Mac fires back at opposition

| 08/10/2009

(CNS): Following criticism from the opposition that the UDP government’s budget was unrealistic, the leader of government business made a statement to the House on Wednesday morning once again blaming the previous administration for the country’s financial difficulties. McKeeva Bush stated that the need for tough revenue raising measures was because Cayman had failed to meet the principles of sound financial management and were in the hands of the FCO. He said that not only had the opposition caused the problem they have offered no solutions to fix it and had no moral authority to question the budget.

Lambasting his legislative peers on the opposition benches, he said they had no moral authority to question the government’s budget. “What have the complainers offered on this clamp down by the FCO?” Bush asked. “A solid nothing, zero, zilch.”

The LoGB noted that what the opposition had failed to mention as they complained about the budget was how the country had arrived in this situation. He said when the UDP took office it found itself in a gigantic mess caused by the PPM. The government had no alternative but to increase various fees, Bush added, confirming that the increases were only made after consultation with the business community.

Bush played heavily upon the UK interference with local finances, which he said brought the country to the brink of introducing taxes, and in the desire to ensure that the UK could not interfere again, his government sought to bring a surplus budget in the first year to ensure compliance with the Public Management and Finance Law and to take back control of borrowing decisions.

One of the opposition leader’s major points regarding the UDP budget was that the revenue raising measures were painful and unnecessary as the UK had not forced the country to try and address the deficit during a recession in one year.

Facing criticism himself that the public spending was only reduced by around $5.5 million (even less when losses from statutory authorities are factored in), the LoGB hit back by criticising the opposition for allowing the civil service and the operational budget to grow to such high levels. Returning to his favourite mantra, however, Bush seized the opportunity to remind the House of the opposition’s capital projects that he said the country could not afford.

“Now the opposition is questioning the government’s budget,” he exclaimed.

Addressing the criticisms that he had been reckless with his public declarations over the state of the country’s finances, Bush said that was not the case and more importantly there were far worse things that he could have said that would have appalled and frightened people of the country about the public finances.

He also said that the opposition should have seen the recession coming when it began to grip the US. Bush stated that when Lehman Brothers folded, the leader of the opposition had said it would only cost us $245,000 and at one point said that the global economic crisis would not affect Cayman.

“For him to now say that I am reckless, it seems to me that he should do what he said he would do,” Bush suggested, “go back to his home and plant cassava.”

Clearly affronted by what the LoGB saw as the PPM’s audacity to criticise his budget, the speech was delivered with force at times and saw the Speaker of the House pull up the first elected member for West Bay on several occasions as he stepped outside the rules in an effort to ensure his verbal attack hit his intended targets on the opposition benches.  

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  1. White Chick says:

    Budget Q’s, What about govt. cuts???

    I look at all the posts, news releases ect.  What I see as a glaring omition are cuts in govt. spending.  How are we as small busn owners expected to shoulder the burden for all of govt’s excesses when govt. itself seems unwilling to cut the fat?

    I had a little adventure today in dealing with govt. entities.  I had to clear a sea freight shipment.   And these are my observations.

    1)  Customs,  better than it was now that it is split between sea and air, but still abysmal customer service.  The entry clerk I dealt with was obviously having a bitc* day at best.  And, let me tell you, if you are a white female pray you do not get an female customs agent – they will find a reason to make your experience unpleasant, double that if you are an expat.  During the time I was there (until Gidgit came out) there were customers waiting and two clerks chatting and not assisting customers.  Maybe they were on break – but if agents are on break, they should not be in the service area.  If they were not on break, then the agency is overstaffed, and that is an area that could be cut.

    2) Warehouse, I counted 4 people who were just standing around with nothing to do.  Do we really need all that staff?  No one wants to cut Caymanian jobs, but give me a break.  We do not need post Ivan staffing to remain now, in this economy.  I have to say, everyone was completely pleasant, and efficient.  I got through in a snap, and the guy even helped me load the truck.  I just have to wonder why so many people are scheduled when there is so little to be done.

    3) Port Office:  There was a skeleton staff of two people doing entries, and one person back office.  And, you know what, they were polite, efficient, and overall amazing.  All the civil service should look to whomever is operating this office as a model for govt. , as they are totally fab couldn’t see how they could be better.

    Heading out to secret shop on more govt. entities next week.



  2. what a mess! says:

    Mac is a donkey…and Kurt an ass!

    One drunk on ignorant religious high ground…and the other just drunk. Both egotistical idiots who have no business leading themselves much less these islands. And both react in ego driven madness anytime anyone so much as questions anything they do or say…just like spoilt children.

    Remember Kurt’s lambasting the Chair of the HRC when she didn’t agree with him??…

    Seemingly, with the exception of Alden Mclaughlin all politicians would spend little to nothing on education…this is evidenced by the decades of neglect.

    Both Mac and Kurt should go sit down… and allow Alden and Rolston to head the respective parties…then we may have a chance.

    Of course most won’t agree to that becuase they believe Mac and Kurt are some kind of "Saviour". Mac and Kurt are drunk on their perception of self improtance…and it’s costing us all (and these islands) very dearly…and most voters are too stupid/ignorant…and will continue this stupid tirade of attacks on eachother while in blind support of their "saviour". Keep in mind that both Mac and Kurt have enough ticked away to support themselves…whatevers happens. How many others today (especially under 50 can say that?

    Just think for a minute….imagine being at a Regional or International gathering…and either of these two jokers are "representing" us/Cayman..

    How embarassing!

    And where oh where is the CMA in all this?? Oh, it’s not a GAY issue…so it’s all AOK…So much hypocrisy!…and ALL SELF SERVING!

    Some Christian society this is…


  3. Anonymous says:

    Enough already with the blame game!! Sounds like two old cranky neighbours arguing over the zinc fence in the backyard. I as an intellligent voter am tired of this blame game. Lets work together for the better of Cayman and next election we can send the rocks flying over the fence.

  4. Concerned observer says:

    As I read throught these comments, it is obvious that one of the main contributors to Cayman’s degenerating community, is the games that these two political parties play with their constituents emotions.

    In the house, UDP blame the PPM and PPM blame the UDP, then party voters jump in and follow in their footsteps throwing the same mud. Both parties and their supporters will claim fervently that their policies and strategies are RIGHT!

    I know that people align themselves with groups that share their common beliefs and values.  However when you look the other way and bite your tounge instead of constructively criticising your group when they are wrong, you are on your way to being brainwashed.

    Wouldn’t it be refreshing to have at least one politician win our confidence by taking action and full responsibility four four years?  This would be too politically risky to their chances for relections so instead, they pit us against each other so that we vote with our emotions instead of our brains. 

    Let’s try to be positive and stop this child’s play. The future of Cayman depends on constructive people not negative and destructive people.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What do you guys care what PPM solutions are?  it’s not like Mac and the UDP/UDP supporters would even listen to them..they are the government of the day let them deal with it…they have campaigned that they will bring  the Island back to prosperity..but hmm they also did say they would rescue Cayman Airways and now they want to sell it..and don’t be too impressed with this budget anybody even Mark and (John John) could have thought of raising fees..

  6. CatMan says:

    RE: The Exhoribant new fees

    Dear Mr. Bush, 

    I do not know if you read CNS, I hope you do.  Although some of the posters seem to be better suited for late night TV than Fox News, it certainly gives one a sense of the public’s sentiments.  And the public and business community are scared to death by this budget.

    My proposals:

    1) Enforce the present lease stamp duty.  I realise thishas not been occuring, but it can be remedied fairly easily. 

       A) Tie the registered lease requirement to the granting / renewal of all T&B’s.  Create a new "Occupancy" license, which would require a copy of the registered lease before any business could opporate in a leased premisis.  (Due to the cart before the horse issue, one must have a T&B to lease a property, so you cannot require a registered lease to obtain a T&B). Require a copy of the registed lease for all T&B renewals.

       B) Require all Banks and utility companies to have a copy of the registered lease to provide services to the unit in question.  This will help weed out cheaters who figure that they can claim the are leasing a cheaper unit.  If a landlord wants to run the risk of ‘under the table’ leases they can bear the risk of liability for the unpaid utilities, and falsified document charges.

    2) Impose a nominal "Occupancy Fee" on all commercial businesses EVENLY.  A charge of arround $1.00 p.a. per square foot, while unpleasant, would certainly raise more revenues with less catastrophic impact.

       A) Again tie the fee to the T&B.  Require the payment receipt for renewals

       B) Again require it for all utility and Bank account activations.

    3) Give up the idea of the palace schools, and build a concrete rectangle.  Spend the money on teachers. Keep the kids in school for another year – there are few jobs for them in this economy, and they will benefit from the extra year of education.

    4)  Make the transfer fees for ALL wires and fund tranfers from accounts with a change of beneficial ownership, and make them SMALL.  If the charge is almost unnoticable, but applied across the board more income will be generated with little pain. Do a flat fee of $1.00 transfers under $500, $2.00 for upto $5,000, $5.00 over $5,000.

    5) Yes raise work permit fees, but not so drastically and suddenly. We are running our business on a plan, and cannot absorb such an insane, massive, unplanned spike in costs.   Raise fees  in a staggered annual 5% to 10% increase over 5 years.

    6) Pension – This is a tough one, and I’m not sure what is best.  I think if it is going to be optional for expats, it should be optional for everyone.  I never thought business should be responsible for employee pensions in the first place,  but if not forced, most people will not save due to the high cost of living in our little paradise. 

    Hope your reading and that leveler heads will prevail.


  7. Young.KY.female says:

    I had no idea how Mac felt about the opposition! Nor what his beliefs are regarding their role in the current economic situation! What a new, interesting and encouraging article; we never get this kind of completely awesome water cooler conversation starter – how refreshing!! (and yes this is also sarcasm)  YAWNNNNN

    Cry, cry baby.

    Moon Shine Dolly.

    Take off your shoes and go to bed!!!!

  8. Alice says:

    Off with their heads, said the Red Queen. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    Wow, I feel so much more confident in our leader now! (in case you missed it, being 100% sarcastic!)

    • Unemployable says:

      If you need to tell people you are attempting sarcasm then I would suggest not giving up your day job.

  10. Mr. Capitalist says:

    He who dies with the most toys, wins.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Did Mac actually use the phrase "moral authority"? Huh – I didn’t think that he knew anything about that concept.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I think that people have already forgotten about the PPM government’s actions over the last four years.  The PPM government did nothing.  All the PPM government did was talk about what MacKeeva’s government had done. 

    If any of you have actually read government documents like the previous financial budgets, you can clearly grasp that the PPM government was taking credit for the inevitable progress that Cayman made after Ivan.  There was nowhere to go but up from a diaster like that.  History shows that following World War I the US enjoyed what they called the Roaring 20s. 

    Almost all of the speeches of the PPM made comments against the UDP government. 

    So while I agree it is for the Opposition to question and challenge the Government, don’t be fooled that the PPM government didn’t rub their victory in UDP’s face for their 4 years of power.

    So please don’t criticse the government now, for making comments against the PPM when that’s all the PPM government did when they had power.



    • Anonymous says:

      First the PPM did too much, now they did nothing. Which is it? The PPM did a great deal for this country which is now marred because of the economic recession. It introduced a new era or transparency and freedom of information for one. And yes, it built needed infrastructure, albeit at great cost. It seems we have been plunged back into those dark pre-May, 2005 times again where vindictiveness prevails.

      There are two ways to go after a major disaster. It was not a foregone conclusion that it would be up. Many expats left Cayman in the wake of Ivan saying "this place is finished; I’m outta here". On the other hand if the economy rebounds as expected by late 2010-2011 you can be sure that the UDP will be taking credit. Will you then say that there was no where to go but up, or will you be a hypocrite? You wish to blame PPM for anything ill that happened on their watch, but not allow them to credit for anything good.        

      • Anonymous says:

        i never said that the PPM did too much.  i said they did nothing.

        i’m sorry but there was only up to go.  thousands of people did leave and never came back.  caymanians remained and the caymanian spirit brought cayman back.  the PPM did nothing to help that.  houses were destroyed so people re built, thus the construction industry was able to survive.  people went back to work and the financial industry survived.
        so i’m sorry if you are confused about what i said before, but after a disaster the long term effect is going to be growth.  HISTORY shows that.

        i’m not a hypocrite, if the PPM government did anything i would credit them.    i was merely stating that the PPM government criticsed UDP the whole 4 years they had power. 

        so don’t write it like the PPM government is any better than MacKeeva is for ‘firing back’ at the PPM comments.


  13. Anonymous says:

    funny how the ones who voted mac in don’t feel so sure about him anymore.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Tibbetts was doing what any Oppisiton would do and hsould be doing….. But that is what Little Mac hates.  He hates to know that anyone is standing up or questioning him.  That is why he’s got the crew he’s got.


  15. frank rizzo says:

    Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition has everyimaginable authority to question any and everything the Government proposes – jeez, I couldn’t even get through the first paragraph. However, I do agree that alternatives to government proposals have been scant to non-existent. A true opposition would have dropped their budget proposal on the table a millisecond after the LOGB made the government’s proposal. A true opposition will not just tell us that the government is wrong, they will tell us why the government is wrong and how they intend to fix it. Being in opposition does not give you a 4-year free pass. Being in opposition means you have to work twice as hard with less people and resources. SHADOW and keep the government on their toes, the PEOPLE of the Cayman Islands will benefit.

  16. O'Really says:

    Am I the only one who thinks that the prime objective of BigMac since he was elected is to start campaigning for re-election?

    I have not seen one act of his that was motivated by anything other than the need, in 4 years time, to be able to blame the PPM if things go wrong and take credit if things go right.

    If you are capable of standing back and viewing his actions objectively, you will see that the well being of Cayman as a whole, comes second to securing re-election.

    • Anonymous says:

      Campaigning is clearly the only thing that he is competent at. The fundamentals of running a competent government clearly elude him.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Lets have a vote……is his new name McDinejad or McStalin ????

    • Paula Abdul says:

      Can we please spend a million bucks on a referendum to decide this very important matter? Pul-eese?

    • Anonymous says:

      I vote for McDinejad. The current Iranian leader/role model is largely incoherent, incredibly arrogant, ignores reality and chooses bad advisors. He also frequently uses the phrase – "dog ate ya suppa" – in Persian – at least that is what I thing he is saying.

      Besides Stalin apparently hated foreign travel, chauffered SUVs, bribes, paving driveways, gambling, dredging environmental zones and spoke mostly Russian. Stalin also had a mustache and is currently being rehabilitated by the Russian Government.

      • Paula Abdul says:

        Good points. Can we include Kim Jong Bush and McChavez as options in the final poll also. All options should be considered at this early stage

        • Anonymous says:

          What about McPol Potbelly or Macgabe?

          • Anonymous says:

            I can’t believe you all would use all those dictators name for the Mac while missing the easiest and most important one………jus leave his surname and remove his first name adding George to it. You all should get it by now (George Bush)LOL&LMFAO!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva is this how you want to lead a country for the next 8 years? start leading by taking some of the blame for Cayman’s demise?  PPM is no longer leading this country as you keep reminding us, UDP is! for crying out loud, be a leader with integrity, take the blame for some of these problems and move on to the business of leading the country through these troubled waters.  I do not think selling off most of Government assets and taxing the poor people is the way to go, either.  You can start by taxing those individuals that are making USD 150,000pa and more, start taxing your rich buddies, tax those big boat owners like yourself, tax those who has USD500,000 and more in their account, tax yes!!!!….but tax the upper upper class.  Leave the poor man alone or they will leave you alone come next election. Remember who put you there, those poor foolish dependant people and they can take you out again!!! stop your stupidity and get BUSY!!!

  19. ex-freethinker says:

    Heres a thought…Lets try to ignore all the whimpering and give the goverment its chance to fix the problem.  No matter what is proposed NO ONE KNOWS IF IT WILL WORK until it has a chance to work.  Not even the poeple who thought it up.  This is the nature of CHANGE.  If some of it works keep that. If some of it dosn’t work Change that to try something that again might work.  That is the method of controlling change to make it work.

    Like it or not (and I personally don’t but that is only my opinion) lets see if it works.

    I belive everyone can see what has worked and what has failed in the past.  The current goverment has put forth its best effort.  It might just work but not if the poeople the goverment represents does not put forth any meaningfull effort on their part.  So give it a chance.  Then you can state facts and not just opinions and go forth from there.  Thank you for reading my opinion and I Hope and pray for all the best for Grand Cayman and its people in the future.

  20. Alecs says:



    We need to move forward now. 

    We need to stop the blame-game.

    Both UDP and the PPM are responsible for our expenditures; in fact, we all are responsible by "putting our hats too high."

    Stop this blame-game!

    Let us give our best for everyone. At the final analysis, we all are in the same boat!



  21. Anonymous says:

    Here we go again. Will Mr. Bush ever get tired of blaming the PPM? I sure am tired of hearing it! He knew the mess the country was in when he ran for election. He was elected, now quit the blaming and continue working on trying to get us out of this mess.

  22. Paula Abdul says:

    Clearly McStalin would prefer if there was no opposition at all. He would do well however to remember that the people also elected them and they too have a job to do, similar to the job he and his party did so poorly for the previous four years. Unfortunately for him we are not yet a socialist dictatorship.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Can all of you politicians stop the stupid blame game and get on with it and work for the betterment of the country? For crying out loud, get over it. Nobody in private sector could get away with consistently blaming somebody else. You have to be able to take over from where somebody left off and move on! How can we teach our children to respect one another and work together if those morons voted into legislative assembly can not?

    McKeeva – you are beginning to sound like a real cry baby! Work together! When PPM took over from UPD they didn’t find a rose garden either.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I guess our slow opposition understands now whythey should have debated the budget !

    • Anonymous says:

      You seem to have missed the plot. The attack from the LOGB is BECAUSE the Leader of the Opposition debated the budget. Apparently, he should have had nothing to say but praises for His Majesty. The arrogance that this betrays is astounding.   

  25. Sad Caymanian in exile says:

    Big Mac is well on the way to wrecking Cayman. His problem is his lack of depth which he masks by engaging in stupid attacks on his opponents. This is his Better Way Forward. He has shown his colours again and Cayman is regretting. When he is finished, Cayman will be just like Jamaica. A basket case.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Mackeeva and Elio! What a pair!!!!!!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Tell him "Kee Kee" tell him "Kee Kee" tell him how it is. Go and plant your cassava Kurt, that’s what you do best !!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      And Mac is a pro @ selling out the island

    • anonymous1 says:

      I would rather he plant cassava than sell our birthright.  Shows who is the smart one.  I only hope one day that McStalin needs that cassava that Kurt planted.