“Cui bono?” asks Miller

| 19/06/2011

(CNS): The independent member for North Side asked government who benefits from its budget when he turned to the Latin phrase ‘cui bono’ to help him theme his response to the premier’s address.  Ezzard Miller said he could not find even a glimmer of hope for Cayman or Caymanians in the budget so it was not the people who were benefitting and certainly not his constituents. Miller said government’s claim of a $12million surplus was misleading the public because once the losses for statutory authorities were included the surplus was $3.6milllion. He also warned government not to pin its “hopes of prosperity on Joe Imparato and his mega quarry” as he pointed to its failure to cut spending.

Speaking in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday evening he pointed out that the premier’s budget address contradicted the governor’s Throne Speech and wondered how the two could have been approved by the same government.

Miller said he had found at least 32 different entries in the budget presentation that would increase costs to government but not a single statement anywhere about cutting back on expenditure. Aside from a one line reference in the Throne Speech last month regarding the civil service review, Miller said he could find no reductions in money coming out of the public purse, despite an indication that at least $17 million had been identified in this review.

The outspoken member wondered whether government had been using both accrual and cash balance accounting methods to make this year’s budget balance.

Of the many contradictions the member said were in the Throne Speech and the budget he said the stated goal of reducing local unemployment while revealing a twenty-five percent increase in revenue from work permits was one of the most curious.

The former chair of the Public Accounts Committee also asked what was happening about government’s failure to finish the outstanding backlog of accounts since there was no mention of it in the budget. He noted that every CFO in government had given a commitment when PAC last met to get them up to date and Miller said this was an issue government had to address.

Turning his attention to the major developments proposed by government, he pointed to another contradiction when he said the governor had announced plans for a waste-to-energy facility only for that to be abandoned under the mega deal with Dart, which would now be providing government with an eco-waste park in the Midland Acre area of Bodden Town.

He questioned what was happening with plans for the George Town cruise facilities now government had walked away from the deal with GLF/Royal port in favour of a Chinese company. He said that CHEC was currently being investigated in Jamaica in connection with the charge of over US$9 million for the construction of a road which was less than a mile long and said government needed to look more carefully at who it was doing business with.

Miller raised his concerns about the government’s decision to enter into a major agreement with Dart Cayman as no company existed by that name.  He said he hoped government’s new alliance was not with the "vulture fund magnate Ken Dart, whom Bill Clinton had described as one of the most dangerous people in the world,” and added that the UK had passed a legislation last year prohibiting the trading of these types of funds.

TheNorth Side representative said he was eagerly awaiting government’s decision not to go ahead with the “mega quarry” as proposed by Joe Imparato and referred to in the Throne Speech.

Miller said he had collected a significant number of signatures in his district and even more in the neighbouring district of East End.  “There is substantial opposition to this proposal and I hope government will be minded to tell the developer of the project in East End that it won’t be going forward,” he said.

Miller said he had serious concerns about government entering into business deals with developers such as Imparato and Dart because of the reasons why the two men had both left their own countries. “There needs to be some due diligence,” he said as he called on the people of Cayman to ask questions about and Google the two developers.

He said he had already had constituents raise very real concerns about the unfair competition created by big businesses dominating the local economy and that the new deal with Dart would only make things worse without the safety net of a fair trade commission as he had suggested in a private members motion.

“It is very risky when we allow big business to get control of local businesses,” he said, noting that Dart already controlled the wholesale liquor business and was very close to controlling the duty free business. “We are putting for too many eggs in that basket, “ Miller added.

As he wound up his contribution to the debate, Miller said he had found this year’s financials particularly difficult to “navigate” and had found no benefits for the Caymanian people. As a result he would not be supporting government’s 2011/12 budget because, he said, there were too many inconsistencies and contradictions.

Category: Politics

Comments (29)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    7:10 is correct.

     

    Ezzard "…more of the same."

     

    Isnt that refreshing? Finally a politician that has a consistent message, refusing to change his tune no matter what pressure he is placed under by carpet baggers who have no interest in  the future of the Caymanian people.

    Cayman's students support Ezzard as he offering more hope and support for Caymanians than anyone else.

    And before you put your thumbs down look inside and ask yourself what is wrong with a man who sticks to his position? What is wrong with a man who is outspoken about protecting his countrymen and his country?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I wish Ezzard would stop making noise like an empty barrel.   Why don't he start making some suggestions that would improve the Govt. coffers?

     Some of the same issues that I hear him complaining about today ie the mental health etc. he should have dealt with  when he was Minister of Health some years ago.   No, no one could tell him anything then and the same today. Did he not waste govt. funds then cutting deals with that hospital in the swamp, and paying ceo $40,000 per month salary and when his contract was terminated the govt had to pay out hundreds.   

    He really should stop talking about like he is such a saint – because he is not, but O how memories are short.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are so right 19:54 – Ezzard contributed significantly to waste of Govt. funds from his previous years in Executive Council, which is not doubt what helped to get us in this financial bind that we find ourselves in today; so he better start finding solutions instead of tearing down every idea that is tossed on the table. 

      Frankly speaking, I don't see him contributing anything that can be used to enhance the govt. finances, I hope the people of NS are taking note that they are not getting what they were hoping for.  

    • Anonymous says:

      That's right – attack the person when you cannot assail his points.

      To his credit, Mr. Miller has made many cost-cutting suggestions to the present Govt. all of which have been ignored.

      About the hospital, actually had Mr. Miller's plans for the Dr. Hortor not been aborted by the 1992 elections then we would have been in a far better position with healthcare facilities than we are now. Certainly it would have cost a great deal less than what we eventually had to spend. However, it was the politrix of the incoming govt. that bamboozled the public into opposing it. Guess who was a part of that incoming Govt.   

    • anonymous says:

      We need Mr. Ezzard Miller for Premier.

      A proven Leader,fiscally sound, financially conservative and  Mr. Miller demonstrates that he is indeed the right person to lead Government in 2013, OR BEFORE! we need to get this  Bush tyrant out of office ASAP.

       

  3. Anonymous says:

    Cayman for some people is like Germany in 1933 – desperate to find that magic bullet/person which/who will take them out of all the problems the previous decades have gotten them into. Along comes Ezzard, promising national dignity (Caymanians are the most intelligent people in the world), a vibrant Caymanian culture of kitchen bands, jobs for all Caymanians whether they can cope with them or not and a repudiation of all that has gone before in the last 30 years.

    Ezzard is no Hitler but his type of appeal is dangerous nonetheless.

    • Kung Fu Iguana says:

      Cayman is nothing like 1930's Germany.  Apart from that you have a point.  Ezzard is a rabble rousing nationalist who will only harm Cayman and the futures of Caymanians if he ever gets near power.

      • Anonymous says:

        True that Cayman is nothing lie 1930s Germany. Apart from that you don't have a point.

  4. Thankful Again says:

    Thank you Mr. Miller.  Caymanians are being bruised on everyside with no breather.

     

    Thank you for being Real and saying it like it needs to be said.

  5. Anonymous says:

    "cui bono" in simple terms means what is the good of it? what is the hidden motive.

    Now for all who did not understand go figure it out now.

    Plain and simple all the UK is asking is for us to cut spending instead of borrowing and making all kinds of deals that will just get us into further trouble.  When the investors come calling for their money what will or can we tell them they will drive this economy into the ground.

    What is happening in the Cayman and with Caymanians? we have become so greedy and power hungry.

     

     

     

  6. Anonymous says:

    Now let 's be for real, did anyone really expect him to support the governments budget or anything UDP for that matter…

    • Anonymous says:

      Ezzard, along with everyone else in Cayman, is being bombarded on a daily basis with less and less REASON to support the UDP.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Ezzard is a man for all seasons who can speak latin and has all the answers.

    He is a gargantuan cranium in the smallest district in the Cayman Islands.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yawn…..Ezzard…..more of same.

  9. Anonymous says:

    maybe you'll get some comments when you translate the headline so we all can understand it.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can all understand it if you read the first sentence of the article.

      • Anonymous says:

        you mean I can have a rough guess at it.

        • Anonymous says:

          "The independent member for North Side asked government  'who benefits'  from its budget when he turned to the latin phrase ‘cui bono’ "

          cui = who

          bono = benefit

          Get it? I just read the first sentence. I'm 17

          • Anonymous says:

            Good for you, when you're 18 you can start building a self confidence and love for yourself that doesn't rely on trying to find people that you know one or two words more than.  Or maybe not and you can grow up like a normal slug.

            Though you and another Einstein have assured me that all one need to do is read the first sentence, I for the life of me don't see a definitive definition there.

      • Anonymous says:

        I don't have a super-computer brain like you, Zoran.

        • Anonymous says:

          Any old brain will do so long as it actually used.

          • Anonymous says:

            i've tried it over and over rock head and for the life of me, I don't see that the term is actually defined.  I just don't have the giant brain.  God must have other plans for me.i am sad … i wand the big brain like you gots.

  10. nauticalone says:

    Once again, thank you Mr. Miller for standing up and asking the difficult questions…..and making the statements needed!

     

  11. Libertarian says:

    People

    Nothing wrong with Dart doing business. Nothing wrong with anyone doing business in the Cayman Islands and becoming successful. Nothing wrong with being rich and making donations to help the economy. But here is where Government should always be neutral and pick no sides.

    Look at it this way, let's say, my occupation is a Traffic Officer, and I want new grass for my backyard which cost $1000 dollars, but a close friend of mine who owns a landscape company and sells grass, offers me instead $100 dollars for my entire yard. So one day, I am patrolling along Shamrock Road, and this friend of mine, is speeding breaking the law, and has not yet delivered my grass. It is my duty as officer of the law to stop and deal with him accordingly. But because he is my close friend and a good deal was made between us… well… I will allow him just this once to break the law.

    Such a scenario happens in the world everyday. It is called "corruption." There is no other name for it!  

    All to say that our Governments dealings with private entities like Dart, Shetty, Ryan, Joseph, and giving them duty waivers, concessions, and favors, could come back to haunt us.  

    The Premier gives Dart millions in duty waivers because of his charitable contributions and offers to the Cayman Islands. Dart has given the Cayman Islands government "free grass." I wonder what will Government's response be, if Dart should decide to break the law?

    On another note, the millions in duty waivers that Dart will receive from this Government, will more than likely give Dart a competitive advantage over local market. Better watch out that this public-private partnership don't  =  a controlled government monopoly where Dart would be able to fluctuate his price/cost index alot easier to win customers, clients, and take over the local business field. Don't say it can't happen. A leeway advantage over everybody else, is in the making.

    We are setting ourselves up!  Government should never be showing favoritism to private entities!  Government should always remain neutral, because the temptation for political corruption now when we are in a downturn – is great!

    • Anonymous says:

      True, yet it is our recitivist CIG leadership that suggests and perpetuates the grease:favour culture.  Businesses are encouraged to curry favour and ply as directed.  The trick is knowing how, where, when and to whom.  These "private sector partnerships" have been "business as usual" for decades.  

  12. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps the answer to the question "cui bono" is like the answers to some of the mysteries of the universe which require an understanding of higher mathematics? Let's see-

    If pushing through planning approval = an exclusive real estate deal, and

    approving an indefinite deferral of customs duties payable to government on a mega-development = a luxury condo or two at that development, 

    then what could possibly be the explanation for a number of recent announcements?

    Never mind, on second thought the answer seems rather obvious and it has little to do mathematics other than calculating increases in the net worth of a few.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Cui bono?    Who benefits?

    Non vulgaris homo.  Not the common man.

     

  14. Anonymous says:

    While I agree with the sentiment, I am not sure that posing questions in Latin is really the way to go with this government. There is little evidence that they understand reasonable questions let alone the answers when the questions are asked in English.