PPM: ‘Uncertainty alarming’

| 05/05/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman headline news, Cayman finances(CNS): The opposition has warned that the premier is causing serious alarm in the Cayman Islands with the uncertainty and indecision over how to deal with the country’s increasing operational costs in the face of decreasing revenues. Alden McLaughlin said McKeeva Bush is “governing by feedback” and no one can be sure about anything. The former Cabinet minister believes that the constant policy announcements followed by retreat are preventing people from making any kind of future plans and distracting them from focusing on the much needed recovery from the worldwide serious recession. (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

Talking about the premier’s latest announcements last week regarding taxation, when Bush suggested that he would prefer VAT at the beginning of the week and then was telling the community that it was in fact more likely to be payroll tax or even a community service fee by the end of the week, McLaughlin said the premier needed to take a position and stick by it.
“The premier must stop this nonsense,” the People’s Progressive Movement, George Town MLA told CNS. “Making these concerning announcements one day then retreating from that position the next is causing serious alarm. This is government by feedback. It seems that the premier is just floating an idea and then when he hears the inevitable objections to that idea he pulls back.”
Government has yet to answer the question of whether it will be forced by the UK to introduce direct taxation in exchange for permission to borrow in order to balance the budget. In the light of further speculation that government revenues are continuing to decline and that takings in the third quarter of this fiscal year have again fallen considerably short of expectations, the size of the CIG’s borrowing needs for 09/10 will have increased.
Although CNS was unable to obtain any official figures for the third quarter of this fiscal year, operational expenses, although down on last year, have not reportedly fallen sufficiently to prevent extensive borrowing, government sources say.  
McLaughlin said that, given the continuing recession and its impact on revenue, the premier had to take a position on what he intended to do and tell the country what he had decided, defend it and begin to work through it. He said the constant floating and retreating on ideas was causing genuine alarm and uncertainty with everyone.
“In my own experience and awareness of the country’s political history I have never known such indecisive government,” McLaughlin said, adding that he was never convinced of the premier’s reputation as a decision maker as he believed he was impulsive and reckless, which has been demonstrated by his actions over the last 12 months.
“No one can be sure about anything. Whether it’s about salary and benefit cuts, job losses or taxation, people can’t make plans for themselves or their business in this climate of uncertainty when they don’t know from day to day and week to week what is going to happen,” the PPM MLA stated.
With the gravity of the current economic situation, McLaughlin said, government had to start making some decisions that it could stick with. He said that the current government had to create some certainty in order to allow the people of the Cayman Islands to get down to work and begin to recover from what was the worst international recession for decades.
“With the country hanging on his every word as premier, to be making impulsive decisions and retreating from them days later, this is really disastrous,” McLaughlin added.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    Poor Alden. Every time he opens his mouth about anything non-legal in nature he reminds us why he was such an incompetent as a minister. Remember his "expert" opinion re."cells and bells," and the feel-good professor’s theories that we were bankrolling amongst the never-ending "excitement" nonsense? This place felt like "Woodstock 2" at the time. And then later on as some kind of minister for finance just before he left the country broke? Evidently he wants to be really really famous for something in life, and that’s fair enough if you’re that way inclined, but playing around with our education system and wrecking the economy is way too high a price for us to pay. Please, Alden, leave education matters and finance matters to people who really understand them. And if I ever need legal advice I promise I’ll come to you. Fair enough?

    • Anonymous says:

      Why doesn’t McKeeva Bush, who really is the Minister of Finance, leave finance matters to someone who understands them? His only claim to any financial expertise is as director (which he later denied) of a failed bank. Why doesn’t Mark Scotland leave Health matters alone? His background is as a civil engineer and it is obvious that he has no knowledge of the subject matter of most of his portfolio. What does Rolston Anglin know about education? People in Glass Houses (pun intended) shouldn’t throw stones.

      The fact is that Education did well under Alden as most educators will acknowledge. It is fairly obvious that he is most intelligent member of the House and he is dead right in his comments here.    

  2. Anonymous says:

    What planet is Alden living on?

    Greece is having riots and the EU is completely undecided on their future as well as that of Spain, Portugal and even the UK.

    The US is far from enjoying a full recovery and Cayman tourism depends of these customers.

    If Alden is looking for stability then he should have been more prudent in this capital spending projects when in power.

    Alden is good at picking at others but not so good at owning his own mistakes.

  3. Anonymous says:

     It seems we have two choices:

    1) UDP – the uncertainty of success.

    2) PPM – the certainty of decline. Sorry I mean "Take Cayman Back."

    HMMMMMMMMM, who should I vote for?

  4. Ol Dingo says:

    Our father which art in Heaven please help us cause we gah plenty people in power that dont know their head from their a$$…………..

  5. Anonymous says:

     The bus is moving so fast, it isn’t possible for us to get out of its’ way and we are now all under the bus.  Who is the driver?  Can someone guess??????????FXb

    • Anonymous says:

      Jesus wept, I’ve seen the appalling standard of bus driving on this island so we should all run for cover. .

  6. Anonymous says:

    The uncertainty is alarming but the utter stupidity of some of the recent statements is even more alarming.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The PPM government must first face the fact that they have played a very large part in placing the country in this financial crises we find ourselves in today. Once they have come to that conclusion then Alden, Kurt and the rest of the PPM can then stand up and start giving some valuable contributions to how they themselves would aid in fixing the problems this country face. And until the UDP find a solutions to paying off the massive debt that is facing them, we as a country will continue to suffer.

    The people of this country must learn to call a spade a spade and no longer allow themselves to be lead blindly. We know the truth of the road we took to get to where this country is presently at and we also know who was driving the bus.

    Until we face the facts, we will forever be stock on this never ending ferres wheel.

    Time to move on and get this country rolling. PPM sit down and shut-up you have had your turn, UDP lets get the ball rolling the people need assistance now.


    • Anonymous says:

      UDP MLA’s – Today’s big word is "metaphorical". The above request to "get the ball rolling" was metaphorical. Would all of you please stop looking for a "ball" as it is not playtime just yet and the country needs a "government". I know that is another big word and it is a lot for the people to expect you to learn 2 new big words in one year but please try. 

    • Anonymous says:

      What is alarming is the unthinking voter support for the PPM after the horrible financial mismanagement.

      If the country were to suffer a hurricane with the current financial crisis the country would be crushed.

      What were the PPM thinking?

      • Anon says:

        And the continued ‘unthinking’ blind support of the UDP compounding the problem is fine, yes? 

    • Anon says:

      Yes is truly is "Time to move on…" so why don’t you, and others like you get over this boring old blame game?  You’re all starting to sound like scratched record and its completely non-productive – gets us nowhere.   I couldn’t give a XXXX who’s responsible historically for the mess we’re in today.  I just want to see solutions now.  I am sick of both people and politicians pointing fingers and doing nothing.  The UDP had their turn before also and now they’re having another bite of the apple they’ve made it even more rotten.  Both political parties are responsible historically, but who cares?  What we care about is a solution, and NOW!!!


      • Anonymous says:

        very convenient for ppm to tell everybody to stop playing the blame game…wonder why?

        what are the solutions offered by ppm?

        • Anon says:

          Your response to my post is hilariously inaccurate 14.50.  

          I lay blame equally with both parties and wouldn’t cast my vote for either of them if my life depended on it – so your assumption is waaaayy wrong. 

          I am actually being objective and looking at both sides of the situation – something you political supporters (whether UDP or PPM) seem completely unable to do… so just as I try to point enough of the blame game and time for action and results, what do you do?  Jump on the bandwagon and lay blame – how novel and original (I hope you understand sarcasm better than you understood my post).

    • Anonymous says:

      Now that is a "clever" suggestion: "PPM sit down and shut up." I have never heard anyone making such a stupid suggestion! The opposition must shut up? How stupid can you be?
      Can I ask you Anon 09:42, did you suggest the same thing to your imcompetent UDP after the 2005 elections when the UDP had left this country in a shambles? I shudder to think, in fact I dread to even dare try & think about the mess this country would have been in if the world had faced a worldwide recession leading up to 2005! Thank GOD we had a competent & honest government after the 2005 elections that helped save Cayman from the UDP disasterous administration, & the PPM did it without continually blaming the UDP!
      A lot, if not most of the problems that the PPM faced during their term in government was having to deal with the mismanagement of the UDP.

      The UDP did not have a recession to deal with yet they somehow managed to cause great harm to our country with pet projects & suspected overspending of funds that left Cayman on the verge of destruction. The PPM would have left the country in a much better financial position if it weren’t for the following requirements being placed on them by the failed UDP government after the 2005 election:

      1. paying almost double (about $68 million) for the development of the failing Boatswain beach attraction

      2. having to pay over $10 million every year to keep Boatswain Beach operational

      3. $4.4 million in over payments on the UDP’s Royal Watler Cruise terminal (Auditor General’s report)

      4. $1.6 million in unnecessary funding fees on the UDP’s Boatswain Beach, paid to close friends (Auditor General’s report)

      5. Over $14 million in questionable pay outs & spending on the UDP’s affordable housing programme for poor quality houses (Auditor General’s report)

      6. Over $50 million in written off insurance claims in the UDP’s settlement of the Cayman National insurance after hurricane Ivan (AG’s report)

      In addition to all of these UDP disasterous mistakes, the PPM also had to deal with the police investigations ordered by the Governor which cost millions of dollars (the PPM voted to stop the funding while the UDP voted to continue funding the investigations).

      As you can see by these facts, the UDP are the reason why Cayman is in such a financial mess, while the PPM also played their part with the building of 2 new schools & the new roads (both of which I support. We need schools & roads more than we need the stupidness the UDP wasted millions on). 
      The UDP put us in this mess, the facts speak for themselves.  




  8. Anonymous says:

    Be careful what you ask for Mr. Mclaughlin.  By your own admission Premier Bush is "reckless" and "impulsive."  Who knows what outrageous decisions will be made.  Every day the UDP promotes another harebrain idea on how to plug the budget deficit.

    Instead of concentrating on promoting growth in the core industries that have been the backbone of the Cayman economy for decades, Bush looks for a quick fix; one or two rich inward investors who might fill the government coffers directly.  It’s a policy of ignore the needs of the local economy and tax them to raise some initial cash, and then try to develop a new arm to the Cayman economy; anything that will bring in some new duties and taxes — much of which will be given away in concessions for 30-years in any case!  Doesn’t matter how the new industry will impact on the islands in the medium to long term, just get the money in, we’re desperate!  If Shetty wanted to grow cotton and build a mill, we’d be looking at textiles as the saviour of the Cayman economy! 

    The UDP’s indecisiveness is dreadfull, but the final decisions are most likely to be worse!

  9. Bodden says:

    Not to cause thumbs-down…

    But as a leader you need to make decisions – give the country some sense of direction. On the other hand, you need to tread carefully – haste makes waste!

    The PPM can learn from the UDP about "treading carefully" before making economic decisions.

    Just a thought

    • Anonymous says:

      But the UDP is not treading carefully. It is making reckless statements and then pulling them back 24 hours later.  

      • Voice of Reason (the real one, not the imposter) says:

        Yeah, but much as I love Cayman I have to say that the politicians in both parties are, for the most part, complete buffoons.  When any of the open their mouths they all sound like they’re limited by a grade 9 education or something – and I mean all of them!! 

        Everyone can point fingers at either or both parties, but the end is the same:

        Bill: "Your guy is an idiot".

        Frank: "Yeah, but your guy’s an idiot too".

        Bill: "Yeah…"

        Frank: "So we don’t actually disagree."

        Bill: "No, It’s true.  We’re surrounded by idiots."

        Frank: "How about direct rule from the UK?"

        Bill: "Nope, they are even WORSE idiots."

        Frank: "Agreed. Whatcha gonna do?"

        Bill: "Caybrew?"

        Frank: "Ya mon, Caybrew."

        Happens every day…

  10. Anonymous says:

    McLaughlin is finally hitting his stride as a leader. He is absolutely correct.


      Have you seen the half built school in North Side?  What in God’s name was he thinking?  Oops…..obviously not thinking!

      SOME LEADER…………

      • Anonymous says:

        The reason why the school in NS is unfinished is because the UDP got voted in & in typical Mckeeva Bush vindictive style they put a stop to it (remember the hospital opposit Triple C school?) by claiming the country is broke. Until the elections things were fine under the PPM, then the UDP got in & all hell broke loose & Cayman has gone to the dogs!

  11. Pathetic says:

    Alden, rather than moaning what is your solution?  Taxes?  If so which ones?  Spending cuts?  If so which ones? 

    You guys run up our spending bill like there was no tomorrow.  Well hey it is tomorrow and we have one hell of a hangover.  Give us something positive to the debate rather than just knocking the other side.

    I am not PPM nor UDP.  I just see a bunch of losers with bigger egos than contributions to the good governance of Cayman.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Several of the UDP members have major problems in their own lives or their familie’s lives and it seems they are not able to concentrate on the countries issues. Added to Mac being a loose cannon its obvious why we’re in the mess we find ourselves in.

    • Anya Solomon says:

      Who are you trying to fool, I am sure you are also loaded with ‘major’ personal problems and if you are not please tell me your secret.  You are just looking to start an argument on this page, we all have problems going on, so stupid being in denial!

      • bradley says:

        Sorry Anya

        You may even attack me. But you have to admit that in a way, the UDP appears to be having a MORALITY problem.

        First Ellio’s temper tandrum, then you hear about Dwaynes provocation. It all doesn’t look good. And ironically, in the midst of it all, we have the Premier singing "oh how I love Jesus."

        It is so ironic, and I am not qualified to point the finger. But the party leader and deputy leader professes Christianity whilst some of their members are caught up with ethical issues. Although you have some good honest politicians in the LA

        This is not a good sign for this country whilst crime in the community has increased!  Who will the youngsters look up to???

        • Anya Solomon says:

          Yes Bradley, should I tell you all of the scandal the PPM members have been involved in with their personal/marital affairs? lol! The only difference is that there scandal did not make it to the Public Press because it was treated ‘hush hush’.  Lets be fair now if we are going to criticise. 😀


      • Anonymous says:

        Not trying to start an argument and yes everyone have prsonal problems from time to time. However when personal problems are major it tends to distract people from the job at hand. Its that simple. And no I don’t have "major personal problems" the secret to that is ………………….

      • Anon says:

        Oh hush! That anon poster was SO RIGHT! They’re so busy fighting their own personal battles, and getting big sums of money to do nothing else! That they don’t even have time to deal with what they were put there to do! That’s put this country back on the right track! Not foolishly run around trying to beat people up for things that they obviously can’t control! LOL! What a mess we are all in!

      • Anonymous says:

        Anon 09:42 ‘problems’ does not give anyone the right to commit a crime.

    • frank rizzo says:

      Cheap shot.

      • Anonymous says:

        True, but of course it wouldn’t be a cheap shot if it also didn’t have a ring of truth to it.

        It seems to me that the focus is not on the real problem(s). Our biggest problem is expenditure which nobody wants to tackle, so instead they focus on income.

        Expenditure has always been a problem, but in a land that seemed to flow with milk and honey where the income was always sufficiently high, the waste in expenditure was ignored by successive governments for decades.

        The problem with the milk and honey scenario that everyone turned a blind eye to was that when all that money was flowing into government coffers, quite naturally a lot of it spilled over and was easily raked in by others.

        Could it be that the focus is NOT on the income, but on the amount of "spillage" that can be raked in from new revenue streams?

        • frank rizzo says:

          I was referring to the ad hominem attack. Ring of truth or not, it is a flawed arguement. I have no problem with YOUR arguement at all, you did not bring irrelevant (my opinion)personal material into your arguement.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I hate the back and forth between the UDP and the PPM blaming each other for everything, but McLaughlin does have a point here.  Big Mac does seem lost with how to approach any major decision for the Islands and if I were a business owner on the island I would be worried.

  14. Scrooge McDuck says:

    Wikipedia:  Truth or Dare? is a party game requiring a minimum of two players.

    In politics it has both an incumbent party and an opposition party but the rules are the same.  Both the main players are given enormous salaries and there is often a third player called the "public" that doesn’t participate and accepts the consequences.   The game is played throughout the world.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Mckeeva, look out Alden is saying your getting just like Kurt with the indecisiveness.

    Cut the civil service and that will right the country. People are fed up and something needs to be done and I sure as hell don’t want to be paying any more taxes so that civil servants can continue to live high on the hog.

  16. Say It Aint So! says:

    How dare the opposition criticize the elected government for trying to reslove the financial ruin the PPM has put this country in. Where as I agree that the Honorable Premier needs to stop waffeling on a proposed tax idea and find an alternate plan to any form of taxation what else whould you like him to do considering the task at hand. He needs to guage the acceptability of any proposal. Well I say no to any form of taxes! However support needs to be given in warding off the Brits!

    The PPM was advised to curb spending and their response was "NOT ON THE KINDEST OF MORNINGS" The current criticism being levied is uncalled for and I expect more from any politician regardless what side of the isle you reside. Please offer up solutions instead of the usual Political BS.

    • Anon says:

      Oh grow up, get a life and stop acting like a child in a schoolyard brawl will ya?  You’re as bad as the politicians and this behaviour serves no purpose but to breed bad feeling and contempt.  Stop blaming and start working together towards productive solutions please I implore you, and all others like you who would rather get wrapped up in a protracted and pointless blame game than do something positive.


  17. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Alden, you are right regarding the harm being done by the ridiculous nonsense coming out of the Premier regarding this tax today and that tax tomorrow. However sir you appear to have failed to make the point that should be obvious to any thinking person. THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO  SLASH EXPENSES NOW. That is how confidence will be restored. Taking more money from the people in order to allow government to continue to waste it is not the answer.

  18. Anonymous says:

    alden is 100% correct!

    but unfortunatly he represents the party who spent cayman into bankruptcy and took no difficult decisions themselves…..

  19. Anonymous says:

    Waaaaat?? PPM accusing UDP of being indecisive? Wow, this takes the cake!


  20. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Mclaughlin, as a politician yourself you certainly know that in Politics the only thing that matters is your Political survival.

    The fact is, anything the premier decides to do is likely to endanger his political survival, and yes the premier is flip flopping because anything he even thinksof doing is likely to affect his political survival in the present economic climate.

    You seem however to be missing the fact that the people within the premiers close circle are doing very well even in these hard times.

    • Anonymous says:

      If any politician feels that the ONLY thing that matters is his political surivival then he/she should be voted out as soon as possible as he/she cannot be trusted to act in the best interests of the country.  

    • Anonymous says:

      "people within the premiers close circle are doing very well in these hard times"

      That is an unfounded statement . and add nothing to the discussion. Your

      post makes you seem like a realist (we need more like you) but…..with a

      "put the premier down agenda"..

      Almost without exception politicians and their "friends" are no paupers..but

      can you "help" without the dirt ?