Cuts continue says Bush

| 14/05/2010

(CNS): Updated 10:30 am The premier is still cutting public sector operating expenses to reduce the amount of borrowing Cayman will need to bridge the expected deficit for the 09/10 fiscal year. McKeeva Bush said that he will continue to talk with civil servants in his role as Minister for Finance about cost cutting measures in order to reduce the deficit and keep borrowing to the minimum. Giving few details about the size of Cayman’s year end deficit, the UK’s position on the country’s borrowing needs or the introduction of taxation, Bush told the country that he would bring a budget to the Legislative Assembly before the end of May.

Speaking at a press briefing on Thursday afternoon, the premier said the budget and the three year plan were still being worked out and “dialogue was still going on” but the Cayman Islands Government had answered the UK’s questions regarding the plan, which was submitted at the end of March. He would not be drawn on the detail, however, or how much he expected the Cayman Islands would need to borrow.
Bush explained that as the UK had still not appointed the Overseas Territories minister yet there was no one to ask if the plan would be enough for the UK to waive the rules on fiscal responsibility and grant an increase in borrowing.
The main goal, the premier revealed, was to get spending down as much as possible so that in turn the country could keep borrowing down as he did not want to continue borrowing at the rates the previous PPM administration had reached, otherwise the country, he said, would be indebted to the tune of $800 million or more. “I want to get back to a point where we are $16 or 20 million to do certain things that we need,” he added citing a new remand centre as one such project as he again criticised the idea of building two schools.
He said he had spent the last few weeks sitting down with senior civil servants to see where operational expenditure cuts could be made and he was going to continue doing that over the next few weeks.
“We are still cutting and I am going to a meeting now where I am going to cut more so the world will see I have attempted to do something,” he said at the briefing.
Bush also criticized those who believed that taxation was the way forward. He said the previous UK administration was not unreasonable in asking the Cayman government to find new revenue but it was unfair by asking us to put in place income or property tax, adding that, as a result, he found himself on the opposite side of the fence to the Labour government.
He said direct taxation would wipe out the Caymanian middle class. “If any Caymanians believe that it will only be the very rich that is taxed they are making a sad mistake,” Bush said adding that he believed taxes always started that way but then it wasn’t long before it came down to everyone.
“It is not a system I will promote as neither property or income tax would be good for the country,” Bush said. “I firmly believe we can cut our expenses and be open for good investment and development the country will be better off.”
Backing off from earlier comments that he may have to introduce some form of taxation he said he was going to do a different review from the one undertaken recently by James Miller, the commission which the UDP government had appointed, as he said Cayman had a myriad of fees that need to be reviewed — some removed, or consolidated and others increased. “Customs is all over place,” he said. “It won’t be in time for this budget but we will be doing something for the next.”
Bush also stated that he would bring the budget to the Legislative Assembly before the end of May so members would have four weeks to shout about it.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    CNS, can you enquire if the MLA’s actually reduced their salary?  There has been talk that although it was announced by the Premier, it was actually never actioned.  We might need another FOI request!  Good job by the way! 

    • Anonymous says:

      "The budget should be balanced , the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bancrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."


      Cicero, 55 B.C.


      The more things change, the more they stay the same……….. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    yes mac we all know that between you all you have put the country in shit state. and yes we know the situation and ARE ready to do our bit to put it right, ARE YOU?  stop all this travelling and understand this costs thousands upon thousands of dollars we just dont have, stop all the fancy food and drink costs and foolishness and DO YOUR BIT TOO.  set an example and a big one. just like your travel bills.

  3. Anonymous says:

    People in the Government know who is behind the progress that is being made to finally cut the budget, it isn’t the Premier, it isn’t the Financial Secretary and it isn’t the Deputy Governor.

    All they did for the past 4 months was stir us in this that and the other direction with no clear directive or plan as to how to reduce costs

  4. small contractor says:

    Here is an idea.                                                .

    We should steal a play from the Premier’s playbook.

    Tell all the ministries that if you don’t make the cuts you will have to pay 100,000 dollars or you will go to jail.


    • Anonymous says:

      Well he is a darn good one to talk about cuts, he should look in the mirror as well as at his deputy! At a time when Bush is talking about cuts he continues to waste the country’s money on personal drivers for him & his deputy, personal housekeeper & chef, bodyguards for him & his deputy & others, 8 foot wall around his house, his deputy living in a hotel when visiting the Brac despite the fact she has her own house there, & so on & on & on! The people of Cayman should stand up to this tyrant & demand better. Until he & his cohorts set an example by cutting unnecessary spending on themselves the Cayman people must say no to any other proposals of cuts by the premier. He is being darn rude, talking about cuts while continuing to throw away our money on himself. SHAME mr. premier. 

  5. One of the Hornets says:

    The Premier ($13,000/mo.) and senior government officials ($11,000 – $12,000/mo.) have been sitting down recently to discuss where cuts to expenses could be found.  The talks are ongoing.

    $13,000/mo: "Do you see anywhere where we could make any cuts?"

    $11,500/mo:  "I’ve looked and looked, but I haven’t found any."

    $12,200/mo:  "Me neither."

    $11,400/mo:  "We’ll have to come up with something."

    $13,000/mo:  "Think!"

    $11,800/mo:  "Could we… cut back on some take-out for our meetings?"

    $13,000/mo, $11,500/mo, $12,200/mo:  "Excellent suggestion!!"

    $12,400/mo.:  "How about just this meeting?"

  6. Anonymous says:

    Should Fabian Whorms be Premier?

    First, he’s a very bright, intuitive individual who relies on others for their expertise.  He’s working with a good leadership team (not as many as before but just as effective if not more so!).   He’s finally working with a rational, informed Board – but still tied to some irrational expectations of the carrier to be the catalyst for tourism growth. 

    While KX ever be able to make a profit … not likely, their small size makes their cost structure abnormally high compared with more efficient large carriers.  But KX is the catalyst for tourism, economic/business vitality, and a key price/product driver for the Cayman Islands.   One of the better investments the government has at the moment!  




    • Anonymous says:

      I think Fabian Whorms is doing an excellent job at Cayman Airways.  He’s a better man than some of the people in power these days.

  7. Anonymous says:


  8. Anonymous says:

    Here this, here this, The Treasury Dept. has just stated that Mckeeva’s and Julianna’s annual wardrobe allowance for the two to buy new clothing annually was set aside at CI$500,000.00

    Now I don’t know how we can’t get our bills paid, I still waiting on an invoice from December 09 to get paid, but yet we are spending half a million annually on the Premier and Deputy Premier’s wardrobe.

    The cost cutting should start with the top and work its way down.

    Additionally, Govt. has too many MIDDLE MEN or PAPER PUSHERS, cut them out and we may actually get some work done.

    Oh crap, the MIDDLE MEN are who Mac takes on his travel entourage!!

    Stop your crap Mac, take a pill and talk to Dr. Lockhart please before you send the rest of us mad with your foolishness.

    Wendy-Lou, girl we got you covered out here, and I am a caymanian born and bred, but I would champion for you anyday.  Hope you have your status, if not we will call up Wadie and get that put through for you quickly too. 🙂

  9. islandman says:

    And when will the Premier and other Politicians roll back their salaries (or at least a reasonable part of said salary increases) that they have increased 20 to 35 % over the past five to six years?


  10. Anonymous says:

    How about segregation of duties?

    Surely the PFA should disqualify the Honerable Leader from holding the post of Finance Minister?


    • Anonymous says:

      Anyone can become a Politician and get elected.

      It requires educated people to run a Government.

      Just because someone can get elected should not make that person eligible for the job of Premier and Minister of finance or entrust that person to be a decision maker for the people.

      Running a Country requires, skill, lots of common sense and a great sense of fiscal responsibility.

      Too often people end up in high positions in Government and are clueless as to what the job entails. They have to rely on advisors when making decisions, many of whom will advise for their own benefits and not necessarily the people who pay the bills.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Working on more cuts! I hope it is not like that 3.2% roll back joke that the deputy governor and his cronies have put on the table,lower paid civil servants watch out this could be another exercise that affects you directly,oh by the way what ever happened to that civil service association? my bad they got what they wanted 3.2% across,hey mr watler why don’t you now call an emergency meeting for all those under paid civil servants who are living day to day!not.

  12. Anonymous says:

    100% agree with you!

    If Mr. Bush is so concerned about cutting costs to help Cayman, why does he not put "action where his mouth is", by paying out of his own pocket, the cost to put up that 10ft wall around HIS house, paying for HIS own hosekeeper/cook, cut down on having a chaffeur/security everywhere he goes, just to mention a few ways he can cut costs for the Cayman Government.

    BUT, we know this won’t happen!

    • Anonymous says:

      Can anyone prove that his wall, housekeeper/cook and all of his other personal perks were paid for out of governments money. I keep hearing this and it sounds like the popular thing to say and all but where does this information come from. I have a housekeeper/cook and a wall around my house and I didn’t have to spend government’s money to pay for it and my salary is nowhere near what his is. Why do people think he is spending governments money on this and not his own money? Just asking, incase I missed something. By the way I am West Baya and didn’t vote for him so i am not a big supporter of him. I just want to know why people keep saying this where they get their info.

      • Dred says:

        As far as I am aware there was an add in the paper under government headings for the position of cook to the premier.

        As for the rest it’s kind of been what and how he does things. It would be nice to have some evidence but who ever brought it forward would be marked by the beast.

      • Anonymous says:

        They were advertised post on the Government website (not the wall, but the jobs).  They were not advertised by "Mac" in the papers.  They also carried with them all civil servant benefits.

      • Anonymous says:

        FOI the Treasure Dept. they have to share it with you it’s not TOP SECRET!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Why don’t you make an FOI request if you really want to know?

        • Anonymous says:

          Is the FOI where everybody else getting their info from? I mean, did the FOI really say that he was spending the countries money on building walls and cooks. I doubt it. The question I asked is where is everyone getting their info to back up what they are saying. I doubt anyone making these comments did any research and actually know what the heck they are talking about. It could be true that he is spending the countries money for his own personal comfort but this has not been proving so why do people keep making such ignorant comments.

          • Anonymous says:

            FOI is a source that will allow you to get that information because you are now legally entitled to it. I somehow get the feeling that you would rather believe that he is paying for everything himself, and like a lot of abuses that happen in Cayman, some people prefer that the truths remain hidden.

            Unfortunately for those in power, but fortunately for us, there are low-level Clerks involved at several stages and in several places in each process. XXXX

            CNS: Anonymous, can you make that FOI and send us the response?

          • Anonymous says:

            "  I mean, did the FOI really say that he was spending the countries money on building walls and cooks. I doubt it. The question I asked is where is everyone getting their info to back up what they are saying. I doubt anyone making these comments did any research and actually know what the heck they are talking about"

            The cook’s position was advertised as a government position in the newspaper but if you would prefer to keep your head buried in the sand, ok.

      • Beachboi says:

        "Can Anyone Prove", I dont know about the wall, but I do know that the housekeeper / cook is paid for by the government.  The position was listed on the government website.  I might have thought about it butsince they were only paying approximately $2.200.00 per month.  WHAT A JOKE!!!!!  CAN YOU IMAGINE BEING A "HELPA" IN THAT HOUSE FOR $550 PER WEEK???????  UUUuuuuugggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        As for the wall I personally believe that this is also paid for by the government.  It may not be, but I am sure that Mr. McBush found a way to have it paid for.  Can’t you tell how greedy he is by the fact that eventhough he campaigned on the position that the UDP would cut their own salaries if elected they have not.

        Finally I fully believe that he does not pay for the bullet proof chevy, driver and security force.

        I cant say any more right now because everytime I talk about him it makes my blood pressure up and I will not have him ruining my friday!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        does anyone have any pictures of the wall for those of us who don’t hang out in West Bay?

    • Anonymous says:

      How you know if bush do have a cook?? I do know that the family love to cook themselves!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Haha Cuts continue? i did not know they started, all that has been said since the year started is that we will cut this, we will cut that, blah blah blah, but i have not seen any evidence that it actually happened, hell, i still don’t believe the joke that is the 3.2% pay rollback will happen until i see it happen. its like everything is opposite with these guys or something, (yes means no, we will means we will not, we will reduce fees means yeah right!)

  14. Anonymous says:

     And still no answer to thequestion:  Have the Ministers/MLAs, etc., reduced their own salaries as they said they would?

    • Anonymous says:

      The new British cabinet has just taken a 5% paycut, and the%% Spanish Gov’t this week announced a similar reduction for all of its Public Service.

      We need to realise that our problems are not unique.


  15. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps Mr. Bush should take on board Mr. Fabian Whorms as his #1 financial adviser. Fabian has done what it appears no one else has been able to do….reduce the operating costs of CAL. If CAL can reduce staff and other operating expences to the level recently reported by CNS, why then can’t the civil service and other public sector bodies not do the same??????? I firml believe that if there is a will there is a way. These are difficult times and difficult decisions must be made.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why not just make Mr. Fabian Whorms Premier and Minister of Finance.

      That mayjust be the solution we need to our problems.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Here we go again, yet government will not reduce their travel cost and lavish spending.