Payroll safe say officials

| 22/09/2009

(CNS): Growing fears among civil servants that September’s payroll will not be met are unfounded, according to government officials. Chief Secretary Donovan Ebanks and Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson both said that they had not "seen or heard anything which would lend credence" to the mounting anxiety in the public sector that salaries may not be paid in full for September. However, fear was growing on Monday that government would not have the cash to pay staff as approval fromthe Foreign and Commonwealth Office for further borrowing by government remained elusive.

Moreover, by Monday evening there was still no word from education officials, who had spent the day in closed-door meetings, addressing the problem of the monthly bill for the schools’ contractor Hunter Jones – one of a number of key government creditors that have not been paid. With so many government contract and supplier bills outstanding and no sign of the UK granting permission for government to access the loan it has negotiated, fears grew among civil servants that this could be the long, dreaded month when government simply does not have the cash to pay salaries.

James Watler, President of the Cayman Islands Civil Service Association, said he had not been given any official word that payroll would not be met but there had been persistent fears since the seriousness of the deficit was announced that government might reach the point where it simply could not pay public sector wages. He also stated that there were no back-up or hardship funds that he was aware of that could help public sector workers if they did not receive their full salaries.

With government coffers stripped bare, civil servants were paid last month and officials have stated that there is no reason to suggest that they will not be paid this month, but many suppliers and contractors are still awaiting payment.

Brent McLean of East End Labour confirmed to CNS that his workers had been laid off from the John Gray school development site in George Town as Hunter Jones, the general contractor, had not been paid by government. McLean did state, however, that so far there had been no layoffs at the school site in Frank Sound.  Meanwhile, although Andro Group workers were still working at John Grey on Monday, one worker told CNS that the firm was expected to be laid off from the site by the end of the week.

On the other hand, most of the contractors working at the new government administration building site on Elgin Avenue do appear to have been paid this month as CNS understand general contractor McAlpine was paid.

Although full details of the current negotiations between Cayman and the UK have yet to be revealed, the UK appears to be still pressing the territory to introduce some form of sustainable taxation plan before it will permit any further borrowing, while the CIG remains adamant that such a step is a step too far.

Full details of how government plans to meet the country’s financial challenges for the year 2009/10 should all be revealed this week when it meets at the Legislative Assembly on Friday. A preview of government intentions is expected on Thursday morning when Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush meets the press before a planned public meeting on Thursday evening.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Headline News

About the Author ()

Comments (15)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    In such difficult times all the top leader that are making past $6000 dollars a month could take the approach to donate the rest of their salaries to fix the problem that we are facing today,no one was born to that salaries,if they representing the country and reprensenting us,then if we all that voted you in can live with less than that some with almost nothing,then why not do it,just as a way of helping the economy without sacrificing the people,for most it could only be like a donation,for some like pocket money and for some that had too much or some that had nothing it could represent just an act of kindnes or love for the country and the people.Sharing would only make us better and it’s only for a proposed time only.Unided we can do more and better.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The fact that two supposedly intelligent civil servants would make the following statement in these time is amazing:

    "Chief Secretary Donovan Ebanks and Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson both said that they had not "seen or heard anything which would lend credence" to the mounting anxiety in the public sector that salaries may not be paid in full for September"

    Folks note what they said … the month "September" .. now I guess we can begin worrying about October and beyond! For thest two to both question the reasons for the "mounting anxiety in the public sector" causes me to question if perhaps they are both living in another place somewhere! I am now wondering the true source of all of the panic buttons that have been pushed recently. If these two can now give the notion that there is nothing to lend credence to our mounting anxiety, one has to question the truthfulness of what we KNOW we heard previously. Everyday it gets messier.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well know we know (not verified) on Tue, 09/22/2009 – 10:40.

    This is a crisis time to open up the Marine Parks and have a mini season for conch and lobster thank God for the few natural resources we have left. 


    Unfortunately too many people disobey the law anyway — only reason you still have "natural resources" is cause someone finally realized there is a limit to how badly you can treat the environment! Open it up and it’ll be gone in a month — never to come back.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Mac is setting up the deals that Chuckie warned you all about. He’s overstating the financial deficit so that he can use that as an excuse to sell off government companies, Cayman Airways included.

    Chuckie told unna so. Dog eat our supper if Mac is allowed to continue with this approach !!!

    Come on people how could the government go from a $29M deficit in April to a $74M deficit within 3 weeks of the election ?

    There is a deficit yes but it is being overstated by McKeeva so he can get his way with selling Cayman Airways, the Water Authority etc and so he can push his casino agenda through.

    Well we haven’t seen deficits yet….if he’s allowed to continue the Cayman economy will go into a depression by 2011 !!!!!!


    • Worried Caymanian says:

      hello where are you living… we are already in a depression and thanks to the overspendings of the Poor People Misery, we really are in misery!!

  5. Well know we know says:

    If recent history serves as a guide we can expect no pay cheque this month.  Just wait, Thursday you will hear a different story!  As for me, I can’t give the Government anything that I owe them as I have to conserve cash for things like mortgage and Utilities, Food etc.  This is a crisis time to open up the Marine Parks and have a mini season for conch and lobster thank God for the few natural resources we have left.  Also, if you ask me we need to keep Cayman Airways for many reasons! If we can afford it we need to open up a Kingston-Miami route as we would get plenty customers one because we are on time more then Air Jamaica and two because Air Jamaica will soon be going out of business.  I think Cayman Airways does a really good job even better then American Airlines have you ever gotten the opportunity to be treated like  a goat bhaa bhaa  

    • Mike G. says:

      Air Jamacia was bought by Spirit Airlines, and is not going to be called the Spirit of Jamacia, so that idea won’t work. (at least now)

  6. The Force says:

    Absolutely mind boggling! The LOGB (premier designate) annouces to us (and the rest of the world) that there is no money to pay civil service salaries for the month of September unless we got the stamp of approval from the FCO.  Today is 22nd – salaries are due to be paid in a couple of days time, and as far as  we know the approval from FCO is still not forthcoming.

    Is there any wonder then that people may be concerned?

    Give us a break please Mr. Chief Secretary and Mr. Financial Secretary.

  7. Anonymous says:

    "Chief Secretary Donovan Ebanks and Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson both said that they had not "seen or heard anything which would lend credence" to the mounting anxiety in the public sector that salaries may not be paid in full for September."

    Come on now Donnie & Ken you’re losing credibility quickly in your civil service……how can you two say that ???? Have you not been listening to McKeeva’s public utterances recently. MCKEEVA SAID IT AND HE CREATED THE ANXIETY !!!! and you two make statements like you don’t know what’s creating the anxiety ????

    Come on guys. Stop the games and stand up to these rogue politicians.

    McKeeva is overstating the financial deficit and both of you know it. EXPOSE HIM !!! McKeeva is doing it so that when the economy naturally recovers he will be seen as the country’s "Savior" and "Hero"

    McKeeva has no regard for the international media frenzy he’s creating about the Cayman Islands being bankrupt and the long term damage to our economy that will result from this.

    We actually may never recover from this if McKeeva doesn’t stop his brainless and reckless remarks about our country simply for what he perceives as his own personal political gain. Down right dangerous and made even more so by senior civil servants who lack the backbone of some of their predecessors.




  8. Anonymous says:

    Talking alone never solved anything yet and never will.  To all the smart people out there in Cayman….Get ready.  The system of Cayman was built only to serve a certain sector of Caymanians. Tthey are the only ones with the power and they now cannot survive without it. This means that they will ride this gravy train into the ground before they allow it to stop or slow down.  To do what is needed to fix the problem means that they will no longer be able to SURVIVE because no one else will hire them so they will not and cannot fix the system. So the only thing everyone else in Cayman can do is wait until the system finally collapses, do what you need to survive, and hopefully whoever is left to pick up the pieces will be people who actually understand the meaning of of the words  "RESPONSIBILITY" and RESPECT"  Good luck to all the hard working people of Cayman. You are the lifesblood of the Cayman islands.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Phew, the kids will get food, the roof will remain over our heads…gee thanks Gov. for paying us!

  10. Anonymous says:


     CNS, I have heard Boat Swain Beach is closing down is this true? If so, I am sure that at least that waste of money can at least keep government workers with a few extra months of salary. Government continues to act shocked at its current situation like they are not aware of the monthly deficits of the HSA, Airport, and Boat Swain Beach. Now our kids who deserve the best in education and facilities are going to suffer. Here aresome tips to instantly save money. Cease and desist:  paying full salaries of top Government position holders cause they obviously don’t know what they are doing. Maybe if some of our "Caymanians" had to actually do work to keep these top positions in Government we would not be in this position. 

    CNS: We haven’t herard anything about Boatswain’s Beach closing.


    • Anonymous says:

      Boatswains Beach is closing, just on Sundays!!! Who knew they were even open on Sundays anyways. Probably too little too late as everyone behind closed doors is in agreeance the turtle farm is a huge waste of money. Toursits are unimpressed and are telling eachother to avoid the place and locals dare not step inside that fugly lagoon they’ve created. Too bad for the turltes if the place closes. I guess they will just have to suffer in the open sea where they can eat real fish or whatever instead of the dog food they get fed in West Bay.

    • Anonymous says:

      It was on radio that they’re now closing on Sundays….

  11. Anonymous says:

    What is going on here is like a roller coaster ride of sorts.  One minute we are being told that he government is broke etc, etc then out of no where come voices singing that we are not to worry and that salaries will be met etc, etc. Who are we to believe here?  What really is the truth of what is going on?  I don’t know about anyone else but my little brain is confused so forgive me dear fellow posters.