Mac faces $4.6m shortfall

| 07/05/2011

(CNS): The government may not finish this financial year in the black, despite recent claims by the premier that public finances were back on track and there would be a surplus. On a number of occasions over the last few weeks McKeeva Bush, who is the finance minister, has pointed to government’s success in stabilizing the country’s cash as one of the main achievements of his administration so far. However, the surplus that he was hoping for has not yet materialised as the governments books are now expected to show a $4.6 million shortfall. As a result, the premier has ordered a further tightening of public belts to turn the figure into a $15 million surplus before 30 June.

Government bosses will now have to find savings of more than $20 million in just eight weeks to enable the premier to predict a surplus for this financial year when he brings the budget later this month for the new fiscal year 2011/12.

In a memo (posted below) circulated on Thursday to chief officers and chief financial officers and copied to the governor the premier said that forecasts made last month were pointing to a deficit of around $4.6 million for core government spending, which he said was “unacceptable” and that the “elected government requires a surplus of $15 million” for this fiscal year end.

Bush said that he wanted $5 million to pay into the government’s general reserve fund, another $5 million to pay into the public service pension past service liabilities and then the last $5 million could be carried over to assist with the forthcoming budget.

The memo instructed civil service management not to hire any more personnel between now and 30 June and to stop spending money unnecessarily, even if it appeared that they had the budget capacity. He told the chief officers to “practice expenditure restraint”.

Bush did not spell out how the civil service would make the $20 million spending cuts in the next eight weeks but said that his ministry would shortly issue reduced budget limits for all ministries and portfolios.

Despite the premier’s wish to finish this financial year with some cash left over, the budget prediction for the 2010/11 financial year made in June last year was for a deficit of over $30 million. However, at the beginning of this year the premier began to state that government hadmanaged to keep spending in check and as a result was on track for a surplus.

Over the last four months the premier has persistently stated that he believed that as a resultof the work of his government the public finances had stabilized and said only last month that there would be a surplus of around $13-14 million. 

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  1. anonymous says:

    If McKeeva tries to cut the CS salaries again, they should walk out or sick out for 1 or 2 days and give him hell.  It is high time the CS march or act for their own rights.   He is constantly wasting the money and expect for the CS to save and come up with more.  Ask Michael Ryan for the money he owes, ask Cohen & Co. back for the money you wasted, take that 9 mio back from Hotel Hilton and you will get your 20mio.  You are too disgusting McKeeva.  I dunno what kind of bookkeeping you and your Government is doing, but it is wrong.  Please correct it now or the people will revolt!

    • UDP&PPM AFU says:

      If the CS walked out sick for a week would anyone notice?  Think of the electricity saved? Less fuel used. Less traffic. Less cell phone comp time, less web browsing, Less, wait, I think I figured out how CIG can save10 million a week!

  2. Just Commentin' says:

    Gee Mac…where was this deficit when all those private parking lots on Cayman Brac got free paving?

    Mac's putting pressure on civil servants to come up with the money in light of Mac's and the UDPee'ers irresponsible fiscal policies is an insult to everyone who works for the Cayman Islands Government.

    Mac may need to apologise and suck up to the civil servants he has put under the gun. Has he totally lost his marbles this time? Apparently Idi McMin doesn't care that the civil servants and their families comprise a major percentage of voters. Next election all of you civil servants should bear in mind that Mac's first class five-star global jaunts are paid for by your salary cuts. He gets gourmet meals and limo service, you get more work and less pay. Nice deal, eh? (How in the hell can you continue to tolerate this bullcrap anyway? You have the power to take him out; but will you?)

    If money is that tight, maybe JuJu can get the Brac PWD to dig up the new parking lot blacktop and get Dervyn to put it on the barge and sell it as fill to Grand Cayman. (Or maybe the parking lots should not have been paved for free to begin with.)

    Something about the way this government operates stinks to high heaven.
    Big Mac Jokes of the Day:
    (Watch for my comments to Mac stories and collect 'em all.)

    McKeeva Bush has conclusively discovered how to deal with the deficit: It is a skill that requires addition and distraction.

    Q: How many UDPee'ers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
    A: Just one — McKeeva holds the light bulb and the whole country revolves around him.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mac will have 5000 new (Chinese) voters on the West Bay voter's list before the next election.

  3. Anonymous says:

    People, please calm down. Ellio reminded us recently that UDP believes the majority of us will accept the high fees on behalf of the country.

    So whats another $4.6m…oh pooh. You all are being ridiculous.


  4. ALL SEEING says:

    It has finally come to caymanians attention that the true meaning of the United Dart Party is a failure.

    • Anonymous says:



      If he tells you to walk, RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN!

  5. Anonymous says:

    What is the common denominator in all this fatally flawed financial information the country and it's leaders have been getting for the past 5 years – yes you guessed it, Ken Jefferson.  The PPM found it out too late after Alden and Kurt were led to believe the country could afford 3 schools and a new Admin complex. Mac was told he would have surplus this year now a deficit.  The truth is the FS does not have a clue what is going on.  I thought the new constitution effectively eliminated that position…  what is he still doing there?  He is lost.  Someone please take him out of his misery. 

  6. 3rd Class Citizen says:

    People are starting to see the true politics that are practiced on us. We will no longer tolerate thistype of behavior with money first, UDP second and Caymanians 3rd. The party is over. 

  7. Anonymous says:

    Expenditures are measured on a cash basis, not accrued basis as any private company would do. It is simple, they will not pay any suppliers for 60 days and then start the new fiscal year with a bigger deficit.

    This will needless to say put further pressure in the economy.

    The question is, when is the FS going to be fired? His numbers flip flop between surplus and deficit faster than Mac's projects….

    • Anonymous says:

      Civil Service expenditures are now SUPPOSED to be on an accrual basis (when they are incurred, not when paid for). We need to demand to see these figures. Anyone can make their cash balance look good. If you look at your own bank account after you get paid but before your mortgage, utilities etc…. are paid, we could all say we have a huge surplus.


  8. Anonymous says:

    How can you expect anything better when bush and ju ju are at the controls?

  9. Real World says:

    $15 million in 3-months. What type of economics is this?  (Nut's anyone?)   Face it McKeeva, your government's finances are all over the place, and your promise of a budget surplus at the end of financial year was (and still is) pie in the sky. (Cracker's anyone?) For goodness sake, don't punish further the people of the Cayman Islands just to try to make the books look good.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Let's see how many will show up at the UDP meeting with large posters telling him why he should go.

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is crazy. The govt was expecting a $30m deficit. Now they want a $15m surplus….that is a swing of $45m or roughly 9% of the annual budget. Did they estimate revenues that wrong? If so, what assumptions were they using? If it was a case of cost control…let us know the departments or ministries that should be thanked for this achievement.

    Then again…I have seen this played out before. The only question is why is the FS still there? If you take a closer look…the heading on the memo says "Office of the Finacial Secretary"….but was signed by the Premier….classic…this is a soap opera….you cant buy this entertainment anywhere.

    Mac…here is a revenue idea…that Mac TV that you want to create should be pay per view…you are giving away good entertainment for nothing!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe its part of Mac's brilliant cost saving measures for the next 5 weeks – saving on the stationery paper… 😀

  12. IRON CLAD says:

    Mac himself IS the BIGGEST shortfall or 'DEFICIT' this country has and could ever have period.

    Any other thoughts?

    Ultimately IRON CLAD

  13. Sick and Tired of being Sick and Tired says:

    Of course he has lost his mind!!.  Where does he expect the civil servants to find that kind of money.?  After crunching the numbers last year they managed to come up with some savings and he went galavanting all over the world until he has spent every cent. Civil Servants can't sign petitions but it seems as if he wants them to get in the money-printing business.Listen up CIVIL SERVANTS there is such a thing as "PASSIVE DISOBEDIENCE" go ahead and enact it. Don't have any "long talk" as we say in Cayman with the idots. Just standby and watch them all fall flat their backsides.   Perhaps the Premier and his cronies should volunteer to put back all that they have wasted over the past two years or he could take it out of his stash he had tucked away. Imagine we are paying him CI$25,000 per month to destroy our island plus we are paying his living expenses to boot!! To learn that the Speaker's daughter is representative for Cayman in Florida  takes the cake. This is another national disgrace. XXX I used to admire the Speaker in the good old days when she fought relentlessly for democracy and fairnest now she is XXX as the rest of them.  I wonder how they can sleep at nights when they reflect on all the damage they are doing to our "Beloved Isles Cayman"

  14. Anonymous says:

    what Mr. Bush needs to do is stop wasting money his self by running up and down to every chicken fight that he hear about then collect that huge amount that his friend Micheal Ryan owes Government .

    • nayr says:

      Have you ever thought that the hotel does not have the money to pay it?

      CNS: The concessions were not given to the hotel but to the developer.

      • nayr says:

        Thank you for the correction.

        Have you ever thought that the developer and/or his myriad of companies does not have the money to pay it? It is a national disgrace that such conduct has taken place and is allowed to continue. Has no one in Government got the strength to go out and collect it. Or is there as usual more than meets the eye here.

  15. Bo Peep says:

    Mac can fool some of the morons some of the time. Now his time has run out. God save this Islands.

  16. Anonymous says:

    It blows my mind that in this current situation people who apply for permanent residency and Cayman status are still but can't afford the fees are still offered a payment plan.

    Can CUC provide me with a payment plan?

    It is all smokes and mirrors people!

    • Dred says:

      Actually yes they do should you have a problem paying a specific bill. Water Authority does the same. Problem is the fee hikes went up significantly like everything else. Not sure about you but I don’t have a grand lying around doing nothing. If you do you could always send it my way.

    • Anonymous says:

      It blows my mind that in this climate, who on earth would wish to apply for status or permanent residency?

      That is like watching people evacuating a sinking ship whilst you walk onto it, swing through hoops and then pay for the privelige!

      • Anonymous says:

        The people who still collect a substantial higher TAX FREE salary than what they would ever back home, or the people who would not be able to find a job back home – those are the people who still apply!

        • Karl Canuck says:

          Not necessarily so.  I'm making more in Canada after tax than I was in Cayman, and Cayman's economy is not getting bigger so as to support larger salaries – in fact it is shrinking rapidly and has been for a few years.  As to people who can't find jobs back home, I don't know if you all noticed but the rest of the world (minus the USA) is nicely out of the recession and business is doing quite well thank you.  I'[m sure there are a few unemployable people, but that's not typically who Cayman's employers troll for.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Cut out the $9m for the Hurrican Hilton and collect the Money Michael Ryan owes and you are more than half way towards the $20m. Just takes the political will-power. A little from Mac and a little from Julie..

    Let's see who will step up to the plate in this pissing match…

  18. Anonymous says:

    Mr Bush should first of all get the millions that Michael Ryan owes.Then collect all the unpaid garbage and work permit fees, Then the vehicle   outstanding vehicle licence fees. 

    • Anonymous says:

      The first thing he needs to do is stop wasting our money on himself and his cronies and JuJu needs to do the same. If he collects the money owed without stopping the waste it will just go the way of the tens of millions already wasted.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I would like to know a full list of whom we are in debt to as a nation. Tell us now.

  20. Anonymous says:

    This is great news. Bush is going to have to go back to his handlers to explain why he can't squeeze the people for any more to satisfy their greed. No more property purchases, no more car purchases, buy local food wherever possible and economize on your water and electric and you have hit these thieves in the only place it matters. Remember, they are parasites off YOUR spending. Stop feeding them and they die. Oh revenge is so sweet. You can tell your chinese, filipino and indian hordes that they may have to wait a litle longer to fill all those empty apartments. Oh Lord, payback is a b*tch. Back to the UN for plan B. Seriously, you tink we stupid? Now you gonna see the guvna' say som'tin! He will soon go to the people to reassure them to keep spending, but it will be smoke and mirrors. Hold fast, my brothers and sisters, hold fast. Do NOT spend, unless absolutely necessary. This is the only revolution that will work. Now they fear us.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I don't believe a thing that this bunch says about government accounts. I doubt that any of them can count past 5.

    The only reason they would ask government departments to spend less is so that they can waste more of it on travel and cronies and paving friends parking lots.

  22. Shock and Awe says:

    Sent from my BlackBerry Device:

    Listen!!! Guys!!! Find the money!!!! I don’t care where you have to look!!! The people can not find out I’ve been bs’ing them!!!! Got it???  I’ll be away for awhile after Vancouver I’m going to Greenland and maybe Tuktoyuktuk to examine global warming. Not really. I just can’t come back til you find the freakin money!!!! Make it up!!! Print it!!! I don’t care!!!


  23. Anonymous says:

    How can he hope to announce any surplus when millions of dollars in spending are still unaccounted for?

    • Mickey says:

      Millions of dollars " SPENT" from  the previous administration $69 million for starters unaccounted for!


      Go chuckster it’s your birthday !

  24. Anonymous says:

    Come 17 May 2011 the Premier will balance the budget and have the $30M surplus, just wait and see.

  25. Anonymous says:

    If the Premier stops travelling and JuJu desists from paving contributors parking lots that will do a lot. If they would have stopped 12 months ago we would not be in this situation.

    • Busha says:

      Today they are paving part of  Market Place Parking lot for free, and guess who owns market place?  The RICHEST man in Cayman Brac!

      • Anonymous says:

        MK…….so the PPM is getting a little piece of the pie (tar) too !!!. I bet that'll keep um quiet 🙂

        • Busha says:

          No man , I talking about the richest man in Cayman Brac, That is Mr T

          M K is the second richest.

        • Anonymous says:

          You, of all people, should surely understand that the UDP just bought another vote…with OUR money.  

      • Anonymous says:

        It's not Market Place parking lot.  They legally own it but it's a piece on the side next to Edd's Place.  Market Place clients never park there.  Market Place has a cement parking lot just like Kirkconnells.

        Don't hear anyone making a big deal out of the bar parking lots being paved and those are the size of a house lot.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Spend less, folks, spend less and smoke these snakes out of their nest. The noose is tightening.

    • Island lover says:

      The recent census shows that we only have 25,000 or so households in Cayman. I’m flabbergasted on the huge income we receive and subsequent complete waste of our politicians. Yes, we should have better roads and schools than our poorer island cousins, but it is time for term limits andaccountability and something to show for all our wealth (like free vocational and university education for our children to compete in the global economy).

      Our politicians should be simple public servants, not aspiring dictators or greedy minions lining their pockets with the public purse.
      We need to teach our young people that serving the public is a middle class job and not the brass ring they should reach for!

      The political role models we have now and for the past two decades are nothing but a bunch of self serving bums. Throw them all out and change our system to serve the people, not the people serving these politicians their free lunch.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is the root of the problem. The politcians have forgotten who they work for. We too have to stop giving them so much importance. By doing so they have adopted levels of confidence, laziness, entitlement that they should never have. I recall Caymanians laughing that we would never allow a Michael Misick here, flying in private jets, living the high life. Within two years we have allowed an entire party to do so. Things need to get back on an even keel or we are not going to turn these islands around – ever. Why? These guys just get greedier and greedier. And shame on the entire party system. It has no place in Cayman.

        • Island lover says:

          Amen!  Come on voters….this party system has been the downfall of Cayman.  You allowed these bums to band together and now we have no control at all.

          Demand a balanced budget, demand better teachers in our schools, demand literacy programs (*that work!) and proper testing that is PUBLISHED for the public to see how we stack up against the world in our schools (sad, trust me).  Get rid of the fat-cat senior administration that has sat back and done nothing for a decade or more.

          Demand term limits and demolish the party system.  It is high time that being a politician only means that you work for LESS than your high paying prominent job and you do it for the love of the country, not for greed or perks.





      • nauticalone says:

        Very well said!

      • Anonymous says:

        Well said and especially the bit about ,

        "We need to teach our young people that serving the public is a middle class job and not the brass ring they should reach for! The political role models we have now and for the past two decades are nothing but a bunch of self serving bums."

        Why are we looking up to the majority of persons who have not and could not make it in the real world, with few exceptions these days. The old pork barrel is apparently getting bigger and bigger………………

        Only when we get back to basics and improve the status and standing of of the teaching profession as the most valuable that our society will progress. Does'nt every profession start there? Lets reward our teachers well enough so that they are respected and will stay in the profession and be dedicated for the future of our children.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I guess no government bills will be paid before July then

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       Shortfall….surplus…..all politrick speak and spinning. The accounts cannot be audited, pre paid pensions, the DOT can’t find 60 million, money gets spent from one budget to pay for something different, slush funds, they don’t know where or how much. Demanding a surplus has no teeth. Its a non subject.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sad but true.  Just ask Tom Jones.

  28. Anonymous says:

    As the Governor and FCO wait quietly in the wings….watching and waiting for the oppourtunity to take over one of its financial industry competitors

  29. Anonymous says:

    Wow… Is that how much it cost for all of that worldwide gallivanting? And the freebie trips for the entourage hangers on?

  30. Anonymous says:

    Shrink needed urgently for the next caucas !

  31. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva needs to ask his UDP cronies to return the "finder’s fees" for the Cohen loans. That might help.


    I can foresee a lot of local sporting organizations having the aid cut this year, so McKeeva should reconsider whether we should be spending $48K on Liaison Officers in Florida.

    • Anonymous1 says:

      Forgot to add the $10K per month the failed UDP candidate for George Town gets for “advising” the four Ministers.

      I’m quite willing to advise them for free. Here is my advice: Resign!

      • Anonymous says:

        It is called gouging. And boy do we LOVE being gouged. Thanks for the free million dollars worth of advice though.

  32. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva how in the hell do you expect the government to have a surplus given your and your government’s abuse of public (our) funds ? "Not today Bo-Bo"!!! You must go and go now !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      If you’re going to pull that kind of money out of your a** you had better stand up. 

  33. Anonymous says:

    Show me the money!!

  34. Anonymous says:

    Seriously?????  The Premier seriously expected a surplus.  Seriously now????  My 3rd grade class can do better math than he can.  Even the 8 and 9 years olds in my class understand that if you only make $20.00 a week you can’t go out and spend $80.00 a week.  He seriously needs a crash course in 1. commonsense  2. math 101  3.  economics 101  3. consumer math HS level.

    "Tighten belts"  where???  Cut those salaries, tighten your belts, stop hiring, stop spending:  I have to travel……………

    FOOLS have got to go………..

  35. Anonymous says:

    Is anyone really surprised???

  36. Anonymous says:

    Must be nice to tell others to tighten their belts while your off on 5 star first class trips payed for by the belt tighteners. Amazing what caymanians will put up with.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Yep, it’s all unravelling now, he’s insisting on this fairy tale surplus because his whole handling of the Cohen deal hinges on it. If there is no surplus, then he can’t use the country’s financial position as a reason to snake out of that pit of kaka he found himself in with the financing earlier in the year.

    Everyone goes around and beats up on the accountants in the Government and wonder why they can’t get the numbers right. I am glad Memos like this one is coming to light, it shows what happens when accountants go to the politicians, tell them that 1+1=2 and they insist that 1+1 must =5.

    Since it will be 2-3 years before we know what the true numbers are, he can insist that the surplus be anything, so why stop at 15 million? Why not insist on 20, 30 or even 40? Makes no difference anyway, all the numbers are a big pipe dream.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have no doubt that the government does not want the reporting as the FOI is pretty useless if you take away the I part.  But as to us ever finding out I woudn't hold my breath as we may just end up with Auditor General again saying "the historical information isn't there so lets just move ahead and focus on current reporting".  Then we can have another five years of blame game with what I predict will be the other party in power.


  38. Anonymous says:

    Since ministries aren’t reporting under GAAP I assume this is cash basis deficit so just don’t pay a bunch of vendors. For example charge the upcoming trip to Bejing. Then maybe on June 30th write a check to a law firm and have the money transferred to Gov’t operating account same day before the check bounces. Taadaa…no more deficit.

  39. Anonymous says:

    $20,000,000 over seven weeks?  Mr Bush has lost his mind.