Three-year plan goes to UK

| 09/04/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Island Headline News(CNS): The governor has confirmed that the government’s three-year budget plan to get the country’s finances back to a surplus position has been submitted to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for consideration. Duncan Taylor said he expected there would now be some negotiation between the UK and the Cayman government over its content before the OT minister is contacted about the need for further borrowing. The governor also noted that no guarantees have been given by the FCO concerning borrowing this year and that the minster may still want new revenue raising measures introduced before giving approval for the CIG to increase its debt. (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

Speaking directly to the media at a session to review his first ten weeks in office, Taylor said that along with the spike in crime the financial situation had taken priority since he arrived in the Cayman Islands. He said that in the short term finances would continue to play a key part in his work as revenues were much lower than anticipated, creating real difficulties in government.
The governor also noted that there was little time left to settle the negotiations over the three-year plan with the FCO as the government planed to present the 2010/11 budget to the Legislative Assembly by 30 April.
Taylor confirmed that no guarantees on borrowing had been made, despite the fact that the government would need significant funds at the end of this budget year to bridge the deficit gap and that at present the financial situation meant that the current capital projects — the schools and government officer building — were being deferred.
The governor said the access to more borrowing was still down to the Overseas Territories minister, Chris Bryant, and he had not offered a decision on extendingthe CIG debt as he had not yet been asked. Taylor acknowledged that the UK was still interested in the Cayman government introducing new revenue raising measures but he said the UK would not necessarily press for direct taxation before offering borrowing approval.
“The UK understands that government has decided to cut operating expenditure,” the governor said, adding that the Miller report had indicated there is more tax in Cayman than people imagine because of the fees paid by companies and the work permits. Taylor also said that the recent meeting in the UK between Premier McKeeva Bush, the Overseas Territories Director Colin Roberts and himself had gone very well and the FCO had listened to the CIG position.
However, the governor acknowledged that Roberts was arguing for a broader base of revenue measures as he believed this would make Cayman more resilient to the ups and downs of the world economy. While he said the FCO may be content with just cuts, Taylor said he could not speak for the OT minister, and despite recent comments by the premier, the issue of borrowing was still in question.
“I don’t recall a specific commitment from the FCO that it would agree to additional borrowing if there is no tax in the budget but nor was there a statement that you must do it or there won’t be any borrowing,” he added, explaining that the borrowing hinges on the feasibility of the three-year plan and what the minister, Chris Bryant, thinks of it.
Decisions regarding the country’s finances are expected to come to a head over the next few days. The CIG hopes to persuade the UK that its plan to set a specific operating expenditure budget, which has been reduced significantly, attract inward investment and divest government assets and services will, over the next three years, reduce the borrowing levels and bring in a surplus for government.
The premier has made a commitment that his government will not introduce any direct taxes.

Category: Headline News

Comments (37)

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  1. Joe Average says:

    I watch these things take place. Such as this press release.  And there is such a huge gap between governments, and what the common people, and small businesses attempt to accomplish.  By that I mean, we have seriously lost our ability to return to what the role of government is: to provide cost effective services to the public. That’s it.  That’s all of it.  and all we require.

    Governments in many ways seem to be in denial.  When deficits arise in most cases, if not in all it is the result of government spending. And they never admit that fact.

    To tackle this problem, the first action by governments is not to examine how services could be provided more cost-effectively and cut back on it’s internal costs.  That would reduce the size.  In most cases, the knee jerk reaction is quite the opposite. Governments seek to maintain their level of bureaucracy and spending.  By raising fees and taxes.  When this results in the local economy, ie. the common people and small businesses unable to absorb it all, then and only then are other avenues considered. Such as reducing their own costs. And this is often only seen as an unwanted last resort.  When in fact it should be the first solution.

    It is the arrogance and stubbornness of governments, and their inability to see where the problem has arisen that is constantly spun at us as a type of fiscal management in other words, they are going to now save us from a problem they created.

    Much like mainstream religions, we hold governments on an artificial pedestal they have mounted.  And remain passive listeners not capable of asking questions which are important to us all. 
     

    Such as, how we got to such a place of the country having a huge deficit?  And, is the real purpose of government, like many religions, to perpetuate itself?

    It’s time we examined that aspect of government in relation to the task they are actually given, and mandated to perform.

    To circumvent this awkward enquiry, we are often unfortunately told, that our finances are, in reality, beyond their control.  Because we are all tied into and within a "global economy".  What we don’t question is whether other countries in this "global economy" are suffering the same inadequacies of their governments to control spending and we are suffering the same consequences.   What I mean by this is, the U.K., which is giving our government advice, is also in serious debt.  Their solution is of course more taxes.  In other words the theory is tax people until they can’t absorb any more taxes.  And then, as a last resort, see if the problem may lie within government itself.  But that is rarely done and never successful, and on and on it goes while we work our a**es off to keep up.

    On the outside of all of this.. spinning and rhetoric, or shell game, we continue to try to make our livings and run our small businesses.  In most cases, we try to be successful because for us……there is no one else to take responsibility.  And ultimately, we pay the bills and rest on our own successes.  In the process, we hand over vast sums.

    What continues to confound us is, as we were doing all this is. What was our government doing with it’s..our money?  What were other governments doing?  Such as the U.K.?  In particular with money, extracted in taxes, fees etc.  The answer is spending on themselves, totally unaware, driving drunk and giving advice to each other on how to "balance" their economies. 

    The balance they are often speaking of is how much can you tax people before they quit in despair?  The U.K. is now offering advice on where they have found that line.

    I for one am convinced they don’t care about results for common people, and don’t believe a word they’re saying.  And ultimately, don’t know what they’re doing. They aren’t very astute because they don’t realize we are the economy.  And if allowed we, not governments create the wealth of a nation. Governments spend it.

    And when we look at the rest of the world and what governments have done with astronomical sums of peoples’ money and the solutions they arrive at?

    It becomes obvious to all… they won’t admit they are the problem!  And without this stupidity the economies we strive to create would prosper and hopefully, become healthy again. 

    The only thing preventing this is… our governments… and their own spending and wastefulness.  So instead of just listening we should be saying don’t try to tell people taxes are the answer to our problems if you’re looking for solutions.  Look within!!!!

    Until that takes place we refuse to pay a penny more.

  2. Pit Bull says:

    National government (UK) must always have the control over the regional/local government (Cayman).

    • Anonymous says:

      Hear you language –

      MUST ALWAYS HAVE THE CONTROL…

      Sound like an oppressive pontiff!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am sure that the FCO will be happy with the new report and the country will be able to balance the budget and solve its financial problem for the next 3 years just by the reduction of spending.  

    The building of the new hospital by Dr. Shetty will enhance the revenues and balance the budget in less than 18 months, to all the naysayers just wait and see and the government will not have to contribute one penny.

    The FCO will see that with the spending cuts, the Ritz Carlton and the high class guest and big spenders that they bring in, the cruise industry, building of the new dock, the proposed marina and yacht basin in East End, the oil refinery, Dr. Shetty’s new hospital and all the money that will come from the hospital work permits, the 2,500 new PR.  Government will be able to balance the budget for the next 10 years.

     

    • Jill says:

      But the FCO will keep us down as a dependent territory more than ever, after coaxing us for this new constitution. The FCO is not the Immaculate Mary as you think!

      So speak well about her – It would have been better if we democractically were calling the shots!  Who know these Islands better than us???

      The FCO is looking out for their own interest!

    • Anonymous says:

      And I suppose that you, Anon 19:41, agrees with "the 2,500 new PR"? Damn idiot! After the 3000 status throw-aways in 2003, you still support 2,500 more PR’s being given away? Get real! We are already outnumbered in OUR OWN country, & you support diluting it more! ARE YOU SERIOUS? You must be one of those "2003 McKeeva paper Caymanians" because no true Caymainan who LOVES Cayman could ever support the granting of any more large scale status or PR’s!NEVER.  

      • Zzzzz says:

        Thankfully such pitiful small mindedness and power hunger will not affect the existing obligations to provide residency and political rights to long term residents.  Everyone was a newcomer to Cayman – most sooner rather than later.

      • Caymanians for logic says:

        The numbers do not really matter…it is business and economic control that does….. As long as our government ensures that Caymanians come first, it will not matter. And when Caymanians understand this principle will they elect a Government that does this and will benefit.

      • Anonymous says:

        2,500 new PR is better than the 2003, status grants, Dr. Albert Einstein at least the treasury will get $6,250,000 for the granting of these PR a lot more than they got from the status grants. Another thing Dr. Einstein the people that will get PR live here and we already know them as opposed  to many who got status grants in 2003; and another thing most of the 2,500 PR are given to attorneys and professional people in the financial industry that we so desperately need. As for being a 2003 McKeeva paper Caymanian I will not even dignify that with an answer all I will say to you I remember when McKeeva attended school at Annex and let you decide if I was one of his class mates that he would need to give status to, Einstein.  I am sure a good PhD like yourself approve of Dr. Shettys develpment explain to an idiot like me where in Cayman will all these workers come from. You worry about diluting Caymanian population this has been happening for a very long time, and as for being out numbered this has been a done deal since 1995.  Welcome to the real world. 

        • Anonymous says:

          It’s all about the almighty dollar for you (Anon 10:15) & those that think like you! You seem to think it is alright to sell out your country & your birthright once you are getting money for it? How stupid. It seems that your time with McKeeva Bush at school at the Annex didn’t do much for you, or him. You sure are no Einstein. Why does money mean so much to you that you are willing to sell your country? That is a disgrace!

      • Anonymous says:

        this is so true.one million thumbs up to you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oil refinery??

    • Scrooge McDuck says:

      It’s ok 19:41.  I get it.  Still I don’t see why you didn’t mention legalizing ganja and shipping container loads throughout the world!  That would balance the budget in weeks!!  oops

    • Anonymous says:

      ‘….and the government will not have to contribute one penny.’ What exactly do you think the many concessions government has promised Dr. Shetty related to Work Permits and duties on imported equipment is?? Government will be contributing much more than one penny Bozo!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Let’s be realistic. You cannot be a dependent territory of the UK and be in "equal partnership" with them. That is obviously a contradiction in terms. Right now there are some areas that we are glad they are still around.    

    • M says:

      lol… it is not like we became independent from an all Island vote!  History shows as the British Empire expanded, it took over Islands for profit, greed, and power to maintain its empire. That is how they could have expell the Chagossians from their Islands because it was a good location for military bases.

      So the one who needs to be realistic, is you!  Caymanians need to always be reminded of their beginnings. We never voted for being dependent and second-represented. America managed through her revolution to break free from her control and became economically prosperous. The Islands could not, because we were weak and helpless. Jamaica managed to break free and go independent – later the transition of going independent and corruption deals was their greatest blunder – not the independence itself. Cayman would have become a territory of Jamaica if Cayman went with them. But Cayman had no other choice but to remain a subservient colony to an oppressive mother!

      You need to read your history man and know where we came from!

      • Anonymous says:

        Huh? I think I know my history at least as well as you and likely a great deal better. None of this changes the fact that we have chosen to remain a colony/dependent territory/overseas territory of the UK. In the recent constitutional talks we could have gone for full internal self-govt. and set a date for independence. Instead, we voted for a constitution that reflected only minor advancement.  And please do not say that was our leaders’ choice – you know full well that Caymanians will not support any move for independence. Check out the CNS poll (even taking into account non-Caymanian votes).   

        • look ya says:

          Da rite, we doh wah no stinkin independence…nah yet anyways. de Politicians we guh na ready yet te truss wid dah kind powa..deh too foo foo

          • Scrooge McDuck says:

            Well said.  I guess.  If I think what you were saying was we don’t have the confidence yet for independence because our local politicians can’t be trusted with any authority and they don’t know what they’re doing.  I like foo foo instead.

            • Andrew says:

              Scrooge

              When will we ever trust them?

              Are we to forever leech onto the UK?

              When???

              We have to support our leaders and realize that the UK sees us as their lesser subjects.

              Peace

    • islandman says:

      Cayman is not a "Dependent" territory. We are an "overseas" territory (OT). The UK and it’s OTs agreed onthis change several years ago now, to (BOTs)

      However i too am very glad thatCayman is still a BOT and that the UK/FCO are doing it’s part to help ensure more transparency and accountability in our affairs, as it seems that most powers that be locally, are unwilling to.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, yes, yes. We know the name has changed in the Overseas Territories Act  2002  but nothing else has. Not really. We are dependent upon the UK for a number of matters.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’d like to think that a very important part of this proposal would be the "de-uncombobulation" of the Government IT Systems where departmental software programs that should be sharing common information (and don’t) are merged and web-enabled where applicable.

    This would streamline services, increase online self-service and guess what? Cut running costs! That is what we want to achieve? Isn’t it? 

    Government knows why this cannot be done. It is because the Data Architect who was behind the current infrastructure direction has left.

    Oracle programmers cost a fortune and the payback would be awfully slow if we were  to hire an army of them.

    I suggest you take another look at SAP, as many public sectors around the world are leveraging its benefits.

    Please hire a new Chief Data Architect who can assist in sculpting the solutions of the future.

  6. Anonymous says:

    With an election looming in the UK why dont we just wait till its over.

    Maybe we will get someone who is more sensitive to our plight to deal with it.

    I cant wait to see captain underpants sent off on his homomoon.

  7. Anonymous says:

     

    Also, the Governor may act contrary to the advice of the Cabinet in acordance with section 33(2)(a) of the New Constitution.
    • Pit Bull says:

      As it should be.

      • Andrew says:

        As it should not!

        We are living in the 21st Century. Caymanians should be represented and there should be equality… yes… even in governance over these Islands.

        You are totally blind as to what is fair!

        The UK could have at least worded in the Constitution such changes. Of course, you are so mesmerize about them. Why don’t you go and live with them instead?

        Stupid

  8. Soso says:

    This is the reason why there is unequal footing between the Cayman Islands Government and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office!

    What if they refused to allow us to borrow in the first place –

    I can only see us at the mercy of the FCO who regards us as inferior to them, and has coax and sweet-talk us into a New Constitution that does not established equal partnership in the goverance over these Islands. Section 31,32, and 125

    • caymanman says:

      well, i think if fiscal prudence was a part of government culture, and we obeyed our own laws then we wouldn’t even have to talk to them no would we?

      how do we even try to bargain when we have even produced audits for the last five years…bunch a backward civil servants i think.

       

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree that we are totally at their mercy. I do not think that Caymanians are fully aware of the predicament in which we can still find ourselves.

    • Caymanian 2 da Bone says:

      Didn’t realise the UK voted on the constitution, thought it was only us Caymanians who elected to use it

      • leslie says:

        Yeah but, before we could have our constitution "OUR WAY," it was sent to the UK to approve it. And they were the ones who retained colonial the powers of the Governor and kept the people of these Islands second in importance to their rule. I know this is not the democracy the people of the United States would tolerate.

    • Anonymous says:

      We were neither coaxed or sweet talked .

      The new constitution was stuffed down our guts because we had a gutless bunch of politicians dealing with it.

      Even those who said they were against it is now showing that they very well wanted it.

    • Joe Mamma says:

      I think you are absolutly right!  You should be free to destroy what is basically yours with the collateral damage to that which is not as you see fit because ……well ….I can’t think of a good reason. Could you please reply so we all know what the reason is??

      Why would you think they would regard you as inferior?  You are what you and everyone else can see with their own eyes and no one can change that.  But you can keep trying.

    • BORN FREE says:

      After all the criticism of the PPM by the UDP isn’t it ironic that it is the main suggestion by the PPM "that goes to UK"?
      The UDP spent much of their time preaching DOOM & GLOOM & telling the world that Cayman is bankrupt & it was all because of the PPM! HOGWASH! The UDP then refused to hear any suggestions put forth by the PPM. Yet the PPM did not give up, they constantly kept telling the UDP that instead of trying to solve the problem in one year they must spread it out over three years! The UDP wanted none of that. They REFUSED to listen, but then came the Miller/Shaw report which agreed with the PPM’s suggestion to spread it over three years.
      Now we see that the government has caved in & as CNS is reporting "the three-year plan goes to UK"!!!
      Congratulations PPM, once again you are right!
      I wonder if Mckeeva Bush & the UDP are enjoying their "HUMBLE PIE"!

      • Anonymous says:

        eat that mckeeva,i know you get stall out,all UDP did were tell lies on PPM..

      • karen says:

        yeah right…

        Wasn’t under PPM that got this flimsy Constitution? A Constitution that made the Caymanian people second and the British first in their own country? Wasn’t under the PPM with their vision of a bright tomorrow that started massive projects, which if was not started would have saved us alot?

        If UDP is bad, what about PPM?  Oh you must be one of those blind PPM supporters!