$12M more shaved off budget

| 31/03/2014

(CNS):The minister of finance said that around $12 million of further cuts would be made in public spending when he brings the 2014/15 budget to the Legislative Assembly in May. Marco Archer has also revealed that the spending plan will be for 12 months and not for 18 months, as had been announced when he delivered the PPM government’s first budget last year. He had announced plans to move the financial year to January and deliver budgets to cover longer periods. However, Archer now says that there will not be enough time to amend the Public Management and Finance Law in order to facilitate the changes before the current budget expires at the end of this financial year.

Archer explained to CNS that a committee that is reviewing the law that governs public finances has not yet finished its work, delaying the proposal to switch the financial year to line up with the calendar year and then set out multi-year spending plans.

“We are waiting for the committee to complete their review and provide a report of the PMFL [Public Management Finance Law] law,” Archer stated. “We expect this in early May but that does not leave sufficient time for Cabinet to review the report and recommendations, drafting amendments to the PMFL, the legislative process, and any required accounting and information systems changes before the June 30 year end. Multi-year budgets will come with the next budget.”

Archer was also confident that his more than $100 million surplus predicted for the end of the 2013/14 budget would be a reality and government should be able to reveal an estimate of the surplus by the end of next month.

With some months left to clear debts and improve cash flow, despite still trimming spending, Archer said government continued to look at possible fee cuts which could ease the strain. However, he said that any reductions would need the approval of the UK.

The minister said government had no plans to introduce any new revenue measures but, reiterating comments he has made previously in the Legislative Assembly, he said that where necessary government would adjust existing fees to reflect the true cost of providing the relevant services.

Government has very limited wiggle room in its budgets because the debt service ratio is over the self-imposed limit set out in the PMFL. Following the implementation of the UK’s FFR, which forms part of local legislation, the UK has imposed strict parameters and must approve all budgets and ensure they fit with the previous four year plan this administration submitted to London shortly after coming to office.

With no new borrowing allowed,government must finance its big cash items from revenue, including paying for the preparations for the cruise port project, as well as the business case for the landfill. While government intends to involve private sector partners in the development of the George Town piers and to implement an holistic solution to the dump and waste-management in the future, it must foot the bill for the preparation work, such as business cases, environmental assessments and the request for proposals.

Category: Politics

Comments (27)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if the budget trimming will do anything about the number of civil servants on 'required leave' whose court cases about alleged wrong doing drags on for years and years, all while they collect full salaries, vacation leave and all the other perks to go with it? Then, what about the ones who have been very publicly arrested but not a peep about charges being laid. Instead of all the frivilous awards to every smiling face without depth they should deal with these matters and get on with properly managing!

  2. Anonymous says:

    This place is such a financial failure The people running the show have no clue how to actually earn money They believe raising taxes is the way to go

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Marco. Keep us sailing in the right direction. The previous Bush led "gow-ment" was taking us to "World's End".

  4. Peanuts says:

    What I see is, Marco trimming the Money Tree, in other words cutting taway the  Bush.

    • And Another Ting says:

      These announcements are meant to bolster the CIG image at a time that their popularity is dwindling considerably.  Yes we have a cadre of professionals but inexperienced in running a government and not understanding that they need more than lip service to survive as one. People are hurting,their people who believed in their shiny promises , these people are losing not only their assets but their faith in the Progressives and no matter what their supporters may try to counter with, the entire community had higher expectations of this bunch . This is the lousiest 10 months of existence and performance  of any Government of the cayman Zislands. And Nother Zting I have no more to day on this cause more juicy stuff soon come out I'm sure.

      • Anonymous says:

        "This is the lousiest 10 months of existence and performance of any Government of the cayman Zislands"

        You have a very short memory but no doubt it is your political affiliations that giveyou  amnesia. The PPM is in some ways an improvement but appears to be a bit inept. The UDP govt. reeled from disaster to disaster commencing with the announcement to the world that the Cayman Islands was broke. That's always a strong negotiating platform with investors – desperation!       

        • And Another Ting says:

          Oh so people aren't losing their homes and are out of jobs? Ole boy ya smelling ya self .

        • And Another Ting says:

          Sorry bobo if where you come a bit inept means or is likened to the performance of the PPM then no wonder you are here .

      • Anonymous says:

        So you would prefer the world travelling casino lounging expensive self serving rape of the treasury, with only law suits from back room dealings gone wrong to show for 4 years of UDP…?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Let's see how all those who are screaming for the heads of civil servants and applauding the sole focus of cost cutting will enjoy the inevitable outcome of longer processing times and less resources to provide support for a  myriad of public services. It's easy to criticize and be the "expert" by throwing juvenile, over-simplified solutions up on a internet thread, but at the end of the day everyone wants everything when they want it, the way they want it without any real knowledge of the mechanics behind each service. If you think it's bad now…just wait. 

     

  6. Anonymous says:

    DO A Complete make over of the Accident and Emergency Department at the Government hospital waiting times,reduced noise levels,bedside manners and patients confidentiality.PRICELESS!!!!!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Marco. Additional savings of $1 million per month. You are the only one in the House earning your pay. Keep it up!

  8. Anonymous says:

    A drop in the ocean. We have plenty of wiggle room if the right areas of concern are addressed.Trim the civil service and start making the civil servants pay for their medical expenses and pensions. This will save well over $100 million a year and bring all these pampered people into line with the private sector, without cutting services to the public.

    • Anonymous says:

      Spare us the negativity and naive number crunching. If the govt. had increased their expenditure by $12m you would be bleating about how wildly extravagant they are. It wouldn't be a drop in the ocean then.

      • Anonymous says:

        Do you have the remotest idea how much it costs Government to provide free gold plated medical care (look at the policy conditions on the CINICO website) to over 9,000 civil servants including their dependents, and to provide inflation adjusted pensions based on retirement salary.This is why despite hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue, we still have to borrow 100% for every capital project. In truth the Civil Service runs this country and we all suffer as a result.

        • Anonymous says:

          Dont forget that Cayman Airways is there to provide free flights for over 1000 people.  When i sent a FOI request a few years ago CAL admitted that the figure was an estimate as they did not have all the numbers of people flying for free in relation to past directors and their families.

          Until this abomination is stopped, who wil take govt seriously? This benefit should ONLY be for current emloyees and current directors (and not their famiy) 

          • Fred the Piemaker says:

            Shouldn't be available to anyone!  Those airlinesthat do allow discounted flights for staff generally still have a co pay element to revent excessive use, and the travel is standby.  Every free flight that displaces a paying passenger is money straight off the bottom line for the airline, paid for by everyone else.    

             

             

        • Anonymous says:

          Jealousy is a bad thing.If you are so envious of civil service ,join them.Oh wait ,you can't because their pay and benefits are not as good as your private sector job ,right? So you were just hating on civil servants without good reason.Got it.           

        • Anonymous says:

          You cannot just arbitrarily breach people's contracts by taking way what is part of their remuneration. Do you ever think before you type?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep, I agree, there is more "wiggle room". However, if we are going to cut Civil Servants there has to be a plan to make sure that those who ARE qualified get a fair chance of being hired in the private sector, that has many positions being held by work permit holders.

      Now, I am no ortune teller, but if history is any indicaton of t future t won't look good for throse that ARE qualfied. What do we expect them to do?! Just stay home and be good lil Caymanians?!!! I heard a comment a few days ago from someone. Something I never heard before, they said that if they are going to live missrable in Cayman, they are going to make it the same way for others as well. I said to them that it was cutting off their nose to spite their face…he replied "if I am hungry and can't feed mysel, with a MBA, then it is time for a change in mindset"

      Be warned, this isn't the result any of us want.

    • Anonymous says:

      I believe civil servants might agree with this if certain conditions are met such as bringing salaries in line with the private sector,and freedom to consult  a doctor of their own choosing ,rather than only Govt doctors.

  9. Anonymous says:

    And still there is money for outings, business trips etc.

    Don't get fooled people. there is nothing wrong with the economy.

    • Anonymous says:

      That's right. Just another shift of money from the ordinary people to the rich.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Excellent news. So are we going to see the cut in duty on fuel that PPM promised would be the first thing they did if elected? Too many Caymanians suffering because of this high cost on fuel.    Fuel should be like chicken and flour, duty free!!!  Come on PPM, follow through with your promises.       

  11. Anonymous says:

    Reality check for the Progressives, only Independent Audited accounts will verify the true position of CIG finances and the projected 100m surplus. Anything else is just chatter and guesstimates. 

  12. Anonymous says:

    Keep up the good work, Marco!