Budget not balanced

| 14/06/2012

2+25 (265x300).jpg(CNS): Despite being only two weeks away from the end of the financial year, the government is struggling to balance the budget and may face a shut-down from midnight on 30 June unless it enacts some form of emergency legislation to enable it to pay bills. Government’s earning and spending plans should go to the UK three weeks before they are presented to the public and the Legislative Assembly. However, the 2012/13 budget has not yet gone to FCO officials, and despite claims by the premier that he will deliver the budget next week, sources tell CNS this will not be possible as the UK is unlikely to approve the current financial projections.

According to the three year plan, which McKeeva Bush signed with the UK in 2010 in order to gain approval for borrowing after the government fell afoul of the public finance law, it was forecast to have reached a surplus this year of $60 million. Instead, the Cayman government is facing yet another deficit of significant proportions. Bush, in his capacity as finance minister, has spoken about the need to cut $130 million from the first budget requests submitted by government departments.

As this financial year ends it is estimated that government is facing a deficit of over $40 million, despite having predicted a surplus when the budget was presented in June last year. Now the UDP administration is facing the prospect of significant cuts to public spending as it moves into its last fiscal year before a general election.

It is not year clear how large a deficit Bush intends to put to the UK but sources have confirmed that the budget does not balance.

With the year-end deadline just two weeks away, there is not enough time for government to gain approval from the UK and pass the appropriations law. According to the Financial Framework Agreement signed by Bush and the OT minister last year, the FCO must see the Cayman government’s budget at least three weeks before the minister of finance is due to present it to the country. With the UK minister, Henry Bellingham, now travelling overseas and the likelihood of the budget being rejected by the FCO technocrats, Bush could be facing a serious fiscal crisis.

Even when London is finally satisfied, government still needs time to present the approved budget documents for debate in the Legislative Assembly and the public arena, allow Finance Committee to examine the proposed spending plans, make necessary amendments to the bill and then pass the appropriations law — all before midnight on 30 June. If that does not happen, government will have no legal authority to spend any money, pay salaries or meet any financial obligations. As a result, it will need to pass new or change existing laws relating to financial management to enable government to appropriate funds to keep the public sector going.

The member for North Side told CNS that this was an appalling state of affairs for the country and was down to the incompetence of the government, as he made the point that the most important thing the elected government must do every year, if it does nothing else at all, is put together the budget.

“This is an unbelievable way to run a country that claims to be the fifth largest financial services centre in the world,” Ezzard Miller said. “A little less travelling and a little more at home time for the finance minister may have helped. After all, he is the one who must present the budget to the public and the LA but that is hard to do from Honduras, Panama or London,” the independent member said as he pointed to the extensive travelling the premier has undertaken over the last few weeks when the budget should have been his priority.

Miller said he believed that because of theway Bush runs the government nothing gets done without his OK, so the civil servants who have been trying to pull government’s spending plans together have been stalled in his absence.

“As minister of finance he should realise the budget requires a lot more from him than a couple of days to just sign off,” Miller told CNS. He said he expected civil servants would be blamed for the difficulties ahead when it should be squarely placed at the feet of the premier.

Miller explained that there is no legislation at present that can allow government to spend money if it does not pass the appropriations law before the year end during an existing term of office. He said that while provision exists for a new government to appropriate a three month spending plan in the wake of an election based solely on the previous year, this does not extend to an existing administration.

“Government will need to pass a law or amend the PMFL. We know this administration has had no problem amending laws to suit it but it will still need some legislation otherwise it will not have the legal authority to spend a signal dime come midnight June 30th,” the independent member warned.

Miller said he understood that the budget was still, at the eleventh hour, a complete disaster, having gone before Cabinet on Tuesday, but government had little chance of gaining approval from the FCO. This, he said, meant that there was probably still weeks of work to do to try and balance the books, placing government in an untenable position and making a mockery of claims by the UDP administration of success with the management of public finances.

See original three year plan proposed by the UDP in 2010 and agreed with the FCO as a way forward to address public finances here.

Category: Politics

Comments (68)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    "Bush, in his capacity as finance minister, has spoken about the need to cut $130 million from the first budget requests submitted by government departments."

     

    The budget items are created by the politicians who then tell the civil service to put a plan and budget together. The civil service are here to carry out the wishes, directives and policies of the elected government.

     

    So where does Bush get off saying that he had to cut 130M from the budget "requests" submitted by the civil service? The budget "requests" are things that the elected government asked for!!! Bush is only cutting his own government's budget requests.

     

    Do not try to blame this budget crisis on the civil service!

    • Anonymous says:

      09;40

      Hog wash, it is the public servants that ask for certain amount of money to run each department.

      They each put in a request for certain amount, but if the money isn't there, then the elected governmnet can't come up with whats not in the treasury…simple matematics 1 from 0, leaves nothing.

      i.g. the police department asked for 40 million to opperate the force….. there  is only 30 million in the pot…

      Now you all can blame Bush as much as you want, but  he is only trying to balance the budget so to keep you all idiots from falling on your ass!

           

  2. Knot S Smart says:

    Is it true that our proposed Budget caused a major uproar in the FCO office?

    And that they were rolling up on the floor trying to control their laughter?

  3. Ted L. Nancy says:

    The FCO must be aware by now the Mac’s 3 year plan is far from working as planned.

  4. cow itch (so helpful) says:

    cns, according to mi calculations, i strongly believe 2+2 equals 4

  5. Thunder Storm says:

    If the govt budget isnt balanced, I gess it would be fair to say that our govt is unbalanced

     

     

    • BORN FREE says:

      "Spit in the sky it will fall in your eye"! If this wasn't so sad & hurtful it would be funny. The UDP simply do not know what to do, except blame the PPM, but as we all know things are far worse now than ever & ALL the blame belongs to the UDP government, they have destroyed our country.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wrong, the blame stops with ALL Caymanians for allowing this wholesale abuse of public funds. It is a cultural trait that you need to get a handle on quickly before you start seeing your friends and family arrested for corruption or abuse of power.

  6. Thunder Storm says:

    Can someone tell me where I can find the same "money tree" that this govt has found!!

     

     

  7. Anonymous says:

    The worry is that this level of incompetence, financial mismangement, political interference, cronyism, ignorance of proper political process, and utter contempt shown by the premier towards Mr. Taylor and the FCO is an invitation for the UK to intervene. Everyone thinks this could never happen in Cayman.  Don't you believe it.  The UK is winding up in TCI and comments made by William Hague clearly indicate that the nonsense taking place in Cayman will not be tolerated.

  8. Ted L. Nancy says:

    Make that an additional 20 million short once Tom Jones has his day in court.

  9. Anonymous says:

    sounds to me like the premier better put together something for  the first of Jan if theres  know money to pay the civil servants.

  10. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    Reminds me of the joke.

    "I DON'T WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL!!! "

    "Why not??"

    "The students don't like me!! The teachers don't like me!! The custodian doesn't like me!! The school bus driver doesn't like me!!"

    "But you have to dear. You're the Principal."

    Whether you like it or not Premier Bush you're the Finance Minister.

     

  11. SKEPTICAL says:

    Perhaps Civil Servants should be asking their managers/department heads right now, what contingency plans are in place to pay their salaries after 1 July, in the event that the budget issue is not resolved in time, and Government is no longer authorized to make ANY payments.
    People are talking about Government being forced to amend existing/introduce new, legislation, to enable them to continue functioning if they do not have a budget approved by the FCO/LA – would they really be able to so easily sidestep the FCO constraints on Fiscal Management – I would find that hard to believe. I reckon the FCO may shortly be asking Bush for the key to the Cash Box.

  12. Kadafe says:

    EPIC fail!!! Lol 🙂 lets see u smart talk and bully yourself out of this one Mr. Minister of finance!! Heres the attention that you seek!! Dont forget the world is watching!! 🙂

  13. Anonymous says:

    Mac vows 3 months to success

    Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Island headline news(CNS): During a television address last week the country’s premier said he was putting forward “specific measures” to address the country’s declining economic fortunes. McKeeva Bush told the public that he was confident that within 90 days of the TV broadcast (16 September) Cayman would be back on the path to success.

     

    ….YEAH RIGHT!!!!!

     

    • Anonymous says:

      My guess is that you are not Elio. Political party first. Counry second, if anything is left over.

       

       

      • R.U. Kidden says:

        That's not quite right.  For ALL politicians, it's ME first, party second….maybe country third.  Citizens are never on this list……. unless it's a handout in exchange for a vote! 

    • Anonymous says:

      That's what Mac has been saying since the elections three years ago. It'll certainly never happen the way he's been throwing money out the window and taxing our backsides off to do so.

  14. Democracy Now says:

    The lesson here is that Mr. Bush was only qualified to represent one constituency – West Bay. He is a small time politician who has now found himself waaaay over his head as he merely postures at being premier add to that he is also not qualified to be one and only gained that position by default. In addition, he is also as is obvious not qualified to be financial secretary. A position he appointed himself to (see by default). It is all very well to be aware of this, as most people are by now but it can not be undone. Once this disaster unfolds as it surely will and assuming Cayman survives his tenure, in the future no one should be allowed to gain these positions purely by mistake. In the future people running for political office should in the very least have to show evidence of their qualifications to hold various government offices. It works the same way in the private sector, you need to show qualifications. But for some reason known only to themselves politics in general and politicians specifically are excluded from these requirements. That is more than evident by this latest budget failure. We can no longer let fast talking uneducated bozos run our business. Because in the end it is our business. And we pay the bills.

    • Anonymous says:

      "The lesson here is that Mr. Bush was only qualified to represent one constituency – West Bay. He is a small time politician who has now found himself waaaay over his head as he merely postures at being premier"

      NOOOO I don't think that that is the lesson here.
      DESPITE all the troubles Mr. Bush has found himself in, he's only cleaning up PPM's mess.
      That's what I don't get with some of you people…. When has PPM become innocent little kitten's?

      HELLO REMEMBER IT WAS PPM THAT PUT US ON THE GRAY LIST FOR BANKING IN ONLY 4 YEARS.. and who rescued us?
      McKEEVA BUSH.
      Thank you very very very much!

      Now if you all DON'T want to go back down that same black hole (which I know some of you idiots will vote for PPM anyway despite there lies and brainwashing) you will think twice before putting a tick beside certain names.
      and btw, not a udp or ppm supporter, – A Young Caymanian.
       

      • datisme says:

        You call this a rescue?  Really?  Does the term out of the frying pan in to the fire mean anything to you.  Bush is making the PPM look GOOD.   But they were just incompetent.

      • Anonymous says:

        LOL. Bush has made worse any mess the PPM created. As for the OECD grey list Bush did not sign a single TIEA during his tenure as LOGB 2001-2005. The PPM had signed the majority of TIEA’s required and the UDP just completed the process. There was no rescue.

        Only a UDP drone could write such nonsense. It’s not that the PPM are wonderful, it is that Bush and the UDP are even worse.

        BTW if you put a tick beside certain names you will spoil your ballot but obviously that would be a good thing.

      • jsftbhaedrg says:

        Last time i checked we are in the red, thats means that Mac has not done any better than the PPM, in fact he has made the whole situation worse.

        Did you even read the article?

        I dont quite understand how Mac has saved anyone so perhaps you could elaborate on what exactly he and his party have accomplished whilst serviing the country?

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh dear god, this is the future speaking. What chance poor Cayman.

      • So Said So Done says:

        You should have signed the above blog:  A Young Caymanian "IDIOT" who aspires to be a Great "IDIOT" like the world's "BIGGEST IDIOT"

      • Bling man says:

        Young Caymanian,

        You na have to worry bout brainwashing.  You na have one.

      • Anonymous says:

        LOL. Bush has made worse any mess the PPM created. As for the OECD grey list Bush did not sign a single TIEA during his tenure as LOGB 2001-2005. The PPM had signed the majority of TIEA’s required and the UDP just completed the process. There was no rescue.

        Only a UDP drone could write such nonsense. It’s not that the PPM are wonderful, it is that Bush and the UDP are even worse.

        BTW if you put a tick beside certain names you will spoil your ballot but obviously that would be a good thing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bush wasn't even a good gardener!

  15. deep diver says:

    The Minister of Finance should be sacked immediately!

    The Premiere needs to see to this termination as a matter of priority.

    What say you ?

    • Dred says:

      Keep in mind the 18Mil turning into 81Mil during last term of PPM.

      The people who are providing the numbers are OBLIVIOUS to REALITY.

    • Anonymous says:

      The problem we are having is not a UDP / PPM issue. Its a cultural problem. A culture that, on the whole, has poor education levels, believe in nepotism and entitlement and consistent with that, don't accept, or even understand, accountability. To progress (or get back to where we once were) we are going to have to earn it this time around. Previously the Bahamas handed the business to us. We must start NOW by demanding that persons of ability and integrity are the only ones elected. 

       

       

       

       

      • The Thinker says:

        Unfortunately, you are correct!  Don't hold your breath waiting for the turnaround.

    • Anonymous says:

      Remind me of his qualifications and the reasons he got hired in the first place?

    • South Sounder says:

      Don’t worry, it’s all about to happen courtesy of the FCO
      He’s digging himself in so deep, that 30 tons of ilegal dynamite won’t get him out….

      What this man has singlehandedly masterminded, could be interpreted as treason in some countries….

    • Anonymous says:

      A dunno. Am no financial expert.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The chickens are coming home to roost. Greedy and incompetent men can (AND WILL) screw up any country. The question is why the good Caymanians allow this to happen? Where are you?

    • Anonymous says:

      My guess is the thumbs down people want Expats to step up and run the country. Not a bad idea. (I can hear the xenophobes – "They just want to take this place over." ) Of course, the xenophobes have no sense of history / reality that we rent the house / island we live in. The true owner of this house / island is the U.K. All they ask is that we keep our rented house clean. Is that too much for our landlord to ask? After all, they have been very kind to us over the years. In fact, they played a large part in our prosperity. Who do you think set us off on the right fincial footing, able seamen who were travelling the world, or the likes of Lord John Maples, recently praised by the British Prime Minister?

       

      • Anonymous says:

        So anyone who doesn’t think that the country should simply be handed over to expats to run is a xenophobe? LOL. You show me one country in the world where that would be entertained even for one second.

        We are not mere tenants of the UK. We have the right to self determination and can send the UK packing anytime we like. Of course that old not be a good idea given the state the country is in.

    • Like It Is says:

      Can we tax these homecoming chickens?  Might be a new revenue source.

  17. Anonymous says:

    The overspending of the politicians with the bloated civil service are pushing the country toward direct taxation and what a shock that will be to the local Caymanians. A country where you can go to prison for not paying your taxes.

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean you can go to prison for things you don't do? That's just not fair. I guess I'll have to find someone else to blame. 

    • Anonymous says:

      BUT…. You can always get out to see yer gal

  18. Anonymous says:

    Who you ganna blame Mac……. MacBusters???!! 

     

  19. Anonymous says:

    A Prediction –

    El Supremo will announce a budget surplus and that he has decided to use the surplus to build a statue to himself in Hero's Square – all part of nation building.

    • Anonymous says:

      No chance, Heroes Square implies there is more than one. Big Mac with Clean Hands and Pure Heart will be the only (gold plated?) statue in the Christian Heritage Park.

      • Anonymous says:

        How about a bronze statue with a symbolic golden heart and glass hands? 🙂

  20. Anonymous says:

    Cause – Politicians not competent

    Effect – Budget not balanced

  21. datisme says:

    Insanity:  fools who listen to fools and expect smart results again and again and again and again…………………………………

  22. Anonymous says:

    Short Term Financial Plan:

     

    Make up the numbers and put some spin on them (it's really easy to "find" 1.3 million). This has worked well in the past.

     

    Long Term Financial Plan:

     

    Independence; then the government can simply print money and pay its bills with cash (except the MLA salaries and pensions; they will be paid with USD).

     

    See, budgeting is really quite simple, McKeeva can do it while riding in a plane.

     

  23. Anonymous says:

    This government would struggle to tie their own shoes or zip up their pants.  Thank the Caymanian Christian god for velcro.

  24. Anonymous says:

    So, if i dont get my paycheck in july, i should be able to go to mckeeva house and he should pay me my monthly salary because it would be his fault right?

     

    My mortgage bank not gonna have any pity on me when i show up to them "wid cap in hand" asking for mercy if i dont get paid in july, so i need to know who should be paying me.

  25. Anonymous says:

    A complete disaster – much like the rest of Bush's term as Premier.  He certainly has not lived up to the name of his office. 

     

  26. Anonymous says:

    I can't see how the UK can sign off on the budget when there is state sanctioned stealing from public accounts, rampant corruption and a total absence of the normal checks and balances.

  27. Anonymous says:

    So where did they just "find" 1.3 million for reception classes??? 

    • Anonymous says:

      It miraculously reappeared from the tens of millions of our money they've lost and thrown away in the past three years of course, where else could they possibly "find" it.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Prizes for fiction writing are awarded annually in the UK. I wonder if this year's award will go to our Beloved Leader and his crew?

  29. Anonymous says:

    Wait, am I missing something…how is this possible when 1.3 million was FOUND for a pre school…come on guys someone needs to be held accountable for something don't you think???

    • datisme says:

      Accountability is against  the law here.  Not to strange that it is the only law that anyone is held accountable for.

    • Mac'n'Cheezies says:

      The key in that story was a preschool IN WEST BAY!!!  The other distrcits were thrown in as an afterthought – bet WB gets the most money…