Wednesday to be budget day

| 22/06/2012

_DSC7855-web_0.jpg(CNS): Although there is still no confirmation that the UK has approved the Cayman government’s borrowing requirement to balance this year’s budget, Premier McKeeva Bush has settled on Wednesday as budget day, but it may only be for an emergency request for cash to keep government afloat. Although the governor has officially proclaimed the start of the new legislative budget session and the speaker has told members of the country’s parliament that the State Opening and Budget Meeting will start at 10am on 27 June, Bush may still not be in a position to deliver his full budget unless he receives approval from the UK.

The governor will be able to deliver the annual Throne Speech and Bush may even make his budget address in his role as finance minister, as he did at the eleventh hour last year, but it is unlikely that he will be able to present the full budget.

Instead, the premier may be forced to settle on passing legislation for emergency appropriations. This is because the UK may not yet give its approval for the $40 million plus estimated borrowing, as well as the overdraft facility that government will need to keep it in business during the slow revenue summer months.

Although the premier has persistently delivered his annual spending programme late since changing the Public Management and Finance Law to remove the original April deadline, this is the latest the premier and his ministers have left the presentation of this critical legislation.

If the UK approves the borrowing requirement, he will be presenting the 2012/13 government spending plans three days before the year end, making it virtually impossible for government to go through the full process of the debate, Finance Committee and legislative drafting in time for the appropriation law to be passed before the critical midnight deadline of 30 June.

As a result, even if the premier manages to get UK backing for increasing the country’s debt he will not have enough time to get the spending plans into law before the deadline, leaving government without access to funds unless legislation is enacted to allow a temporary appropriations to give time for Bush to negotiate with the UK or reduce his borrowing requirements and make more cuts to his government’s spending plans.

The premier, not least because he is also the minister of finance, has faced considerable criticism over this year’s budget fiasco, particularly as he was out of the country for a significant part of the last few weeks — a critical time for budget preparations.

Although Bush is pointing the finger at the UK, he was well aware that the Cayman budget should have been submitted to London three weeks before he planned to present the document to the Legislative Assembly. The timeline is spelled out in the Financial Framework Agreement that Bush signed with the OT minister, Henry Bellingham, last year.

In addition, Bush has spent the last twelve months indicating that the government could not incur any further debt but has, nevertheless, included more borrowing in this budget for the solar panel project, the juvenile remand centre and to finish the primary school renovations and the Clifton Hunter High School, which is set to open in September.

Category: Politics

Comments (21)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I will gladly pay you Wednesday for a humburger today!

  2. Fed up with McChavez says:

    The FCO should have monitored this mad dictator wannabe from the time he was put in office.  McChavez got involved in the First Cayman Bank.  70% of his own constituents placed their measly savings in that bank, and lost it all when the bank went belly-up. Remember the song "Good-bye West Bay Rogue".  How soon do they forget.  He stepped down and was again re-elected by his own cheated constituents.  Maybe they like what they get done to them.  Now, he is going to get back in again with the solar panels.  Have you seen some of the homes designated to receive solar panels?  Their roofs could not bear the weight.  In the meantime all the rest of us must suffer.  Isn'tit more than high time for the entire country to wake up?  The only thing his 10 million scheme is going to achieve is to make way for CUC to increase rates to the rest of us. Even his constituents in West Bay could not want to be stuck with higher  electricity bills.  Is this what you want to be happening to us for another 4 years?  I hope not.  We built our house in a development which put in restrictions about hanging clothes on  clotheslines that are visible from the street.  We built a "drying yard" which is hidden from view with a beautiful lattice enclosure covered with climbing vines and flowers.  Now if this is whatis going on, we want solar panels and our roof can bear the weight.

  3. Anonymous says:

    XXXX  He jaunts all over the world with his plethera of followers at our expenses and we, the Caymanian people are expected to take care of a family of 5 with two ill with debilitating diseases, on a measly 550.00 per month.  He is the reason for the speedy hike in our living expenses and now he is laughing in the face of good governance and the Mother Country.  The Caymanians see that he needs to be removed from power immediately, but our rulers do not.  If the UK wants to bring back British rule, they can do so now.  McKeeva Bush is a direct disgrace to the people of these islands and there are very few in his government that are not.  Get him out of office now, or come May 2013, there might only be communist Chinese left here to rule.

  4. Anonymous says:

    "I am no financial expert." — McKeeva Bush, Minister of Finance of the Cayman Islands Government.

     

    When will this guy admit that he cannot do the job and delegate to someone who can. Sigh.

  5. Chris Johnson says:

    Mr bush continually points his finger at either the UK or the opposition, notwithstanding they were out three years ago. This man is an unmitigated disaster. His cohorts cannot control him because they have no balls. Look at all the promises he has made and the results thereof. Results, nothing.
    He needs go to the Turks and seek how things aredone. They produce quarterly financial statements, compare them with the budget and address the variances. Their Government does not spring surprises like donating the odd ten million or so to churches which is not in the budget. Moreover they do not have to address claims for breach of contract on the port and schools.
    Cayman brags about the monitoring of it’s offshore industry and closely keeps a handle on the banking industry, thanks to the good folks at CIMA, yet it has no clue how to prepare and monitor a budget. The fault clearly lies with the Minister of Finance and all Tings whose experience at First Cayman Bank did not help the cause.
    I fear things will get worse until this Government seeks refuge on the new Cayman Airways route to Panama where they can learn from one Mr Norieaga.

    • SKEPTICAL says:

      The budget crisis and all our other issues are the consequence of Bush’s arrogance. An arrogance born of ignorance, academic and social, and his knowledge that with his.team of “Yes ” boys in the LA there could never be any effective opposition to whatever he wanted to do. Unless London feels justified in repeating the Turks & Caicos process, it seems very unlikely that anything will actually change, despite all the evidence that Cayman, economically has perhaps already gone over the cliff. If this was ” Cayman Limited “, I suspect that the directors, already aware that the company is illiquid, in conjunction with the auditors, should be conducting a ” solvency ” exercise.

  6. Anonymous says:

    shambles……

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is not a surprise, it is one of the weirdest Budget process I've ever seen, usually we have to meet with the Budget Unit and go over our budget line by line before recommendations are made to the Ministers. This year, Ken Jefferson and the Ministers called in the Civil servants and tried to do the process themselves, most of the meetings were spent with the Ministers chatting about other matters or on their phones, hours and days were wasted and nothing tangible was achieved. Then we were all told to go and cut a certain percentage which many people couldn't do because all of our situations in our Departments are different, it was bound to fail from the beginning.

  8. Anonanus says:

    Mac couldn’t budget his way out of a wet paper bag.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Blame the PPM it's Alden & Kurt's fault. What have you been doing the last 3 years Mr. Premier?  The money you spent alone on travelling the PPM didn't spend in the 4 years they were our government. There is no one to blame but the UDP government. Three years was long enough for you to partly fix the damage your party claims the PPM did if and I say if you had been smart enough. You are the government now and you must take responsibility for this fiasco. It's a shame for this to happen, and I hope this will be a lesson well learned for the next government, and I pray to God it's not UDP.

    • Construction says:

      20:17  I am wondering do you people see how the Premier is ignoring you all.  Why dont you all hush up for a change.   Blablablablabla.  For Christ sake please hush one minute.  You all cannot get tired of complaining.

      • Anonymous says:

        Well look who can't get tired of complaining. You spelled wandering wrong. and dont should have one of these ' in it. And we're not bothering Christ at all. But guess WHO is?

        • Hellooooooo says:

          I believe he left those things for you to do,  Cross those T's and dot those I's and correct all the wrong spelling or please go home and cook and clean your house.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Is it just me, or does anyone else think that the PPM's "overspending" was the best thing that ever happened to us?

     

    Can you imagine what McKeeva's "re-election budget" would look like if it didn't have to be approved by the FCO? He spent $10 million from his "Nation Building Fund" that was approved by the FCO on churches and friends. He is now asking the FCO for $15 million for solar panels for friends and family. Good Lord Blencathra, I've never been so happy to know that violating PMFL laws would actually save our @ss.

  11. Joe B says:

    I belive this qualifies as 

    fiscal irresponsibility!

    • Anonymous says:

      Am responsible man, a collects two pensions ery mont ya na. How much more responsible y want?