Mac talks fiscal prudence

| 26/11/2010

(CNS): The country’s premier said that fiscal prudence willcontinue to be the dominating factor in his administration as he delivered the government’s strategic policy statement on Thursday morning. Setting out the government’s broad policy objectives this annual statement is designed to set the scene for the 2010/11 budget. However, McKeeva Bush took the opportunity to also note what he said were real improvements in the current public finances. He announced that in the first quarter of the 2010/11 financial year government had achieved a surplus of approximately CI$15.4 million. In the budget it had expected a deficit of about CI$6 million but because of prudent action spending was much lower than expected.

Aside from the various goals and ambitions of attracting new business to the islands and creating an attractive environment for investors, the premier focused on the need to put government’s financial house in order. He pointed to the much lower than expected deficit at the end of the 2009/10 financial year as a clear demonstration of his government’s success in that regard.

“In its first full year of office, my government has been able to reduce the unaudited budget deficit for the entire public sector to CI$15 million, for the year ended 30 June 2010,” he said. “This represents a whopping reduction of CI$66 million from the corresponding figure of CI$81 million for the year ended 30 June 2009.”

He said the improved results demonstrated that government was heading in the “right direction” the theme of his 2010 SPS. Bush said the opposition should judge government on the facts and without prejudice as the performance represented a CI$30 million improvement on the revised Budget Deficit which was made public in April this year.

With an overall improvement of $10 million in revenue combined with a reduction in expenditure of$18 million less than the revised budget expectation as well as extraordinary expenses and statutory authorities losses both less than a million dollars than expected government had made a serious dent in the deficit.

“In simple terms, we have performed three times better than the revised budget expected,” Bush told the Legislative Assembly. “This is the kind of performance that will help us overcome the economic difficulties that we had to face left by the former government and we are giving ourselves the flexibility in our fiscal policy to take advantage of the prospects for economic improvement in 2011.”

He said that the first three months of this financial year — July to September 2010 government had continued on its track of prudent financial management with core public expenditures CI$18.5 million less than the budget anticipated. “This is not an accident; it did not happen by chance—it was the result of deliberate and prudent action by Ministries and Portfolios and by Honourable Ministers and Members of Cabinet,” the premier said.

In order to achieve economic growth, after overcoming the recession the plan was to focus on reform in the public sector; limits on new borrowings; the re-alignment of the existing revenue base; the reduction of operating expenditures and consideration of the use of PFI as an alternative source of funding – policy objectives that the premier has talked about since his election to office.

According to the policy statement document after the loan which government is still securing with Cohen and Company Ltd of $155 million the government will not take on any new borrowing as it believes there will be no more deficit budgets.

Bush said he that his government had the guts to put the country’s fiscal house in order. This he said would also send the right signals to stakeholders in the international centres such as Washington, New York and London to improve the situation for the financial industry. “This is part of our role in working hand in hand with the private sector to ensure our future prosperity,” Bush said.

He added that one of his main goals was to inspire the private sector as his government understood the best strategy for achieving sustainable growth in the local economy was to encourage the private sector to do what it does best — create wealth and generate jobs.

“As you may recall, the theme of my 2010/11 budget address was “Partnership for Recovery”, in which we suggested that there must be a new emphasis on the public/private sector partnership to drive the economic recovery,” Bush told the house.

He reemphasised the importance of the financial services industry which despite the economic downturn still accounted for around 40% of the government’s revenue and in the most recent study 60% of the employees are Caymanians.

From immigration policy changes to a new stimulus package the premier said he was still committed to the promise he made some two months ago.

“The Stimulus Implementation Group has compiled and filtered over 250 suggestions and initiatives submitted by numerous committees and associations. They are now in the process of prioritizing a list of measures which are targeted for implementation in the remainder of this fiscal year. At the end of the promised 90-days, I will be unveiling this stimulus programme, thereby charting the way through the recession and back on a path to economic prosperity,” Bush promised.

“It is important to demonstrate to our private sector partners, both local and international, that we are prepared to identify problems, prescribe solutions and oversee their implementation. In short, we will provide the leadership that sets this country on the right path, and given the evidence, the country has seen to date, we are heading in the right direction,” the premier declared.



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  1. Anonymous says:

    Obviously he doesn’t have any idea what fiscal prudence means.  I mean a Minister of Finance without an accounting degree is a little bit hard to swallow.  YOu would expect him to have a Masters at the very least so that he could fully grasp and understand all of the concepts. Until audited financials are produced we have no idea what is going on with our money.  But wait, the staff in the Ministry of Finance don’t know the difference between a receivable or a payable do the?  

      It would be funny if it wasn’t so frightening.  People preparing the financials relating to the money WE PAY who have not the slightest clue about the basics of accounting.  Ridiculous.  We need to take a stand, put our collective foot down and make all public servants accountable to us.  Who’s willing to set the ball rolling?

    • cicero says:

      Give me a breakdown he learnt all he knew at First Cayman Bank as a director.

      • Pending says:

        Please remind us what happended to First Cayman Bank under Mac’s directorship, my memory isn’t as good as it used to be…

  2. Anonymous says:

     He knows as much about fiscal prudence as he knows about finance.


  3. Joe Average says:

    "A lie is as good as the truth if you can get someone to believe it."

    – Richard Nixon

  4. Bushwacker says:

    Politrix For Dummies

    The Premier speaks Fiscal Prudence……. I have been perusing the Hansards from 1984 to recent and unfortunately they convey a vastly different story. They read as if they should be included in the popular series of self help books “For Dummies.” A prudent title would be “What not to do and or say if you are ever elected to Public Office (except if you are in the Cayman Islands) – For Dummies”.
    Prudence much less adding fiscal in front of it is an oxymoron when describing McKeeva, and his Deputy Premier. Their spendthrift modus operandi subsequent to taking office to current does foster this communicated hope for the forthcoming months.
    Consequently, be prepared to hear the same speech that he gave earlier this year on or about May 2011 insofar that considering the dismal global economic situation our projected figures and savings cannot be realized. As a result, we need to increase fuel taxes again because our revenues are drastically down, however we are pleased to say that company registrations are up!
  5. Just Commentin' says:

    "The country’s premier said thatfiscal prudence will continue to be the dominating factor in his administration." The emphasis is on the word "said"!

    Translated from Trickspeak to plain English the article reads:

    "The country’s premier said that as long as he can continue to obfuscate the picture, maintaining the appearance of fiscal prudence by using the time-proven Smoke and Mirrors process will continue to be the dominating factor in his administration."

    "The Premier stated: ‘We are going to continue trimming staff, reducing public services, giving away profitable and critical government businesses to foreigners and cutting civil service benefits, while increasing fees in order to unduly burden small businesses. This is being done so that I can continue to enjoy needless junkets, trotting the globe flying First Class, riding in limos, staying in five-star hotels, eating gourmet meals, and getting lots of free benefits at your expense’.

    ‘My stimulus package to motivate the private sector will continue to place a heavy the burden on the common man and small businesses so I then can afford to offer juicy concessions to my wealthy friends like Ryan and Shetty, because they are the only part of the private sector that I think matters. Creating much additional wealth for them is a critical objective. This is part of my role in working hand in hand with the private sector to ensure my and their future prosperity.’

    ‘In its first full year of office, my government has been able to reduce the unaudited budget deficit for the entire public sector to CI$15 million.’

    ‘Please do dwell on or ask what "unaudited" means. Also please do not wonder how we can possibly measure fiscal performance when several departments have not produced proper financial statements for years. This is not for you to know, just take my word as a politician. When have I or any politician ever lied to you?’

    ‘In simple terms, I have made it look like we have performed three times better than the revised budget expected. I will concede that this is a true miracle considering that revenues are still way behind expenditures’ Bush told the Legislative Assembly."

    “This is the kind of (truly theatrical) performance that will help us overcome the economic difficulties that I am blaming solely on the former government. We are giving ourselves considerable flexibility in presenting the accounting of our fiscal policy to take advantage of the prospects for leading you all to believe we have enabled actual economic improvement in 2011.”

    ‘Please do not ask why, if I have performed so well in reducing the deficit, the government needs to beg to borrow sums amounting into the hundreds of millions of dollars to keep the country running. Questions like that only cloud the issue and indicate you do not know how my government’s unaudited accounting system works. Such matters are beyond your comprehension.’

    ‘Of course I will not make myself or my office subject to any meaningful austerity measures as I am entitled to and fully intend to live lavishly at your expense whether or not the rest of you are barely scraping by. Like it or not, Livin’ Large" is just the way I operate. Anyway, leading by example is not something I feel is befitting to my high and lofty office. The fact that you dummies elected me means that I have your full consensus to do whatever I feel is in my, the UDP’s  and my cronies’ best interest."

    • Live Free... says:

      I agree with you, I think what you wrote is the exact words that the Mac was saying to himself, but not bold enough to say those words publicly. The Mac always saying how the economy is improving etc. But in the end the results turn out to be the complete opposite in the next 3 months or so, and then we all get more excuses, all because of these constant smoke screens he keep putting up, to make Caymanians believe things are going well financially, when it’s not.

    • BORN FREE says:

      Prudence (prudent) means "acting in a cautious and sensible way."
      How on God’s earth can the premier say that "fiscal prudence will CONTINUE to be the dominating factor in his administration" after all the careless & unnecessary spending that he has done? Has he forgotten about the expensive first class travel (most of which is unnecessary), 5 star accomodations, unnecessary & expensive perks (bodyguards, costly security, $40,000 security system, Christmas lights, electrical & telephone bills, $38,000 housekeeper & cook, chauffeurs for premier & deputy), etc. etc.? And he has the audacity to talk about "continuing fiscal prudence"? Does he really expect us to believe that he has been acting in a "cautious and sensible way"?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Mac its time for you to man up and respond to Charles Clifford’s proposal to put the additional questions your upcoming referendum and stop hiding behind CG as he struggled to respond to Clifford’s suggestion.

    You see Mac the bottom line is that we have no confidence in you or your government and we wish to formally demonstrate that in the upcoming referendum that you plan to have in early 2011.

    No man up and put the questions on the referendum or resign now like KT did !

  7. MER says:

    20 days left Big Mac, I hope you got your cr@p together!

  8. Kid N Play says:

    Love the picture, grow it out a little more and Mac and Ellio will be Kid N Play. They can Kid about "fiscal prudence" and Play with the numbers all day.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Ah fiscal prudence……I love the way they demonstrate it :

    * World Tours every 4 months;

    * $9M for an unnecessary Cayman Brac Hurricane Shelter;

    * Unnecessary new car for the Deputy Premier and her "bodyguard";

    * Bodyguards, chefs, domestic helpers, security walls, security officers and security systems;

    * Adding a new Chief Officer of Finance (and staff to support him of course) to do the job that the Financial Secretary is responsible for doing;

    I could go on but I have to go to work so can someone please continue this list !


  10. Anonymous says:

    Fiscal prudence?  Is ordering a Cayman Airways jet to St Lucia to deliver just one load of goods personally as a publicity stunt fiscal prudence?

    Sorry Mac its got to start with you

  11. Anonymous says:

    politrix or not….it better than what it was before. 

    sound like u don’t believe any good can happen only bad.

    no wonder the great burden of a politician is to try and appease the great beast.

    • Pending says:

      Its a load of bs you moron, clearly you are getting confused with the smoke Mac is blowing in your eyes, or you clearly can’t read between the lines.

  12. Anonymous says:

    "unauditedbudget" = politrix speak for "we made it up"


    • Anonymous says:

      You are soo right in your assumption, these figures are not real, he delivered the current budget in June of this year, the same month as the fiscal year end, and at that point, with only a few days left in the fiscal year, his statement on the expected ending position was wrong by over 30 million dollars. How can you be so close yet so far away? it just goes to show that he has no clue about finances and will go out and say just about anything.

  13. Anonymous says:

    ‘unaudited budget’…thats enough for me me ….night, night ..zzzzzzzzz

    mckeeva- open your eyes….. the economy and the country is in a shambles……wake up!

    • Anonymous says:

      granted, but please elaborate?!?


    • MER says:

      He can’t see over his new fence darlin’ !!!

      I love CNS, no sugar-coating here, getting right down to the nitty gritty!