‘I earned pension,’ says Bush

| 09/04/2011

(CNS): The premier said that he and the other members of the Legislative Assembly who were receiving their pensions while still serving in the House had earned those benefits and there was nothing illegal or immoral about what they were doing. Not only that, the country’s leader said that they were actually saving money for the public coffers since pension benefits were no longer being paid on their earnings as the members had opted out in order to claim the payments. He said that civil servants who had retired and were claiming pensions but had been re-employed by government were not doing anything wrong, and neither were parliamentarians.

Responding to media reports following a Freedom of Information request made by CNS revealing which current and former MLAs were receiving a pension, McKeeva Bush told the Legislative Assembly on Friday morning that the media coverage had to be put in context. He said the public needed to understand that there was nothing wrong with what he and the other members were doing.

Using himself as an example, as he said he had been the one scapegoated for ‘double dipping”, Bush asked rhetorically what was he supposed to do about his own earned benefits — wait until he was dead? He pointed out that if that were the case, his wife would receive only half of the benefit that he had worked for and earned.

Bush said that although some believed it was not right to take a pension while still working for the same employer, he did not agree.

“It has been suggested that if it is not illegal, then it is immoral to allow the so called ‘double dipping’. Effectively what they are saying is that people should not be allowed to receive a pension while you continue to work for the same employer. What is the difference between leaving one employer and drawing your pension and becoming employed by another employer and drawing your pension while working for the same employer?” he asked.

The law governing parliamentary pensions mirrors that in the civil service, he noted, adding that for generations public servants had been allowed to retire and draw their pensions and still work for government .

“There is nothing wrong with that,’ he added. “These days when life is so uncertain, when a person comes to that point in their lives when they can get paid back what they paid, why shouldn’t they be able to get their pension?”

He suggested the public criticisms about it were based on jealousy but that no one was doing anything wrong or immoral.

Justifying the actions, Bush recapped the history of parliamentary and civil service pensions and the law governing the benefits for MLAs and for the wider public service and pointed out that both pensions had been changed to defined contributions rather than defined benefits. He said that there had been plenty of opportunities for the legislatures to change the rules but as it stood, all members of the LA were entitled to claim their pension once they were 55.

Pensions for MLAs elected after 2009 would be based on what was paid in rather than what was earned.
 

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  1. Anonymous says:

    When you work your employer is legally required to put part of your salary into a pension fund. That money is invested wisely and grows so that when you stop working there is enough to keep paying you.

    In Cayman employers puts part of your salary in its pocket, or in a pension fund depending on how generous they feel.

    It is then invested appallingly and generally is worth less than the total of the contributions.

    Then politicians start draining the pot into their own pockets before they have stopped receiving a salary.

    As a result there is nowhere near enough left over to pay everyone the pensions that they have earned when they retire.

    In other words Cayman fails on every count.

  2. Bad LeRoy Brown says:

    However legal it may be, I still think it is highly unethical to collect a pension while still working for the government.  Pensions were set up to reward or help people after they had retired from service.  If you are still working for the government, you have not retired.  I also wonder about the statement, "they were actually saving money for the public coffers since pension benefits were no longer being paid on their earnings as the members had opted out in order to claim the payments".  Does the government really put more money into the retirement plan for workers per month while they are working before retiring than they get when double dipping while they are working?  I have a hard time believing that!

    • Look at the forest and not the trees..... says:

      Pensions is technically “saving for the future” to help mitigate expenses when you are no longer able to work.
      Each employee is not guaranteed a specific amount either, it is based on the amount of your salary when you are working. So if a person was working for as an example $2000, their calculated pension is going to be less than $1000 when they actually retire. Do you honestly think that person is going to survive on less than $1000 in this economy? So they are still able to work and after being forced to retire at age 60, they are rehired so now they are collecting their usual salary of $2000 plus their stipend (a.k.a. pension.)

      This is the same scenario as Mr. Bushand the other parliamentarians. The difference is that based on the laws, Mr. Bush and his colleagues did not have to wait until age 60 to “retire” from politics, they had to only serve X amount of terms in the Legislature and they would qualify. Due to the nature of their job special rules apply to them in regards to when they actually qualify for pension (it not only based on their performance, whether they get elected again is also due to the fickleness of the electorate.)

      So you think it is unethical for someone to retire and collect pension but because they still have a mortgage they either apply for their old job or they apply elsewhere for a new one, if you don’t then is this not the same outcome as Mr. Bush and his colleagues situation?

      Consider a situation where a politician is elected and manages to serve three terms (12 years), they do not get elected again. They qualify to collect pension so they do. However, in the next round of elections they run again and they are elected so what would you have that person do? Stop receiving their pension because they have been “rehired” and are being paid a salary or refuse the salary because they are collecting pension. The difference here is that Mr. Bush didn’t have a break in his tenure as a politician but he has qualified to for his pension and he opted to collect it even though he is still working. As he said he earned his pension but it sounds as though you would feel better if he decided remove himself from office because he is collecting a pension or he refuse his salary because he is collecting pension. He also correctly stated that if he had chosen not to collect his pension now, if he dies tomorrow, his wife is only entitled to half his pension.

      You all are attacking the people but your argument is misdirected. You should be attacking the law and the way it was set up. Mr. Bush and his colleagues are only taking advantage of what was available to them.

      Before you all start speculating that I am definitely a UDP supporter, I am neither PPM or UDP just someone who is looking at the issue objectively.

      Clearly you didn’t understand his statement that the Government is actually saving money. The Government has to pay pension of 12% I believe for every employee to the Pension Board, let’s say Mr. Bush is currently making $15,000 so the Government’s expense would have been his salary plus $1,800 (15,000 x 12%) in pension payments. However because he has opted to “retire” and receive his pension benefits, the cost to the Government is now only his salary (in other words they are no longer paying the $1,800 each month)

      • Michael Weston says:

        Stay (hold) the pension while employed. If "retired", make no pension contributions from salary. Purchase life insurance to compensate for the risk of losing pension benefits due to premature death. Introduce yourself to the real world.

  3. Anonymous says:

    OK Mr. Bush, lets for a second say you actually ‘earned’ that pension…
    How about ‘earning’ my respect…oh, wait, you don’t really care about my respect OR my opinion…
    So sad.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The average pension a professional makes in Cayman, if they invest from their mid-twenties to their mid-sixties continuously is CI$12,000 a year! He is getting 10 times that for not working close to the amount of years one needs to work to earn that sad little pension annually. That should never be allowed to happen.

    We can get on the band wagon and force him to retire before he bankrupts the country further and walks away like all the investment managers did in the States, the rest of the world is doing it now is a good a time as ever.

  5. Fed up and broke!!!!! says:

    First of all…if he cared so much for our country, he would have never even considered taking his pension now, considering the bad position financially Cayman is in. He is financial stable that he could even donate his pension to some other person that is barely trying to live off of there pension and trying to make ends meet. Or not touch it at all! How much more money does he want? Where is caring for your country come in? Someone, please help me make sense of all of this! I’m not only broke and fed up but I’m totally confused!

  6. Anonymous says:

    If Grandma retires from Government and wants to work in a little store somewhere, should she give up her pension? of course not.

    This is truly a silly discussion developed by misleading headlines. 

    • Rorschach says:

      If Grandma was able to draw the pension that this clown is drawing she wouldn’t NEED to work!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

     For the sake of the Cayman Islands I hope you get what you truly deserve and the sooner the better.

  8. The Truth is Out There says:

    Can someone please remind me by how much the government pension is currently underfunded? I wouldn’t want to be a government emplyoee retiring in the next 10-20 years. Where will the money magically come from to fund those pension payments?

  9. Cuba1961 says:

    To the Premier and the rest of the Double-Dippers…

    There is an old saying, "Every Pig has his Christmas." 

    Think about it. 

     

  10. tim ridley says:

    Cayman is not alone in having a system that legally permits the collection of a pension and continued employment compensation from the same source. A number of US States are wrestling with this very issue. And there are various proposals on the table to change the relevant legislation to prohibit this in the future.

    In the Cayman context, it is ultimately a question of political leadership and judgement that is to be decided at the polls. If the voters consider the current position unacceptable, even if entirely lawful, the solution is open to them at the ballot box.

    • Scottish,Irish,Jamacian born CAYMANIAN says:

      if theses type of anomalys are taken place in other countrys and are also being found ethically irresponsible, then its not so far fetched that we the people of this country should/would expect “even if entirely lawful” that….. (“a boy from old bush”)….. having proclaimed his love for the people and country should not do it knowing where he has come from and in particular where our country is financially today, partially because of him…….

      having money is not sin, its the LOVE of money that is sin….

  11. Mack E. Wah says:

    I can’t tek anymore of unna ole bloggas !!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    NO you haven’t earned it! You are not even EARNING your salary.

    In fact, if you would have to pay back the country all the funds you are wasted with your poor decision making skills and lack of foresight (like Boatswains Beach etc). you would not see one little dollar in earnings for generations to come.

  13. Yikes! says:

    "He suggested the public criticisms about it were based on jealousy"… wow, this man does indeed just think that he is so far above us all and we (‘his people’) are looking up to him in awe and jealousy?? I am not, and never have been, into the politics here as they always seem to do what they want and do not care about the people, but YIKES! XXXX

  14. Anonymous says:

    You’ve only “earned” it in the sense that you and your cronies wrote the rules to ensure you were entitled to receive a pension earlier and on far more favourable terms then us peasants. It’s pretty hard to break the rules when you write and re-write them yourself.

  15. Anonymous says:

    People stop complaining and bitching andtry to do something about it!

    Nothing is going to change unless you stand together and demand change!

  16. Right ya so says:

    Here we go again!  Does it matter what this man does anyway as none of us EVER do anything about it other than grumble and complain?! We might as well give him everything in the coffers and anything else that he wants (he’s going to take it anyway) as we don’t/won’t do anything about it…..

    I’m utterly flabbergasted though by the amount of people that still think he’s wonderful – it defies all logic.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s the WestBayers that have kept on electing him time and time again! And those are the same people that every 4 years have a new washer or dryer or fridge or stove or deep freeze or air conditioning units and stock piles of hams and turkeys and chickens and sides of beef up inside those deep freezers.

      Big Mac keeps on giving and the Bayers keep on voting.

      Nothing will change as this keeps on happening.

  17. Survivor says:

    This seems like a simple issue to me.

    1. pension is paid upon retirement.

    2. I cannot take my pension now, because I am still working.

    3. Even if the law were changed for me and others like me (who are not elected officials) we still would not be able to take our pensions, because the SYSTEM and the COUNTRY could not afford it.

    Any questions?

  18. Anonymous says:

    Pardon me, for I have no particular expertise in pension related matters, and may be talking complete rubbish, but isn’t the idea behind pensions that those who are employed earn an income from which a fund is created, from which in turn they from once they have finished contributing? And that their post is then filled by a successor, who then earns and contributes? So how could this system survive if persons keep earning whilst not contributing? Doesn’t seem to add up to me – any brain-boxes out there care to explain?

  19. Scrooge McDuck says:

    Huh?? Is the Premier trying to draw the analogy that whenever he, or another MLA now collecting pension and salary loses an election… they have retired?  And then when they are re-elected again they have been re-hired by the government? Pretty lame argument especially when they continue to serve and collect salary as an MLA in the opposition even when they do lose said election. With the limited choices available to voters that is often the case. True to form the existing opposition in this case has not raised any objections because they in fact have also taken advantage of this excellent rule for themselves and government employees only. But unlike other government employees they did not force themselves to take a pay cut both the incumbents and opposition only discussed it and said "we was just foolin fuggitaboutit!"

    Cayman voters especially those in West Bay the classic definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The time is ripe for a new political party.

  20. TennisAce says:

    I could care less that the MLAs are drawing a pension while continuing to draw a salary. What I am concerned about is the draft bill to amend the Pensions Law so that people can draw part of their pension to invest in a house.  I would like to buy a house and if I can get a part of my pension to invest that in a house, I would be very happy.  As it is my pension contributions are not doing much of anything as each quarter when I get my statement the value keeps going down.  Give me a portion and let me reinvest it as I please while continuing to contribute.  The fact of the matter is that if I retire today, the pension contributions that I now have will be worthy diddly squat, and that is why most persons who have reached retirement age are still in the work force.

    This situation is not unique to the Cayman Islands. In most European countries, as well as Australia and Canada, the population has become significantly older, but there are not enough young people working to contribute to the need for contributions to pension plans.  In addition to that with the world’s economy the way it is, most persons are opting out of pension plans and trying to save their own funds.  Maybe the MLAs should look at this as a way of kick starting this dying economy.  Let persons, both Caymanians and expats be able to withdraw at least 50% of their pension funds but they will have to show that they will be reinvesting that 50%  not in some hare brained scheme, but rather in some way to develop the Island, and what better way than to purchase a home.  It will help developers, kick start the construction industry (for those who want to build) and put a little liquidity back in the market.   

    • Teecha says:

      Couldn’t

    • Anonymous says:

      How wrong you are. The money will be lost and never returned and when people want to retire they will have no money and go to the government begging and complaining. Use your brain – there is no return in real estate – and it is unfair to those who are fiscally responsible.

  21. Anonymous says:

    What a self-serving, self-centred, self-righteous piece of work is McKeeva Bush!

     

  22. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Bush,

    I know you won’t read this as you are not a caring person, but I can’t believe you care so little about the country.  Let’s just look at the facts here.

    1.  You take a lump sum payment last year.  This is a time when you stated Cayman might not be able to pay the bills, you cut civil servant pay across the board and you have the audacity to take the lump sum.  Does this show your caring towards the Cayman people?  Does this show you have confidence in the Cayman Islands?  You couldn’t wait until the economy recovers?  Really sir, this is just unbelievable and downright wrong.  Illegal no, not according the the rules you legislated, but still downright unethical.

    2.  You stated that you state, "These days when life is so uncertain.."  Really?  So do you have any bills to pay?  It seems that the Caymanian people are paying your housekeeper, your travel expenses (including that find food), your car, gas, health and auto insurance etc…  Really you can’t live within your means on your current salary?  Get real, you have zero expenses and make more than enough and should have saved more than enough the more than two decades you "served" your interest.. I mean the Caymanian people.

    3.  Perhaps you might have waited to get your money until your name is on the new currency.  Again, unbelievable the amount of money spent (upwards of a quarter million) to get your name on the dollar bill.  By the way, will that have to change once you leave office and another quarter million will have to be spent?

    XXXX  This is just an FOI request waiting to happen, perhaps it has been submitted already and that new Anti Corruption Law will actually have teeth.

    You sir are a self serving, egotistical, uncaring, "leader".  I am glad you have told your friends this is your last time serving government, not sure if the Caymanian people would ever put you back into power.

  23. Loren says:

    For those of you who believe that our Premier is not hard at work whenever he is off island please go to this website and see for yourself http://www.tradearabia.com/news/BANK_196337.html

    Thank God we have someone advocating for our financial industry.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Dear Caymanians, when did you become some third world country with a “Premier” and does the Queen know about this? Actually you are a British Overseas Territory with a governor. So ditch this guy and and get rid of that position, it is so unbecoming.

  25. Anonymous says:

     Let me get this straight!  Its right because the premeir  and others that are doing it tells everyone else it is.  Without his guidance and left to common sense its not right.  But common sense and morality is not what these people will be remembered for.

  26. Anonymous says:

    All Caymanian Voters should be very ashamed this week:

    They are gonna flap their gums (and keyboards) and let a Grave Travesty happen n the LA on Monday – that is, the MLAs will vote to add 3 new MLA positions, when there are at Least 3 good reasons why they should go Protest downtown Monday Morning To STOP the debate!

    Those reasons are :

    !) We  cannot afford it $$$ – even  by next election we will still be BROKE!!

    (2) It will cause an EVEN Number of MLAs – and the possibility of hung votes in proceedings;

    (3) As I recall the new Constitution called for 2 more MLAs (not 3)..but I stand to be corrected on this point.

    So then – at least call or visit your MLA ASAP to express your stand – or come downtown IN THE MORNING to make a stand!!

    I still can’t believe that the approved Constitution STILL allows "Joe Bloke" to live in Bodden Town but can run for a West Bay or George Town constituency (etc)..Yet voters can only vote in their OWN constituency;

    A Constitution that gives the Elected People the right to give THEMSELVES raises, pensions or other benefits; etc etc

    (Where is the public accountability??)

    But, after all this document was drafted and ratified by the 2 political parties, and the grassroots "consultation" was very limiting in attitude.

    Cheeeze Louise

    • Anonymous says:

      You forgot to mention that those already in house do nothing! They don’t even attend committee meetings. So, why do we need more jokers in that house?

  27. The Beaver says:

    This little piggy went to the market,

    This little piggy stayed home.

    This little piggy had roast beef,

    This little piggy had none.

    And this little piggy cried wee-wee-wee,

    All the way home. 

    The Beaver

  28. The Beaver says:

    There are those who although they may lack education are still smart people.  There are those who although they may lack common sense still know when to keep theirmouths shut.  There are those who although they may lack empathy at least know not to rub it in.  There are those who although they may lack honour at least have a little bit of shame left.  And then you have McQeewa.  I hope you re-elect him. lol  The Beaver

  29. Anonymous says:

    CNS is it true that these MLAs get full (ie defined benefits) pensions after serving only 1 term?

  30. Loren says:

    Leave the Premier and the long term civil servants alone atleast they are Caymanians. I would much prefer to see my local people get and spend their pensions than to see millions of pension monies go overseas to be lost in overseas stock markets and taken away in millions by expats to build their countries.

    I am sick and tired of people coming here and getting the greatest benefits while Caymanians have to end up paying the price. The first thing that needs to change is the pension law, whereby all pension monies collected here should be invested here on island. Foreign nationals should have to wait until they reach retirement age before they can get their pensions just like Caymanians have to or else the government should just discontinue pensions.

    The Premier and Civil Servants are not the reasons for Caymanians not getting jobs blame it on greedy Caymanians and expats that want cheap labour or a certain look in their organizations. Don’t worry this too shall pass what has happened else where will happen here sooner or later if the trend continues. Keep displacing the native population and soon we will see the results and for those Caymanians who believe that the people that like them so much today will feel the same about them tomorrow when they know their way around will get a very big surprise.

    • Applause Please says:

      The Cayman Islands in the late 1800s and early 1900s was built by the remittances of seafarers going to see and earning money in other places then returning that money to Grand Cayman. How dare you say that other people shouldn’t be able to do the same thing? Why is it always ok for Caymanians to do something but then when it might create a small negative for the island, we should stop it right away. The issue here is not that expats might be able to take their pension money and invest in another country when they decide to leave. When are people going to realize that Cayman is no longer a sleepy little island, it is part of the world wide economy and we are all going to have to learn to compete in that market place. So many people here think that expats are a bad thing, unless it comes to hiring cheap labor to be servants in people’s houses. I have never met so many families that have a “helper” that pay so little. By the way, the excuse “they are making more here than they would back home” isn’t a morally excusable reason. Situational ethics don’t hold up to the moral code……..

      • Anonymous says:

        “The Cayman Islands in the late 1800s and early 1900s was built by the remittances of seafarers going to see and earning money in other places then returning that money to Grand Cayman”. Really? “Built up”? So why was it such a backwater until, much later on, the likes of Vassell Johnson, Bill Walker and Jim McDonald developed the legislation that led to the financial industry here?

    • Private Sector aint no better says:

      I am Caymanian and you sound so ignorant. Expats don’t just get their pensions handed to them when they leave. How does it make sense to force expats to leave their pension money ‘invested’ in Cayman if they leave the Islands and never come back? Do you have any idea how many Caymanians live and work abroad? Are you saying they should have to leave their pension contributions in those foreign countries until they retire? When I moved overseas, my pension here was frozen, I worked overseas and when I finished and came back my pension contributions were transferred and subsequently added to my current pension. When I resumed work in Cayman my pension contributions continued accordingly. That’s fair and that’s how it should apply across the board. When I retire, I honestly doubt my pension money will be there or be sufficient but I have no choice but to wait and see because I can’t take it now while I’m still working. The problem is that McKeeva is not falling on hard times, nor will he ever be. This is a slap in the face to all his people he claims he loves so much who can barely make ends meet and live in fear that when they reach pension age, there will be nothing or next to nothing for them. Just remember this Loren, McKeeva is NOT going to take food out of his own mouth and put it in yours. You can support him if you want, to me this is greed. What financial constraints does he face which require him to take his salary and pension at the same time? Yes the law permits it (at his insistence) but just because something is legal that does not make it ethical or morally correct. What angers me even more is these robbers and burglars out here kicking over and stealing from us regular Joes fighting to stay afloat. Where the hell is Robin Hood when you need him?

    • Anonymous says:

      And how would you feel if the money was lost on the tables in an overseas Casino instead of spent on Island?

  31. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva, it’s been two years and nothing but promises. Can we please get some of the non-controversial projects started such as the new airport and the Port? This country needs some economic life breathed into it desperately.

    Let’s take the money that Julie is using to build the Hurricane Hilton as her memorial for her time in office and build something that will trickle down to all of the people in the country. No disrespect to the Brackers but they have the safest island when it comes to hurricanes and they have the most hurricane shelter space per capita of both of the islands.

    Julie, as much as you have touted God, you need HIm to look at your life and humble you once again. The Bible says ” all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. ” Isn’t it time for repentance and a renewal of God’s Spirit in you. You have taken on the ways of the world, become greedy and most of all you have forsaken not only God but those who fought so hard to get you where you are. Again, I say, humble yourself in the sight of God and ask His forgiveness.

    I am a Caymanian, not a UDP or a PPM. I fear for my country and its people. Businesses are closing down, unemployment and crime is skyrocketing, and we have become a divided people. We need to put our grievances aside for the betterment of our country and it’s people and most of all for our survival. There are many amongst us that stir up controversy for the sake of causing or harming someone else be it for political gain. to sell newspapers or even to promote online blogs. This does nothing to help but only serves to hinder whatever progress we can even try to make.

    McKeeva and Julie, you were chosen by the people of this country to lead. Despite your many misgivings, I will stand behind you and support you because you are the representatives of our people but you must put the country first. You have reduced yourselves to ridicule and distrust because of your own actions. It is not too late to change your ways and become “true Caymanians” and statesmen. Don’t leave your mark filled with controversy and disgust. Leave your mark with a feeling and sense of accomplishment that everyone can share, remember and be grateful for.

    Pension or no pension, this is miniscule in the big realm of things and just another diversion from getting things done and is not what is needed to move our country forward.

    Let’s all pull together and make this country the great place it used to be!

  32. The spin Cycle says:

    You folks don’t get it. As the Premier said "go get the money and get elected."  Then you too can enjoy making laws for yourself and changing rules to suit. That to him is what politics is about. It isn’t about serving the country it’s about serving yourself. If he had been truthful in his electioneering he would have stated up front he intended to collect his pension and salary if people were desperate enough to elect him. But he neglected to mention that.

     

    Instead his first task was to tell people and the world how broke Cayman was. Getting people ready for the hardships to follow the hard choices "everyone" would have to make. Enough already. Obviously in his mind "everyone" does not include him. No surprise there. And I beg to differ it IS immoral to collect salary and pension when fellow countrymen are having difficult times. Look out the window!

     

    It also implies the "hardships" mentioned are those only some must endure and reeks of hypocrisy.  We suffer. You travel. Mr. Premier the point is as Minister of Finance how are you doing at your task? The one you are collecting a salary for.

     

    Let’s see WE have no idea how much money there is. Correct? Or is left. Or if there was any where it went. Correct? On top of that WE are not given any accounting how OUR money is/was being spent. True? There is also no backup or justification where vast amounts of OUR money went. Even simple invoices are not available. Agreed? In essence there is a complete void where public finances are concerned.

     

    Now scroll back to the Premier’s statement.

     

    It appears the Minister of Finance is -completely dumbfounded and way over his head when it comes to the country’s finances but entirely astute and filled with forethought when it comes to his own financial planning.

     

    You’re fired.

    • Jonathan says:

      Sign your name,stand up, and be counted, do not fear the blaguard.

  33. Anonymous says:

    CNS, please do an FOI to see how many Government Departments are being runned by people who are collecting pension and salary.

    I know of one, and trust me he is not value for money!!!! all he is doing is collecting a lot of money for nothing!!!

    CNS: Anyone can do an FOI.

    • Anonymous says:

      “…..runned by people”???? Dear Godhelp us in the face of the ignorance of our people.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe “ignorant” but not as fool as some of the educated Caymanian fools following (for what they are getting out of it) the Pied Piper Permier Bush to makeCayman a HELL HOLE!

  34. Who the Hell says:

    What a laughable thing! This man is the PREMIER of the Cayman Islands, for God’s sake. Were we all on drugs?
    It will never…..EVER happen again.
    Folks, if we ever have the privilege of voting again, this can never be allowed to happen again.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s the West Bayers that have kept on electing him time and time again! And those are the same people that every 4 years have a new washer or dryer or fridge or stove or deep freeze or air conditioning units and stock piles of hams and turkeys and chickens and sides of beef up inside those deep freezers.

      Big Mac keeps on giving and the Bayers keep on voting.

      Nothing will change as this keeps on happening.

  35. Common Sense says:

    You may question McKeeva’s morality on this issue but he is not wrong here. The people who voted him back in to office are the ones to blame.

    By the way, same applies to Kurt Tibbetts and Anthony Eden.

  36. Jonathan says:

    Da fox is inna di henhouse,
    Same way imma get him penthouse,
    An imma put di rest inna di poorhouse.

    Whenna shit hit di fan,
    Him a hava di plan,
    To sit wid im toes in di san.

    Im minions sing praises,
    Inna hope fi dem raises,
    But imma kill all di grass where dem grazes.

    Goin be too late,
    When dey got empty plate,
    An dem teeth dey must grate.

    Widda a call of gaza dem cry,
    An dem all affi wonda why,
    Dem kyan seem to fine no bligh.

    Da fox is inna di henhouse,
    An you dinna is a inna im belly.

  37. Anonymous says:

    do us all a favour and retire now please!
    you have lost the support and confidence of the people and you have proven yourself ineffective over the last 2 years…..!
    right now all you are doing is bleeding the system dry before you are ejected from office in 2 years…..

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       Every now and then I do my unofficial poll for the supporters and non supporters for Mr. Bush. Approximately here we have 344 against to 56 for or roughly 84% against 16% for. Interestingly these numbers have been pretty constant for the last two years. 

      I strongly believe that if we had no parties and one man one vote that Mr. Bush would have a very difficult time to even get 15-20% of the vote. It would be interesting to see how many voters live in West Bay and what percentage of the island vote that represents.

    • BORN FREE says:

      I may be wrong but I’m sure I heard some time ago that this man had become a born again christian. Really?

  38. Anonymous says:

    Yes Mr Bush you did earn it. Now PLEASE retire

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       Yes, you did earn it legally, but only because you voted for legislation for  your right to earn a bloated salary and pension from the people without the peoples approval.

      My belief is that if you were in the private sector you would be terminated due to non performance. Cayman is at a stand still, crime is increasing, income down, CIG departments failing and you believe you deserve  a salary and pension, for what?

      Why, answer that question in this forum?

  39. Anonymous says:

    There were two  question before the House on Friday. The first was, "Do dinosaurs understand the concept of morality" and the second was, "Can pigs fly". The government carried the day with a vote in the affirmative after providing living proof in relation to both questions.

  40. Anonymous says:

    We should all be grateful for the crumbs that fall from the table. All those directors fees at a certain bank that went under costing Caymanians millions, well those were earned. All those exclusive real estate deals with coincidental concessions to developers, well those were all earned to. So were the condos and so were the give aways to friends and family. Everyone who complains can only be doing so based on jealousy as there is no conceivable reason why anyone would complain.

  41. Simon Phipps-Jones says:

    The only thing “earned” here is the disrespect of the majority of the people of Cayman. Keep it up, sir.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, we’re jealous, and yes, we’re mad and we’ve had enough.  We can’t afford Christmas lights any more, or to put/fix fencing round our yards.  We can barely put food on the table, fuel in our cars, or pay our utilities, while he is earning a salary, a pension and having his expenses (including Christmas lights, cook, and god knows what else) from the public coffers for what – bullying his own people and acting like some third world dictator?

  43. Anonymous says:

    Eh? He smart, he taking his out ‘fore he break the country and cant get it…

    So long suckers.

  44. Anonymous says:

     Mr. Bush,

    You expect everyone to take a cut except you.  Then you waste our money jetting around the world.  Since you are making so much money, pay for your own trips, drop the bodyguards, cook, housekeeper, etc.  Why does a couple need a housekeeper especially one who is never home?

    Caymanian tired of seeing you wasting money

  45. Lord Hutton says:

    Like it or not, he is completely correct, of course. Change the law about parliamentary pensions if unna don’t like it.But have a go at the RIDICULOUS judicial pensions at the same time.They retire on 80% – I’ll repeat that -80% of their final salary (which of course is ginormous and gets cost of living increases every year unlike anyone elses.

  46. UDP Supporter says:

    Those people who keep harassing our Premier should be ashamed. He makes perfect sense! He earned his pension and should be allowed to enjoy it. Just more jealous people who like to criticise whatever this good man does. Go McKeeva! The people of West Bay support you!

    • Anonymous says:

      Oi!  You can go on blindly following sheep but please don’t try speak for us all.  Not so many Bayers support Bush any more and many Bayers most certainly are not proud of him.  Speak for yourself but we can speak for ourselves thankyou.

    • Anonymous says:

      What about those in government who earned raises they never received "due to the economy"?  Does he deserve his "hard-earned" money more than anyone else?

      What about persons in government who worked hard and were productive but lost their jobs because "government had no money to pay"?  If there is money to pay one person twice, shouldn’t that money be used to pay for two people once?

      Many in the Cayman Islands have earned more than they are receiving but only the privileged few, "Cayman royalty", seem to be able to collect.

      This is not about jealousy.  It is about doing what is right for your people.  McKeeva Bush seems to have only one priority:  doing what is best for McKeeva Bush.

       

    • Anonymous says:

      No we don’t! 

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you. Please let us know where that new fridge is to be delivered.

    • Kung Fu Iguana says:

      UDP Supporter must be tiring of his robotic auto-posts – he left out the reference to Mac being a good Christian.  Maybe calling taking more money out the public purse while the poorer civil servants are suffering a Christian act is an robo-post too far even for UDP Supporter.

      UDP Supporter – you make us laugh.

    • Anonymous says:

      Reply to “Those people who keep”

      I have worked for the CIG for the last 29 years. Yes, I do work….. I am a teacher. I too have “earned” my pension BUT I can’t get until (1) reach 33 years of service upon which I will receive less pension should I decide on early retirement as I would not yet have reached 60 years of age. (2) Wait unitl I reach the retirement age of 60 and then get it. This is straight from the pensions office cause I called and asked.
      So YES, it is WRONG that he (and the others as well) are able to get pension now and still make a whopping salary every month.

      • Mr. Spooner says:

        Actually, CIG employees have different benefits when it come to pensions as was explained to me. An MLA who has served a pre-defined amount of time in the L.A. can opt to take ‘eary retirement’ which is 55 years of age (I believe that was the age). By taking early retirement, their benefits are actually due them like any other retiree at retirement age that has been contributing to their pension fund.

        So, in essence, Big Mac maybe not legally doing anything wrong, but i don’t see why not wait till full retirement to collect on the benefits.

  47. ALL SEEING says:

    He should have kept his mouth shut about this. The bottom line is he loves money and millionaires and will continue on his reckless course by any means necessary inflicting total destruction of our country for a few dollars more. How sad.

  48. Anonymous says:

    well dont you  think that if any other civil servant was dead their wife wouldnt receive half the pension too awa? what world are you living in bush? Timbukt??? 

    However, stated by the oxford dictionary of economics "A regular income paid by the state to people above pensionable age, or by former employers to people who have retired from work" is the meaning of pension. ……Now are you a retired worker? are you a form employee? and lastly with no disrespect are you even of pesionable age??
     

    On another hand if you have worked with a company before and retired but you are working with a different company, there is no wrong in collecting pension from the pervious company you worked for but that is between you and that company perivous and not the current the company.

    I dont think that if you havent retired from the government you should be receiving pension. In all fairness it would be for all civil servants to retired and the government to take them back on contract and still receive pension and still receive a regular income because this is the way it is with Bush….only thing  is he hasnt retired…… and it  is well over due for him to retired

  49. bradley says:

    It is so nice how on the little things M.B. is right, but on the big things like refusing the United Nations from coming here to educate the public of their democratic rights under colonial rule, Mac is totally wrong. Oh well… I guess I will give him a little cookie credit for being barely right on a pension issue… z z z

  50. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    No matter what Mr. Bush says he cannot convince me that what he and others are doing, is just plainly not the right thing for the people or the country. It isn’t illegal because Mr. Bush and others passed the legislation. Mr. Bush sounds like he has contributed earnings into the plan and he has a right to take that money. He did not contribute anything, the people and the country paid into the plan. For several years now the people have had to borrow money to run the Government so the country borrowed money to pay into his plan. The MLA’s voted in their own pension plan, the people didn’t have a say in the plan. The people pay him and the others huge salaries and benefits. The country is getting very little or nothing in return. 55 is a ridiculous age to start receiving benefits.  

    Time for change.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Saying "Aye" in order to vote yourself a fat pension does not really equate to  "earned" and neither does voting for civil servants to double dip in order to justify your own greed.

    Perhaps the Premier would like to publish the list of all the other Commonwealth countries where politicians rip off the public in this way – there are none by the way. A few third world cleptocrats have ripped off their countries but that is about as close as it gets.

  52. nauticalone says:

    Rubbish!

    One should either continue to work, get paid a salary and continue to add to retirement benifits for “retirement”.

    Or retire from said career (and allow for others below opportunity to move up) and collect retirement benifits and go onto a new job (if able and willing to) or enjoy retirement.

    And travel (at your own expense) like other retired people…or grow a garden or volunteer something back to the community FREELY!

    CurrentlyMr. Bush (and others like him) are costing us double or triple or more by such “double dipping” and also paying for his perks and world travels. Costing Cayman (us and generations to come) immeasurable damage Nationally, Regionally and Internationally!

    It’s immoral in the best of economic times and down right selfish and greedy during the current economic recession!

  53. Anonymous says:

    OK so its not illegal or immoral. Is it really fair to compare MLA benefits to civil servants. Do they have to work the same hours, have the same restrictions, do they have the same limited vacation days!  I would like to confirm at what age a civil servant is required to retire, thought it was 60.

    Since the MLAs term expires and the parliament is dissolved every four years, did they really fix the law so that all of them are on the defined contribution after 2009?  Too bad they can fix their own benefits with no public consultation.

  54. Anonymous says:

     Shame on every one of you! I was told I am unable to collect my pension that I paid for while I am still working. Shame on you.

  55. anonymous says:

    Dear Mr. Premiere,

    let go of the cookie jar for a moment please. I need to talk to you.

    There’s no such thing as "I earned pension."

    You EARN a living by working a job 9-5 not globe trotting!

    You RECEIVE a PENSION  AFTER YOU HAVE ‘  R E T I R E D !"  from WORKING!

    You are neither Earning a living by working 9-5 NOR  have You RETIRED!

    You are out of the  country globe trotting and vacationing at every opportunity.

    You were hired to do a job so THEREFORE YOU ARE NOT ‘A RETIREE"

    I want my money back.

     

    • Anonymous says:

       Sat, 04/09/2011 – 17:41

      You are the best!  Perfect comment!

    • Anonymous says:

      Wish he would retire and then he can keep his damn pension.  At least we would be rid of him.

  56. Loren says:

    Our Premier earned his money and if he is entitled to get it then what is the big issue? Haters, just plain and simple.

    • Anonymous says:

      Loren, the issue is that this administration has forced other Caymanians into hardship while they live "high on the hog".  Our hate is for the greedy actions of those who take from Caymanians with one hand while stuffing two paychecks in their pocket with the other.

      If times are hard and government has no money, then double dipping should be stopped.  It’s not about who earned what.  It is about what is right for Cayman.

      Loren, there are few things in life that are plain and simple but I suspect you may be one of them.

       

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      Why is it that Bush and his followers believe that anyone who questions Bush’s one man Government decision making, judgement and leadership is a "hater, a trouble maker, bring down the country blogger or jealous".

      I can speak for myself and several close Caymanian friends, we do not hate Mr. Bush, the UDP or Bush supporters.

      Are we frustrated that nothing has been done for two years to create a more stable country, that costs are out of control and accounting unbalanced, that two elected members for the people are living a first class life paid for by the people while their people are not and on and on.

      Yes we are frustrated but that doesn’t make us haters. 

  57. Anonymous says:

     "…public criticisms…were based on jealousy". When the average guy thinks you are unfairly depriving him of the joys and benefits of Caymanian life, and when he feels he has every right to be disappointed and angry, he is labeled as "jealous". Wow!

    • This is all a bunch of greed & hogwash. Can you stop and grasp what is happening here. The Premeir and the civil servants are allowed to take a pension and still continue to work. While there is a young person out there that’s raising a family that could take their job thats not even advertised, they just stay on the job and rake in the money, greedy civil service,
      The public sector dont have those perks.
      To the Premeir and the others doing this, I say have a heart and help the employment situation by allowing some Caymanian to get a job.

  58. Anonymous says:

    Right or wrong is irrelevant.  While civil service pay is cut and people suffer hardships, leaders should to.  Lead by example not greed because that is all this can be.  Is it not enough that his utility bills are paid by the people and his travel in first class also.

    Not a leader in my opinion at all.