Lost opportunity for EU funds

| 01/09/2009

(CNS): At an economic forum on Cayman Brac Friday, Leader of Government Business McKeevaBush claimed that there had been an opportunity for more funding following Hurricane Paloma last year that had been missed. He said that the European Union had written to the previous LoGB, Kurt Tibbetts, suggesting he make a request. “But Mr Tibbetts did not make that request and therefore we lost that opportunity for funding,” Bush stated. He said that the minister with responsibility for District Administration, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, had put in a budget request for $3.9 million for the district.

“And we are going to put more money in with the meager funds we have because we recognize the situation here on Cayman Brac,” he told a crowd of around 200 Brackers at the civic centre.

The high cost of living on Cayman Brac was highlighted by bar-owner Eddlee Martin, who noted that there was a long list of duty free items on Cayman Brac. “Government in my opinion is doing their part. The question is, is it passed on to the consumer?” Martin asked to a smattering of applause from the crowd. Going through some price comparisons, he said a 32oz bottle mayonnaise was $2.59 on Grand Cayman, while the same item on Cayman Brac was $7.99. For a 24oz bottle of Hunts Ketchup, the price difference was $1.09 to $3.29. He said a 56oz tub of the same brand of ice cream selling for $3.99 in Grand Cayman was $8.29 on the Brac, and a watermelon that was $4.99 on Grand Cayman went for $8 to $24 on the Brac.

“There’s something not right here,” Martin said, and making clear his skepticism that Thompson Shipping was to blame, he thought the shipping costs were being used as an excuse. He pointed out that nearly everything that he had listed was duty free. “So where in the world is this high cost coming from and how can our merchants justify this?” he asked. “I don’t think they really can.” Martin said free enterprise works where there is competition but it does not work where there is a monopoly or where there is collusion, and he noted that some of the stores on Cayman Brac belonged to the richest men in these islands.

The high prices were causing government to support a high percentage of people though social services, Martin said, adding that some of those people getting money think that’s a good thing.

Lynne Walton also addressed the cost of living, saying that there would be no inward investment on the Brac if people had no money and there would not be investment from outside because it was too expensive to operate a business. She asked Bush if he would you consider a formal approach to cost control on Cayman Brac with regards to fuel, electricity and shipping prices.

The LoGB claimed that some of the things he heard regarding the cost of living on the Brac amazed him. “There are laws for price gouging, and if that is going on then Brac business people need to look at themselves and how they are conducting their business.” However, he said that was “a whole other apparatus and we don’t want to have to get into that.” One merchant at the meeting, Bernard Tibbetts, defended his own prices and offered to show anyone how he priced his goods.

Elvis McKeever, who owns a construction company, said if government would support a national lottery and casino, he could get a 5-star hotel built on the Brac. “Gambling is going on on all three Cayman Islands. Church people going to kick against that but when I went to church everyone carried fan. Now everyone want a/c,” he said to illustrate the rising expectations of Brackers.

Peter Bradshaw, an electrician, said his pet peeve was the bureaucracy within the Planning Department, which stymied development and hurt the poorer people. “You’re absolutely right. We need to roll up the red tape and we need to roll out red carpet,” the LoGB said, noting that all planning processes were under review.

Offering his ideas for government savings, BernardTibbetts suggested that some government departments could be eliminated – the Complaints Commissioner’s Office for example.

“The FOI is going to be much worse than the complaints commissioner,” Bush said. Tibbetts returned, “Maybe we can eliminate both.”

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  1. Anonymous says:


    Bacardi Rum and Coke.

    No offence meant. Just a little joke to liven up our spirits.

  2. Adam Smith says:

    Hey Brackers.  You live on a small, sparsely populated, remote island with no resources.  Live will be tough.  Things will be expensive.  That is what living in such places involves.  Accept it and stop moaning or move.

    You contribute a tiny amount to Cayman’s GDP (3%) and are heavily subsidised by Grand Cayman in term of service provisions and tax breaks.  Right now spending money we don’t have to change fundamentals of living where you do is a luxury Grand Cayman cannot afford.

    So waive the duty subsidies and vote with your feet if there is gouging.

    When all is back on an even keel GC can start dipping into its pockets again to pay for things you want. And yes, we still resent not having a helicopter because you wanted one too.


    • Anon says:

      It just erks you doesn’t it Adam Smith….that we get that little break in duties??? Don’t it???? But don’t like it get your knickers all in a knot for too long….that too shall soon be taken away! And since you obviously don’t know! Look at how many Cayman Brackers run businesses on Grand Cayman and you will really see how much Cayman Brac contributes to Grand Cayman’s GDP!! You need to sit down and SHUT UP! and get your facts straight before you start trying to sound important on paper….when in fact you just sound like a ranting uninformed fool!

  3. Anonymous says:

    So wait….isnt McKeeva allow to do what he wants with his money on his free time?  Why be so quick to assume he only travels on Govts dollar!

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder why I would assume that??  Let’s think…

      Oh, ya, it is becuase when he was LOGB last time around he had a HUGE bill with Cayman Airways for all his trips to Jamacia, and he disagreed with the bill.  So I don’t know, you tell me why one might assume that?  I don’t fault you though, you may not have been reading about the past.

      As for the FOI request statement, yes anyone can make and FOI request, but in some countries, journalists do it because then citizens don’t have to make the FOI request and then report to journalists hoping it might get published.  It wasn’t a shot at any reporters, but rather a different type of journalism one might want where there are potential issues within government. 

  4. Jackson says:

    I’ll pay some taxes.

    Let’s stop fighting and just fix this.

    We’re all in this together.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Could someone please tell me why the LOGB of Cayman is visiting Jamacia over the weekend on the governments dime?  I really wish we had investigative journalists here, because if the expenses were paid by the gov. then an FOI request should be made to find out how much Mr. Bush’s excursion cost Caymanians.


     CNS: Anyone can make an FOI request. It’s not just for journalists.


    • GT Ninja says:

      Hmmm the event took place at the Ritz-Carlton in Jamaica. How curious.

      Maybe he was sent there for FREE on the Ritz-Cartlon’s dime. After all his last meeting was free at the Ritz-Carlton in Grand Cayman.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Where in the world is Kurt Tibbetts??? How come he hasn’t said a ting about this crisis???


  7. Howard P. Sauce says:

    Why are we subsidising the ketchup and salad dressing of Brackers? 

  8. cicero says:

    So blame the past government which is happenning on all matters which have gone wrong including the negligence in not following up on the money that could have been forthcoming for the Brac after Paloma, from the Mother Country. BUT where were the backbenchers, the representatives from the Brac and the Financial Secretary? Perhaps even the Governor knew about it. I call this recklessness something we have to live with daily with each successive governance. Is there a Mr.Benson or a Mr. Norman out there who can come to our rescue?

    • Anonymous says:

      Regarding: Kurt? Where is kurt? does anyone have this man’s number.

      Good question. If he is a statesman with the interest of his country at heart why doesnt he come forward and reveal his plan for the recovery of the country. Or are we to believe that he offered himself as a potential Premier without any plan for the finances of the country for the next four years?

      Okay – which is it? He doesnt care about the country? Or he didnt have a plan?

    • Anonymous says:

      I will  have you all know that the UK are having a ball with their sarcastic articles on us and there’s probably more to come. With that being said:- WHY THE HELL DON’T YOU ALL try to grasp yourselves and realize that beating this one and that one down will not solve anything. We have to stick together, now more than ever to get through this. This whole UDP/PPM thing is causing a division not only in Cayman, but now in Cayman Brac as well. This is exactly what they are looking to happen, and they are enjoying every minute of it at this very moment!       

  9. Anonymous says:

    PALOMA PUNISHED MANY (PPM) innocent people in Cayman Brac, let us all pray that this will never,ever happen again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Dan Dan says:

    OMG, are you people serious? You are more concerned with blaming your fellow countrymen for what the politicians are obviously responsible for?

    We are all Caymanians, how ridiculous can you people really get?

    When we are no longer able to have a say in your own country and the UK has taken over are you still going to be pointing fingers at each other?

    Sensible Caymanians need to acknowledge that we STUPIDLY elected a bunch of IDIOTS to manage something that NONE of them are qualified to perform, except of course to collect their paychecks.

    I am asking any MLA with a conscience to seriously look around you, is this honestly what you had in mind when you thought about running for Election? Are these the messages you wanted our young people to learn? Are you doing everything in your power to make these Islands better not just today but in the future?

    Stop being so afraid of standing up for what you believe in, speak out, what’s McKeeva Bush threatened to do to you MLA’s that you are so afraid of him, bite you!

    I am so saddened by all of you pathetic idiots who learned to write but never learned to THINK.

    GOD HELP US ALL!!!!!!!



    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Dan Dan! Please sit down and STFU!!!! News flash Mr. Smarty pants! The UK already owns us and they are treating us as they feel! Like we are just some child that’s a thorn in their side that they no longer wish to deal with so they treat us with disgust, in the hopes that we will get enough and run away I guess!! And don’t get all self righteous and act like you didn’t know that the people who live on Grand Cayman have long hated and ridiculed people from Cayman Brac! We are left with no choice but to defend ourselves against all this hate these people show us! And why?! People from Cayman Brac have always been treated poorly by people from Grand Cayman! It’s just like how the UK treats the Cayman Islands on a whole!! And yes I’m sick of it! It is STUPID as you claim! And yes pathetic idiots do have a way of bringing out the worst in even the smartest of people! So where do you fit into this scope my dear friend??? Yes the MLA’s are to blame for what has happened to our country. Because ALL of them have gotten up there and told us lies and made false promises and we bought into their BULLS**T and now we are all paying for their greed and mistakes!! It makes no sense for us to fight amonst each other when everyone else is also fighting against us and laughing at us that our own dear mother country will not fight for us or look out for us!!! But if you think for one minute that I’m going to sit by and let people insult my island and my people and not have a say in it! You have another thing coming! We deserve respect and we as Cayman Brackers don’t need to be taken advantage of by people who live on Grand Cayman! Yes we are all one country and people on Grand Cayman need to remember that before they start posting stupid comments about another man’s homeland! Have respect for one another! We are already in the gutter so let’s not make it any worse than it already is.

    • Anonymous says:

      The division has started. More to come, hold on tight!  

  11. Anonymous says:

    I don’t usually comment on things but these comments are so stupid I have to point out some of these things to everyone else.

    To the genius who thinks the prison and trash that Caymanians fill should be moved to the Brac… I propose that we start the new Mt. Trashmore with you at the bottom of it.

    As for the Brac being duty free… it is an incentive to have more development.  Government will benefit in the long run as people import more items.  




  12. Anonymous says:

    To: Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 09/01/2009 – 11:25.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I notice that the article doesn’t actually quote any other source than McKeeva on this claim.  I would love to know the truth.  Not what Mac has to say.

    In any case, I heard many brackers pocketed their insurance money and made Government fix their houses!! 



    • Anonymous4 says:

      I agree about Mac. 

      Don’t know about the insurance money but that government loan was done like that.  Government fixed houses for people that partied out their government loan and the people that used it to actually fix their house had problems getting help.  If you work and spend your money on drugs and alcohol, you get a brand new house but if you work hard and try to do whatever you can but still need a little help, you don’t get help

    • Anonymous says:

      You "heard" that Brackers pocketed their insurance money and made Governemnt fix their houses!!……

      So you didn’t actually witness this, you’re just repeating hear-say! That’s nice! Well I don’t know who you heard that from! But hear this from me!! My family member’s house was destroyed pretty bad in Paloma. They had no insurance on their house because they couldn’t afford the house insurance prices on their minimum wages which they get from the government!! Mr. Moses Kirkconnell was the man who helped them get their house back in order by donating the funds!! So I say a big thank you to Mr. Kirkconnell! If the money came from the government through him then thank you all the same. My family’s house has been put back together and we are all very thankful!


      Should I assume then that everyone on Grand Cayman is a murderer, robber, rapist, child molester & gun toteing drug dealer! Since we’re on the topic of generalizing a whole nation of people???

  14. Anonymous says:

    KURT FORGOT AID FOR BRAC!  This is serious gross mismanagement.  I’ll bet he didn’t forget to attend to his fishing.  I certainly hope the PPM is somehow held accountable for what they have done to this country.  RESIGN PPM!  You have done enough.  Why should we keep paying your big salaries for doing nothing? Especially Anthony Eden.  You don’t hear a peep out of any of them now, but they are making the big bucks!  You PPM supporters should make them resign and re-elect more competent people in your own ranks (I hope you have some!)  You are doing a disservice to your own country.  Where are all those big mouthed PPM supporters now who used to go on the talk shows and blame McKeeva for everything?  What are you saying now?  Suddenly gone quiet.  If you don’t do anything than you are just as guilty as Kurt and his incompetent bunch.

  15. Doodlum says:

    Blame the foolish a$$ Caymanians for putting Kurt back in power, Remember when Big Mac took him out, and you fools put him back in power so stfu now blaming Kurt!!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    "who noted that there was a long list of duty free items on Cayman Brac" why are we subsiding the Brac like this?  At a time when government finances need improving remove the special treatment of the Brac would be an equitable start.

    • Anonymous says:

       I thought the list of duty free items was expanded to aid the Brac in recovering from the devastation of hurricane Paloma?

    • Anonymous says:

      The word is "subsidizing" not subsiding…and didn’t you all get the same privileges over on Grand Cayman after the passing ofhurricane Ivan and still get breaks for being first time home owners etc!? Give me a break! Why are you people so hateful and resentful towards Cayman Brackers??

  17. Anonymous says:

    Can you imagine what would have become of this country had thePPM won the election and they continued in power?? I pray God  the people of this country hold them accountable for this gross mismanagement.

  18. Wes'Bay-a says:

    Partying……another reason why our country is "BROKE"


    "You can only fool some of the people, ALL the time",…….. the rest of us have education…….we know different!!

    • Anonymous says:

      And your point is???? the ticket to Jamaica is less than US$300.00 and I am sure that the leader could afford to buy it out off his own pocket……

  19. Anonymous says:


    Where is kurt? does anyone have this man’s number.

    He and the PPM need to be charged for the way they mishandled this country.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like the government were too lazy, corrupt and/or incompetent to put in the claim. Myhow they like to waste our money!

    Maybe if they had bothered to file a claim we wouldn’t be shelling out so much of our tax dollars over there.

    If they want an industry over there in Brac, especially a fast growing industry, lets move the prison and lets move mount trashmore. There’s not a lot to see there anyway and the brackers get more than their fair share of benefits without footing any of the costs etc. Plenty of jobs for caymanians to help build the prisons and haul trash out there.

    Maybe the cleanup of Grand Cayman can help bring back a few tourists. Build a couple of large all-inclusive resorts where trashmore used to be complete with man-made beaches and we’ll get the tourist product that people actually want.

    The only way out of the financial mess is to exploit our assets and minimise liabilities. Grand Cayman and the beaches are the assets so they must be improved. Brac is a liability that costs too much to run and drains resources so we need to make it more viable. By moving Grand Caymans worst bits to Brac we are consolidating the liability in one place and hiding it from the tourists and financial services workers that have moved here that can pull Cayman out of the hole.

    • Lavonida says:

      Prison and garbage dump???  How dare you!!!!  Why don’t they move them to your back yard. After Ivan if it had not been for Cayman Brac and its people plenty of you would not have had a drink of water.

      Let me tell you about Cayman Brac. Brackers are self sufficient they built their own hospital and old age home and gave it to government. What have you given to government?  They have always been and will always be very independent. They are hard working people. So what if govt remove the duty, they had to pay it before and they will again.

      The problem is people like you, don’t leave your own lil’ couch and don’t know anything. That duty removal was put in place to attract foreign investment, NOT CAYMAN BRACKERS. Stop living above unna means then unna won’t be broke.

      I will bet you, it will be Cayman Brackers that come out on top in this mess, because they know how to live within their means.  If it hadn’t been for paloma and Cayman Brac, plenty of unna would have been out of a job long ago.

      Feisty, and out of order. By the way you don’t even have the guts to put a name  to your post.

  21. A Concerned Caymanian says:

    The Cayman Brac People should cow-itch Mr Tibbetts when next he sets foot in Cayman Brac. He should be ashamed of himself !!!! So much for his right hand man Alphonso. These two are really good at Helping People!!!!! HA! HA! It will be interesting to hear his excuse on this!!!!!!