Cash shuffle reduces deficit

| 14/03/2012

Shuffle.jpg(CNS): A combination of reshuffling money, a donation from Dart and an increase in expected revenue means that, despite increasing government spending by some $50 million, the government has reduced the anticipated deficit to about $7 million. The premier told Finance Committee on Tuesday that while there were new expenditures which came to light during the course of the year, some of the supplementary appropriations had been in the original budget, which he had wanted to present last June which the UK had refused. McKeeva Bush, in his role as chair of the committee, said government would be in a near “break even position” by the year end and the deficit was down to the statutory authorities.

Given the circumstances, Bush said, this was not bad, despite the fact that the original budget had forecast a small surplus, but he warned that government would need to keep a close eye on the public purse.

“These financial results will need constant and careful monitoring,” he said, adding that there would be close intervention between now and 30 June to ensure the position doesn’t get any worse. “We have reduced the figures to the lowest possible degree,” Bush told the committee. “The original request was much more but I couldn’t tolerate much at this time.”

Government has an overdraft facility of up to $25 million which it could use, he explained, as there would, of course, be no more borrowing. The government has now paid back some $26 million on its existing debt, Bush revealed, as he pointed to the fact that this was the first financial year for a long time where government had not taken on any new debt.

Explaining how government was managing to cover the increase in expenditures, he said that some $8 million was coming from the roads fund in anticipation of changes to the National Roads Authority as a result of an internal public sector review.

The move was queried by Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin, who said it was “acurious exercise” as it appeared to be an off-balance sheet sum. The premier denied this, stating that the cash was from duties and fees earmarked for the road fund but now it was being transferred back as the NRA was going to be changed into a regulatory authority and would not in the future be funding road projects and no longer need so much in the fund.

A significant part of the cash was for increases in spending on fighting crime, funds to complete the Clifton Hunter High School and money for overseas medical care for the indigent and uninsured. The premier also revealed that some of the costs which government was incurring during this financial year were ones which came as no surprise: from an increase in scholarships to the poor relief payments, the civil servants had said the money would be needed when the UK forced the budget cuts.

“The budget which I had wanted to announce the UK said we couldn’t have,” he said. “The UK came back and said 'no' three times.” He recalled how he was forced to deliver the budget address so late because of the UK having to approve his government’s spending and it wasn’t until more cuts were made that the foreign office officials gave the go-ahead.

“But the staff had said these are the needs and they are going to arise during the year and they would be needed,” the premier added, as he explained that although they were revised to meet the UK’s demands, the needs hadn’t gone away.

The opposition leader then asked the premier if he meant that the budget he had presented in June last year was “not realistic”, a comment Bush dismissed as he pressed on with the business of the committee.

Category: Politics

Comments (41)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Red, black or zero, the piper will be paid.

  2. Knot S Smart says:

    I have two companies. Company x has 1.5 million in cash and company y owes 3 million so their combined net debt is 1.5 million.

    I bet I can use my newly learned Mac Mathematics to make the total debt less than 1.5 million…

  3. Anonymous says:

    I was having difficulty tuning in to Austin and Gilbert this morning, when all of a sudden just by the CNB round-a-bout I picked up GOAB-FM loud and clear. Here is a brief bit of banter between DJ-Kenny-Jay and DJ-Macaroo before it went off the air:

    DJ-Macaroo: "Kenny-Jay, I'm looking at your budget and besides making my head hurt, it also made me hungy. Where is the line item for lunch?"

    DJ-Kenny-Jay: "Macaroo, times are hard and I have had to cut back on your lunches."

    DJ-Macaroo: "Kenny-Jay, I notice that you have way too much money in Accounts Payable. Transfer another $5 million of that to my Travel & Entertainment line item and have Challo round up my crew. It's time for another trip to…….

  4. dartanian says:

    The most shocking revelation made by the incompetent UDP Government during the Finance Committee held on Tuesday last was not this alarming increase in the cost of the two new schools, which are in fact six schools on two capuses but the proud announcement by the Premier that the cost of the improvements to spotts dock will be 6-8 million and not 3 million as previously announced. This is vintage Mac remember Royal Watler improvements was 8 million came in at 18 million, Turtle farm was 20 million came in at 60 million, Christian Heritage park was half a million now 1.5 million. This would suggest that the cruise piers in george Town now budgeted for 300 million, based on what we don't know, will cost 600 – 800 million although GLF was going to deliver it for 185 million. UDP economics = wedo economics = = WIIFM (whats in it for me) = voodo economics = disaster for Cayman.

    Dose the Caymanian public appreciate that we currently get 90 percent of all ships and passengers that use the western Caribbean area with no dock so the UDP is propossing to spend 300 – 600 dolars to get a portion of that 10 percent we do not currently receive.

    The Cruise ships will not stay in port any longer because we have built a dock their departure time is not related to Cayman passenger activity or passenger conveniences but to their preferred ETA at the next port most of which have more attractions than Cayman.

    Lets all pray this CHEC port does not get started before the next election and lets all vote to insure we elect a sensible, reasonable, educated and Cayman caring not investor craving Government.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wait a minute, they na paved my parking lot yet.

  6. Anonymous says:

    That is money going into somebody's pocket.  Who has a company to pave roads?  Also, McKeeva is talking about poor relief and talking about laying off workers at the same time.  There goes more money for poor relief.  JuJu must be upset about this road business.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Oh My  !

    Just because the NRA is going to regulate not build roads it doesn't mean that the money to build the roads is now free to be used elsewhere!

    The cash effect of robbing Peter to pay Paul doesn't change just because you change Peter's job description!


    Also – am I reading this right…

    McKeeva asked the UK to sign off on spending. The  UK said no so McKeeva gave them a budget without the spending in (which they duly agreed to) and then deliberately and knowlingly spent it anyway! 

    If that is what he is saying then he has taken brazen to a whole new level that I don't think even he has been credited with before!


  8. pensionless says:

    "The government has now paid back some $26 million on its existing debt, Bush revealed, as he pointed to the fact that this was the first financial year for a long time where government had not taken on any new debt"

    So how much has government paid into CIG penions this  financial year?

    If you don't pay your bills then you are taking on debt.

    My 9 year old can work that out.

    Follow up question.

    How much have you taken out of CIG pensions this financial year?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Funny how every time i turn around a 4 letter word keeps popping up – Dart.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mac : "Mike, I'm phoning about that $6m"

    Mike: "Yes"

    Mac: "Thanks for lunch by the way, it was scrummy"

    Mike : "Mia casa es tua casa"

    Mac: "Except for the convenient holding companies and the pesky receivers"

    Mike : "Tell me about it"

    Mac : "Can we get our $6m"

    Mike : "What are you going to give me for the $6m"

    Mac: "It is not really meant to work like that.  We gave you a lot when we didn't ask for the money straight away"

    Mike: "I am planning a luxury hotel somewhere, it will be finished sometime.  Can we wait until that is built before I pay"

    Mac : "Sounds lovely.  Does it have condos?"

    Mike : "Of course it does"

    Mac : "Let's talk about this over lunch."

    Mike : "Sure"

    Mac : "The Ritz again"

    Mike : "I am not in Cayman right now"

    Mac: "When are you coming back?"

    Mike : "What did you say, the line is crackig up"

    Mac : "When are you coming back?"

    Mike : "Sorry bad line, gotta go, byeee"

  11. Anonymous says:

    Memaw alwaize towld mey “McKeewa’s lak a bawx a chowcolates – u neva know what ya gonna geit”!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Does this mean that the 3.2% that was taken from the NRA employees along with the Civil Servants, will also be given back to them.

  13. Anonymous says:

    On behalf of McKeewa – Calm down ppl. While you're living in the past and dreaming about the future I'm going fishnin in the present.

    The ppl of these islands just do not realize the enornmity of the XXXX Mac does NOT give about Cayman. Wote his a$$ out!…… the man is seeing monopoly dollar signs.

    • Chris Johnson says:

      Congratulations to Macmisick for great creative accounting. It gets better and better. No doubt he learnt all when a director of First Cayman Bank. As the Minister of Finance he is a disgrace to my district of West Bay and the country as a whole. He and his cronies must go. The Ryan Debacle was the final straw. That is tax payers money he is playing with.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Cash Re-shuffle MASKS Deficit – Titles should be realistic

  15. Another Anon says:

    A "near breakeven position" (and I am assuming it is a negative number) is still a DEFICIT, Mr. Premier.

  16. EYE ON THE ISLAND says:

    We need our $6 million from Ryan. We are tired of shuffling, unprincipled and deceitful politicians.

    • Anonymous says:

      Get over it already.  

      Who made the deal with Ryan? Who got paid?  If your tired of unprincipled and deceitful politicians why do you insist on voting the same pathitic, uneducated,and incompetent group back in?  Its because they are still the best you got right?

  17. Naya Boy says:

    That is the problem right deh! Mckeeva & his Gov't has gone from everyday i am hustling when they had money$$$$ to everyday i am shuffling now that they have none. The problem is his his Deck of financial Cards is soon going run out and the House Casino AKA  FCO is going put a halt to the Big game and escort him out of the CI Gov"t Casino  and back to Las Camanas W/Bay. Big me up deh PPPM Ouch! wha bite you man!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Big Mac is returning to traditional politics; suspend all road works for your term in office and patch every pothole in the weeks leading up to elections.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I saw a bunch (about 6 or 7) guys with NRA vests chopping bush (little "b") along the side of the road by Triple-C yesterday and wondered what that was all about. Now that the NRA no longer have any money for road work, are they going to muscle in on Ellio's territory of road side clean up?

    • Anonymous says:

      They sure not running out of work in Cayman Brac, out of materials but not work.  Unfortunately, it was more important to pave parking lots than roads that hadn't been paved in years so they still haven't finished paving the most important roads, you know the ones where all the tourist accommodations are.

  20. SKEPTICAL says:

    Maybe I did not interpret correctly his comment about the $25 million overdraft facility he said they could use as they are not allowed any new loans, BUT – from personal experience, I have always found that banks expect you to repay overdrafts – just the same as loans. As for the NRA funds he is clawing back, whatever the future role or function of the NRA, SOMEBODY IS GOING TO HAVE TO PAY FOR MAINTENANCE AND IMPROVEMENT OF THE ROADS INFRASTRUCTURE.

    • Anonymous says:

      Surely all of the fees we pay to keep our cars on the roads (drivers license, inspection, car license/tax disc/whatever you want to call it) should all be going towards keeping the roads in a road worthy condition and not back into McBush's travel allowance.

      With that being said, does anyone else think that it is a sham that if you get your car inspected by an registered auto mechanic (i.e. GT Auto/ Arch auto/ Vampt) rather than at the Vehicle Licensing department, that the payment goes into governments purse string and not the mechanics – what did govt do to earn it?

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder whih other company in Cayman can maintain or repair roads.., hmmm…, let me see the Yellow Pages…, oh, here we go. I know Island Paving, but what is this new company here?

    • Knot S Smart says:

      Uh Oh. Now he will start selling our roads and we will have to pay a toll to drive on them…

      We need to get a 'barrel of monkeys' to manage our financial affairs.

      Wait. Who is managing our financial affairs at present?

    • Anonymous says:

      True, but it must be illegal to repave some roads such as the Strand road.  There's gotta be some explanation as to how that can be overlooked for a decade.  That is one chaotic strip of gravelly patchwork!  Good thing our Seven Mile tourists don't see that one…oh wait!  

  21. Anonymous says:

    More BS from the BS committee.

  22. so Anonymous says:

    "The pre;meir" said.

    And you know what that means.

  23. Anonymous says:

    more smoke and mirrors to hide the incredible level of incompetence…..

  24. Anonymous says:

    The CIG's accountant clearly earned his degree at the Mickey Mouse Club House. The easiest person's to fool are FOOLS!

  25. Anonymous says:

    "government has reduced the anticipated deficit to about $7 million"


    "the deficit was down to the statutory authorities'


    "he said that some $8 million was coming from the roads fund in anticipation of changes to the National Roads Authority as a result of an internal public sector review"


    "stating that the cash was from duties and fees earmarked for the road fund but now it was being transferred back as the NRA was going to be changed into a regulatory authority and would not in the future be funding road projects and no longer need so much in the fund"


    This is how you justify getting rid of NRA and its employees by blaming a deficit on them that the CIG actually created. They paint the picture that the NRA are costing the Govt too much so "changes" need to be made, which means ppl getting laid off, retired, fired, put out to pasture, etc.


    Who will do the road work that NRA employees would normally do and at such high quality?



    • Anonymous says:

      They will probably give the work to CHEC or Dart, who will be the only game in town soon, because they sure running all the other contractors out of business.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I'm sick of these hocus pocus numbers.  We want real accounting in the Cayman Islands Government

    • Anonymous says:

      Where in the world does a everyday person "DONATE MONEY" to the government to get them out of debt????? and for no gain whatsoever???? SURE… we go again….instead of the cayman islands it is going to be renamed Dart Islands and Cayman Airways on the tail of the plane instead of the turtle, instead of whatever is on it now, will be a face of DART!!! LOL

    • Anonymous says:

      Who could possibly be thumbing down a desire to have an accounting of government finances?  Are you wearing a shirt that says "We Hate Math"?


      2, 4, 6, 8, 2 plus 2 is bad.

  27. Anonymous says:

    A little surplus here, a deficit here, a cash donation here, a little cash reshuffling here….. and the story repeats over and over again.   As a country we never seem to know where we are with our finances, how we are doing and where we are headed.    It is like a guessing game.  No one, except maybe for the Auditor General, seems to have heard of the concept of putting necessary things in place – like proper accounting, proper budget forecasts, monitoring cashflow and spending in order to stay within budgets, cutting back and tightening belts, cutting out unncessary expenditure including expensive travel jaunts with no results to show for it, nation building spending, losing money because of lawsuits or questionable terminations of contracts, and so on and so forth.  The only thing that seems certain, is that this government does not know what it is doing.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Where is the Environmental Law and the status of the >$40mln earmarked for environmental  projects. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Not where they should be. Or will ever be.  Give it up.  Your telling those in power what is important to you.  Those in power are showing you that it is not important to them.   End of story.  End of enviroment.  Look at the never ending growth of Mt. trashmore.  Look at the effort to do something/anything about it.  Cayman as a whole has NO control over itself.  The best anyone can do is see where it is going and plan accordingly.

      • Anonymous says:

        True.  True.  McKeeva Bush has taken the Cayman Islands as his personal kingdom, to with whatever he wishes.  Knowing this, can there be any plan but to leave?


  29. Asbo Zaprudder says:

    And the Cayman Fiction Award 2012 goes to: McKeeva Bush for "Deficit Figure 2012". 

    This is the fourth time in a row Mr. Bush has won this award for announcing wildly improved deficit figures and blaming part of the deficit on other people or the UK.