FCO tightens financial screws

| 15/11/2011

_DEW2462.jpg(CNS): The British government is seeking to pin down the local government to sign a "Framework for Fiscal Responsibility", which was presented to the premier in London yesterday, in an effort to restrict the UK’s exposure to fiscal irresponsibility in Cayman. In a statement issued on the government website, the premier says he supports the concept but has some concerns about the demands being made by the UK and is in talks with FCO officials to suggest changes to the document before he signs the agreement.  The framework will affect how the local government spends and borrows money in future as well as the consequences for not sticking to the deal. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

The agreement asks the Cayman Islands Government to undertake effective medium-term planning to ensure that the full impact of fiscal decisions is understood, that it put value for money considerations at the heart of the decision-making process, that it demonstrates effective management of risk and drive the delivery of improved accountability in all public sector operations.

In his statement McKeeva Bush said that while he supported the principles he had “reservations about some of the important methods” of achieving them that have been put forward in the document.

He said that with the UK’s demand for effective management of risk, the Cayman government would be restricted to only borrowing money to fund capital projects which will bring in money to service the debt. This, Bush said, meant that government would not be able to borrow money to fund projects in future such as the separate juvenile remand facilities, which are required in order to comply with the islands' Bill of Rights because such a facility would not generate a revenue stream to fund the debt.

He also pointed to the problem of government’s responsibility to build and maintain schools and provide free education and that it may need to borrow funds to finance additional facilities. But, he said, the FFR would not allow the local government to borrow money for any new school facilities because they would not yield revenue.

“Government has concerns with respect to this provision of the FFR, and are robustly questioning its application,” Bush said in his public statement.

The premier has also questioned the FFR’s position to achieve effective management of risk, which indicates that the entire debt servicing costs by government and its companies and statutory authorities cannot exceed 10% of government's revenues  — excluding the revenues of the authorities and government companies, despite including their debt servicing costs.

“It is Government's view that this definition is overly restrictive,” Bush said in his short statement, adding that he believed the public would appreciate his position and that an opportunity had to be provided for the public to review the document before he agreed to sign.

“I urge everyone in the Cayman Islands to make themselves familiar with it, so that they will better understand any debate on this which may follow,” he added. The document was reportedly presented to Bush by the UK’s OT Minister Henry Bellingham when Bush was called to London this weekend.

The premier said the issue had the potential to impact not only government's financial policy-making but Cayman’s broader economic status and government's overall performance in terms of good governance.  “This policy document, which we are negotiating with the UK, therefore has the ability to affect the quality of life and the standard of living in these Islands,” he added.

Despite having presented three budgets of his own, the UDP leader still blamed the opposition when he revealed the details of his UK visit.

“As everyone well knows, this government took over from a previous government that had borrowed and its overspending had placed this country in a dangerous financial position,” Bush stated. “Because of this, the United Kingdom Government (UKG) has asked us to sign an agreement with them. Based on the historical evidence of what can happen when a financially irresponsible government spends without any thought process or a carefully thought out plan, I am in favour of signing such a mutually agreed Framework for Fiscal Responsibility.”

He said it was understandable that the UK had seen the need to restrict their exposure in such circumstances as there is no guarantee as to what kind of spendthrift government would be elected in the future.

Once the Cayman Islands signs the fiscal commitment, if it is not in compliance the deal would open the way for the UK to make greater demands to remedy the breach. The UK will require the local government to gain approval not just for borrowing but for the whole budget as well as any projects that are planned over CI$5 million or to use any public asset as collateral for any arrangement with a party outside of government. This element of the framework agreement could prevent future deals such as the ForCaymanAlliance.

The framework will tie this and any future government into more responsible and transparent financial practices with greater reporting requirements to the UK and it will also require government to make a proper business case to spend any public money and provide far greater accountability to the people for its spending.

It is not clearwhen the parameter of the agreement would begin to bind government once it is signed or whether the requirements in the framework will impact any of government’s current proposed projects.

Go to premier’s full statement here

See Framework for fiscal Responsibility Agreement here.

Category: Politics

Comments (57)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    "As Martin Wolf writes in the Financial Times, "monetary and fiscal policies or labour market regulations are at the core of democratic politics"." – From a BBC article on the EU.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15754521

  2. Shock and Awe says:

    Wait Wait Wait!  It is important for the public to be consulted about the document before the Premier signs it?  How many myriad docum,ents has he signed involving public monies has he signed WITHOUT consulting the public at all?  The list goes on. So why is this document suddenly so important there is more to this story than what is being told.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Bush;

    By stating "there is no guarantee as to what kind of spendthrift government will be elected in the future" you are either:

    1. Stating your party will not be elected in the future…because you presume it is not spendthrift

    Or

    1. Stating that your party is a spendthrift government and may be reelected

    You do not leave an opportunity for a non-spendthrift government to be elected … which is probably true should such an agreement, like the one proposed, be signed and followed through.

    Is this serendipity or bad wording?

     

  4. St. Lucian says:

    I am from another small island in the Caribbean called St. Lucia. I understand perfectly how all of you Caymanians feel. Our governments, past and present, are ALL the same…..its like six and half a dozen. Right now we in St. Lucia are on the cusp of another general election (Nov 28th) and some of us feel its like choosing between the devil and the dark dark blue sea!! But I have to say all this is through our own faults, and i will tell you why:

    We are the ones who have to decide WHO we appoint as our leaders from the very beginning!!. Unfortunately, we do not pay enough attention to the calibre of individuals who present themselves for political office. We should never allow, like we have in St. Lucia, to elect individuals who have any sort of history that can be considered as shady or suspect or any one with a hint of a checkered past……………because it ALWAYS comes back to haunt us!!! These candidates should be screened rigourously and scrutinised (like in the US) so that we know absolutely without a shadow of a doubt what to expect from them, especially the one who is to be our PM. Once they are elected it is TOO late!! I am sure, in retrospect,  that there was something about Bush that would have led Caymanians to believe that his present behaviour is now no surprise.

    However, at least, Cayman now has a multi-year budget which i believe is a very good policy………wish we in St. Lucia would adopt that system instead of the annual budget which is presented evey year, and to me is best described as a political tool…..not in a good sense!……..and instead over the years has lost its intended purpose as a support framework for economic growth and development BUT in conjuction with a pre-exisiting national consensus strategic framework.

    Unless these issues, and others, are considered, then our countries will continue to be raped and prostituted by irresponsible and visionless leaders who get away with absolute murder!!!

    I wish you Caymanians all the best and hoping that you continue to do the right thing by your beautifull country (at least so ive heard!!)

    Thank you!!!

    • bradley says:

      Understand where you are coming from, but you can't compare St Lucians to Caymanians, because Caymanians are under the UK, and at times, the UK government (FCO) is responsible for much of our policies and laws. St Lucia has Independence; hence, its citizens are more responsible for how their country is governed than Caymanians would be, because Caymanians haveboth the UK and he LA. If the UK at any time, declare full british rule, Caymanians have no say about that!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Some of the posters here just do not seem to be able to realise that you cannot live by borrowing money for evermore. The numbers are climbing, especially when you count in  unfunded pension and health liabilities for Government employees. To say that the "UK is pushing us to taxation" is just nonsense. We are pushing ourselves towards taxation by taking on all this debt. Mr Bellingham and the UK are doing us a favour by calling time on the borrowing. And by the way the UK is not "broke" It has heavy debts with long maturities, but it has been praised by many in the US and elsewhere for having a coherent program for bringing down the debt, which is why it has retained AAA status for its debt, unlike the US, Italy and others. The UK will certainly not want it's own hard won efforts undermined by having to bale out a spendthrift territory.

    • Anonymous says:

      What an odd posting?

      Quote, 'you cannot live by borrowing money for evermore,' then, 'the UK is not "broke" It has heavy debts with long maturities'.

      But at the same time the UK (where I live) is engaged in a exercise called 'quantitative easing' or simply printing more money to paper over the cracks. OK, we still have a reasonably strong economy right now but the real effects of this 'easing' still have to kick in and when they do things could get very messy.

      Some years ago a well-respected American (whose name escapes me) was quoted as saying, 'deficit spending equals bankruptcy pending'. Nothing that has happened since has proved him  wrong, every time you see people spending money they don't have it's the beginning of a slump.

      If you think the Cayman Islands' health and pension liabilities are serious take a look at the UK. We have free health care, social housing, state pensions and a welfare benefits system that is overloaded, not just by UK citizens but by the influx of EU citizens, many of whom are taking work (latest figures suggest 12,000 a month) away from us and upping the domestic welfare bill.

      The UK is slowly sinking under the burden of committments it cannot afford, it's just going down a bit slower than places like Greece and Italy.

       

  6. Anonymous says:

    He was called to London two and a half years too late, if they had checked with me earlier I could have told them to call him in May 2009.

  7. Real World says:

    The UK "gowerment" wants to distance itself from the absolute mess Bush is making of the Cayman economy, and who can blame it!  The UK is broke and under serious austerity measures.  The last thing Cameron wants to do is have to bail out Cayman due to the mess being made by the UDP.  The UK can see Cayman's disasterous future and wants to put a document in place to limit its liabilities.

     

  8. Libertarian says:

    For once in my life, I must agree with the Premier's statement:  "This policy document, which we are negotiating with the UK, therefore has the ability to affect the quality of life and the standard of living in these Islands."  People, you know what that means?  This excitement about London calling Mac to the Principals office and setting the record straight, has really nothing to do with expanding our democracy and reforming our Constitution at all.  

    More news just to make meaningless news!

    • Dred says:

      NOW YOU ARE AFRAID?? When Bush was making suggestions about Refineries, Backing Mega Quarries, taking private aircraft owned by people wanting to strike deals with us, dismantling his own boards because they would not sign off on his plans, going around the CTC because they would not agree with him. That didn't make you afraid?

      You know it SCARES me the people we have living amongst us at times. McKeeva is the modern day equivalent of the pidepiper. They allow themselves to be blinded by him.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hmmm… Dred, what really scares me, is the polarity I am seeing where people are taking sides for a particular party, and the issues are being covered up by political personalities. who cares about personalities. I will always be Independant in my thinking. Just because I stick to issues that I feel passionate about, does not mean I oppose your PPM views. As far as I know, PPM as well as your UDP opponents, is dividing this country when we should all be united on the same national issues. This is no time for us to engage incharacter assassiations on our own politicians. We are more than that and should set a high standard even on how we comment. We should be united and stuck to the issues at hand, and you will find good points in both PPM and UDP ranks. Of couse, I will call out the perpatrators of a crime like you do, but I will not paint an entire party black and the PPM white. That is not realistic. I am sorry Dred, but I will not hold hands with people who feel that they can't learn from their critics.  

        Regards, Libertarian 

  9. Anonymous says:

    Ok perhaps 50% of what was said here by the government is true but what is it that couldn't wait until the OTTC meetings next week ?

    Tell us Mr. Premier what were the "other urgent matters" that couldn't wait until next week ? This FFR certainly isn't the reason for this "URGENT" meeting. Tell us !!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      It seems pretty obvious to me. As soon as he signs it, he no longer has the power to hand over Crown property like he plans to with the ForCayman Alliance, or have a fire sale on Government assets like the sewage plant, or sign 49-year lease agreements to share Government revenue with the Chinese in return for building some piers.

      Of course he may still be able to do these thing eventually, its just that he now has to provide independent proof that it is in the best interest of ALL the people of the Cayman Islands.

      It looks like he will have to eat  his words when he said "unna cyan stop dis" in reference to the West Bay road being moved. At least if it is moved the Cayman Government will get fair value in return and not just what CG and Big Mac says is fair value.

      His trump card of "I am Minister of Finance and I can make financial decisions without consulting with anyone" has been taken away, and I for one am glad.

  10. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    This is an extremely scary and dangerous situation for the people of the Cayman Islands. It has taken two decades for the majority of the people in Cayman to achieve a semblance of freedom of expression. With that has been the hard battle for transparency, accountability and ethical good governance. Now that the majority, not a district , is finally getting closer to removing the present governing body and demanding a government for the people and the country it seems we are headed to a cross roads and possible confrontation with the UK. What is really scary is, "a hidden agenda for moving away from UK control" so that the people in power can continue to use smoke and mirrors to stay in power.

    • Dred says:

      I agree completely. I see all but DESIGNED contensions being created to affirm the stance of independence. The question is WHY?

      I still say we are simply not ready for it. We have corruption running rampant that only has to be detected. We still have crime although it has slowed some lately it is still there ready to raise it's ugly head. If you ask me they have OPTED to slow down since we got the UK force in.

      2013 can not come fast enough….. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman is very precariously teetering on the edge of the drop-off as it is. If we become independent with-you-know who at the helm we will certainly slip off the edge and disappear forever into the Cayman trough. At least we would certainly be better off down there. God help us.

    • Like It Is says:

      "What is really scary is, "a hidden agenda for moving away from UK control" so that the people in power can continue to use smoke and mirrors to stay in power." Faster than you can say TCI Part 2.

    • Theo says:

      What a pack of unadulterated crap. Who has said anything about confrontation there are issues to be discussed about our way of handling our finances in the past, or have you selectively forgotten or has divine intervention hit your minds again. The Financial position of these islands was put into an unholy mess by the previous administration, get over it folks its true, they did a dodo. Look what we need is simply people to be put to work, job creation is a proverbial word worldwide. XXXX

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is exactly the sort of agreement that would be intolerable to an administration that plays by the rules, but exactly the sort of agreement we have to have if we want McKeeva to obey them.  The trouble is the PPM negotiated all these new powers for us and in washed-up Mac the UK have seen how badly those rules can play.  And some of the young turks in the UDP are even worse.  Unfortunately the UK has to set the rules according to the worst offenders.  This is going to drive well-intentioned, educated Caymanians – who will expect to have the freedom to implement their policies without needing permission – away from public service.  What's more, the political model going forward is going to be Bustamante-style Mac types who think thumbing their nose at 'the British' is the mark of a principled man.

     

    One step forward, five steps back ten years later.

     

  12. Anonymous says:

    Dear Cayman,

     

    The document calls for controlling government expenditure; limiting new borrowing; REALIGNING THE REVENUE BASE; improving the performance of statutory authorities and government companies; and reducing costs by working in partnership with the private sector.

    "REALIGNING THE REVENUE BASE" MEANS…..DIRECT TAXES.

    Forget this UDP/PPM thing and read between the lines. Stand up TOGETHER please.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      Folks, what is the big surprise here. There are no balanced current accounts, no fiscal responsibility, no budgets that are met, over bloated CS, hundreds of people sucking off Government money, conflicts of interest, 30 year red ink airline, leaders living a 5 star life on the people and voting themselves huge financial packages, benefits and early pensions  and on and on. The present leadership has created this situation. Don't shout "taxes" being forced on us by the UK to blow smoke on the failure of Cayman's leadership to run the country properly. Do you think the UK are going to let the country keep spending and borrowing into debt and want to support us and provide funding and borrowing to continue the madness. If I was the UK I would want to get as far away from Bush and the UDP as possible because this house of cards is going to fall. Poor Governance is creating this problem, not the UK.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I want to see the buisness case for the Christian Heratige thingy

  14. Anonymous says:

    Oh woe is me !   I can feel the noose getting tighter and tighter.  No room to maneouvre or move around.  The walls are closing in….

    • I TOLD YOU SO! says:

      Hate to  remind you,but! The walls have been closing in for some time now, and has gotten progressively worse since the UDP take over. 

  15. Anonymous says:

    OMG!   I almost choked on my afternoon cofee because I was laughing so hard.  Other agreements are negotiated / signed in secrecy like the Cayman Dart Alliance, CHEC, and we hear about it after the fact.   Other recent changes to law are rushed through using "emergency" as an excuse without the 21 days notice for the Opposition and the Public to be able to read and vote on the proposed changes.    But now that something comes up that will affect this current Government's ability to spend money willy nilly on their "pet" projects and future plans, they now suddenly want time to consult with the "Public" for their input.  HOW PRECIOUS.   In other words, when it suits UDP, they do not consult.  When it works against UDP's plans and policies, then they will consult and seek their people's support.   I don't know who you think you are fooling.  We have seen through you long ago. Your spinning of things to make it seem that PPM is who caused the UK to come up with this agreement, is not fooling anyone.   If this had anything to do with PPM, this meeting and agreement would have taken place 2 years ago.   This meeting was called urgently, strongly suggesting it is more to do with your own financial mismanagement of resources since the UDP assumed control e.g. the 1/2 million wasted on the failed Cohen deal, the millions given to your favourite churches, the excessive overseas trips with entourage and not staying in the country long enough to help solve some of the problems, "unexplained" circumstances surrounding awarding of projects, overturning winners, overturning CTC or Statutory Boards, and then appointing a company(ies) that lost the bid or did not even bid in the first place, e.g. waste management and port projects.   Do I need to go on?  

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, reminds me of the National Conservation Law, that they went out to public consultation two times or so and it still has not been passed in the LA.

       

      I thought saving the environment was a priority but seems UDP dont share that view or they would have rushed it thru the LA

  16. Anonymous says:

    Here is how I imagine the conversation between Little Mac and Big Bell went:

    Big Bell: Welcome my dear friend, it's good to see you again. I would like to review the document entitled THE CAYMAN ISLANDS GOVERNMENT'S 3 Year Budget Forecast (2010/2011 to 2012/2013) you presented to me on May 24, 2010.

    Little Mac: You mean that MOU?

    Big Bell: Call it what you like, but let's turn to Section 5 and review the projects that you said would bring in revenue so there was no need for new revenue measures.

    1. Ritz Carlton/Dragon Bay, to generate approximately $500 million in the next 5 years. In May 2010 the status was ongoing. What is the present status?

    Little Mac: Dat changed from ongoing to going-on.

    Big Bell: Cruise ship Port, $200 million. The status in May 2010 was MOU Completed?

    Little Mac: As Minister of Finance, I would like to increase that to $600 million. Two more MOU were signed for that same Cruise ship Port, so the value should be 200 times tree.

    Big Bell: Cargo facility, $150 million. The status in May 2010 was Cabinet paper for discussion?

    Little Mac: You kin blame dat on the PPM.

    Big Bell: New sewerage system, $150 million. The status in May 2010 was EOI done?

    Little Mac: After the EOI we did an MOU, but somebody did an FOI, then called the CTC, as reported by CNS, so I had to do an IOU to the UDP,but you can blame the PPM for the drop in GDP.

    Big Bell: Is a copy of your code book available?

    Big Bell: OK, on to the next revenue measure. Waste to Energy Facility, $150 million. The status in May 2010 was EOI done?

    Little Mac: See previous answer for sewerage, but if I can keep stalling 'till Christmas then you can add HO HO HO to it.

    Big Bell: New Hospital Project, $150 million. The status in May 2010 was Agreement nearing completion?

    Little Mac: If dat was 18 months ago, then I can say with certainty that we are now 18 months closer.

    Big Bell: Do you understand anything about fiscal matters?

    Little Mac: The Bible says cast your bread upon the waters and it shall be returned one hunder fold, so I gave the churches $5 million. As soon as dat returns I will be able to pay off all our debts and I wont have to talk wid foo foo people like you no more.

    • Anonymous says:

      I can't wait to see Morgan and Michael do a skit like this in Rundown.

      The CFO at the FCO called the Governor's CIO to ask about the EOI, and he told them that the MAC had signed  an MOU, but then CNS did an FOI and found out from the CTC that the DOE had demanded an EIA before approving the CEC because their PEE was going into the SEA……

      And I hope we will all still be able to laugh next year!

       

    • Knot S Smart says:

      This post is TOO funny…

    • U d best says:

      I loved it. Please keep writing.

  17. Anonymous says:

    The UK is obviously pushing us to taxation!

  18. Anonymous says:

    What if Cayman does not comply?

     

    What then? Independence?

     

    This whole thing smells of hidden agendas.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hidden agendas of the UK, totally agree with you.  Why else would they ask for "Realigning the revenue base"???

  19. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Bellingham,

    Can we start by taking away their pensions while they are in office and reducing their wages?  That would be a great savings there.

     

  20. Anonymous says:

    Bush should take this same approach on all the bills he proposes.

    “I urge everyone in the Cayman Islands to make themselves familiar with it, so that they will better understand any debate on this which may follow,”  

    It is Ok for the pubic to debate and be knowledgable when it works for him.  But only then.  any ther tme it is a "emergency"  and that is thrown out the window.

  21. Dred says:

    In his statement McKeeva Bush said that while he supported the principles he had “reservations about some of the important methods” of achieving them that have been put forward in the document.

    I would tell you where his "reservations" were at but I wouldn't want to be sued.

    I can't help but think it might cripple his government. Let's see it called for:

    "value for money considerations at the heart of the decision-making process" We all know that ain't gonna happen.

    demonstrates effective management of risk and drive the delivery of improved accountability in all public sector operations. Do I really need to say anything here???

    The framework will tie this and any future government into more responsible and transparent financial practices with greater reporting requirements to the UK and it will also require government to make a proper business case to spend any public money and provide far greater accountability to the people for its spending.

    Hold on a second, do you have a big problem with that? Do you have things you want to spend things on that you do not feel you should be:

    a) Transparent about

    b) Responsible for

    c) Report on

    d) Make a proper business case for

    To me these all sound well LOGICAL. Do you have an issue Mr Premier with being…….well TRANSPARENT?

    While you are there LAMBASTING PPM to the FCO about what they did do you not think they are seeing you giving millions to churches and the half million to Cohen and Cohen? Do you not think they are PROBABLY even more scared of YOU than PPM?

    While I am not fond of us being dictated to MAYBE IF YOU DIDN'T DO YOUR CRAP we would need more physical responsibility also. YOU had/have the chance to do things PROPER and yet you continue to:

    1) Be shady in your deals

    2) Get rid of boards that disagree with you despite them being many of your supporters.

    3) Go around the CTC because they would NEVER agree with you.

    4) Jump at every HAIR BRAINED scheme without any thought process.

    Whew did I miss anything?

    We really do need to look at it closely though because well it's an agreement which is based on the last two messes we had for government PPM and then UDP. Not that PPM was SOOO terrible but UDP spent it's last two years throwing gas on the fire.

    • concerned CAYMANIAN TO THE BONE says:

      Don't forget the GLF/Royal COnstruction penalty for breaking the contract: US$20million. that's the straw that has broken the camel back. I bet you nah going to hear about that. No increase for the civil service because that money never existed in the first place. Why? I'm getting scared that we are going down the road as TCI. How can shady deals pass through cabinet and the Governor sits back and watches these clowns get in trouble is beyond my comprehension. But, I support this Frame work agreement with the UK.

      But, we must clean house noe and retire the entire Finance department and lets start over or else the mess will continue. 

  22. Dare to Dream says:

    It is ironic that the Premier is now urging  us "the people" to read The FFR Agreement, now that the UK is trying to tame him and his government from their incesant spending.  We will read it but we would also like to be able to read all future amendments to the Law of the land before he and his govenment make the amendments into law.  We would like him to give us the 21 days that we should have to peruse these amendments.  It is also about time that he stop blamling the PPM for overspending.  Yes Alden and PPM overspent on the schools but only becaus they wanted the best for our children- they did not spend the money on galavanting all over God's Green Earth and dishing out our money to their favourite churches and charities. like he did.  I am not against the Churches, but they should do what we do at our church – that is give our tithes and offerings!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Spending CI$350,000,000 is spending CI$350,000,000 full stop.

      On our children, on our elderly, on our sick..it does not matter. PPM spent CI$350,000,000 that they clearly had no idea where it was coming from. It helped put us in this scenario and cannot be justified now.

      End of story.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just like someone else we know, you seem to have no clue that there is a difference between spending and wasting and giving away. Our present 'goverment' got elected presumably on the premise they were going to get us out of the 'mess' they accused the PPM of getting us into so THEY could get elected. Can you tell us about anything that has changed in over two years apart from millions down the drain and the huge improvements in our CUC bills and crimein our country, and England taking steps to curb our financial mismanagement almost THREE YEARS into the UDP 'goverment'? 

  23. Anonymous says:

    I thought this Document had already been seen by the Finance Committee before the Premier was ccalled to London.

    • Anonymous says:

       

      From what I hear government has had this document for over a year.

      Could this be a diversion and the real reason he was called to London was entirely different.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Governments all around the world have painted themselves into the same hopeless corner.  They all must accept that they have spent too much and adopt austerity measures.  Public service must cut departmental spending just as a private business would have been forced to cut staff 4 years ago.  At that time, the MLAs were busy giving themselves a raise, while drawing down a pension!

  25. Anonymous says:

    How did the usual "It's not my fault, the other guys did it" fly with Mr. Bellingham?

  26. Anonymous says:

    "he believed the public would appreciate his position and that an opportunity had to be provided for the public to review the document before he agreed to sign"……

    You HAVE to laugh at that statement coming from McKeeva….what irony life holds.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Our civil servants complained about the Public Management and Finance Law and delayed compliance with it until it was stripped of some of its teeth. Now we get even more contol over us, this time imposed from outside in the shape of the UK. Da wha we get.

    • Anonymous says:

      So true 11:55: And it was the useless Finance Portfolio (now Ministry) that was behind the assault on the PMFL because its boss couldn't figure it all out, not being a CPA with intimate working knowledge of accrual accounting and reporting/accountability requirements. Sigh. That boss is still there of course, clocking up the retirement benefits.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Bush in his attempt at political spin is attempting to say that he is being required to sign this agreement on account of the PPM's financial irresponsibility and the potential financial irresponsibility of any future govt. Of course we all know that the OT Minister called this meeting as an urgent matter so it is quite clear that it was prompted by concerns about the evident financial irresponsibility with Bush's govt.  

    • Anonymous says:

      You are so very correct. I wonder who in the world Bush would blame his failures and screw-ups on if the PPM didn't exist. Nearly three years later and he is STILL blaming the PPM for everything that the UDP 'goverment' has done wrong or failed to do, and let me tell you, THAT is a whole lot of blaming. Furthermore I sincerely believe the Cayman public is barely being told the prettiest side of Bush's meeting with Mr. Bellingham, and that hurricane Ivan will be mild to what we experience when we do get hit with the rest of the story. God help us. 

  29. Anonymous says:

    If they had called it an MOU he would have signed it immediately.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I can appreciate Mac’s problems with the requirement to maintain fiscal responsibility – he’d have no idea how to do that. He couldn’t manage my daughter’s tooth fairy money, let alone a gopvernment budget. His mismanagement (like that of the prior government) is a thing of legend. No wonder the UK needs to intervene.

    The UK should just skip to the part where they react to the failure of the CIG to meet the requirements of fiscal responsibility, as that failure is a foregone conclusion.

    Greece, Italy, and the Cayman Islands… birds of a feather.

    • Anonymous says:

      This post is nonsense- clearly you need to look at the UK debt ratios as well and stop watching CNN so much. If we are going to blame a government it wouldhave to be the PPM government who broke the camel's back. But even before the PPM, WE Caymanians were spending money and BEGGING our governments for hand-outs like it was going out of style.

      Mac is only the one left holding the bag, the one with the credit card bill. UDP has fortunately not been able to spend much on anything but travel ( and affordable housing)

      Our civil service costs $350M per year to operate. Our interest alone on prior loans is $60M per year. We have $400M in unfunded pension liabilities.( in other words we borrowed $400M from our pensions to date) We have another $600M in loans from the banks. (yep thats 1 Billion dollars total or CI$1,000,000,000). Every working Caymanian owes CI$75,000 right now by next year it will be CI$78,000 and so forth. We have spent $130M+ of that on Cayman Airways alone over the last 10 years.

      I think we can all agree that MAC did not do that alone.  Recently we have asked MAC to:

      1. Not cut civil service

      2. Keep Cayman Airways no matter what- it will save us in a hurricane (expensive shelter)

      3. Not sell any government Assetts ( GOAB, Sewage, Water, etc)

      4. Not partner with private groups ( Dart, Shetty, CHEC, etc)

      5. Keep CINICO, HSA, medical hand-outs funded

      6. Give 8,000 of us a social service hand-out each month

      7. Do not give incentives for folks to come here

      8. No direct taxes

      9. Cut duties, Etc, etc.

      Give us more, more, more.

      Cayman, this is more than a silly blog or Mac's problem. This problem "fi all a wi" as they say in Jamaica.

       

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m not watching CNN, I’m watching Makeeva “Weeeeee’z Broke” Bush andhis antics with:

        we’re broke, no we’re in surplus, no we’re broke, no we’re in surplus…
        we’ve signed more MOUs than Macdonalds has sold burgers, and we’re managed to turn exactly 0 into actual deals.
        we’re flown more politicians to more places than anyone else, and brought home exactly 0 business.
        supporting the Turtle Farm despite massive on-going losses.
        and you know the rest.

        Actually, the only ones who profited from Mac is the guy with the 2 free condos in the Ritz, and a bunch of people with free appliances. Why there’s no investigation on that stuff is a disgrace to the Governor.

        • Lookin' out for Justice says:

          Hey Governor – you’re being called a disgrace here. Got anything to say? Maybe do a little work to stop and punish the blatant corruption we all know so much about (I’m not even in Cayman and the free condo and appliance stories are shared whenever Cayman is discussed here).

          You know what a “disgrace” is, right? You know the world is watching, right? You know we all know about this, right? I mean ALL of us. You know we’re all looking at you to see if you’re either complicit or in favour of law and order, right? So…. got anything to say???

          We’ll just be standing by here, watching you… expectantly.

        • Anonymous says:

          Did you mean the Governot?