Mac lauds new UK relations

| 16/06/2010

(CNS): Relations between the Cayman Islands Government and the United Kingdom appear to have taken a turn for the better in the wake of the British election. Premier McKeeva Bush told the Legislative Assembly during his budget address on Tuesday that the last four weeks had been far more positive and constructive than the last 12 months in regards the relationship with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. He also said the governor had shown a new approach during the talks with London when he sat on the Cayman Islands side of the table and not the UK. “He spoke for us,” Bush told the Legislative Assembly, pointing out that no governor he knew had ever done that before. (Photo by Bina Mani)

Bush said things had got off to a good start with the new UK Overseas Territories Minister,adding that he had made no secret of his desire to see a new administration in London after the election. “This relationship has been somewhat renewed recently with the election of a new government in the UK. I think it is very safe to say that there is a world of difference between the nature of that relationship over the past 12 months as compared to the one recently established over the past 4 weeks,” Bush added. 

During his 2010/11 budget presentation the premier spoke about the need to involve the UK in Cayman’s finances as a result of the need to borrow again this year and the subsequent agreement over the proposed three year financial plan. He said it had been embarrassing for a country that always boasted financial independence to have to seek the FCO’s permission but the new UK government had offered its full support for the national recovery plan.
Having met the Henry Bellingham, the UK’s new Under Secretary with responsibility for the Overseas Territories, Bush said he had received approval to borrow without introducing new taxes. The premier emphasised that there would be no income tax and no property tax and  the two countries had entered into a more positive partnership.
He had been hoping for some change, Bush admitted, which would provide an opportunity to improve Cayman’s relations with the UK when it would treat the commonwealth and the Caribbean more favourably.
“It appears thus far that, we have got that,” he said as he explained that he had tabled the letter from Bellingham in relation to the meeting demonstrating the change.
“In his letter Mr. Bellingham agrees with my own assessment that the meeting was extremely constructive,” Bush said. “He is looking forward to a more dynamic and positive relationship between the UK and the Cayman Islands…..Mr. Bellingham agreed to and offered support to the government in its initiatives as laid out in the three year plan. This included ensuring that the plan was fully implemented and that there was an annual progress report on its implementation.”
According to the letter from Bellingham, a Conservative member of the new coalition government he appears to be more supportive of the UDP government’s desire to divest public sector assets, something Chris Bryant the former Labour Overseas Territories Minister had been less than enthusiastic about,  warning of the dangers of disposing of assets. Bellingham said he wished to see the proceeds of divestment utilized for a sinking fund to rebuild reserves and pay off existing debt.
“The UK agreed to, and also fully supported the Government’s plan to restructure existing loans, including the recent bond issue — to improve our cash flow and reduce interest costs,” Bush stated.
“Over the past year, my administration has been working hard to improve the Government’s fiscal crisis and restore prudentfinancial management to this country. The new UK administration appears to have an appreciation of our efforts and Mr. Bellingham expressed his appreciation for our determination to restore sustainable public finances to the Cayman Islands,” Bush added.
The premier said the country had never asked the UK for anything other than understanding and support for policies that improve the lives of the people. “We are therefore grateful for this improved partnership and look forward to working with the new administration in the UK and I certainly hope that we can now move forward with a renewed and more positive partnership,” Bush stated.
In his letter to Bush, Bellingham said he appreciated the tough decisions that had already been made by the premier to reduce the deficit. Although Bellingham said he had expressed concern in a previous letter over the amount of borrowing he was pleased that Bush was able to reduce the amount by some $52million and agreed that there would be no more borrowing this year.
He said the three year plan was ambitious but the measures contained must be fully implemented and for the government to publish it and keep the country informed. E also asked Bush to ensure the Cayman Islands have a full up to date set of audited accounts by the end of the next financial year.

Letter from Henry Bellingham

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Headline News

About the Author ()

Comments (16)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. IRON CLAD says:

    Mac Lauds the Relations, but WHAT is Mac really doing to get the country back on track??

    And WHY is he AGAIN advocating to have a a channel cut in any part of our marine environment to "Attract Mega Yachts" here to the Islands. Do the ‘Rich’ HAVE to get their yachts docked next to their homes in where-ever they will be living? Could that place be the Ritz Residences???

    Why does McKeeva INSIST on destroying our country???

    I am SOOO sick and FED UP with McKeeva’s INCONSIDERATE and TYRANICAL plights to further RUIN our country and to get additional GAINS for himself.

    This Tyranosaurus Rex needs to be STOPPED.


    Definitely IRON CLAD

    CNS: Sorry, Iron Clad. Email me if you want to ask why I deleted that part.


  2. Anonymous says:

    let me de-code bush’s love for taylor:

    i have a govenor who assists me in removing my political enemies(auditor general)

    i have a govenor who stays quite when i threathen journalists with jail

    i have a govenor who believes my sham budgets….etc


    shame on you duncan, shame on you

    • CONCERNED says:

      WHY dont you stop stirring S%it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bush seems to have been able to get the Gov thinking his way (GOD forbid), but just wait until the new UK Officials get to really know the man, including his boombastic ways, dictatorial actions, threatening ways, & his love of shutting up anyone who opposes him or does not agree with him 100%, just wait until they get to see the real man then they will be like all the others before him: not happy. They are new for now, just wait!

  3. "Relations between the Cayman Islands Government and the United Kingdom appear to have taken a turn for the better"


    Notice the word "appear"

    Knowing the history of the FCO; especially on how they evicted the Chagos Islanders so to turn their home into a military base, we should never ever ever ever ever…  judge a book by its cover

  4. Anonymous says:

    Good job Premier

    Despite your critics, you have proved them wrong

    I 100% for what you’re doing, because I love my country


    • Anonymous says:

      In what way has he proved them wrong?

      on the front page of CNS there is a report about cuts, in it I saw a section where they said that all the fee increases to work permits and what not actually did way more harm than good by driving away business and permit holders, on the same note they are talking about taxing diesel and other things they did not mention?

      I personally don’t believe anything this government says because so far everything they said turned out to be a pack of lies.


  5. Anonymous says:

    I am happy to read this comments. I think if the UK  Government and its representative, the Governor, we have hope of getting out of the troubled times cayman is going through.

    This was the relationship which existed in the past and only in the last decade or so , has gone in the opposite direction.

    Let us support this effort constructively.



  6. whodatis says:

    I say we (Cayman) put aside 1 million dollars from our borrowed funds and immediately present to the UK as an economic gift.

    The UK as we all know is currently facing its most dire financial situation in history and they need all the help they can get.

    An economic bilateral gesture will go a long way in this day in age – you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.

    The last thing any country wants to do right now is to develop a paper trail of "gimme, gimme, gimme".

    Of course this gesture will have a (futuristic) political implication attached. Who knows how things may turn out in the near future? It is crucial that we show our commitment and appreciation to our affiliation with the UK. History has shown how fickle the FCO / UK can be in regards to their territories – we need to act very strategically today.

    (Pssst … Mac, in the event you take on my suggestion – you may wanna call up a few international media corporations to spread the good news!)

  7. Spit the Dog says:

    The Governor had better be careful not to allow laws to pass that are not ECHR compliant because the result would damages claims against the UK government under English law at a time when the coffers in London are bare.  The new fingerprinting law could cost millions in compensation if the police are allowed anywhere near the stored information.

  8. Bodden says:

    Well this is positive news!

    Time and time again whether positive or negative, we learn it is those in leadership positions under the FCO administration that makes a difference for the people of the Cayman Islands.

    Also, our "good relations" with the United Kingdom reflects the kind of leadership we have here as well. So we may not like to acknowledge this, but despite their short-comings, we should first give thanks to God, and commend the new UK administration, the Governor, the Premier, and the UDP/PPM ministers involved for their willingness to put the interest of Caymanian economy to heart.

    Our Governor appears to be a good one. He has thus far, not made any prideful remarks or declarations against the Cayman Islands, and has stood reserved in his decorum, which reflects patience and a man of integrity. He appears to mean well for our economy and international standing in the world.

    It is also worthy of note that despite our Premier’s manner and outspoken ways against critics in the media and on the other side, he has demonstrated the ability of being a good negotiator, and took part on improving the bond between us and the FCO. The Queen made no mistake in granting the Premier’s OBE years ago. The Premier economic plan is referred to by the new Under Secretary as ambitious. Whether PPM or Independent, right now it is for the "love of our country" that we support the Premier in his endeavors. There may be differences of opinion, but one thing is clear: the UDP’s primary goal is to once again put us back in a favorable economic state. To think otherwise and waste our energies by attacking the Premier’s weaknesses and threats against the media, at this time will not do Cayman any justice. The economy must be our number one priority, and whoever is in power to improve the economy, was democratically elected by the people and for the people – and we should respect where respect is due.

    I give thanks to God who is the author of our self-determination, and do hope that the people of the Cayman Islands, not only economically prosper and have a strong relationship with the UK (they need us and we need them), but that Cayman improve on her relationships with her Caribbean neighbors as well; especially, Jamaica and Honduras. It is time we start marketing ourselves and show goodwill to our neighbors. We are not in this world alone.



    • Anonymous says:

      Bodden – you are Cayman’s first, home-grown comedian.

      You’ve still got a bit of work to do on your timing but you have the potential to keep us laughing for the next three years at least. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    Looks like the kneepads came in handy.

  10. frank rizzo says:

    Taylor just doesn’t know any better yet.

    • Anonymous says:

      His Excellency appears to me to be a very wise man, one of integrity and patience. I am quite sure that he was well read on the various characters prominent in this society, who he would encounter here upon his arrival, hence his good sense and ability to deal with them in the professional and dignified manner that he has. Thank God that we now have someone of his stature as our Governor during these difficult times.

    • Twyla Vargas says:

      Oh, for the Love of Cayman sake una  stop it and give the Governor a chance. I think he and the Permier did an exellent job, taking into consideration where we are comming from.  

      I guess in this life we can always expect the Neys, and the yeas, because this is not a pefect world, but I still believe in giving credit where it is due.  At one point I was concerned about where the relationship with Cayman and UK was heading, but now,sincerely,  I feel much better..Good to read what has been achieved so far and hope there wll be even better days ahead as we all struggle to survive. Blessed.