Mac speeds up finance review

| 23/06/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Island Headline News, Cayman Finance Committee(CNS): In his first time as chair of the Finance Committee the premier managed to wrap up the scrutiny of the government’s annual spending plans in a record breaking two sittings. A process which normally spans across a two week period was ‘done and dusted’ in one nine hour sitting and a second eleven hour sitting as the premier kept his promise to “do things differently”.  McKeeva Bush made history on Monday (21 June) when the Legislative Assembly adjourned the budget debate to enter into Finance Committee for the first time under his chairmanship as an elected finance minister. (Photo by Mani Bina)

Before the adoption of the Cayman Island Constitution 2009, Finance Committee was chaired by the financial secretary, the third official and unelected member oft he country’s parliament. Bush took the chair’s seat for the first time on Monday afternoon and warned members not to make long speeches but to seek advice and ask relevant questions of the witnesses.   
When deliberations began members sat until 12.30am on Tuesday morning (22 June) during their first session before resuming around 10am that same day for the second session, which lasted until 9pm Tuesday evening.
As a result of the late hour, both the Education and the Housing and Community ministries’ appropriations were examined without the benefit of civil service assistance. The speed with which the chair pressed the committee to examine the appropriations had opposition member Arden McLean expressing concern that the financial line items were not given the usual level of scrutiny associated with the committee. McLean said he was concerned that the premier was trying to stifle the democratic process as he cut short opposition members’ questions.
It took only 20 hours for the members to vote on more than 300 separate financial appropriations for all of the various government ministries, portfolios, agencies, statutory authorities and government companies.
The Legislative Assembly resumes on Thursday morning to vote on the entire budget, which the opposition leader Kurt Tibbetts and the independent member Ezzard Miller have already said they do not feel they can support as a result of the fuel duty increase of 25 cents per gallon.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is one of the main reasons we should not go independant. People aren’t organized enough, interested enough, brave enough to stand up to out of control politicians. The UK/FCO is our only backstop which is keeping us from complete self-destruction by our "leaders".

  2. Anonymous says:

    20 hours. 300 appropriations… so  (doing math) that’s a cursory 4 minutes on average to debate each one… minus time spent opening and closing, and of course, time spent arguing or laying blame… oh dear, more money down the drain?

  3. Seriously? says:

    Surely someone must have realised that there may be just a teeny weeny conflict of interest for the Premier to be heading the Financial Committee? 

    Is it not the head of the Financial Committee who authorises what the Premier can claim for out of the general public’s pocket?  Such as:

    Yes:  security (to some extent), gas, car, etc; 

    No:  Christmas lights, building of walls and excess CUC bills.

    No wonder he can (1) push through the budget; and (2) charge the general public $4,000 a month for expenses: he has no one to say no to him as he’s the one who has access and full accountability to the country’s purse.


    • Anonymous says:

      And may I Humbly ask who rammed the Constitutional change down our throats?

  4. Anonymous says:

    If the posters here are really interested in what is going on in the government why don’t you take a vacation day or two from your jobs and go sit through a finance committee and see what REALLY happens! If we want the island to become a better nation then as a part of the responsibility of being a good citizen is to get involved in what is going on.

    You will find…at times…that the press does not capture the true heart of what is happening in the LA or the finance committee.. They find the things that sell papers and get readers. There are many great Caymanians involved in putting together the budget numbers and know what is going on in their departments. Slamming Mac for the budget is slamming our fellow Caymanians for the work they have done for Mac and the rest of us in this country.

    By the way do you really think he sits down and puts all that together NO he has well educated people who he entrusts to do that for him! Yes, fellow Caymanians!


    • Anonymous says:

      How many fellow Caymanians did it take to come up with $4 million for Nation Building?

      Why is there no line item for utilities and other miscellaneous expenses at the Premier’s residence?

      How many fellow Caymanians did it take to figure out how many millions of dollars the Premier would need to go jaunting around the world seeking inward investment.?

      Examining the budget was probably a waste of time as the Premier has enough broomsticks on hand to pass whatever he wants.

      The Premier talks about Civil Servants wasting time with FOI requests, but I hardly consider it a waste of time if we can get one truthful answer to some question every now and again.

      What is a waste of time is when those fellow Caymanians spend countless hours on estimates and the Premier blows it all to hell by taking a bunch of his cronies on an overseas vacation and then say "charge this to so and so…."

      • Anonymous says:

        I wonder if we could see the same line items for the Governor?  I bet we pay more for him than the Premier (which is a position provided at the hands of our previous LOGB) through the new constitution! Hey CNS can you provide scrutiny the governor if the Premier is going to be scrutinized? Lets compare some apples to apples and see what comes out of it!

        CNS: As you can see if you open the FOI documents, the request concerning the premier’s expenses wasmade anonymously by "Seldom Wright". Anyone, including you, can make an FOI request concerning the governor’s expenses.

      • Anonymous says:

        Synonym for "Caymanians"

        "Crabs in a barrel…"

        Keep on pulling each other down and trying to destroy each others reputation. Is it going to help move this country forward???

        So tired of all the bashing of us so called "Caymanians" by us so called "Caymanians." Isn’t it time we lifted each other up rather than trying to keep pushing our fellowman down.

        The whole world is laughing at us as we continue to make fools of ourselves.

      • Anonymous says:

        THe Governor, can have expenditures, but a born elected leader cannot huh!   Crabs in a BArrel sah! thats we

  5. Anonymous says:

    He had to rush things through. South Africa andd World Cup Football calling. Will be in time for the knock out rounds and the finals!!

    Talk about about prerogatives

  6. Anonymous says:

    Maybe he’s worried about someone asking why the people’s money pays for Christmas lights at his house. Finally, he’s ashamed.

  7. peter milburn says:

    Well done Mr.Premier.Did Moses get in touch with you on this?No not from the Brac.I can understand the rush to get this done before the deadline (June 30th?) but what is really needed is the cuts in the budget that seem to be forgotten about.MLA salary cuts etc.etc.that were promised from way back when.The excess monies going to Boatswain Beach(again)There are way  too many to mention here but I think a revisit to this new budget is called for.

  8. Anonymous says:

    > “do things differently”.

    Does that mean "not give anyone else a say"?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Shut off debate – prevent oversight of questionable expenses which are coming to light – shameful but to be expected with this government. 

  10. Oliver says:

    You can ask the question if it really make any since to speak, really I respect the office but not the person . I use to look up to Mac and I am not a member of his party nor the other one. I though he meant well but  observing him and the way he operates/rules he is a Dictator/Autocratice leader not good.

    I say get rid of the party seystem and let them have to work for their support like they did when Mr. Cradock Ebanks, Norman Bodden these good men were in the house I could name a few more but I think you get the point.

    God help us all,

  11. Rorschach says:

    Sorry, but I was under the impression that Kurt Tibbetts was the "Leader of the Oppostion"??   Why is Arden ( and at times, Ezzard) the only member of the Oppostion making any noise about what seems to be the political "Ramrodding" that McKeeva is doing?? 

    WHERE IS THE OPPOSTION???  You were elected to represent the PEOPLE of Cayman..PLEASE stand up and make your (our) voices be heard!!

    • Rorschach says:

      With all respect to Mr. McLean and Mr. Miller, my post should have read," Were is the rest of the Opposition"?

      • Anonymous says:

        Well according to what I heardon Rooster this morning, Alden had surgery so he couldn’t be there.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Now THIS is something worth marching over!

    What a despicable abuse of power. I am sooooooo disappointed in the few educated Ministers who are not standing up to this man and standing for what is right.

    This is a very dangerous road that we are speeding down.



  13. Anonymous says:

    This is unbelievable….I mean truly unbelievable…is there anyone who can stop this man?

    Oh yeah, I forgot no backbenchers said a word so they either agree with everything Mac is doing, which makes them FOOLS or they don’t agree, but don’t have the ability to stand up which makes them SPINELESS.

    What a truly sad time in Cayman’s History…..

  14. Anonymous says:

    This is absolutely unbelieveable! 

    Oh wait, this is Cayman, now ruled by a dictatorship.  I forgot.

  15. Anonymous says:

    He sped along a review of the budget – yet found time to slander the PPM?

    How shocking for a man of our Premier’s character and stature – LOL.

    Can we spell B-A-N-A-N-A  R-E-P-U-B-L-I-C?