Budget date still unclear

| 24/05/2010

(CNS): The people of the Cayman Islands have to wait one more week on the content of what is probably one of the most anticipated budgets in the country’s history. The premier had promised to bring the 2010/11 budget before the end of this month and it is understood the goal is to deliver the national financial plan on Monday 31 May. However, the target date could still be disrupted, according to the governor, who says the new overseas territories minister will want to review the Cayman government’s three year plan and the size of this year’s borrowing requirement. At this stage the plan is based on cuts in spending and no direct taxes, but with government revenue still falling there are no guarantees that the borrowing needs will be approved without new revenue measures being introduced.

Although the governor is not responsible for shaping the country’s budget, Duncan Taylor has said that he has taken the role of an “honest broker”, acting as a go between for the CIG and the Foreign Office and has played an advisory role in Cabinet.
Speaking on Rooster’s morning radio phone in show, Crosstalk, last week, he said it was clear that the country would not be able to get through next year without additional borrowing as the finances were still in dire straights. He said he had argued for the financial problems to be addressed gradually, and despite the current government’s desire to try and remove any need for borrowing, Taylor said he had advised against drastic salary cuts of 10% in the civil service.
The governor said the goal was to have a sustainable position for the country’s finances by the end of the third year (2013) and he said civil service cuts would be best stretched over this three year period rather than drastically cutting in year one, which, he said, would alienate those who were efficient as well as those who may not be contributing as much as they could.  “An across the board cut is a very blunt instrument, which will mean the most efficient suffer as well and it has no bearing on the priorities and doesn’t help to improve things,” he said.
Admitting that it was difficult to bring this budget without some cutback in pay, he said if the government could keep a relatively modest reduction it would retain the support of the broader civil service. Taylor said the country needed to cut the cost of service delivery and the size of the public sector and said he was in favour of divestment and privatisation.
Taylor also noted that the UK’s issue with sustainable revenue owed much to concerns that the country’s revenue base was too vulnerable to external issues, as demonstrated by the impact of the global economic crisis on government coffers last year, when revenue collected fell by more than 20%.
There is a case to be made that Cayman needed more sustainable revenue, he said. However, he believes it is still possible for Cayman to survive without introducing direct taxes but that the country needs to create a revenue base that is less susceptible to the world’s economy. Taylor said that, in his view, there was a case to be made for new revenue but if the government could balance the budget after three years without this, then he would support that.
The governor confirmed that he expected Henry Bellingham, the new OT Minister, would be examining the three year plan that had been sent to the UK and that he waslikely to have more questions regarding the proposals. Taylor said he believes the targeted time line to bring the 2010/11 budget to the Legislative Assembly on 31 May could be too tight.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    The Government needs to resolve this budget crisis quickly as things are continuing to go downhill here financially speaking. A major firm will shortly be laying off professional staff as their presence at the firm is no longer bringing in enough money to justify keeping them on. The magic that once existed in our financial industry is no longer there.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a joke. The UDP criticized the PPM during their admistration, but at least the PPM government balanced the budget in their first 3 years, & only had difficulty balancing the budget in their last year because of the recession. The UDP are a bunch of hypocrites. The UDP have gone one notch worse than not being able to balance their first budget, they cannot even present a budget! What a joke, what a bunch of jokers, what a bunch of failures! That’s what they get; "spit in the sky & it will fall in your eye"!!

    • Anonymous says:

      CNS are you sure about this headline "Budget date still unclear"? Surely you must be wrong as the premier promised us that a budget would be brought to the House BEFORE the end of May, but now you are telling us that the date is unclear! Is this just ANOTHER of Mckeeva’s annoncements that he has had to change in shame? Talk about wishy-washy! The premier is an embarrassment & has become the laughing stock of politics. Yea right, Mr. premier, the end of May my backfoot! Tell us anotherone sir.

    • Da wa we get says:

      Man, I getting tired of this.

      What do we expect as "he" is off the Island too often to get anything done here in Cayman, but Da wa we get.

      But the most stupid and ironic thing is that just before the next elections "he" will do something to make us forget what "he" is doing now!

      But "DA WA WE GET"

      • Anonymous says:

        Speaking of doing something and getting elected, I am thinking of putting myself forward for election to the LA next time around, but I need a little help with calculating the potential profit. I know that we must have some experts, but I am not sure that they respond positively to questions posted on "blogs" – anyway here is my three part question,

        If "X new frigs plus "Y" new driveways = 4 years of political power, and

        4 years of political power = "Z" million in additional private wealth,

        what is the formula for optimising the annual return on each investment in a new frig or new driveway, which districts does this formula work in, and does Freedom of Information affect the potential return on investment?

         

        • Math genius says:

          You will make a minimum of $10,000 CI per month plus a generous pension and other perks.  At the end of four years you will have increased your personal wealth by at least a half million dollars CI.  And you don’t really have to do anything and you can still operate a private business.

          I have also seen the budget and it isn’t a big deal:

          There will be X amount of revenue and X amount of expenditure leaving a budget deficit of X. 

          We will have to borrow X over X number of years until the X’s are balanced.

  2. Exwife says:

    A budget tells us what we can’t afford, but it doesn’t keep me from buying it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    if maceeva said he will bring the next pretend budget in by end of may….i will gaurantee 100% that he will NOT have the next pretend budget by the end of may!

    look at the rest of his nonsesne statement over the last 12 months…..

  4. Anonymous says:

    CNS: What’s the latest on the abduction case? i understand the Preliniminary Inquiry was a few days ago.

    CNS: We are following this and waiting for trial date to be set.

  5. Anonymous says:

    A bill is being brought to the LA later this week to add another 64386 days to the month of May in order to ensure that the leaders commitment is met.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Take note Big Mac. Here is where the UK will be making some of their own budget cuts.

    Public servants will be stopped from travelling first class and ministers from having a dedicated car and driver – instead they will be expected to walk, use public transport or pooled cars.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/8699522.stm

    I believe that could work very well for us. If the Premier took a minibus to work it would save on car and driver costs, and might have the added benefit of them not driving so reckless when the Premier is a passenger. If this is applied to all District MLA’s, that annoying crazy-driving problem could be cleared up in short order.

    • Anonymous says:

      Except we’d still be stuck with hundreds of selif-righteous, idiotic car drivers on the road.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Listen, direct taxation is completely unacceptable!  Coupled with the planned Government expenditure cuts, all we need to do is 2 simple things.  First, we need to tax all remmittances (money transfers) leaving the Country, and if people start physically carrying money with them (as a remedy) over a certain value, then they get taxed too (at the airport at a higher rate than the money transfer tax, so, as to encourage them to send money transfers).  Secondly, we need to add an indirect green tax on all consumer goods that would be reflected as small prices increases for consumers.  The fact of the matter is, we don’t need the UK Government to tell us how to raise revenues!  We simply need a few statesmen/women with a true will to survive this crisis AND a little common sense.  Good day all.

    • Anonymous says:

      Would you care to tell us exactly how much you think would be raised by this tax on remittances? Since you have figured this out I am sure you must have an estimate …..or was this just something heard?

      • Anonymous says:

        It amazes me at times the level of ignorance that is prevalent within our Society.  Obviously, I don’t have the numbers you demand, but, it’s the Principles of the Ideas.  When you have a expatriate Population that exceeds the number of local Caymanians it suggests that their salaries are not necessarily staying on Island.  You look at the various nationalities who live communally such as; Filipinos, Jamaicans, and Hondurans (Americans and Canadians do it too!) to enable them to send the majority of their salaries home and you will begin to realize the value of the money that is being sent overseas.  Secondly, it is a wide known fact, that Government has suffered for years due to an inability to collect Garbage fees that I am sure many of you have not paid!  If the cost of Garbage disposal (aka ‘a Green Tax’) was imputed into the price of Consumer Goods then there would be no more Garbage collection fee issues (resulting in additional revenues, as Government would still mandate a standard garbage fee to be paid annually).  It has been proven once again, Caymanians are indeed Anti-Caymanian and are quick to belittle their own, but as usual, fall short with their constructive replies.  If not my ideas (not professing them to be the best in the world) then why don’t you suggest some of your own?  By the looks of many of your replies, you don’t have the academic prowess to do so!

        • Boston Tea Party says:

          Oh, for goodness’ sake.  A tax on remittances is like income tax for the low paid and disenfranchised – unacceptable and jingoistic.

          Garbage taxes are paid by the vast majority of the better off – they are collected from strata corporations like clockwork.  The people who don’t pay the garbage fees are the sole owners of freehold property – guess what – Caymanians.  In any event, the garbage tax hardly covers the operational costs of collection – and certainly not the capital cost of the careful and expedient removal of Trashmore, our national shame.

          Ridley was right – a property tax on all registered property is the fairest way.  Income tax is unacceptable because it would not carry a right to vote for the majority of workers who do not currently have the right.  No other reason is necessary.   Everyone who lives here should read Sir Robin Auld’s reports on TCI to get that drift.  Let the people vote, and they will pay the tax.

          Meanwhile, I’ll just boil the kettle.  Darjeeling anyone?

           

        • Lala Land says:

          By your random used of Capitals my Guess is that your Academics were not the greatest either. Capitalisation of common nouns is great if you live in Cologne or Frankfurt but please leave it out here!

          And stop only looking at money outflows from expats – think also about the money inflows too.  For every expat dollar that leaves Cayman, many many more dollars flow into the economy.  But that sort of economic analysis is no doubt beyond you.

          • Anonymous says:

            By your random used (use) of Capitals (,) my Guess is that your Academics were not the greatest either. Capitalisation of common nouns is great if you live in Cologne or Frankfurt but please leave it out here (there)! 

            Just helping you out!

          • Anonymous says:

            It is obvious that you missed a few Economics classes.  Let me help you, Recession refers to two declining quarters of Real Gross Domestic Product (Real GDP).  Gross Domestic Product, is the total value of goods and services produced in a domestic (local) economy over a period of time (generally a year).  Given that the World Economy is in a Depression (a prolonged recession) the Cayman Islands’ Economy is suffering the same fate.  Do you know how you get out of a Recession/Depression?!  You spend money!  If we attack the inflow of foreign direct investment, we might as well pack it up and call it a day!  We need to keep purchasing power and monies circulating in the local economy to give our economy the best chance to survive and grow!  Hence, like I said, we try to dissuade persons from sending remmittances overseas!  I tell you what, you’d be better off using the money you spent on plane tickets going to Germany, spending that money on a proper education!  It is obvious you are either a self righteous foreigner, or, the typical uneducated lunatic!

    • Anonymous says:

      Would your stupid idea apply to my Mastercard as well?????

    • Anonymous says:

      Ever heard that little saying its be better to be thought a fool than open your mouth and confirm all doubt?

      From your post my guess will be No.

    • not a born fool says:

      Why do you and those like you keep trying to find ways of getting people who do not live here and have no rights here to pay for your expenses?  Especially when the fee/tax/duty does not get them any thing but poor service?  The BLOATED civil service is their to serve Caymanians so Caymanians should pay the bill period.  If you have something of value to give then maybe OTHERS would pay for it.  I know this will not make immediate sense to you because you believe that expats were put on this planet to serve you but the reality is we are all in this boat together like it or not.

      Simply put the money that others make by working for it is theirs to spend on what they want.  Just because the money is in Cayman dose not give you any claim to it.

        My on personal take on this?  If the Caymanian Government and the Caymanian people want more money than the only easy and sure way is to work for it, or trade it for something of value like everyone else.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m not sure where you were when the almighty was handing out brains, but hopefully, one of these days you may receive yours!  To quote you,

        "Why do you and those like you keep trying to find ways of getting people who do not live here and have no rights here to pay for your expenses?"

        First, let me say, it is Caymanians like me and every other hard-working Caymanian (not forgetting our blessed forefathers) who have swet blood to ensure that these Cayman Islands are the prosperous place that we are today.  Look at the rest of the Caribbean!  Tell me what you see?!  Monumental Political Corruption, Violence, and Discontent.  Then you look at these Islands, and you see opportunity, harmony, and relative peace.  It is not by chance that we find these Islands in this particular position.  We have people here with SENSE!  Indeed, the other nations of the world can boast as much as they would like to about their Great Wonders and technical achievements, yet, they all must gaze in astonishment at the prosperity enjoyed in these small Islands.  Though the prosperity may not be enjoyed by all, yet, we are far better off as a people than most nations in this World.  Now getting to your point, if the said people are here (in the Cayman Islands) on a work permit that grants them 7 years to work and LIVE in these Islands, then, HOW CAN YOU SAY THEY ARE NOT LIVING HERE?!  DO THEY NOT DRIVE ON OUR ROADS?  DO THEY NOT PRODUCE WASTE THAT NEEDS DISPOSAL?  DO THEY NOT USE OUR WATER SUPPLIES?  DO THEY NOT SEND THEIR KIDS TO SCHOOLS WITH OUR OWN?  THE ANSWER IS A RESOUNDING, YES!  To reassert my point, do they not send money / purchasing power (the life blood of our economy) to other Economies?!  So, you are saying it is OK to grow other Economies and we should sit back and watch the foreigners do so from this jurisdiction?!  I SAY NO!  I don’t care who you are, or, where you come from!  THIS IS CAYMAN, TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT.  WHEN IN ROME YOU DO AS ROMANS DO (AND SAY)!  Lastly, let me say, the Cayman Islands Civil Service is way too large for such a small nation-state.  However, there are some Civil Servants who work their butts off, day in and day out, to provide OUR people with the essential services that we need.  Thank God for their contributions!  I sincerely wish people like you would leave these Islands because it is obvious you have little, if anything of substance, to contribute!

        • Anonymous says:

          Spoken like a true modern day pay me and leave Caymanian.  My point was that EVERYONE is already paying a LOT and not getting their moneys worth already.(Except for Government)  Now they (Government) wants/needs more to feed itself and are now looking for the next victim.  Keep in mind that if its not expats then the only ones left to pay more are Caymanians.  The problem is not in the who is paying its in the what its getting spent on and who.  Check out the new headline about Government credit card use.  Have you heard about the gas card fiasco?  Or how about the never to be seen and explained properly financial records for the last 4/5 years? Do you really belive all that money was spent on The people?  My point is all that money they(Government) gets from ALL of us should be spent on the people in the country (you know all the ones paying for it) instead of the premeirs and his croonies many perks. And a civil service full of non performers.  A little waste is understandable but you have things like schools that are very underfunded and much needed. The Turtle farm money pool. Need I go on?  Its the Caymanians of the future that will be paying the bills of the present.

          • Anonymous says:

            I’m glad to see you have attempted to flesh out the serious issues that exist.  I too am in agreeance with some of the points you have made. However, if you go back to the first comment that I made on this blog, you will see that I stated,"coupled with planned cuts in Government expenditure / spending" then I recommended the 2 additional Revenue measures.  We may fundamentally disagree on how we should be collecting new Revenues, but I can assure you, that foreigners who live here benefit greatly from intangible Governmental Services such as; The Fire Service, Police Service, and even Social Services.  As these services are ‘free’ to the general public (and paid for by Caymanian Tax Payers) I think it is only fair that there should be some sort of monetary contribution from the Expat public.  Yet, the facts of the matter do not change, money / purchasing power is being sent from this Country (in large sums) and putting our Economy at a disadvantage to recover from this World turmoil.  You do realize that Caymanians would be taxed as well under my proposal (given that they send a money transfer, or, transport large sums of money overseas)?  The whole idea is to keep as much money / purchasing power within these Islands to give us the best possible chance for a fast recovery!  As for the ‘Premier’ and his ‘croonies’ (XXXX), God is above watching them and they will have their day to answer to the people of these Islands (and to him!).  XXXXXX

            CNS: It’s much easier to have a back and forth conversation if you give yourself a username.

            • We are both right/wrong says:

              Benefit greatly?  I believe but I could be wrong that few if any are greatly benefiting from any Government service.  The best way on island to get anything done with government service if you are an expat is to get a Caymanian friend to walk it though. And if your Caymanian and think the service is good then you have never been off island.  For the money that the Government is spending on itself the service should be at least adequate and much more should be getting to the much needed areas like education, health, and welfare of the elderly.  Basically  lots of money still going in and not much of it being spent on what matters.  Can we agree on that?  Sorry if I made you feel as ifCaymanians are the only ones that need to pay for all this.  My rant was more tward Caymanians should pay the extra cost of the bloated Civil service and the Premeirs overly large pay and extras.

              • A Well Meaning Caymanian says:

                As cooler heads now prevail, I must insist, that there are Foreigners who do benefit greatly from the Intangible Governmental Services provided within these Islands (it simply takes a trip to the third World to see how ‘good’ our services are in comparison).  I personally know Foreigners (not married to Caymanians + no refugee status) who do not have work permits and are receiving Social Service’s benefits (it is beyond me to understand this arrangement + there are many other examples of free foreign consumption).  I do agree with you that there is a tremendous amount of unnecessary spending in the Government’s Operational Expenditures and that more monies should be re-allocated to the areas that you have highlighted.  However, I still believe that we need new Revenue measures (that avoid direct taxation) and that we need to inhibit the flow of Capital (Monies / Purchasing Power) leaving these Islands.  I would like to reflect upon basic good business practices if you are facing a Deficit.  As a business person, you can do 4 things:

                1. You can go out of business (NOT AN OPTION).

                2. You can increase Revenues (Fair option).

                3.You can decrease Expenses (The option that is blatantly apparent in our case).

                4. You can both Increase Revenues and decrease Expenses (The best option).

                I do not believe that we can maintain the size of the Cayman Islands Civil Service because it is obviously WAY too large.  Indeed, we need to make all the Government Departments much more efficient!  I can agree with you that some of the Departments offer very poor customer service, but, there are others on the other end of the spectrum.  Also, I too am in favor of re-allocating all the earmarked monies used to sustain the Premier (and all other Civil Servants) who appreciates a lavish lifestyle to the misfortune of the local Tax payers (then turns around with the same breath and proclaims the Country is broke).  In closing, I have traveled all over this World and at the end of the day, regardless of the troubles that we face as a people, there is no place like home!  These beloved Cayman Islands.  Thanks for your contributions to my points. 

                P.S. I am sorry that I may have offended you.

                • We are both right/wrong says:

                  No offence taken.  Thank you for the time and effort to make your point clear to me and many others I’m sure.  Well written and good points.  Being an Island boy myself I also know about there is no place like home and the sadness it can bring when things change for the worst.  Cayman needs more like you.

            • Jonny says:

              Expats are paying Caymanian taxes. Last time I checked we pay duty on goods purchased like Caymanians

              In fact we pay more stamp duty when buying property and then there are the work permit fees. (one of the reasons fro the current budget crisis is the large drop in WP’s, and the gov revenue they supply)

              And of course we don’t use services like social services, governmnet schools fro our children

              Frankly it easy to see the ones not contributing enough, after all there are the ones who are here for longer than 7 years.

              Please wake up and stop talking foolishness

               

              • A Well Meaning Caymanian says:

                I really do not have much more time to spend on this issue.  I have made my points and if you read the further comments below then you will see where they lead.  However, what I do find worrying with your argument is that you seem to infer that YOU pay work permit fees?  Unless you are an employer (business person) I am not sure why you are paying the said fees.  Work permit fees are to be paid by local importers of labour (aka local businesses) and not by yourself (I am assuming that you are a labourer).  To re-assert my point, my solutions are simple.  Cut the unnecessary Governmental spending and increase Revenues (by avoiding direct taxation), whilst, ensuring as much money / purchasing power stays within these Islands to facilitate a speedy economic recovery.  If you can not agree with that, then, you really have no clue when it comes to business (much less running a Country).  Good day.

  8. Gold Hat says:

    Budget? We ain’t got no budget. We don’t need no budget! I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ budget!