FCO wants more budget cuts

| 23/06/2012

final-budget-cut (255x300).jpg(CNS):  The FCO has told the Cayman government it must cut this year’s proposed budget further, and as a result the premier will be forced to bring an emergency appropriation to the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday and not a proper budget. The premier admitted to the crisis situation on Friday night in an unpublicised radio broadcast. McKeeva Bush said the UK had described the government’s proposed operational expenditure as “unsustainable” and his government now needed more time to cut public spending. He claimed that a temporary appropriation was a “mature” approachto the problem which, despite being the finance minister, he blamed on others.

In the short broadcast Bush blamed the previous administration, civil servants and the UK for the budget crisis as he revealed that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office had instructed the Cayman Islands Government to cut the proposed spending plans for the next financial year.

“The position taken by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is that this (is) unsustainable expenditure,” Bush said. “The FCO made it absolutely clear that they require further reductions to operating costs. This will take us more time to achieve.  The government has taken the mature and responsible outlook that, whilst further expenditure reductions are required by the FCO, such decisions must be made in a careful and measured way.”

Despite claiming to be responsible, Bush had sent his budget proposal to London last week, which was well short of the timeline required in the Financial Framework Agreement he signed last year as well as the time required for the budget to go through the proper legislative process at home.

Although the Strategic Policy Statement (SPS) was delivered in December and a budget circular sent to chief officers in January, it appears that Bush did not begin reviewing the civil service spending requirements until very recently and had been out of the country in London, Honduras, Panama and the US over the last month.

As a result Bush now faces the inevitable consequence of having to call for a temporary or emergency appropriation on Wednesday to ensure that government does not grind to a halt next weekend when the financial year ends on 30 June.

As permitted by section 11 of the Public Management and Finance Law, government will present a resolution on Wednesday to the Legislative Assembly seeking an appropriations for a two or three month period for next financial year.

“This approach is sensible, mature and responsible,” Bush claimed. “It will allow the government additional time to make further cost cutting decisions required by the FCO in a measured and fully considered way.” As a result of failing to bring the budget in on time the finance minister can expect to face some serious criticisms from the opposition benches as it appears such a situation has never arisen in Cayman’s political history before.

However, the premier said this approach was endorsed by the FCO and was consistent with his government’s position that the “responsible management of the country’s finances is our utmost priority.”

Bush pointed the finger at the PPM for overspending and creating the situation where the FCO controlled the local budget; he blamed the civil service for not staying within the parameters of his spending targets set in January and also listed a number of issues that had driven up public spending since 2005.

The cost of government has been increasing over the last seven years as a result, he claimed, of growing numbers of government employees, as well as higher healthcare and consumable costs. Bush pointed to the global economic difficulties that have impacted Cayman and seen government rendering “much more social assistance”, like rent and scholarships, to its people. In addition, he also pointed to the tremendous escalation in the cost to fight crime.

But Bush said government had to make cuts. He said expenditure had to be re-examined and a more sustainable level of spending found.  “Government cannot allow our expenditure to rise as it has in the past; we must cut,” he said. “Because the last government put us in this intolerant situation we must reduce expenditure if we are ever going to control our finances again.”

Although this is the third budget prepared by the UDP administration, this government has not made any reduction in public spending and, year on year, has presented a budget with higher operational costs. The current government has failed to stick to the three year plan originally agreed with the FCO, and despite continued rhetoric about ending public sector borrowing, the government was still seeking further long term borrowing in this budget and an extended overdraft.

The spending target which Bush set in the SPS in December of $498 million was still higher than any previous years. When the government departments came back with their operational expenses this year, the premier said it exceed that figure by some $130 million and capital expenditure exceeded his target by more than $21m.

Although Bush has persistently blamed the previous administration for the country’s fiscal woes, once the UDP government gets a budget through for the next financial year it will have significantly exceeded the overall spending of the PPM’s much maligned four years in government.

Category: Politics

Comments (108)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Looking at the comments on CNS; I made an anology!

    1). When the subject is money, —102 Comments

    2). When it is talking about health care/ other things that don't involve money –NOTHING!

    –Must kinda tell you, "Everyone in CAYMAN HARD up FOR MONEY??? HA HA!

    Rich sure got a grip on unah HUH! Leave Mckeva Alone!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mac – if good things are in store for us then where is the store?

  3. SKEPTICAL says:

    Oh for the good old days when, Sir, then Vassel Johnson, was in charge of Cayman’s financial affairs. It doesn’t matter how much bigger the figures have become, the principal of balancing the Budget has not changed – and if he could do it then, why can’t ” Wonder Boy ” do it now.

  4. Bobo Finance Co says:

    It's high time for our foreign guest to pay their share in the form of a infrastructure fee or tax to make up this shortfall in our budget. Since they are benefitting from the way our government is mismanaging this Island finances. They should pay for their indifference to our suffering also. If you are upset or incensed by my comments Bobo Travel agency & Freight forwarder is now open too!

    • Union Jack says:

      Yawn.  Typical Cayman reaction to any need for money.  Try to get someone else to pay for it.  If there was real suffering then that would be one thing, but we are much more than indifferent to your self-pity, we find it quite pathetic.

      • Anon says:

        What a pity you haven't had an opportunity to meet Caymanians who are hardworking, self reliant and who do not believe in handouts – there are MANY of us.  Please don't paint us all with the same brush.  Thank you.

    • anonymous says:

      Bobo, let me try and 'splain it to ya…it not that the gov not makin nuff money…it dat they SPENDING TOO MUCH…seen???

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree.  We get so much for free that is given to us by the government that foreigners should be paying for.  Maybe an exit tax on all tourists.  And we know that all foreigners hate Caymanians simply because Caymanians exist.  All foreigners should pay to live and work here and not be paid a salary as they are now.  It is time for change!

    • Anonymous says:

      we are paying it.  AND you social services as well. 

    • Anonymous says:

      You get free education, free health care, free appliances, free paving and god knows what else paid for by your government.  The expats get nothing but abuse.  What a whiney little worm.

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Where is this free health care, free appliances and such? i never saw any, plus you must be a fool you say that all the expats get is abuse, yet you are still here, wow what a fool or maybe a big lier.

        What i would give for some of this abuse, i want what you have.

    • Anonymous says:

      This whole government is full of …… here we are business owners and having problems paying work permits, pension, health insurance…the government wants to crucify the companies for not paying pension, I don't agree taking monies from someone and not putting it in, I am saying not paying pension at all, and the government wants to make examples out of the businesses.  Government can't even pay their own bills, who are they then to judge us?????  I know nothing will come out of it, but come on, work permits have tripled, pensions have to be paid, health insurance has increased…close 600 businesses and where will they go???

    • Anonymous says:

      Its past time for you and all those like you to start taking responsibility for yourselves instead of living of the work of "others".  Since your parents never told you Cayman has nothing of value to sell. All the money that takes care of you and the rest of the clan comes from off island.  Be nice or else.

  5. Naya Boy says:

    When government ruins the economy freedom takes the rap. It's a fact that those who govern this place understand far too well. Those suggesting reducing the burden on our infastructure are accurate, but it is only one of the many solutions to solve this problem. The government simply does not have the guts and political will to do it. The path to taxation is starting to look more and more attractive everyday.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What about our civil servants who are now retired, receiving their pensions and still working and receiving salaries. I say if you retired get with it and stay home be satisifiewd with your pensions and give your job to somebody who needs it. Perhaps a younger person who is qualified to do that job, and will receive a lower salary. This mess we are in now I think this is a good idea, don't need a finance genius to figure this out, all I have is a high school educatan what our Premier has. NOTHING. How can he be our FM????? No all he can do is blame, blame. Stand up and take your blows, you deserve them, XXXXX You better had stuck with your church and God. He is the only one that can help us now.

    • Retired says:

      06:48 I am retired, and my pension is $75.00 dollars a month,not even $100.00.

      So Mrs&Mr Big Shot, you want to tell me how can I live off 75.00 dollars a month.  It cannot  pay electricity, it cannot pay water, it cannot buy food,  what can seventyfive dollars a month buy.   Please do tell me,  and and I believe that would mean spending 2.00 two dollars a day.  What can I buy.  DEPEND or SEABOND or cant buy either.  So help me out here.   This is the problem, you people do not know what is happening here, neither does England.  So please close your mouth if you do not know what is happening.

      All of you who are here making big dollars and have big homes I hope you all do not have any children living here, because they are going to end up marrying all the Bums on the street if you all do not have a better thoughts of Cayman.  Love has no Boundaries.

      • Anonymous says:

        and this is why you should have been paying into a pension through out your working career.

        relying on the government for your own negligence should be criminal

        Carpe Diem, is nice until you release you have nothing for tomorrow

        This is why I have a CI2,500 old banger , while my colleagues drive in Lexus's, top of the range SUV's and massive pickups all paid for by bank loans.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr Retired below I dont think he has any problem with someone with those kind of retirement benifits. Where this is regarded as a problem is where high ranking CS retired and "double dip" as they say. A big problem is that of having somone ready to do the job when they retire. Because such a situation exists the country pays the price of having these officers hang on beyond retirement.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Keke you are the one to blame, it’s your government who’s in charge not ppm! You should have been here taking care of business but you were parting up a storm all over the world & wasting our $$$$!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Budget???? As long as he can party around the globe, it's all good.  As for this country, he doesn't give a hoot.  He's laughing all the way to the bank.  Next thing you know he will blame it on Christopher Columbus for not even stopping here.  XXXXX

  9. A Concerned Caymanian says:

    For crying out loud, Mac, this thing's to big for even you – go home and lie down and let Alden handle the finances like he did with, er, the schools. (Bet that had you PPM nutters reaching for the thumbs up button till the follow up clause!) Lord help us for a new set of politicians to appear next time round. Seems we've got as good a choice as the poor old Egyptians had after five thousand years, poor beggers.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Go ahead and shut the entire government down.

     

    Bring back the departments that are truely needed one at a time based on real need.

     

    I bet that some spending areas like the Department of Tourism, Lord B's consulting, and McKeeva's travel budget will be deemed unnecessary due to no tangible benefit to Cayman.

     

    Painful to some fat cats but beneficial to the general Caymanian population.

    • Anonymous says:

      This isn't going to happen because HALF the voters work for the government and the main job of the government is to pass out the $500,000,000 annual income to as many Caymanians as possible one way or another. Cayman is looking more Greek every day.

  11. Take advice says:

    One thing most of you need to rrealize is that when hardship hit Caymanians here, we will take it out on somebody.  So I suggest you say good things about us.

  12. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva Bush's politics of the blame game has finally caught up with him…and non-too-soon.

    How can a supposedly responsible government function with a barely educated at high school level individual as its minister of finance ?

    Does McKeeva Bush think that all it takes is to wheel and deal MOUs that amount to nothing, to be able to run the finances of a country ?

    He, even as the non-finance minister he appointed himself as, could not have time to work on a budget for Cayman when he's hardly ever in Cayman…

    Now could he ?

    • MacFudgit says:

      Shut up, fool fool. I hope yu trip and pop ya mout.

      KJ, bring da buget paper over ya so I can sprinkle some more foo foo dust on it. Some of dat dust must have dropped off on da way to the FCO in London.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I will be happy to assist with this new budget cuts:

    1. MLAs will receive $3000 per month except for that one we never hear of in west bay- 0 for him

    2. No cooks, drivers, bodyguards

    3. Travelling is to be decided on a case by case basis.

    4. Nation Building

    5. Hurricane Hilton

    6. Solar Panels

     

    I have another suggestion as well: put Chief Officers under the Governor so that only he can fire them so that they won't be afraid to say no to the politicians.

    • Construction says:

      Know something, You  are not going to stop until una XXXX this Island.  I agree MLa should be making 5,000 and no more, and beside geting rid of the West Bay one what about the one in Bodden Town, that does not say a word in LA and is always sleeping.  Come on play a fair game now.

      • Anonymous says:

        Those that do nothing but sleep are probably the best ones we have. The good Lord knows that those who open their mouths are certainly not capable of saying anything for the betterment of this country.

      • Anonymous says:

        19:58: I didn't know about that one in Bodden Town sleeping.  He gets $0.00 too.  Thank you for helping me cut the budget.  

        As for double dipping pensions: when I said that they would be paid $3,000, I meant only $3000.  No pension there.

        Dang right we aren't paying their bills either.  I make less than that and I have children to support and mortgage and bills to pay so they can do it on $3000.

    • Anonymous says:

      No more double pensions?

    • Anonymous says:

      And we aint paying your light bills, air fares and hotel accommodation bills no more eeda!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Even if there were preexisting fiscal problems coming into his regime a few years ago, he, as finance minister has taken no remedial action to improve the outlook.  It is well documented that after almost a decade of overdue and incomplete accounts, he has refused to introduce common accounting practices, and frankly the buck stops there.  He was warned last year, and rather than satisfy the obvious requirement, chose to throw temper tantrums.  I blame the UDP, I blame the ineffectual Speaker of the House, the AG, and frankly, I also blame the opposition who have not pushed harder for the obvious.  The product and legacy of this crew of useless LA members will be one of subverting hundreds of years of tax exempt history.   

  15. Special Needs Donkey says:

    Stop wasting money on jubaloo celebrations and posters of Lizzie and Phil for starters. And discontinue those clown medals that Premier MacChavez likes to hand out. And shut down the protocol office. Does every civil servant really need to know how to hang the union jack and hold a fish knife? We probably waste $25,000,000 a year on the "trappings of state".

  16. Anonymous says:

    Government should not have reinstated the 3.2% in December. I saw this crisis coming months ago. How could we have had no money but could give back salaries? Made no sense.

    We need to cerntralise  the personnel department and change the accounting system which has seen the appointment of more accountants than we can count.

    We need to contribute to CINICO and a road tax based on engine capacity should be considered.

    These are some of the things which need to be considered including limiting the travel of all civil servants especially the Ministers. This constant uncertainty from year to year because the government is unwilling to make realistic financial decisions has made daily working life in the Civil service untenable.

     

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. And do not think the PPM is an answer. They were the ones who increased the civil service in the way it is- every body became a chief, deputy chief or assistant deputy chief and many times we did not know what that person's job entailed. WE NEED A SENSIBLE GOVERNMENT FOR ONCE.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don't touch my 3.2%. Cha!

       

      – Acting Assistant Deputy Under-Secretary Civil Servant.

  17. Raffael says:

    We cannnot continue to expand Cayman's infrastucture to oblivion and not expect it to cost money to do it and maintain it. The solution therefore is very simple we either reduce cost or find and altrenative method to pay for it as the current means is not able to do so. Tax is such and option infact worldwide it is an excepted norm.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Simple answer cut our population and stop this foolishness about expansion of our infastructure.Focus on improving our main industries and managing them well. Stop listening to this political brainwashing about a financial utopia for these political masters and their backers to live and retire in opulence. Stop destroying our environment to fulfil our materialistic desires. Stop making others misleading our young people with vices to destroy theirs and our future.

  19. Cayman Zackius says:

    Ooooooh it's the Taxman the Taxmannnn ooooooooh the taxmannnnnnn well Cayman you have two choices either you cut this bloated civil service especially this foreign staffed law enforcement Monster we have created and which in return helps reduce this population to lessen the burden on our infrastructure or we are going to have to pay tax and VAT to pay for all this S#&*. I know one thing some ain't leaving yah and the best life they ever had so i suggest we start looking at some type of Tax Code to be implemented. Remember what they said a government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take away everything you have. Its time and a long time coming Cayman for Foreign nationals and rich to pay for all those things they have? Lets feel the love please help your Caymanians host? Show your appreciation for all the great opportunities you get here. Oooooooh Yeah!

  20. noname says:

    Sorry guys, but the UK and their austere measures want to create more unemployment in the Cayman Islands; hence, more crime for their officers to come here and pay them high salaries. Mroeover, it is their intention to also increase Cayman's cost of living. If you disbelieve me, look what is happening in the UK. McKeeva may be your devil, but think again.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Voters of Cayman, YOUR intelligence is showing. YOUR Government is made up of YOUR own people.  YOUR premeir has been selected and given the job by YOU.  The incompetence and corruption is at all levels from the top all the way down to the botttom.  YOU might as well start to take responsibility because the debt is all YOURS and YOUR childrens.  What YOU have going on right now is unsustainable.  $500 million a year for 50,000 people and you don't even know where it all went.  All you know is you need to borrow more to pay YOURSELVES to keep it going. YOU are getting just what you deserve.  Until a lesson is learned it is just repeated over and over.  YOU have spent all your easy money.  YOU are strangleing the very businesses that give you that money with high fees and permits and very unfriendly immigration tactics.  With the expected results.  If YOU can't fix it.(and face it. YOU aren't even close to trying) it will all be takeing away just to save Cayman from YOU!

    Soon come soon.

    • Support for the Premier says:

      09:03  What you do not realize is that it  is our business who we want to vote for, so stay out of it.  Yes Cayman voted for  McKeeva Bush, why we did that was because we knew he was the best man for the job.  He is still the best man for the job.

        All those who are so hell bent on taking him out of office,  I do hope you have a plan to take care of Cayman and its people, because otherwise I do hope you have two good paddles to paddle your way out of the creek when you begin to sink.

      There is an old saying in Cayman, and that is  "Cow dont know the use of his tail until mosquito season. "  

      Hand this country over to those fighting for it and we will see what happens come mosquito season.

      • B.B.L. Brown says:

        Dear Support for the Premier,

        I don't blame you for not using your real name when you wrote, "we knew he was the best man for the job.  He is still the best man for the job".  Be careful.  The men in the white suits are probably looking for you.

        Regards,                                                                                                                                                         B. Brown                                                                                                                                                                              

  22. Anonymousy says:

    Mr. premier you really did it this time. It's just a matter of time now before the UK have no confidence in you for good governance and if you don't stepdown THEY will make you. Don't bring us down with you. You have done enough damage and please don't bring us down with you ! It's just a matter of time. Remember your Sunday school lesson. God's Will not yours. Even a blind person could see how things are unfolding and blaming others only add fuel to the fire. If you cared about us ( your people and your island ) as you put it so well you would do what is right. I call it a vexation to the soul and may the Good Lord have mercy on your soul. I say one man one vote so this never happens again. While in Church today you may want to consider all of this for these Islands belong to all of us not just You.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Is this the same FCO that hit the Cayman Islands with a bill for something like CI$20million (and probably still rising) for Operations Tempura and Cealt?

    Weren't two senior FCO officials, Larry Covington and Leigh Turner, instrumental in first getting the Met in to kick off the fiasco off but then privatised the whole investigation and left someone else to pick up the tab?

    If the UK wants the budget to balance why not start off by giving us that money back?

  24. Kadafe says:

    Haha lol whoo whoo!! Where is his big ole blaming mouth and pointing finhers when the heat is on him eh? This doggie day now!! Lol wow this is sweet to watch!! 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      Kadafe.

       

      Are you serious? i would suggest you and the rest  educate yourself in regards to OUR BUDGET ( People of the Cayman Islands budget )

      You got the  nerve to laugh at the Premier because we, the Cayman Islands do not have enough funds to satisfy the various public service's need.

      The Premier did not ask for these funds…for your information;

      These are some of the government companies asking for money to opperate for the next fiscal year; police, education, social  services, NRA, PWD, CAL, Cayman Brac public servants, immigration dept. Port authority, hospital, health insurance, water authority, garbage collection, fire dept. prison.

      And you know who is responsible for these public servant? the FCO, the Governor, the deputy governor. but you cant shout shit at them can you? and you can't ask them the step down and you can't cry  corruption and incompetent at them can you?

      It's all about discrediting the UDP party, isn't it?

      Sweet to watch..you have not a clue the repercussion this will have on all of us.

      I pray to God you do not have families in any position,  that will be depending on this budget to pay their bills.

  25. Tatch Roof says:

    I dont know when you people will get it in your thick skulls, We dont care how much you critize our premier.  He has his followers who will stand by him in life and in death, so stop wasting your breath saying negative things about him.  We know it is all personal, but we will and is going to stand by him through thick and thin.

  26. V says:

    Someone please tell me how we can remove the UDP before May 2013. Please i honestly want to know. How can we overthrow him? Can we as a people march in to the LA and throw him out? Can we make a citizens arrest? Can we throw a citizen coup or something? Do we need to take to the streets and start a revolution? I’m a frustrated young caymanian who is at their wits end at the state of the island due to the deplorable way the UDP has run the country. I’m to the point where I have deep set hatered for each and every one of the UDP especially Bush and any damned fool who supports him are aligns them selves or is even family to him. They do not deserve the words Honorable before their names. There is a growing number of us who are feeling like we are being pushed over the edge to do something drastic. WE WANT MCKEEVA AND THE WHOLE STINKING UDP GONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GET OUT MCKEEVA. Come out on the steps of the LA and face your country. Step down or be kicked the hell out!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Breaking news!!!! Budget documents declassified…

    Budget  july 2012 –dec 2012

    2- Salaries,Hiring and Overtime frezze  starting now across the government ..

    3- Government employees will be paying 6% contribution to pension plan…

    4-Health Insurance deduction 10% for government employees making more than CI 3000a month..

    5-Adjusting overseas employees contracts to 1 year until caymanians are trained for their jobs…..according to immigration law

    More to come …..

  28. SKEPTICAL says:

    After this latest delusional diatribe, you could be forgiven for feeling that there is no longer any point in bothering about the budget crisis. Bush clearly believes that he is the only person who recognizes the need for mature and responsible fiscal management, whilst all around him have lost the plot. Apart from being incapable of drafting an acceptable/workable budget, I do not believe he even cares any more. He can now leave it to the FCO, and if whatever they propose upsets the Civil Service, he can wash his hands of it and claim that it was none of his doing. The plan may however backfire on him, as the CS no longer appear to believe anything his says, nor have any sympathy for his personal position as premier.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Many departments have "left over" money that needs to be spent before next budget year.

    We are talking about 10's of millions.

    So don't let them fool you. They have plenty of money, just notfor you.

     

  30. Anonymous says:

    First cut should be Mac !

  31. Tax M says:

    The expansion and ballooning of certain government agencies especially law enforcement has always been the plan especially if you know crime is going to increase due to the economic down turn in this region of the Caribbean. Don't be surprise Cayman when the UK uses it to their advantage to control certain elements in Cayman.Its fair game in the big world it's just that our so call politicians are either too gullible or too greedy to realise it. Cutting the size of our current population to reduce the burden on our infastucture is a very necessary step to reduce cost and downsizing our government to match our needs is also an important step. 

  32. Anonymous says:

    Mckeeva blamesthe PPM for putting the FCO in charge of our budget, I say, THANK YOU PPM FOR PUTTING THE FCO IN CHARGE OF OUR BUDGET!!!!!

    Can anyone even imagine a scenario where Mac was llowed to spend free reign without big brother FCO looking over his shoulder? We would have all been on our way to hell in a hand basket by now! I for one am glad there is someone out there big enough and bad enough to tell the bully NO!!!!

  33. Disco says:

    Speaking of cuts a nice little cut in our current population to reduce the infastructure burden should accompany any budget cuts. Go Cayman 

  34. Big Budget Cops$$ says:

    I could not believe my ears last week when i heard we are hiring 54 more police officers and i would like to know exactly how and who is going to pay them and all the benefits they are getting.We can't even pay salaries of the employees we have now, how can we afford to hire more police this whole situation has been out of control for sometime and when you take into consideration all the criminal situations that have occurred, one has to wonder what is really going on here in Cayman. No wonder we are having serious budget and spending issues it would appear that some in our political arena are also using our law enforcement blackhole to cover & justify unnecessary spending for their own political ambitions too. Cuts need to be broad and extensive to those who have spent the most that shouldn't be too hard now shouldn't it.

  35. WestBayer says:

    OMG! What an embarrassment! Ok Mac, lets start cutting these figures down. Lets start with the Social Services. Stop funding persons that are able bodied and can work.  Lets get rid of all those Indians gurading the CIG and replace them with the able bodied honest Caymanians. Lets start charging the school fees as before KYD50 Primary, $100 Middle and $150 High etc etc. Lets retract that .25cents charge on fuel, so that CUC don't charge the consumers. Lets reduce the Immigration Fees for professionals and start taxing the same professionals that makes USD100,000 and over. Then start taxing the home owners that have a home valued at USD750,000 and over. Charge more to foreign taxi drivers. Give scholarships to born Caymanians students only.  Not just the A & B new Caymanians, because they were privy to private schools training and expensive tutoring classes along the way.  Then Mac, start shedding your hang on's, yes your voters.  Stop feeding them the peoples money and let them start earning their way through life, like the honest Caymanians.  Let the Civil servants contribute to their medical and their pensions, like the Private sector. Then lets cut down on those CaymanAirways hang ons.  If they want to fly, let them pay like ordinary citizens.  Any wonder you have to give Cayman Airways USD10mio every budget? Another thing, Centralize the Financial controllers of the Civil Service, so that we can get a true picture of our expenses. Yes, Mac I can go on and on, but start with these cuts and if it still don;t pen out, cut the Elected members salaries, because unnah only works for 3 months a year, anyhow.

    • Anonymous says:

      The first cut should be the politician's salary not the Civil Servants. The very first cut should be the Nation Building fund, Solar Panels, perks and then MLA's salaries.

      • Anonymous says:

        anon 2351 not going to happen.

         

        The worst part about it is that we are all grouped together when they say we need to cut the Civil Service. And it is really the civil service that is doing the work.

  36. Anonymous says:

    the shambolic incompetence of this administration is never ending…….

  37. Sum Bodi Hep Mi says:

    To avoid this kind of disastrous economic waste,we must get back to a system where any and I mean "ANY" request for funding for any project "except for national emergencies" shall  be based on need [priority] and should not exceed 50% of our National Reserves, and must be approved  by a minimum of 60% of the elected members of Government and  not just a simple majority, as it now exists.

     

    And here are a few suggestions on how to reach a point wherein we are able to control the wasteful spending that now exists.

    1.We must make it a priority to reduce the number of unemployed locals  by giving them first          preference to any job for which they are qualified. And establish a proper training facility for  the reeducation of the unemployed, and insist that any "Employer" who "unreasonably" refuses to hire a qualified Caymanian appear before a tribunal to defend their decision.

    2. Eliminate the "Key Employee" designation. These should be referred to and proven to be "specialists" in their field of work, before given any special employment status. 

    3. Stop the ridiculous habit of appointing to local boards "especially the chair of such boards" people who have little or no qualifications for such positions. They should all be vetted and appointed based on their qualifications and/or have some former experience on similar boards.

    4. Eliminate all gas cards for anyone other than Govt. Employees who must drive a  govt. vehicle to and from a job site as in building inspection or other similar line of work. No salaried employees should be getting free gas " especially those making more than $75K PA" when the rest of us are struggling to meet our financial obligations.

    5. Eliminate some of the Dead Wood in the employ of Government, meaning all those jobs that no one really knows why they were appointed or what they are supposedly doing. We are speaking mainly of those appointments thru nepotism and /or by being good political supporters.a

    6. Andlast but not least: Any Politician who in his or her position of authority  causes to be done, any work costing money that is not approved by the Legislature, will have to reimburse every cent to the Government  coffers and shall be removed from office, never to run for office again.

    These are just some quick thoughts and suggestions I believe would be a good start in getting back to some semblance of what might be called economic sanity for our Island.

  38. Beachboi says:

    It is such a shame that most of our elected officials do little or nothinig for $10,000.00+ per month of our hard earned money and then it is said that they pay 3 members of the London office in escess of CI$800,000.00 to "portray Cayman" in a positive light to the UK government. This might be a good thing though since all that comes out of McKeew'a mouth is non-sensible jibberish.  XXXX

    I am going to vote for OMOV because it will apparently give more accountability to elected officials but something has always confused the hell out of me.  Cayman is just over 20 miles long and we pretty much have a member of the LA for each mile drawing accumutively in excess of CI$1,000,000.00 per year.

    It seems that the only thing that can be done now is to wait to see how many votes all of Dart's money has bought for McKeewa.  This is a disgrace!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      We are about to hire 3 MORE MLA's so thats another $300,000.00 per annum just for salaries for them not to mention free health care benefits for them and their immediate family, immediate pension after one term,  secretaries, offices, furniture, travel, motor upkeep etc etc.

      Stop complaining people. we are growing the size of government even as we speak.

  39. Cutty Ranks says:

     I agree totally cuts were needed a long time ago, too much money wasted on political projects and law enforcement scaremongering tactics. Too many foreign nationals in our little police force costing this island millions of dollars and it is pretty clear now it was totally unnecessary spending. Two lickkle arrest now for robbery ain't going to cut the mustard mi bwoyTimes up Law enforcement hawks times up! We are tired of this cost that is being incurred by this law machine and decieving the people into believing we are safer. . All this money wasted could have been spent to educated our children and not to increase the burden on our infrastructure.

  40. Anonymous says:

    I hope the opposition can find the votes to defeat Wednesday’s resolution. This could be our chance to get rid of Bush and his cronies.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Here is what I would do. Let's say the revenue for 2011 to 2012 was $500 million. If we could reasonably expect the same amount in 2012 to 2013, then that is the basis on which we would work. Now to expenses. We have to seta target, so lets say we are only going to spend $400 million. $100 million is going to be put aside for MAJOR emergencies (catastrophies, not solar panels) and is to be invested in "safe/conservative" investments only. The $400 million that is left will then be assigned according to priority. When it has all been assigned, we will have to look at what didn't make the list to see if there is anything there that absolutely needs to be maintained and whether there are any other alternatives to funding it. Next we will look at what was funded to see what if anything can be refined. For example – MLA Pensions. Shoot, not all of them need pensions, so those that are financially secured otherwise would be asked to discontinue drawing their pension. Next the MLA pension formula would be revised to bring it in line with the rest of the civil service. Then we'd look at Social Serivces. The elderly, indigent, abandoned children, mentally or physically challeged would receive 100% priority. Those capable of working, but too lazy or indifferent to do so would be weaned off within 3 months. And so it would go, down the line with each budget item. Mac, you wanted to be Premier and Minister of Finance?  Well the ball is squarely in your court and you and your UDP Cohorts must remember you said that you could turn this economy around.  You've had three years.  You certainly did not do so.  Now you thought you were going to play a smart one eh?  Borrow more and feed the UDP at the trough for one last time!  Thank God for Mother England.  Now go and do what you should have started three years ago.  You talk about civil servants not making cuts, but explain why you have hired so many more in your Portfolio and made them all chiefs with big salaries.  How can you then expect civil servants to cut back when you keep adding to the bill?  And can you also why you still have some long serving civil servants out in the pasture still being paid?  You don't know the meaning of many words do you? And prudent surely isn't one of them.  You day of reckoning is finally here!  Thank you FCO for finally applying the brakes and thank you Queen Elizabeth for allowing us to remain a part of the British Empire.  Signed – Caymanian to the CORE.

  42. Disgusted says:

    The Premier's approach to government is simply child-like,in every way. This time he hasn't done his homework on time. He is a pathetic, hapless oaf. How can any country allow itself to be led by such a total incompetent ? A handful of sixth-formers could have run the country better these last three years.Seriously, they could! 

  43. Anonymous says:

    Mckeeva speaks as though we are the ones that don’t get costs need to cut. The public gets costs need to cut. This is what we have been telling him!!!

  44. Yourstruly says:

    The generation of people who developed this economy have died, retired, or moved on.  We are left with too many who are of an entitlement culture–lazy, ignorant, and hateful–corroding chances of our working together for progress.  We see the millions for preachers and little for teachers, road rage, fat reproducers of boys who have nothing better to do than to race cars and girls to service them (not the cars).  We, as many countries today, need leadership who will tell the uncomfortable truthes and make the difficult decisions to invest in this country's future even if it it is not politically expedient.  Will Germany keep bailing out Greece?  Will UK keep bailing out CI?  Place your bets.

  45. NeoSurvivor says:

    If I incur serious debt, the lending institutions would rightfully deny my application for a loan, unless I put up collateral that exceeded that of the loan.   If I am unwilling or unable to put up that collateral, then I must create a personal strategy of reducing my debt, while at the same time paying my bills.    That limits my options to reducing spending AND making payments on my debt until I am flush.    This is exactly what I did, and only a damn fool would've lent me money (with interest accrued) to pay off a debt, if I could not show the ability to pay off the loan.  

    What I did NOT do is try to live high on the hog in the midst of my personal debt crisis.   I now have nothing, and damned glad to have it, because it's far more sustainable than the debt which loomed over my head and occupied my every waking moment.    That's what responsible people do — there was no choice.  

    It would've been a lie to blame anyone else but myself, and moreover a worthless waste of time to do so.   Why is this government allowed to even contemplate borrowing without any evidence toward the ability to repay the loan?    I feel that this whole thing is the crux of the CHEC deal — a furtive bailout and one that wouldn't benefit the people, but perhaps extend the ability of the CIG to keep spending without culpability.  

    We are all tightening our belts, Mr.  Premier.   Most of us are scraping by and recognize that we have to change our ways and our methods to even survive.    We, the people, have to make uncomfortable decisions in order to feed and clothe our familites, and make them we will because it's better than the alternative.   You OWE it to us to do the same;  you have owed it to us for a long time.   Please stop wasting the money that we all toiled so hard to generate.   It isn't your money — it belongs to the government coffers to provide infrastructure, and benefit the country as a whole.   

    Making excuses won't solve a thing.   Be the leader we need, not the leader you want to be.  We are past the tipping point, and we are all writing our own history, right here, right now.   Do you want to be remembered as the weight that pushed us over the edge, or the weight that kept us from falling?   

    Right now, you give us no hope.   The first step might be in true transparency and honesty.   We need to know the real and measurable state of the nation's finances in tangible numbers.  Only then will we know where cuts can be made.    You cannot continue in the way you've gone for the last three years.  

  46. Anonymous says:

    All the people of these Islands needs to do is look at how we got here and y we are here? But they are too busy blaming other people rather than the people who truely put us in this mess.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Mr Bush could easily cut $700,000 from the budget by agreeing to one man one vote,thereby no longer needing to hold a referendum.Not only would he save us some money ,but he would gain the respect and admiration of a lot of people that he does not have at present.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Does our Premier understand that the Government works on an Annual budget, not a quadrannual one? There is no such thing as a PPM or a UDP budget, the budget each year is the peoples (administraters) budget.

    This is the third budget he has presented, anything he has inherited relative to the budget must be from last years budget, therefore he has created any mess in the budget that is carried forward into this one.

    Did we just forget that the budget presentation to the people had a timetable? Or was it a case of I have done what I feel like doing for so long that teh FCO would not dare to say a word to me, no matter what time I brought it?

    Come on Mr Minister of Finance, let us get on with the job of rumming Government properly this year and forget about any mess in the past. Otherwise we all drown in the same pool of debt.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Your personal bank accounts are fine tho right mac? No need for you to worry. Would getting the money back from the churches, private road paving, first class travel and accomodation, Ryan, Turtle farm etc help? I know what would help right now, RESIGN.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Well I’ll be darned!

  51. Anonymous says:

    Mac – in your potentially XXXXX status hand- out to your preferred 3,000 – arguably in the ultimate exercise of vote buying for yourself for the future, you immediately and probably inadvertently granted rights to free medication, healthcare, government assistance, to around 10,000 people once all the children and spouses turned up as a direct consequence. You also immediately removed from Government revenue thousands of work permit fees and created a need for thousands more jobs to keep Caymanians employed – many of which circumstances dictated both you and the PPM had to create more Government positions, whether required or not. To make matters worse, by refusing to enforce the Health Insurance law to date, you are causing Government to spend millions on many hundreds of people who should have health insurance as a requirement of the Law, but do not. By refusing to enforce the Pensions Law (Rollie – keep going) Very many retirees have grossly insufficient funds for their golden years, and must rely on Government hand outs. By refusing to enforce the Immigration Law hundreds of people have rights to remain or are displacing Caymanians from Jobs who ought not be here under the Law – placing more strain on Government. In part through your sidling up to Ryan, you have probably cost us the money his company owed us forever. And all of that is before we start talking about the awful waste and absence of checks and balances inherent in your ( and other's ) style of Government. The Buck stops squarely with you. And PPM – don't get too smug. You could have prevented this eventuality and chose not to.

    • Anonymous says:

      …and free education to thousands more. Why do you think we had to build more schools?

  52. Peanuts says:

     

     

     

    Legacy Lost.

     

    I have known McKeva Bush for over twenty-five years, I watched him work his way from being financially challenged, to being the first Premier of the Country. Having attained such high office, I had expected to see him exhibit humility and to leave a legacy of greatness instead he has destroyed all that and more in the past thirty-six months.

    However even as I put the responsibility at his feet. Those who have been with him cheek and jowl along the way should not be allowed to walk away unscathed.

    Those in the LA and the others who pandered to him for personal gain have created this mess and should also be held in contempt. 

     

  53. Whodatis says:

    Good ol' FCO … our personal IMF.

     

    • Annie on da moose says:

       You think CI should be allowed to borrow more?

    • Anonymous says:

      What the hell would you have done without it? You've made a big enough mess already, that's what happens when the kids don't have boundaries. Won't happen again though.

  54. Danonymouse Man says:

    Of course it is always the fault of someone else. Bush is so prudent and finacially responsible, he would never cause the government to lose any money or too much strain on the cash flow. Infact some else caused the loss on the GLF deal, the Cohen excellent finacing deal, the Brac topping was an error by someone else. The travel expense, Good Lord Bankcarda expensive advise,,,, somebody else is reesponsible, not macko cracko, or foolie ju.

  55. Windy Miller says:

    As a Brit I want to tell my government that there is massive massive waste of public funds in Cayman on a bloated civil service which is simply not being cut because politicians want to keep votes.  The Cayman Islands can afford a huge cut in their budgets and if more money was needed we could pay some income tax or payroll tax.  Do not let Cayman borrow one penny more.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, quite right.

      The ratio of public employees to total population is a joke, particularly with no income tax or social security to administer.

      What do they all do apart from collect their monthly salaries? In many cases I suspect **** all.

      The problem with public service in the Cayman Islands is that cuts are being made but only in areas where the people involved are actually doing something useful like FOI and audit.

  56. Anonymous also says:

    I guess that our smart excellent leader must have misread the4 calendar as to when the budget had to be ready.  There is not possible excuse for this kind of tardiness. He is playing games with our future while under three criminal investigations.  And not even getting the necessary business done in a timely manner.  If this was the private sector he would have been out on his A#$ a long time ago.

    • Anonymous says:

      I saw him on 27's The Panel. He was looking and looking and looking and looking through his stack of papers for the budget….  I guess he didn't find it

  57. The Spin Cycle says:

    The Premier has given this some deep thought on his flights.  Hmmm If we made more money.. and spent less…. everything would be fine. 

    That's why he's Finance Minister.

    And we're not!!

  58. Anonymous says:

    Maybe we should let the government "grind to a halt" for a couple of weeks and see if we can tell the difference.

  59. Anonymous says:

    I suppose the advertising costs for the "Office of the Premier" to encourage voters to vote "no" against the governments own referendum are also the PPM's fault – LOL

  60. Anonymous says:

    Once again the Incompetent UDP Government has demonstrated that they do not have the ability to manage the Cayman Islands finances, they are flopping around, promising budgets, and making excuses for not delivering. How many more times are they going to blame the PPM 3 years after they have taken power. That old excuse is no lnger valid MR Bush, you have had 3 years to make a difference and we are all currently worse off than we were when you took power (hopefully for the last time). I really hope the people of Cayman wake up and realise exactly what is happening here. Lets examine 3 very important examples:

    1. The UDP says the PPM overspent on schools, when in actual fact the PPM was going to spend 80 milion each for 2 multi purpose buildings. When the UDP took pwer the PPM had spent approx $60 million on each school leaving $40 million to be spent. Since the UDP "took over" the school now cost $100 million each. Where did this additional $40 million in cost come from? Where is the "Walue for money" the Premier is always insisting on ? The costs have gone up because of one simple fact. There are now more pigs at the trough.

     

    2. The Premier now wants to spend $15 Miion outfitting low income "voters" with solar panels, has he realized that this is a monumental waste of Government funds? Reduce the tax on fuel for CUC so we can all get a relief instead of wasting $15 Million on panels which will not produce enough electricity to actually make a "dent" in the home-owners electricity bill.

     

    3. Mr Ellio Solomons latest brain storm to use a percentage of work permit revenue to fund further education for Caymanians will not work. In order to keep the funds flowing there will have to be more nd more permits granted and in the end we will end up with more work permits and more unemployed "Educated" Caymanians. The only way to solve our unemployment problem is to agree to reduce work permits and find a new stream of revenue to replace the work permit money.

     

    The above are just 3 examples of how incompetent and unprepared the UDP is to lead this country forward. We need leaders with proper educations, qualifications and a little common sense, the UDP has none of these and it is time the Caymanian people woke up to that very sobering reality. 4 more years with the UDP at the helm will sink this ship and I hope people are beginning to realise this. We are gambling with our future and our prosperity when we put these jokers in charge.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      When McKeeva Bush continues to blame the PPM for the financial woes of the Cayman Islands he is admitting that he is incapable of solving those financial problems on his own.

      He has had three years to study the issues, develop solutions and inact policies and practices that would alleviate our problems and yet all he has done is whine and spend and behave in ways that defy understanding.

       

    • Dred says:

      Let me add to that….

      4) Increased business fees has lead to more small businesses going bankrupt which has also lead to more Caymanians unemployed.

      5) When businesses close their doors it not only impacts the revenues from business fees but duties on products these businesses bring in.

      6) Increases also in duties has contributed to increased cost of living. When we take into account the increases to fuel duty and it's affect on every fascet of our lives ie Food Cost increase, Utility increases, everything increases and throw on that the fact that more people are unemployed you get a lethal concoction that could be contributing to our crime element.

      This all lays at the feet if the premier because of his WARPED Business acumen. He really needs to have SOMEONE in his employment that studied ECONOMICS.

    • Anonymous says:

      I understood collectively both the schools were estimated to cost $116m under the PPM but now are costing $200m. Where did $160m come from?