Mac waits on Tory victory

| 28/04/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman headline news(CNS): While government struggles to make cuts for the 2010/11 budget, the premier said yesterday that the need to delay the annual statement was also tied to the UK election. He said that even if the civil service had managed to complete the cuts government would still need to wait on permission from the UK to borrow. With elections just over one week away in Britain, McKeeva Bush said the OT Minister is not in a position to give that permission. Other sources close to government have also suggested the delay is based on the hope of a new Tory administration being returned in the UK, which Bush believes may be less likely to force direct taxes in exchange for that permission.

However, with the Conservative Party (aka the Tories) only 3 points ahead of the newly popular Liberal Democrats and only five points ahead of the incumbent Labour Party, the UDP wish has no guarantee of coming true.
Although there is wide expectation in the UK that the Labour Party is likely to lose, that does not necessarily translate into a Conservative Party win. The rise in popularity of the country’s third party – the Liberal Democrats — could see its leader, Nick Clegg, in a position of power if there is no clear majority, and Bush is no doubt aware that Clegg believes in direct taxation and has advocated clamping down very heavily on tax loopholes.
Whatever happens on 6 May, the Cayman Islands is almost certainly going to face a new Overseas Territories Minister. A Labour victory is still likely to result in a reshuffle and any other result from a hung parliament, a Conservative or even a Liberal Democrat win, will see a new man at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. As a result, Bush pointed out that any decision this month made by the current OT minister regarding Cayman’s need to borrow would not bind any new minister put in place by the new administration next month.
And while Bush already knows where Chris Bryant stands on seeing Cayman introduce direct taxation, any new man, even another Labour minister, could offer a glimmer of hope.
However, despite the expectation that a Tory OT minister would be considerably more advantageous for Cayman and less likely to press the Cayman Islands Government for direct taxation if it sees significant cuts and real evidence of inward investment, the UK’s contingent liabilities remain the same no matter which party holds the most seats in Westminster. No British government is going to risk becoming responsible for an Overseas Territory’s financial troubles.
The Legislative Assembly will resume this afternoon to discuss the forthcoming budget and the necessary changes to the Public Management and Finance Law in order to cancel the planned presentation on Friday. It is not clear if Bush will be revealing what the FCO bureaucrats and, in particular, Colin Roberts the OT director has said about the three-year plan submitted to the UK last month and the likelihood of any agreement on borrowing.
In an official statement from the premier’s press secretary yesterday, the premier said work continued on the reductions for next year’s budget and government would not be attempting to rush and meet the PMFL deadline of Friday 30 April.
“Secondly, even if the budget reductions had been achieved this week, the Cayman Islands Government would not have been able to gain the approval of the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office,” the premier’s statement said, adding that next year’s budget includes borrowing, which must be approved by the UK.
 “Once elections are called the current minister cannot bind the incoming minister to such approvals. In order to have obtained the approval of the current minister the budget would have had to have been ready before 5 April. Therefore, the UK’s approval of Cayman’s 2010/11 budget will not come until after the UK’s general election on 6 May,” Bush explained.

Category: Headline News

Comments (46)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Ministers in the UK, close to an election, are not allowed to make policy decisions on which there is a difference of opinion.  They can respond to emergencies, and approve routine matters to keep things ticking along, but can’t make choices.  This is also not a significant policy area within the UK government and in that sense it matters not just which party is in power (because the parties have no policy) but exactly which person is the Minister.  Given the uncertainty about which party is going to win, there is even greater uncertainty who that is going to be (in fact, it would be impossible to even guess), and as a result Cayman will have to wait.  It is that simple.  Whatever effect there is on the policy itself is incidental.  CIG can hope for this party or that minister, but wait they must.

  2. anonymous says:

    Rubbish! Pure Rubbish McKeeva!  You are waiting on the Tories victory?  Just because one or two of them have met with you and promise you changes in your favour, does not mean that it will be so.  They will have to get in agreement with others in their party and they will have to weed through logistics first, before they can even respond to you and that could take forever.  Waiting on the Tories Victory could be like waiting for Christ return, you never know when.  The Tories may NEVER win!!  So then…What’s next?  Why can’t you balance the budget?  You are Mr. know it ALL, why can’t you?  As a matter of fact, Why are you in charge of Finance anyhow? you have no qualifications in Finance, all you know is how to spend, spend and spend. All you also do is to listen to your money friends and they only thinks about themselves.  We need our budget and we need it NOW!!! You are breaking the law as it is now, eventhough youare attempting to change that law in your favour, you are still WRONG!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Clearly McKeeva’s statement is for the ‘cool aid drinkers’ in West Bay. McKeeva – you couldn’t possibly expect to rest of us to buy this crap !!!

    I agree with a previous poster – You’re fired !!!!!!!

    In fact your team is fired !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    We need The Chuckster, Arden, Ezzard, Rolston, The Lion, Woody and Theresa to join forces, build a team and take the country back in 2013.

  5. Scrooge McDuck says:

    This is a prudent course of action by our High Priest but maybe he should wait until 2012 if the Mayans were right it will be the end of the world and we have to worry about.

  6. Anonymous says:

    excses, excuses. Cut govt. spending first, then look at salaries.  With the way prices have increased due to increased import duty, port duties and most retailers adding their own markup to the increases, people can barely afford to shop.  It is the people’s money Govt. is wasting.  Cut the MLA"s salaries first – like they promised how many months ago.  With Mr. Duguay gone, things are going to get worse.  Does the UDP really think that the Tory government will be any better?  I’m not a civil servant but be realistic.  YOu can’t cut salaries and expect staff to pay towards pension and health insurance.Realistically, some staff will lose around 30% in one go.  Cut your spending.  Stop wasting our money.  Get your accounts up to date.  It is your duty to account for the money you are spending. 

  7. $noopy says:

    Greece is being heavily criticised for the government employing 9%of the population.  We employ a far higher percentage than that.  Mac you may be praying to God for a Tory win, but God helps them who help themselves and the easiest route to help all of us is to wield the axe now and wield it heavily.  Please do it!  Why not, are you scared?

  8. Concerned from a distance says:

    It seems obvious from the lack of substance in these comments that the vast majority of people commenting don’t have a CLUE what is going on. The CNS article made it perfectly clear that nothing can be done when the UK in effect has no real government.

    If you are going to complain, then make a valid argument. Complaining for the sake of it is just displaying ignorance. Instead of judging and demanding an instant fix, maybe you should relfect on the fact that if given the chance, you probably could not fix the problem, and the country would be in the same situation….or worse.

    ‘Leadership’ is clearly too big a word for some people to understand.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      why not bring in a draft proposal now and say it is subject to uk approval later on?

      the reality is it should not matter who is in power in the uk, gov still has to come up with a budget!

      the real reason is incompetence yet again from cig and the civil service!

    • British Bulldog says:

      Have to agree, what a bunch of pessimists! Don’t they ever have a positive thought in their heads? Fact is there’s the real possibility of a change in the UK, and at least the possibility of a change in attitude towards Cayman. Don’t you think it’s worth a shot? I mean, come on, ease up on the doom and gloom and look on the bright side for a change. True, leadership only for the few, and say what you will about Mac – and I speak as a 100% non-party person, believe me – he is a leader, like him or (like most of CNS’s readership, it would appear!) loathe him. Hope this doesn’t offend anyone. Incidentally, how come there’s next to no coverage of UK politics in our "paper of record" Caymanian Compass? (You know, the one that plastered "Croc a Crock?" as a front page title over some unfortunate reporter’s piece a while back!)

  9. $noopy says:

    Here is one revenue generating measure – remove all the duty breaks given to the Sister Islands.  Equality, and novel idea. . . .

  10. Anonymous says:

    Never mind the excuses, If the government do not lodge the budget by 1 May, it’s broken the law.  It’s as simple as that.  And you know what the opposition will have to say about it?  Absolutely nothing.  And you know what will be done about it?  The same.

    • anonymous says:

      If the law is broken by the UDP government it would not be the first time! Unfortunately the UDP has become synonymous with breaking the law.

    • Anonymous says:

      No No, we here in Cayman got another Option as we do things differently to almost all other countries, we can change the law when it suits our purposes 🙂

      Cool huh 🙂

      And that’s exactly hat they did. Long live the “”Law” and “Democracy”

  11. Anonymous says:

    You all are so bias. The Premier is trying to prevent DIRECT TAXATION.

    Go Tories! Go Tories!

    • Anonymous says:

      Really? did he not say 2 or 3 days ago that its the only way for Cayman to go? or did he chance his mind again?

    • Pending says:

      Did Big Mac just tell you to write that comment because he gave you a fridge?

      You’re clearly as daft as he is.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Why not hold persons responsible for extravagant spending such as Heros Day Parade in 2007-2008 and 2009, First Class Travel to Australia for sporting games, an over-staffed and under-achieved Ministry.

    Do people really think that this budget crisis is the result of the bad mis-management by the UDP? If you opt to think this way- guess what- you are wrong. I am no ‘fan’ of the UDP or for that matter the PPM; however the situation that we now find ourselves in as a country is a culmination of the past 3-5 years of having an open check book with no one balancing the account.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Please, you are obviously UDP. The money spent on Heroes Day is a mere pittance to that wasted on Boatswain Beach (some $65m) which continues to require millions of dollars in subsidy each year and is therefore a major cause of the deficit. But somehow the problem only occurred in the last 3-5 years, i.e. when the PPM were in power. The problem spans successive govts for decades.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Please Anon 17:41, wake the hell up. The UDP have been governing this country for the past year & you, like them, is still blaming the PPM? You talk about "an open check book with no one balancing the account"? Sounds like you are talking about the UDP during the past 12 months! No government has spent as much on world travel as much as McKeeva Bush & theUDP government. No government has wasted as many millions of our money on personal wants & wishes ("perks") as McKeeva Bush & this UDP government. As for the Heroes Day celebrations, no government has wasted as much money as the UDP did for the last Heroes Day celebrations! After having the programme printed, Bush ordered the printing company (a division of a local newspaper) to destroy the already printed programme & reprint over 1000 new programmes because the color red (PPM’s main color) was on the front of the programme! Past governments spent alot of money on the Heroes Day celebrations, but no government has acted as irresponsibly & childish in wasting money like the UDP. How stupid, petty & childish.

      Our country is in the mess today because of the UDP’s overspending between 2001 & 2005 (especially on the former turtle farm – which cost too much & still costs us over $10 million per year to opperate); because of the PPM’s spending on new schools & new roads (which I support); because of the world wide recession; & because of the UDP’s irresponsible spending since the elections last year, & because of McKeeva Bush telling the world that Cayman is bankrupt which chased away business & scared away any potential business!

      Therefore the UDP has been more responsible for our current struggles than anyone else. The world economy has improved yet the UDP cannot improve our situation. They still blame the PPM, yet even in better times as we now have the UDP only makes things worse for us.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The budget is delayed because the government has to either reduce its expenditures or raise revenues. It raised revenues last year and it is difficult to raise them again (even though they may well take that easy option to the detriment of the country).

    The other option (to reduce the exopenditure ) as we have all been witnessing with the civil service stalemate, is NOT going to happen.

    So being between a rock and a hard place is why the budget is delayed.

    It goes like this…..cut the expenditure and suffer the consequences (get voted out next time by civil servants and their families) OR raise revenues and wreck businesses (and then lose the election due to poor economic performance). sorry ..NO way out of this one politically.

    • O'Really says:

      Does BigMac really have no way out of this one politically?

      Not all the civil service vote UDP. A large chunk of the CS, expats, have very few, if any, votes. Similarly, those with PPM sympathies are unlikely UDP voters next time around. If these groups were targeted, unofficially of course, what would the UDP lose?

      Reducing these 2 groups might even strengthen the positions of UDP supporters left behind in a streamlined CS, increasing their support for their benefactor. 

      I’m not advocating this approach but I do wonder how Machiavellian BigMac can get in sorting this mess out? 

  14. Anonymous says:

    After 4 years of being leader of the opposition (a government in waiting) and one year of being premier is this  the best you can come up with?

    Waiting  on the UK to change government?

    And what if the UK public decide to stick with the Conservatives? And what if the Tories also insist on us introducing direct taxes? There is no way a right thinking policy maker should wait for things outside his control to happen.

    What happened to the sale of government assets such as the turtle farm, farmers market, garbage dump, sewage etc???

    What happened to the MLA salary cuts?

    What happened to the civil service cuts in salary or contribution to health care (and pension)?

    The government needs to make these decisions now!

    Cayman, we are not getting our money worth out of these clowns.

  15. whodatis says:

    Seriously people – get a grip!

    I do not support Mac’s reasoning here for a minute.

    However, the UK (USA as well) and its mainland residents who are present in the room and get off on their rampant criticisms of our current financial position really ought to take a good long look in the mirror.

    Are your finances in order?

    Does your economy appear healthy at all?

    Is there any guaranteed fix to the problem on the cards in your native land?

    I think not.

    Isn’t the UK currently experiencing its greatest deficit ever?

    Many harp on and on about the failure of the leaders in this country – what say you about your own UK politicians I wonder?

    (Standing by for the hypocritical and shallow comebacks – and of course the now infamous comment-less thumbs downs.)

     

    • Certified says:

      "Isn’t the UK currently experiencing its greatest deficit ever?"

      Yes. It was brought about by the reclass spending of an insane socialist prime minister, former finance minister, trying to buy votes from alsorts of potential dependants such as public sector workers, welfare claimants, and so on.

      Now the bills are turning due and it has been seen as a fraud. The game is up and it is going to be left to others to deliver the bad news to the people that they are going to be a lot poorer for a long time to pay it off.

      It was wrong in the UK, as it is in the US, Greece and it is wrong in Cayman. There is only one way out of this : CUT SPENDING! and that includes getting rid of large numbers of civil servants.

      • pete says:

        Even that… you can still CUT spending and still keep the civil servants and not increase the unemployment in the country. Just REDUCE THEIR SALARIES and privatize some of government’s non-essential sectors.

        Just my 2-cent 🙂

    • Boddon says:

      Wooo…lol…

      I think your comments have upset the UK expats and loyalist on this Island. They have such a love for their mix-up country – evidence of your many thumbs-down. These fools actually believe that Corruption is here more than the MP’s in London!  They are busy criticizing our government with no thankgiving in their hearts – yet they want to always live here! Hmmm… The jokers even go as far as to say that their budget will balance before our budget!

      Yeah… we will see what their taxes will do further for the UK people who are already burdened!

  16. Anonymous says:

     

    is this the best he can come up with -so whats going to be his next excuse ?

    or is he waiting for the Cayman Finance Conference 

  17. Bill the Barber says:

    Have you all read about the "Greek tragedy" that is unfolding? 

    They failed to run a balanced government budget, borrowed money they couldn’t repay, and now their government borrowings (their bonds) have been dropped to "Junk" (literally) as the credit rating. 

    They now want a bailout from the EU/IMF so that someone solves their problems for them, but Germany is holding out saying (effectively), "Why should Greece get our EU money when they refuse to make a functioning budget and spend appropriately?  That would be pouring good money into a bad bucket with a hole in it that no one is trying to fix? Not to mention, we need all the money we have already." 

    I agree.  Greece should get nothing until it shapes up its fiscal management, and if that means that the banks who facilitated the reckless Greek government borrowings by buying their bonds have to go bankrupt, good on them for loaning money to deadbeat borrowers.  Who pours good money into a bottomless pit where you’ll never get it back?

    Greece should default on its bonds in the very near future, leading to a general government collapse, so stay tuned to see what happens when governments fail to function responsibly.

    Everybondy loves a good Greek tragedy, no?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Waiting for Santa Clause and the Easter bunny is plan B.

     

  19. Anonymous says:

    come on our caymanian leaders, we need you to speak up about this, there are too many silent MLA’s, surely you are not going to stand by without saying something. I call upon our West Bay reps to not let this happen., some of you are well educated and I know you do not agree with this.

  20. Anonymous says:

    So what does Mac want? The ability to borow more without having to have a viable plan in place to repay it . 

    The UK is calling the tune only because of extreme circumstances – the extent of Cayman’s existing national debt. For MAc to just want to borrow more without the means to pay is irresponsible. You’d think his long-term plan was to default on all the debt in the end. 

     

     

    • Homer says:

      Mac wants us to be like Greece, described on BBC:

      "The highly-educated and cultured Greek population may not understand the complexities of bond markets, short selling and hedge funds.

      But what they have fully grasped is that the panic on the markets means that they are facing years of austerity in order to repay the interest on debts wracked up by a combination of corruption and tax evasion and as well as the spending habits of incompetent, profligate politicians."

      Did someone give the Greeks a lesson on "Caymanomics"?

  21. Anonymous says:

    What a crock of kaka !!!

    Admit the real reason McKeeva. Failed leadership, failed management and pure and simple incompetence.

    So after the UK elections what then…….IF there is a change in government there (and you better hope there is given your poor judgment with your public utterances)……what then ??

    Of course we then have to wait until the government is sworn in and then what ????

    Well we have to give them time to get their feet wet (or drowned as the case may be) before they can deal with the natives in the Cayman Islands.

    You claim you’re a natural leader so lead dammit or get to hell out of the way……and just so you know after 25 years in office you’re still an apprentice……… sooooooo…………..you’re fired !!!!!

    • Beachboi says:

      Oh So Excellent "What a XXXX"!!!!! 

      How long is it going to take before our XXXX Premier is removed from office?  He just does not  know what he is doing!  His most eloquent responses / ideas / rebuttals are always in the written  media so that he has time to rehearse his written responses.  I used to congratulate his speech writer/s but even now they are not knowledgeable enough to know what to say.  Even his fellow legislators hide from the media lest they be dragged down with him.

      The cause for the complete failure of our Premier can be summed up in one word.  "FEAR"!  He is so affraid of allienating any of the voters that he litterally cannot make a decision and follow it through.  He wont stop the subsidies to Boatswains Beach or Cayman Airways.  He cannot arrive at a concrete answer as to whether or not to sell the GOAB, cut the CS salaries and/or jobs and finally he really doesn’t want to give up any part of that elegant salary so he is using smoke and mirrors in hopes that he can misdirect us away from that and many other idiotic ideas that he has attempted to implement but ultimately was affraid to follow through on.  Oops I almost forgot.  He did follow through on an idea and that was paying $300,000 to the subcontractors of Matrix!!!!!!   WOW  if my business can I depend on McKeeva paying my creditors????

      Oh and can someone tell me why we are going to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to 3 more legislators, as called for in his Constitution, when the 15 that we have now do so little?  In fact I should be ashamed that as a Caymanian I cannot list those 15 people, but realistically I cant because they dont do anything that is memorable.   I know that a "march" is not the way to impeach this man, but there has to be a way to get him  out of office.  Or did he leave that out of his Constitution?????   Honestly I was saddened when Charles Clifford didn’t follow through on his  petition.

      I just have this to sayin closing as suggested by a coment earlier today.  No! No! NO! and finally HELL NO!!!!!!!!!!!  TO MCKEEVA THE PREMIER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. welda says:

    People:

    PLEASE LET US NOT JUDGE without

    KNOWING FOR OURSELVES WHAT IS WHAT ON THIS ISSUE!!!

    If you have a point to make; or, you are persuaded 100% that the Premier is making wrong decisions – then at least, explain your case on this forum. 

    Stop accusing when you have no valid points to make! 

  23. Cayman Pride says:

    It would also be nice to see some high ranking civil servants made accountable for the current lack of cooperation in not making reasonable attempts to get the budgets out in time. I understand they migh not have been able to meet the targets, but come on now, some feeble attempt woudl have been better than the resonses so far.

     

     

  24. noname says:

    utter rubbish.

  25. Voice of Reason says:

     Of course that’s the reason…. it’s got nothing to do with the fact that the government cannot resolve how to implement the budget cuts. It’s a very convenient excuse.

    I’m just wondering what the excuse will be AFTER the election. If the volcano is still erupting in Iceland maybe THAT could the next excuse… it’s equally as lame.

    As the article says, " No British government is going to risk becoming responsible for an Overseas Territory’s financial troubles."

     

     

  26. Joe Tory says:

    It should read Mac waits on the inevitable and total failure of the Cayman government.

  27. Certified says:

    That is delusional claptrap!

    Yes the Conservatives are a party that aspires to low taxation, but it is no advocate of fiscal deficits either. To get away with not having to raise taxes, Cayman will be under greater pressure to cut government spending.
     
    Rather than hiding behind the skirts of a new administration in London why not stand up and show some leadership and get on with the cuts. Like them or not they are coming.
  28. Anonymous says:

    incompetence is the real reason why the budget is delayed…

  29. Anonymous says:

    A joker to be sure.  Where are the Caymanian Leaders I have met, why are they not standing up to this man and why are they putting up with his foolishness?

    XXXXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      Those Caymanian Leaders you have met are mum on the subject because they are busy raking in the crop.

      With a rudderless ship for a country the pirates are having a field day.

      It is the poor Caymanians that need to stand up and start leading.