Mac asserts progress in 2012

| 01/01/2012

_DEW3817.jpg(CNS): The Cayman Islands premier said Sunday that the steps his government had taken to strengthen the local economy were “unprecedented in the region”. In his New Year message to the people of Cayman McKeeva Bush said that good progress was made in 2011 on government finances and attracting investment. In a radio and television broadcast Bush said a comparison before 2009 and after demonstrated the good progress. However, the opposition leader said government decisions had made the suffering worse and the disregard for transparency and rules in government was creating a crisis of confidence.

Highlighting the major projects his government hopes to turn into a reality, McKeeva Bush said the UDP administration’s goal for 2012 was "to build a stronger economy, stronger infrastructure, and stronger financials” by carrying out its plans.

He once again focused on his hopes of seeing Cayman Enterprise City, Narayana Cayman University Medical City, the ForCayman Investment Alliance and the George Town Cruise Port come to fruition over the next twelve months, .

Bush said great strides had been made regarding the special economic zone since he announced the MOU at last year’s Business Outlook Conference and the zone was now operational, with the first zone companies set to be licensed in January 2012. He noted that eleven Caymanians have been employed at Cayman Enterprise City.

Bush pointed to the land being purchased by those involved with the Dr Devi Shetty medical project, which was expected to begin construction by the middle of 2012. The ForCayman Investment Alliance project was advancing and Cayman did not have the luxury of waiting for the economy to turn around.

“We must act now,” Bush told the people in his message. “I trust that the people of these islands recognise how fortunate we are to have the good relationships with private-sector groups such as CEC, Narayana Cayman University Medical Centre and Dart that allow these partnerships to move past thediscussion stage, past the 'would be nice to have' stage.

“All three of these investments, representing both foreign and local confidence in the Cayman Islands, are well on their way to becoming a beneficial reality for the country,” he added.

The premier described the talks between government and the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands with China Harbour Engineering Company to develop cruise tourism facilities at the George Town Port as advanced. Bush also stated that the Chinese developers were the only ones to show interest in the broad-based partnership for the seaport facilities that includes supplementary facilities at Spotts as well as the Turtle Farm. He said CHEC was capable of financing the developments on the most favourable terms.

When it came to public finances, he said that the deficit his government inherited combined with the effects of the economic downturn was going to be difficult to overcome but the stateof public finances has been steadily improving since May 2009. “I am confident that the 'before and after May 2009' comparison … with the independent view of Moody’s on the Cayman Islands, serve to prove that public finances in the Cayman Islands have been improved by the present government, and there is more improvement that is possible under the present government,” the premier said.

Despite of the opposition’s claim that all of the things that he had done were going to cause the ratings to drop, Cayman had remained steadfast, he said and claimed, “This is good management."

Speaking about the next twelve months, the premier said the “overarching goal is to create more employment opportunities; to work with the private sector and build a country in which no Caymanian can say they cannot find employment.”

Meanwhile, the opposition leader had a different view of the government’s achievements. The impact of the global economic downturn had been a real “shock to the system" for many, said Alden McLaughlin, who noted that the significant increase in the cost of living due to government decisions had made things far worse. “Businesses have closed in record numbers, many rental apartments stand empty and many people have lost or are losing their homes because they simply can’t pay the mortgages. Caymanians find themselves unemployed in numbers that in the recent past would have seemed impossible," he said.

McLaughlin said that the local economy was still struggling as many projects announced by the government to stimulate the economy had not started.

“The continued failure to secure a definitive contractor and viable plan to build a cruise ship berthing in George Town has contributed to making the 2011 cruise ship season among the worst we’ve ever known,” the opposition leader said. 

He raised his concerns again about the significant increase in serious crime this year, which he said had served to further damage Cayman’s previous reputation as a safe country.

McLaughlin did, however, welcome the turnaround in the number of tourists arriving by air and the surplus in the 2010/2011 budget year which ended in June as well as the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility document that government has signed with the UK, requiring greater accountability in government financial matters, as well as Moody’s reaffirmation of Cayman’s Aa3 credit rating

But he also warned of the pressing need for more openness, transparency and honesty in government and better adherence to rules and regulations as he said concerns about these issues had created a crisis of confidence that was undermining Cayman’s ability to recover from the recession.

In 2012, he said, Caymanians would need to draw their resourcefulness and resilience to succeed in this very challenging environment. “Collectively, we must also encourage government to improve the way it does business and to press on with initiatives to get the Cayman economy moving again," McLaughlin added.

See both speeches in full below.

Category: Politics

Comments (46)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What does he know?  He is so disconnected from reality.   He earns a great salary (since he did not take the promised paycut yet the civil servants took theirs), his bills are paid by Government, he galavants all over the world on useless, expensive jaunts at our expense and is hardly home to pay attention, listen to the people and address the problems, etc.  Simply put, he is living the good life while the country suffers and slips further into needless debt.  So excuse me for not believing a single word that comes out of his mouth.

    • Anonymous says:

      We pay his bills, not Government.

    • Andy says:

      Mac, do you really believe what you say? or the speech just written for you? Fire the speech writer if it is the later.

  2. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    I am sincerely trying to not make this a critism of Mr. Bush. Hopefully it will be an objective view of the past year.

    No progress….1) Getting control of crime and the criminal elements embedded in The Cayman Islands. 2) Revitilizing immigration and customs with funding and training to gain control of who and what is entering the country.  3) Producing new income streams for the CIG and rebalancing the duty, fee and tax system especially for the middle class. 4) Reducing the cost of running the CIG/Civil Service. 5) EDUCATING Caymans youth now. 6) Providing health care and affordable insurance for Cayman's population. 7) Having a social services department funded and trained to help the people. 8) A final step towards true transparancy and the elimination of corrupt public servants and conflicts of interest. 9) Balancing the books and producing budgets that work. 10) Creating an attractive environment to bring in and keep existing offshore financial, accounting and legal vibrant. 11) Stay over tourism is a Caribbean core business, focus on the basics get Cayman back on the map. 12) Cruise tourism is important as well, create an open transparent plan to develop GT harbor properly. 13) Private sector public sector capital projects should move seemlessly through the system with no conflicts.

    Progress……………………………………………………………………………………….

    Hopefully people will not just sit back and believe that progress has been made this year and get up and do something about their situation.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I  am never disappointed with the well placed comic relief that the Premier provides to his "listening" audience.

     

    I wonder if he uses the same writers as the show "last comic standing " uses?!

     

  4. Anonymous says:

    How is it that 12 Caymanians have been employed for Cayman Enterprise City? I do not recall seeing any jobs listed in the Compass?

  5. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    Faith-based politics are what most ineffective leaders depend on- give 'em a little pep talk to shut them up but-  this is NOT a football team- these are citizens of a country.  And this is NOT a church- it's a nation.  So save that part also.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Perception is often the greatest deception, Mr. Bush I believe you're being deceieved. . .

  7. Anonymous says:

    "Sir" WHAT Island are You Living On???  We are going in the Hole Deeper each Year !! The people of theCayman Islands are Not Fools !! DO YOU REALLY THINK WE BELIEVE YOU ??

    • so Anonymous says:

      Do you really still thinks he cares what you think?

    • Anonymous says:

      Mac, you must have got hold of some of that christmas "boom" that came in from Jamaica over the holidays because you forgot to mention other things that have come to fruition over the last 6 months with you and your government so I am going to remind you:

      1) Shady backroom dealings with all these projects

      2) Criminal investigation being launched against the premier for possible bribery

      3) loss of $400+ with Cohen

      4) churches being given $4 million and change

      5) total disregard for the caymanian people

      6) threatening the caymanian people with law suits left, right and center. Calling us all devil worshippers etc etc

      7) getting absolutely nothing done, galavanting around the world at our expense, wasting money like it grows on trees, making us pay for your christmas lights again and god knows what else

      I cant be bothered writing anymore, the list goes on and on unlike your party's so called successes which by my calculations equals NOTHING.

      XXXXX

  8. Micky Mouse says:

    What achievements has the UDP made except to have the UK put us on a leash? The dummies that follow the UDP will also perrish with all of us when the big Mac takes us under the train to independence. Guess who is laughing to the bank? Nooooooooooooo! You guessed wrong!! Mr Dart is holding our future in the palm of his hand! What a family is smiling to the bank. How can the UDP be so retarded to believe that the Dart family is the best thing since the caboose for Cayman people.

    Good Luck Cayman.

     

      

  9. Anonymous says:

    mac…proving once again how out of touch he is with the people….

  10. The Spin Cycle says:

    I checked my coffee grounds this morning.

    Things are going to be much the same.

    Or different.

    Maybe better.

    Or worse.

    I do personal readings

  11. Anonymous says:

    Sorry what islands is he talking about?

  12. Anonymous says:

    No progress on the one thing that matters- the potential corruption charge!

    Wonder why? Anyone at home in the Governors House?

  13. ALL SEEING says:

    Oil refinery, dredge the North Sound for millionaire yachts and split the island for a dock in East End all from the mind of our great leader. Help us Jesus.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Can you imagine how good the future would have looked if this guy was NOT in charge ?

     

  15. Dred says:

    What progress are you talking about? The 25 million surplus? Cruise Berthing? Shetty Hospital? CEC Zone? ForDart Alliance? ooop I mean ForCayman Alliance. My bad.

    Let me be straight. I know you can't get nothing for nothing but I will say this there are better ways to do things. I am honestly not against projects by UDP because they are UDP I am against them when they bleed stupidity. Here are examples:

     

    For UDP:

    Shetty Hospital – Concerned about some concessions but overall I am for the project as we need competitive pricing to counteract the Tomlinson syndrome.

    CEC (Cayman Enterprise City) Zone – I like this idea alot. I would ask people to do some research like what is being done in Abu Dahbi. I could see some combination of Shetty and the CEC Zone.

    Against UDP

    Oil Refinery – Simply no place for it in the Cayman Islands. Absolutely a waste of time to look at.

    Mega Quarry – Really. You believe we need to create more ways in which a Hurricane can dismantle us?. Bad idea no matter how you dress it up.

    Dredging the North Sound – Nope nope nope.

    CHEC Cruise Bearthing – Too many things being thrown in. It will look nice but it will serve Cayman no purpose. 70% of the passengers or more may never see the Cayman Islands per say. I believe we need to take a long hard look at what GLF had on the table and combine that with research. If CHEC wants Casinos and we are going to look at that as part of the package then research on this needs to be done to see how this will change the landscape of the deal.

    Cohen and Cohen – Really. How many people does it take to make you understand YOU ARE CLUELESS AT FINANCE!!!!.

    I believe people need to keep open minds but also on teh same hand be devils advocates.

    • Anonymous says:

      I believe that you are quite out of touch on most of these matters or simply put, creating political mischief. Most of topics on your against items were proposals by private intities and not government projects. Maybe as a public we need to listen more often and open our mouths less.

      “THE GOOD BOOK” says – it is not what goes in a mans mouth which defilith him, but what comes out.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Who was it that said something to the effect that if you tell a big enough lie often enough people will begin to believe it?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Prime Minister for all the good work you did for the country last year

  18. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone really pay attention to these things anymore?  It is very easy to only focus on the successes. but people have more intelligence than that.  We the people recognise ignorance, stupidity and selfishness too.  Now if a government has more successes than failures then the people might support them.  We expect failure, but not of the magnitude of this man.  I am quite disappointed at modern journalism.

    If an event takes place, a press release is written to the effect of that it was 'a great success' and it is published.  Or at least that is how it appears.  No press release is going to say it was a dismal failure, but that is where I expect journalism to step in.  I get tired of the pictures in the papers of cheques being handed out to charities or others.  When one gives to charity, but expects favourable exposure is it really charity?

    When this leader says he is succesful where then is the journalistic viewpoint to establish whether opinion is being stated as fact? 

    I have stopped reading the 'islands favourite newspaper'  (another false claim) and like CNS because at least it invokes people to state their own opinion.  Some of it is hateful, some is garbage, but that it what is real, and what is representative.

    • Anonymous says:

      the standard of journalism here is abysmal…… anywhere else in the world the pathetic performance of the government here would be not be tolerated by the press….

  19. Anonymous says:

    It seems to me that these projects are proceeding in spite of Mac, not because of him.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Yes great job.  Unemployment higher than ever.  More poverty than ever before.  Businesses going out of business left right and centre and /or leaving the Island in droves.  

  21. Anonymous says:

    When i see it i will believe it.

     

  22. Q says:

    The only thing that is "unprecedented in the region", Mr Bush, is that you are still the leader of this country despite your dismal track record!

  23. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva, stop talking about these projects and get them done..I don't know how our economy is going to be revived if we just constantly battle amongst ourselves and nothing gets done. Alden is right, businesses are closing left and right and people need work. It's time for action not words!

     

     

  24. SKEPTICAL says:

    Like the Emperor of fable, he still thinks he is wearing a new suit of clothes. And like many other ineffectual political leaders before him, he relies on self serving “broad brush” statements with nothing concrete to support them. If he appeared on Lord Sugar’s “Young Apprentice” program, he would be out of the door before he finished telling them his name. Where are the figures for new jobs created, let alone those for lost jobs. What new government revenue has ACTUALLY been created from all of his specious proposals and MOU’s. Has he any comments on the fact that in the Jubilee Year it is interesting to note that virtually only Cayman and Turks & Caicos, as Overseas Territories, will not have a “Royal” visitor – they are even going to Montserrat, half of which is uninhabitable. On the subject of T & C, I hope he has noticed the proposal by the UK management team to reduce the Civil Service by 650+ – things to come perhaps. His disconnect with reality is frankly frightening.

  25. Wiggy says:

    Way to go Mr. Bush! You are the man! Don't listen to the nay-sayers!

    You are a superb leader and the Caymanian people will eventually all be singing your praises and choking on the words they spew today.

    Woo Hoo McKeeva!

  26. Absurdistani says:

    Yes, great progress. Obviously, we just can’t see it. And there are WMD in Iraq too.

    Mac, please be quiet and quit. You are nothing more than a “village emperorwith no clothes”. The era of your style of politics is over.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Spending and losing money is not progress. Your bank account might have progressed but thats about it!!!

  28. U Hurd Wright says:

    Hahahahahahaha! That Mckewa is one funny dude! "Progress in 2011"? Hahahaha, he's so funny!

  29. Anonymous says:

     

    Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes. You all elected him to steer this ship, leave him to do so and if you think he's not doing a good job, then get someone else next election and stop criticize; leave the man to do his job. There is too many resentment and you all need to get rid of it.

  30. so Anonymous says:

    Its good to be the King.  Bush has never had it soooooo good.  The people have never had it soooo bad.  Guess they are not tired of it yet though.  Thanks Mr. Bush for sharing how things are for you.  You really need to work on your listening skills.

  31. Knot S Smart says:

    If 2012 is anything like 2011 then another 30 percent of the businesses here will suffer financial collapse.

  32. Anonymous says:

    the foolishness never stops from mckeeva…..

    his message has been the same for the last 2 and half years….. with little or nothing achieved….

    • Anonymous says:

      But with the election so come, look for miracles (and more pie in the sky) from the Premier.  That is to say:  DO ENOUGH TO GET RE-ELECTED.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Delusional.