UK asks for more on budget

| 21/06/2012

(CNS): The UK has asked the Cayman Islands Government for more information on the budget that was submitted to the UK last week. Sources tell CNS that the FCO has not been given the necessary details on the CIG’s spending plans to offer its approval. In light of the request, the premier’s hopes of delivering the budget on Friday have been dashed and the chances of the budget making it to the floor of the Legislative Assembly and through Finance Committee before the end of the month have almost slipped away. The UK is unlikely to approve the premier’s request to add to the national debt unless it can see some evidence of cuts and real efforts to properly balance the public finances.

With public spending on the increase and a budget that does not balance once capital expenditure is included, UK approval for the borrowing is unlikely to be forthcoming. If the UK does not approve the borrowing, which is believed to be more than $40 million, the premier will have to either make cuts or go without the extra funding, which he says is needed to complete the schools and the remand centre as well as launch his solar panel project.

Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin said Wednesday that he was increasingly concerned about the situation over yet another budget fiasco and Finance Minister McKeeva Bush’s inability to balance the books. He pointed out that this was the UDP’s third budget to be presented late and that the premier could no longer point the finger at the previous administration.

“To say it is worrying is an understatement. The budget is running contrary to the rhetoric from government, contrary to the three year plan he agreed to and contrary to the financial framework agreement he signed. I believe we are in a really bad situation. He can no longer blame the PPM for this. Deficits aren’t carried forward; these are his budgets,” McLaughlin added.

He described the tardiness of yet another budget as inexcusable and questioned how the premier, as minister of finance, believed he could deal with the most important thing government has to do while he was partying in London and Panama.

Anticipating many problems with the budget, McLaughlin said the process usually takes three weeks and that there was now no way the budget could go through the proper scrutiny in time for the year end. He said Bush would be forced to invoke emergency legislation to appropriate a temporary budget so government could function.

As part of the CIG’s agreement with the FCO all borrowing must be approved by London and the financial framework agreement (FFA) also requires a balanced budget, all of which must be presented to London three weeks before the Throne Speech. Bush should have sent the spending plans to the UK several weeks ago in order to be certain of making the financial year-end deadline; however, he did not forward his plans to the FCO until the end of last week.

With Bush presenting spending plans that do not include capital expenditures in operating expenses, the budget is not, despite his claims, in surplus. In addition, the borrowing requirement is in sharp contrast to Bush’s own claims that the government would do no more borrowing. The OT minister is unlikely to agree to the borrowing unless he sees evidence of genuine cuts in public spending.

See related story:

Borrowing to be budget jam

Category: Politics

Comments (31)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Once again, the Premier treats the UK with utter contempt.  Due you think his provocations have an ulterior political motive?

  2. Anonymous says:

    The UK could very well decide to take all the toys away & remove the bad children from the sand box. Government has had its fair warning about balancing the budget & to cut spending. If they aren't going to do it, UK could decide it is going to do it for them, after all they must be getting sick of the shenanigans that has gone on for much too long, between this past two governments that have held power. The choices are to have a non-balanced budget & be pushed to independance ( if Cayman wants it to stay this way) or to stay a B.O.T with Mr. Bellingham's crew running the country with some UK imposed  budget balancing initiatives ie: the imposition of tax of some form, civil service cuts, the list is very long to choose from

  3. Knot S Smart says:

    OMG.  Hope he remembered to include the intellectual property…

    I will agree to the solar panel vote buying scheme if we can trade our intellectual property for the solar panels…

  4. The Spin Cycle says:

    I don't believe this!! 1ST they want the budget on time…THEN they want it to balance slightly…THEN they want details!!!  Doesn't the UK realize things is done differently in de islands? Haven't they ever heard of "soon come"??? The budget is ON IT''S WAY. And if they weren't in such a hurry it could have had details also. I'm sure this demand has upset the Premier and he will not be told what to do. Or… when to do it. Now they're just going to have to wait! 

    Anyway..he's off island in a meeting with the Solar Panel.

  5. Anonymous says:

    12:04

    You are spot on, they, PPM also put millions of

    $'s into the CS pension fund.

    The UDP are putting in nothing.

  6. Sum Bodi Hep Mi says:

    Our Political Leadership can aptly be described by one little word, "INEPTiTUDE". Which derives from the word "INEPT" meaning  all of the  the following!

    INCOMPETENT, UNSKILLFUL, INEXPERT, AMATEURISH, CLUMSY, AWKWARD, MALADROIT, BUNGLING, BLUNDERING, UNPRODUCTIVE, UNSUCCESSFUL and  INEFFECTUAL.

     

    So whenever you are looking for a word to describe these "BUFFOONS" 

    Think "INEPT"

  7. Anonymous says:

    I take it the FCO has no understanding of how important a Nation Building Fund is to a country with a brilliant premier like we have.

  8. Anonymous says:

    You mean the UK didn't accept numbers written on the coconut (or was it on the back of a napkin from Vegas)?  Astonishing!

  9. Whodatis says:

    Whereas CIG (both UDP and PPM) has made some tremendous blunders in respect to over-spending (and failure to save) over the recent years – in reality, the Cayman Islands is in no way in crisis-mode.

    It only appears that way due to the restrictions placed on the country by the UK.

    Neither the USA, UK or any other western nation has been restricted in such a manner at such a difficult point in history as the Cayman Islands. (Instead, they are busy fudging figures and creating "new" money out of thin air (Federal Reserve / central banks etc.).

    The pillars of our economy remain vibrant and lucrative – in spite of the ongoing global (double-dip) recession. Furthermore, it is plain to see that there is no lack in interest by way of foreign investment.

    There is absolutely no reason to believe that we will not be back in the black within a few short years. (Granted, this is subject to the final decision(s) in regards to a few major proposals.)

    Furthermore, although it is fundamentally a useful exercise – I personally find it difficult to respect the criticism and guidance of a country (UK) that;

    • cannot say the same for their economy
    • reserves and utilizes the "power" to simply "print" new money (thus creating a false sense of hope for its population)
    • plays "tag" with the actualfigures as they relate to the economy
    • has created a deficit beyond the stratosphere, and has little chance of ever pulling its economy back into the black (e.g. staggering and ever-increasing population dependency on govt. / high unemployment / out-source of trade, agriculture and manufacturing / globalisation / rise of the BRIC nations etc.)

    In all truth, the UK and virtually every other "great" western nation, would be relieved to be facing the over-hyped "crisis" as we are alleged to be today.

    * Nevertheless, when all is said and done, our past and current "leaders" are ultimately responsible for the position in which we find ourselves today – no external party can be blamed in this regard. That being said, it must be noted that it is during what is clearly now the greatest global economic crisis in modern times the Cayman Islands finds itself "in the red" for the first time.

    ** I am deeply opposed to either of the current heads of our political parties to be at the controls come next general election. We are in desperate need of a "reset" button as there is far too much old, bad blood in our local politics today! This creates too much of a distraction and only serves to slow down our progress as a nation.

    *** The greatest risk we face today is that of the UK flexing whatever is left of its global / colonial power and deciding to bring down the hammer on our heads. Clearly, they possess the power to do so however, this begs the questions … "What would have truly been achieved, and would they be proud of such an "accomplishment"?"

    **** Therefore, in conclusion I would like to reiterate to my fellow Caymanians that, in reality, there is no actual economic crisis. We are simply dealing with a temperamental and aging mother that is clearly going through menopause.

    (Commence the personal attacks and ad hominens … as per usual.)

    🙂

  10. Anonymous says:

    If the public purse is empty how  can giving people free solar panels be justified? If Cayman was a company that had run out of money and couldn't pay its bills, and then it started borrowing to pay for free perks for shareholders its Directors would be banged up in jail.

  11. Anonymous says:

    "real efforts to properly balance the public finances."  Get real!  That was his best effort.  Plan on disappointment.

    • Round about says:

      It is so alarming how the UK is just showing so much interesi in the Cayman Islands these days.  Soon want to tell us what color we paint our homes  along with how much money we spend on food.

      I was around back then, and England did not do one thing for these Islands, beside let the natives almost starve to death.  Why the big interest now.  You think they really like us?  Please?

    • Anonymous says:

      oh boy here we go again, we are more screwed then we were before!!!

       

      I can't understand though, this is a man that is running our country that has three investigations against him, do you really think the UK is going to listen to anything he has to say??? Come on RCIPS it has been over two years with one of the ongoing investigations, what are you waiting for???

    • Chancy the Gardener says:

      What do expect from an ex banker?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Mac

    You can FOOL some of the people, some of the time

    But you CANNOT FOOL all of the people, all of the time.

    Under PMFL you can fudge the books for a little while.

    But under PMFL you cannot fudge the books for long.

    Fictious voodoo economics will not work for long with PMFL.

    The UK is on to your voodoo economics with all of your tricks.

    The light are turned on – they see you and they know you and they do not like what they see.

    We are thankful that the UK has called – "Times up."

    Cousin Whelk

    • Anonymous says:

      who says he's fooling anyone?

    • Anonymous says:

      Anon 13:35

      Can you explain what you mean by Mac cannot fool all the people, all the time?

      You better pray to God we can get a balanced budget.

      Such stupid remarks…"the UK is on to your voodoo economics with all your tricks"

      Are you aware that the same UK, is  seeking 128 Billion pounds for their stimulus plan. I don't know why you all are so against the Premier! I said it before, it's not his budget, it is the Cayman Islands budget.

      The various public servants, department, calculate  what they need to opperate each department. Our Premier and the rest of cabinet sit with them and try to balance the requested funds with whats in the revenue. what the f@@@ is so hard to understand about that….you bunch of dim wits!

      It's like biting  off your nose, to spite your face. move on to something sensible! talk about positive things for your people.

       

  13. Anonymous says:

    Doesn't Bellingham know that if he asks for more (documentation) then McKeeva will ask for more (money)?

  14. Anonymous says:

    The UDP is still living in the past, when borrowing every single year was normal to keep the government going. It’s time someone in the UDP wakes-up and manage the budget properly, before we’re so deep in debt that only implementing new tax revenue streams are the only options.

    • Anonymous says:

      Its time to realize that you have all been fooled into thinking that your leadership had the brains to successfully run a small country.  Not even close.

  15. Plumbago says:

    I wish someone would advise the Premier that supplying solar panels to people who cannot afford to pay their light bill is rediculous.  How many panels is he planning on installing on each house to be able to generate enough electricity to make it worthwhile.  If these people are in the unfortunate position that they cannot pay  their electricity bills then how  are they going to be able to afford the batteries to hold th excess power as well as servicing over the years.  As a matter of fact I must ask  if their roofs can even hold up the panels.  I have a friend who has a large house and pool- he had 20 panels installed and to his disappointment the electricity generated can only service the pool.  He still has to use CUC for all his other needs including heating water.   I wish that someone who knows much more about solar heating and who would speak the truth would gell the Premier TO UNDERSTAND  that he is wasting our money again and it   is a real expensive way to garner votes.

    He and his Party (especially the Education Minister) should have to fund the finishing of the schools out of their own pockets.  The Education Minister went in there and had the schools demolished  so he could put his stamp on it and they ended up costing double the original estimates.  This UDP government has wasted so much money in the 3 years that they have been in and they are still trying toblame it all on the PPM Government.  When one consider what the Clifton Hunter High School would provide for these islands I have come to the conclusion that it was not nearly as expensive a price to pay as the UDPhas made it.  We would not only get a school building for children from 8-4  daily, but we would get adult education facility, Cordon Bleu Cooking  School to train students (young and not so young ) who has an interest in becoming world class chefs, who would be able to work in the hospitality industry. Recording Studio for young adults as well as older adults who has an interest in recording music, instead of having to go overseas to do that.  It would also serve as a huricane shelter when necessary.At least we can see the tangible things that the PPM spent money on, for example theMoter Vehicle & Licencing Department, The new government admin building, the roads that enables us to get to work before 10:00.  What can the UDP show us for our money.  They are a bumbling mess and the only thing they do is embarrassment, XXXX   PLEASE LET US THROW THEM OUT OF OFFICE ONCE AND FOR ALL.  ON THE OTHER HAND THOUGH, THEY ARE SELF DISTRUCTING!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Also ask…who will supply and install these panels, who is the local agent/contractor/what commissions will be paid to the agent/ and so on…and if you follow the money you'll find the pockets it ends up in.

    • Anonymous says:

      Plumbago uou should consider changing your name to cow itch as you sure are sending some stingers out there!

      i wonjder if we could make some revenue off our minister of finance by having him provide consultancy services to help Spain, Italy Greece etc with their budget problems.

  16. Anonymous says:

    It's not that the budget lacks details, it's that the CIG's spending is deliberately kept vague and murky so no-one can find out how much of it is wasted, spent on perks, misplaced or misappropriated.

  17. Truth says:

      Fools watching a fool fix the problem of being foolish.  Give a fool a fish and he will trade it for a ticket to Panama.  Teach a fool to fish and soon there will be no more fish.  This is Caymans path to the end.

  18. Anonymous says:

    More Bushonomics…no surprise as Bush is in no way qualified for any office of which he has responsibility!

    Thank goodness for the UK…as one can surely imagine how much worse the situation would be if "the premier" had ultimate power…or if there was no "burocratic harassment"…as he refers to any and all requirements of following proper process.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Don't worry. We will muddle through.

  20. Anonymous says:

    It is simply unfair to expect a person who is innumerate to know whether a budget is balanced or not, and it is equally unfair to expect a person verging on illiterate to know what balanced means.