this country would be outraged enough to put a stop to the cronyism, extravagence and waste that seems to be eating away at our county. 

      *CNS Note: This is not an excuse. You can make a request anonymously via email.

    • A Concerned Caymanian says:

      CNS I hope you make these request and publish the results and if not please let us know.  Also, please add the questions below.

      How many consultants were there from May 2005 to June 2009 and how have we and since July 2010?  Also, what are there names and their job descriptions/area of expertise and their salaries and benefits?

      How many expatriates are in the civil service and list by department/authority and profession (ie. financial, medical, teaching, HR etc.) and what are their job descriptions?

      What was the size of the civil service on June 30, 2009 and what is the size as of the date of the request?

      How many persons are currently working in the civil service that is age 60 or over?

      How many persons are on required leave or suspension with pay, what position did they hold and what is their salary band?

      CNS: Anyone can make an FOI request and they can do so anonymously via email (so, "I don’t want them to know who I am" is not an excuse). Unfortunately, it is incredibly time consuming and we simply do not have the time to make many requests. However (I know I keep saying this) we will soon have a section for FOI responses given to members of the public. So, go forth citizen journalists and make those requests! It’s what the process is for. Hint: keep the requests simple with either one question or a couple of related questions to avoid additional run-around– which you will get, believe me. You can always make multiple requests if you have a lot of questions.

      • Anonymous says:

        Answers to a lot of your questions have already been published by the government, they just don’t do a great job of making it readily and easily available. Also, it seems that most people believe the government doesn’t give out ANY information, which isn’t fair, so they don’t bother to look.

        Check out the 08/09 Employment Information and Human Resources Activity report online at http://www.pocs.gov.ky/pls/portal/docs/PAGE/PCSHOME/FOI/DOCLIBRARY/ANNUAL%20REPORT%20FOR%20FISCAL%20YEAR%2008_09.PDF.

        1. As of 30 June 2009 there were 1105 non-Caymanian civil servants and 2651 Caymanians; 3756 total with 70.6% being Caymanian.

        2. Page 10 of the report breaks down by ministry/portfolio/department

        a) Caymanians under 60 on fixed term contracts

        b) Caymanians over 60 on fixed term contracts

        c) Non-Caymanians

        d) Caymanians on open-ended contracts

        A lot of people seem to be interested in the statistics of the civil service, so I wanted to let everyone know that I came across some really interesting stuff on http://www.pocs.gov.ky/portal/page?_pageid=1688,3449569&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL while looking for the Government pay scale. The "Unique Position by Grade" report is lists ALL job titles in the civil service, how many people hold that title, and what their pay scale is. The pay scale is also online, and the HR report referenced above breaks down how many people on on the various points of the scale, how many Caymanians and non-Caymanians are on each scale, etc, etc.

        These documents definitely corrected some of my personal misconceptions about the civil service, and I would really encourage everyone to check these documents out!

    • Anonymous says:

      Good Questions…however, this does not negate the fact that all CS’s do not contribute to pension or health. 

      The writing is on the wall and distraction tactics or questions such as these should not be used to mask the blatant, obvious (yes stinging) truth!

      I have relatives who are CS’s and I would hate to see the pinch in their pockets.  However, the truth is the truth and if cuts need to be made to salaries and contribution to fringe benefits lets not fight it.  The rest of the private sector has done this for years.  Do not try to detract from the crust of the issue with questions such as these. 

      If the answer (calculations) to your questions are provided…I can guarantee you they will not offset the budget as much as the lack of contributions made by CS’s and exhorbitant salaries.

      Just pray and we shall be ok! Prayer Works!

    • Richard N. Parson says:

       Good luck with that FOI request.  

  54. Oh shi*!!! says:

    Let’s all try to be on our best behaviour.  Tuck your shirts in.  No skimpy outfits. shhhNo blogs!  Unless.. they are in support of anything the Premier says.  Even if it’s different than yesterday.No roadblocks.  And no swearing.  Ok?

    And Smile!!!!!

    And I hope they don’t get mugged.  I would hide those briefcases.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Excellent news!!!  Hopefully we will now have the input of some qualified and professional individuals rather than just that of Mac’s political cronies.

    • Anonymous says:

      I would welcome some competent advice being given to the country. Unfortunately for us poor tax payers, it is likely that the massive payments to cronies will continue whether they are pretending to do something for their money or not.

  56. Chop-Chop says:

    Thanks Brits, for once…

    McKeeva will need all the help he can muster to cut down to the correct size the Civil Service, a special privileged caste so entrenched in enjoying its perks and high salaries to the detriment of the rest of the population, that they won’t give up easily.

    The 5 higher echelons of the Civil Service are earning more than the UK ministers, says Mr. Miller and it’s all tax-free to boot.

    In the next 3 years, ~1000 Civil Servants jobs will be shed, they will lose between 10 and 15% in salary and will need to contribute to their health and pension funds, like the rest of us.

    About time, too!

    Cayman’s future looks much brighter, as finally, common sense will prevail… 

     

  57. Anonymous says:

    If the UK has decided that it is time to step in, that speaks volumes for their confidence in the present government to do it.

    It is time for action irrespective of who will take such action to put our house in order and put the politics aside.

    Maybe we may even see some new faces forming the next government because this is sure to shed some light on our present Politicians ability to manage the countrys affairs.

    Get set to tighten those belts until it hurts. Thats what our latest set of Politicians have brought us to.