Mac blames industry on dormant accounts law issues

| 24/11/2010

(CNS): The premier has said it was the failure of the representatives in the financial industry to respond to government at the appropriate time that has led to the need for substantive amendments to a law passed only four months ago. The controversy surrounding the Dormant Accounts Bill 2010, which was passed in July, continued in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday morning when McKeeva Bush said government had reached out to some thirteen industry bodies before the law, which will allow government to take unclaimed cash and property from local financial institutions, was written but only the Bankers Association had responded.

He suggested financial entities on the island were reluctant to give up the abandoned cash and had deliberately sought to delay the law by ignoring government’s requests. The premier indicated that it was not until the bill was enacted that the industry then came “running to government” with its suggestions. He said that despite their response after the fact, government had demonstrated that it was still more than willing to listen and address their concerns, and so had now brought the amendments.

Contrary to the accusations made by the opposition, Bush said, there had been extensive consultation with the industry before the law was brought to the Legislative Assembly, but it was the associations and representatives that had opted not to engage with government. He said government had discussed the proposed legislation at length with the CI Bankers Association.

Bush told his legislative colleagues that he had got a "shellacking" over the bill and was accused of rushing it through, but he said government circulated proposals in April and it was the industry not government that was at fault. He said he hoped lessons had been learned on both sides – government and private sector — and that next time the stakeholders would come forward in the time frame given. He also said he hoped that the financial sector could see government was willing to listen to their concerns and had acted on them immediately.

“Every effort has been made now to accommodate their concerns while still achieving government’s goal of gaining access to abandoned property,” Bush said. “We wish we had received feedback from the private sector during the consultation period … I hope next time government proposes new legislation we receive more robust responses before it is debated in the Legislative Assembly.”

During its response to the amended legislation the opposition noted that this time it had been given an adequate consultation period to examine the changes and were happy to support them.

Noting the unusual circumstances, even for “this government”, Alden McLaughlin said that four months after it was passed government was bringing 17 pages of amendments for a law that was 17 pages in the first place. He added that when the original bill was brought, the opposition had only one day’s notice to look at a bill that turned out to be nothing short of disastrous.

Even government’s own committee had described the bill as “fundamentally flawed and unworkable”, he stated, adding that he was stunned that the government would have risked bringing the law with such potentially dangerous consequences for the country’s main industry.

The George Town MLA said the opposition had pointed out the dangers of the bill and the problems of rushing such important legislation without consultation when the premier brought the law before the House in July, but he had not listened. “This is the clearest evidence yet that it is unwise to dismiss everything from the opposition benches as politics as the premier has a tendency to do,” McLaughlin noted.

The opposition member said it was impossible to measure the fallout from the government bringing the flawed legislation but he was certain it would not be positive, especially when it could have been avoided through proper open consultation.

“Speed is no substitute for accuracy,” McLaughlin said and took government to task over what he described as an attitude of “do it now and fix it later” with the country’s key industry. He noted, however, that at least the government had the forthrightness to come to the Legislative Assembly and put right its mistakes.

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Comments (22)

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  1. MER says:

    Dangit man! He is like a primary school child, "no teacher, he did it!"

    Everything is everyone else’s fault! It’s PPM’s fault, it’s the bank’s fault, it’s the media’s fault, listen PREMIER, you asked to represent this country, so pull up your pants and get a tight belt and deal with the issues that come with it!!!

  2. Pauly Cicero says:

    Duck.  The toys are about to come flying out of the pram.

  3. Oliver says:

    What do you expect form a high school education level. Mackeeva use to walk aroun George Town in a bush jacket selling insurance in the Good Old days 🙂 He was a sales man then and still is be it a bad one.

    The next election he go back in as a back bench then PPM will get in and start complaining and finger pointing NOTHING GETS DONE with the back and forth. Only once would I like to see a government get ellected and go to work fixing problems and finding solution instead of creating them.


    Just saying as a concerned Caymanian (British Citizen)


  4. Blame Game says:

    When does this guy NOT blame someone else for the problems of the country ?

    • BORN FREE says:

      Isn’t it strange that it is always somebody elses fault, even when it IS his fault? It is getting tiring & boring. Even in his complete incompetence he blames someone else. His blame game has become pathetic, like him.

  5. EyesWideOpen says:

    "’Mac-Almighty" ……now ready take-on God…..go ahead and make your demands my friend !!

  6. Anonymous says:

    mckeeva translation:’ i brought in bad legislation because nobody told me it was bad so its not my fault’……what a crock…..

    anywhere else in the world this would be a resigning matter……not in wonderland though!

  7. O'Really says:

    "He suggested financial entities on the island were reluctant to give up the abandoned cash and had deliberately sought to delay the law by ignoring government’s requests."

    Well there’s a ringing endorsement of the business ethics of the financial service industry!

    Or maybe an insight into how BigMac’s own thought processes work?

    • Pending says:

      He doesn’t like it when people take a page out of his own book it seems.

      "delay…by ignoring…requests"

      That sounds very familiar Mac.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Oh now your going to blame the financial industry and ANYONE that don’t agree. Tourism sector next? Oh no because somebody could buy our Island and he a very serious dude and have a lot invested, He is too smart to be agreing with all thism and he loves to bring his own people and he has plenty of rope. Don’t you get it. If crime keeps up the Cruise Industry will drop us like a ball. Mr. Imparato heed to my warning. Boy Honorable Premier your’e good. At least it seems you thiink so but I think you are getting way over your head.CNS a big thanks but I a little worried that our opinions (censure you in some form of new law) may happen, It does elsewhere but I think that will be the beginning of the end. Regular visitors are already re-considering coming to visit this year. I am talking about long term visitor that own high end condo. My prediction for the real estates business many high to mid range put for sale repurchased by those who thrive on confused crime ridden Islands to hide their dirt and be allowed to even buy their citizen ship (yep 2 words)

  9. Loopy Lou says:

    Can he not once, just once, say "I made a mistake with this one"? 

    Ego is getting in the way of good governance.  (That might be a contender for CNS understatement of the year).

    This law was rushed through for political PR reasons.  Maybe he could be specific about telling everyone when the associations were presented with a draft Bill for comment and in what for the draft Bill was in at that time? 

  10. Red Flag says:

    legalized theft. 

  11. Goes Around Comes Around says:

    Piracy returns to Cayman — if it ever left!  The government is as bad as the gangsters reeking havock on the streets of Cayman.  Because they don’t have the skill set to raise revenue by stimulating Cayman’s failing economy, they go steal it from the banks.  Shame.  Shame.  Still. . .election soon come, Bush soon go.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Our Premier displaying the height of ignorance again.  And only Cayman and its people (as usual) will end up paying for and feeling the consequences.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Mckeewa – you repeatedly do your "Ready, Fire, Aim" routine and then blame everyone else for the damage you create. Please resign before you do more damage.

  14. Anonymous says:

    "unclaimed cash and property"

    Are they now planning to take people’s property too?



  15. Judge Dredd says:

    The original law was unintelligible gibberish – whoever in the Legal Department thought that law was in a state to be passed into law should resign.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree that the first law was idiotic but it was a pure political move. It was drafted to do exactly what the misguided and poorly informed politicians wanted.

    • Anonymous says:

      Keep in mind that this government does not just rely on the legal drafting department but also has some of its laws written my private attorneys and architects.  What ever meets their agenda best.  Once again by-passing the system.

    • Pending says:

      It wasn’t gibberish to Mac though, it read loud and clear and was ready to be made law. His muppets in the legal department drafted it so it must be good.

      Perhaps he should have thought that there was a delayed response form the finacnial industry for a reason., they were all laughing out loud with their lawyers asking themselves if he was actually serious with regards to putting it through the LA.

      Perhaps  they were researching and gathering information on how it could be amended? I wonder if he ever thought of that? Nope, doubt it, that wouold involve thinking outside his little box called Mac’s World.

      One day Mac will grow some balls and admit when he is wrong instead of acting like a idiot and pointing his finger at others when wrong is done. Its called being a man or better yet a leader, both of which he is MOST DEFINATELY NOT.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Nothing can ever be McKeeva’s fault………someone else is always responsiblle…..but never Mac-god.

    Is there anyone left out there that Mac hasn’t p*ssed off ?

    You’re on your way down the Kurt Tibbetts highway McKeeva. Leave before you’re forced out like KT.