UK has new budget details

| 14/08/2012

Financial-Accounting1.jpg(CNS): Officials at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London have been given the details of the latest revenue raising measures that the Cayman Islands government says it now plans to use to arrive at a surplus budget. Although the premier is hoping to deliver his budget address by 20 August and begin the legislative process to pass the spending plans into law, the UK Overseas Territories Minister is now on vacation, which means approval, if it comes for the revised proposals, could be later than hoped. Once again, the clock is ticking for the UDP administration to ensure the legislation for the budget is delivered to the Legislative Assembly, debated, scrutinized by Finance Committee and passed before 31 August.

This year’s budget crisis forced government to pass a stop-gap emergency two-month budget of $127 million via a government motion, which was not subject to examination by Finance Committee. That spending plan will now need to be absorbed into the full year’s budget, which is now waiting for the nod from the UK.

Although government has said it will be looking to raise $592 million with the imposition of new revenue raising measures, such as more increases on work permits to new hedge funds fees, it has also had to reduce spending in order to produce a surplus of $70 million, which still falls $6 million short of the $76 million stipulated by the FCO. Despite this, the spending on core government is understood to exceed more than $520 million.

Although the UK may accept the slight shortfall in the surplus target, government officials have stated that the key issue is the need for revenue raising measures to be demonstrably “credible and sustainable”.

The bureaucrats in the FCO who will examine the details of the budget will be the ones to recommend to Henry Bellingham, the OT minister, whether he should or should not approve the latest submission from Cayman. They have made it clear that revenue projections must be realistic and the local government must be able to show how they have arrived at the projected revenue figures and demonstrate that the government will be able to collect what it says it can.

Speaking at two public meetings over the last few weeks, the premier has said that government has gone as far as it can in terms of cuts and he will not sanction cutting civil service jobs. As a result, he has turned to increases in revenue in order to arrive at a surplus budget. 

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  1. Knot S Smart says:

    Yesterdays headlines: UK has new Budget details.

    Todays headlines: UK turns down new Budget and calls it a Fudget.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Was it the napkin or the cuff version they sent to the FCO? And was it from Monday's, Tueday's or Wednesday's lunch?

  3. St Peter says:

    The next international headline will be:

    The Premier of the Cayman Islands has fired the Minister of Finance for his inability to submit a balanced budget…

  4. Anonymous says:

    what's the 76 million requirement due to ?  as opposed to let's sya 70 or 60 mill surplus?  is it tied to a future debt repayment?

  5. madazhell says:

    which still falls $6 million short of the $76 million stipulated by the FCO.

     

    Too easy…

    Get Mike Ryan to pay his bill (sans interest – if was actually being charged) and all will be well.

     

    Anyone wanna buy a bridge… how about a house in West Bay?

     

    Sigh.

     

  6. Anonymous says:

    Fire……..Aim……….Ready!

  7. FmrExPat says:

    Genius!

    Wow, this is so simple.  You need more money, you increase fees and taxes.  It is so obviously painless and without side effects, the Cayman government is genius personified.   Lots of overtime must have been put in to come up with this terrific solution. 

    What could possibly go wrong?  There is no competition to Cayman, right?

    The expected core government spending is $520 million, the population is approx 52,000, meaning government spending is $10,000 per resident.  What great value!  How streamlined and efficient! 

    • Anonymous says:

      Please don't get confused and factor in the 20,000 or so transient labourers. Fact is budget is 520 million for approximately 30,000 Caymanians, or better yet, about 16,000 eligable voters. Calculate that one out.

      • Anonymous says:

        Er… govt. spending is also incurred by transient population not only Caymanians.

        • Loopy Lou says:

          Yes, that spending on publicly funded health care provided to "transients", that spending on social welfare paid to "transients", that spending on public education spent on "transients", that spending on tertiary education for "transients", the spending on mortgage relief for "transients", that spending list just goes on an on and adds up to something close to nada.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes, but as many like to keep reminding expats, they can leave anytime. Who gets left with the cheque?

      • Izitso says:

        C'mon, be fair.  We all know the job of government is to provide indoctrination (as opposed to education) by way of its schools and churches so the electorate will remain ignorant and compliant.  Is it any different in your country?

  8. Anonymous says:

    I hope McKeeva sent this himself and did not leave it up to his personal assistant. I can just imagine the confusion at the FCO if they receive the Chinese MOU for a casino instead of the budget.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Every non-MLA in the country knows that the revenue projections in this latest budget will be exaggerations and guesswork.

    They also know that the answer to the current problems is to reduce spending.

    And that it is possible to drastically cut spending without putting 700 civil servants out of work, despite what McKeeva tells us.

    The situation is not going to improve until someone does what needs to be done:

    1. putting a stop to the wasteful spending

    2. pull some snouts out of the trough

    3. introduces transparency and accountability to government accounts.

    If this budget is approved without addressing the above we will be back in the same position this time next year.

  10. Waskly Wabbit says:

    If ever there was a case for licensing users of crayons, this would be it!!!

  11. Caymanian . says:

    O Lord, I can hear Chris Croker now, LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!  FCO JUST WANTED THE PARTY TO GO ON AND YOU KEEP BLAMING HER FOR IT!  BAHHHHHH!  LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!

  12. Anonymous says:

    McKeewa needs a time out without any snacks!

  13. Hickory Dickory says:

    Where is Whodatis?  He has gone into hiding just when we would be expecting a conspiracy theory rant.

  14. Anonymous says:

    @11:26 – "Suspect the FCO giving the man just enough rope to hang himself with and then they will step in..how many goes does Mac need????"  The FCO will end up hanging its own self if it continues with the bad "too late" policies in place when dealing with the Overseas Territories. Thought I mention that. It is time for Caymanians to speak out against the FCO and Governor. Caymanians are to be blamed for this

    • Anonymous says:

      What do you want the FCO to do? Step in everytime someone accidentally farts in public? No, they have to save that for when, and only when, it is a really bad situation. UK does not really want to be reminded of its imperialistic past, it recognises that part of history was a huge mistake, and would rather Cayman ruled itself. The choice of the Cayman people is whether to remain a British overseas territory or not, a choice the UK has made clear to all overseas territoties it will respect, whether those BOT people decide to stay or leave.

      The Cayman people, and all other BOT peoples, have the responsibility to vote in government capable of doing the job, but as long as Cayman is a BOT, the FCO will keep an eye on what is going on to ensure that what happened in Turks and Caicos does not come here and devastate the people it is supposed to protect. This mess is not of FCO making, they are really hoping Mac will sort it out, hopefully they are also listening to us saying he is incapable at worst, unwilling at best.

      • Libertarian says:

        You have to understand such comments, it is not the UK or FCO. It is "those" within the FCO organization and UK government that desire more than ever to seek Cayman's demised. Many times I make comments against the FCO in relation to Turk and Caicos Islands. That does not mean I am attacking "everybody" in the FCO. I am not talking about the true and noble members of government and FCO that mean us well. I am not talking about haters of this financial centre. And there are haters indeed everywhere on this planet. But the reason why the FCO concerns some of us, is because of such things called "power" and "interest". They have power over us and they have their own agendas separate from the OT governments. That means alot. You have to keep things in perspective when someone comments on any site and points the finger at the UK or FCO. It is not meaning UK people, British people, or all politicians are bad. They have produced a new white paper on how they will deal with us and the rest of the Overseas Territories. I believe the true and noble ones will do their best, but the certain few in powerful positions and perhaps aligned with spy agencies, will become puppets for special interest purposes. They have their own interest and at times these interest conflict with the people of the Cayman Island's interest. Conflicting interest between governments and elites are just a known fact worldwide, and people get caught between the conflict. Read over your statement carefully, I noticed when you stated things like "they are really hoping" they are "listening to us" appears to reveal to all that you already have made an assessment in your mind that "they" are all one of the same lot with the same heart, mind, and soul. It is just as bad if I should say "they don't mean us well" they are "ignoring us" they are "our enemy."  We have to look beyond generalizations and neting everyone into the same net. Education is not good enough because alot of times people are educated fools; no reasoning abilities or faculties are weak and you see them jumping on a party wagon or on a side, and can't distinguish truth from error. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Sir,

          I hear your arguement. However one has to look precisely at UK aims for its own peoples to see what it wants, rather than in the realms of conspiracy theories. To name but a few, the UK seeks:

          1. Responsible and transparent government.

          2. Financially and politically stable government

          3. No money laundering or other "suspect" activities

          4. No discrimination on any grounds.

          5. Sound and transparent business practices

          There is no benefit to anyone in the UK for them to impose direct rule, quite the reverse, it will be more cost and pain for the UK, and more painful for Caymanians. On the other hand, if Cayman government could achieve all the above (and more), with the back up" of being a British "Territory", Cayman could be the jewel in the crown for both Caymanians themselves and the UK..In theory Cayman should be there now but it currently fails on at least 4 of above points.

          • Libertarian says:

            Agreed. The first commenter my expresses though. He/she ask the question – why isn't the UK doing enough?  Hopefully they will live up to the sound principles of the White Paper issued last month. Hopefully they will become more involved in the OTs instead of abuse of power. We will see.

  15. Unnarebel Mac says:

    How about now? Ok… now? No really…. This time, right?

  16. Anonymous says:

    "Deer FCO,

    Plaesee hepl us, i does not know what a budjit is suposse to lokk like.  alL these numbers is confusin to mee.  i Gots all theSe peple yelings at mE ans i dont kno whats To do!  thEy says i is a raciSt buT i doesnt understansd. aLl i wants to do iS make whitey pay! is tHat relly unfAir?  i Tride to trik ems by calin it a fee buT theys is toooooo smatrs for thAt.  pLAeseeee hEpl!!!!!

    McKeeeva-Prmier kAymAn isLnads"

    • Whodatis says:

      Yours is a very telling post.

      • Anonymous says:

        Whodatis !  Welcome back my old friend, we missed you, you know?  Where have you been hiding all this time?

    • Paper Caymanian says:

      If you have ever read anything HE has  personally written then you know.

  17. Anonymous says:

    "Well that seems like a well thought-out and viable plan", said no FCO official to Cayman ever,

  18. Anonymous says:

    Oh look! Someone else to blame because we can't balance our budget!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Sadly, likely to be refused once again on the grounds of not sustainable, nor thought out properly, probably meaning a last minute panic and all the same idiocy we have seen thus far, creating more panic amongst investors and harming Cayman again.

     

    Suspect the FCO giving the man just enough rope to hang himself with and then they will step in..how many goes does Mac need???? Which part of "cut the budget" is not understood.

     

    If he cut all the corruption out, he might even get away with not cutting the CS, but that would not be fair to him, right??

  20. Anonymous says:

    They should take away his crayons.

  21. Anonymous says:

    A budget is merely a plan.

     

    The crux of the matter is…can the Cayman Government actually execute its plan?

     

    Based on past experience, the answer is a resounding "No" for both the UDP and the PPM.

     

    Therefore you must forgive the FCO for its caution and skepticism.

     

    The Premier must fire the Minister of Finance and the Financial Secretary for gross incompetence.

     

    The elephant in the room is still wasteful spending and no auditable books. Raising more revenue will:

     – encourage more wasteful spending and

    – drive some businesses away together with their economic activity.

     

    The wasteful spending must be stopped. Painful decisions must be made, like do we sell Cayman Airways, force government entities to move into the new Government Administration Building, sell Boswain's beach, stop all frivolous international jollies, implement the recommendations of the Shaw-Miller report etc etc.

     

    • :)) says:

      must forgive FCO for its caution and skepticism???  . ha ha ha where do you get these people?

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you need to be  a bit careful before criticising the Financial Secretary too much. 

      His former position and power under the 1972 Constitution have been almost completely removed by the 2009 document, he is no longer even an ex officio member of Cabinet.  To top that, his functions under the PMFL have been removed from him and placed in the hands of the Minister of Finance.  In effect, the Financial Secretary'sposition has been rendered completely pointless, since he has no power, and, whilst the Constitution says he is the principal adviser to the Minister, he has no right to insist on anything, nor even to insist on being listened to. 

      In effect, he is a man with a title but no role.  It is devastating.

      Omnishambles.

      • Anonymous says:

        So, why does he have this position? Another big salary we could save on!

      • Anonymous says:

        Well as a layman I would see that we no longer need a Financial Sec.

        $200,000 in the bank

        Now, we could get ride of the 12-15 CO and replacement them with their deputies.  Undoubtly, the CO will have the superior education and management skills that is required and in high demand throughtout the private sector for surely to quailify for such prestige they must all have MBA from Harvard, Oxford or Cambridge. 

        200,000*16= $3.2 Million put that in your budget

        Now the 15 MLA's 50% salary cut and no double dip= $825,000 to a $1,200,000 and the added benefit that some people will not even stand for election. 

        All these accountants and no accounts= consolidate into one sectiown and get ride of all the uselessness.  Government should not even hire more than 10 quailifed Caymanian accounts as you are straving the private sector as I see an add for accountants everyday.

        Private sector..your not off the hook! think your smart sending all that accounting/admin work back to Canada and pocketing bigger paychecks each year at Partner level.  You got to pay to play big boys bring back those jobs or go play somewhere else I bet the other big three will be happy to step in and eat your food…

        Minimum wage needs to go way up like $10 per hour and then you will see the ecomony boom as more get off the governments dole. Think about it…why would anyone go to work (*unless you are sending money home to Asia and exchange rates are awesome) for 5-6 per hour? Not when you can sit home and collect free rent and food vouchers. Take away the dole and up the minimum wage to a living wage

        The problem with the world today is that the rich are getting too rich and not happy to share.  The poor are saying to the Government I need my share or this thing is going to turn upside down and collaspe and the middle are getting squeezed to poor as these politicks are too afraid or corrupted by they rich friends to do the right thing. 

         

         

  22. Anonymous says:

    Dear FCO,

     

    Please, please, please, force our government of the Cayman Islands to make public it's accounts which it is keeping from the public eye so that we make make more informed decisions in the coming national election.

    • lawyer says:

      And this is where the FCO is to be blamed!  Many people fail to see the orchestrated incompetence from both the parties and the UK government that led to this economic mess!

      • Anonymous says:

        You can point your accusatory finger right back at the Minister of Finance for that.  Don't shoot the messenger and perhaps don't post on CNS unless you are making sense next time.

      • santa baby says:

        Not just the UK.  You make it sound like just them!  But thanks for telling it like it is.

        hi-5

      • SSM345 says:

        Blame the FCO? Why? Because we borrowed so much money and cant' pay it back because our incompetent government (past and present over the last 30yrs) has failed miserably in controlling the country's finances?

        Thats the problem, always blaming someone else, its never ever our fault.

        CNS needs to start filtering some of these completely idiotic rants by people who have no idea what is going on around them.

        • Kevin says:

          As much as I agree with you, should CNS censor speech because of a political persuasion or someone else view?  Dare I say, its the people that makes the FCO, and sometimes the people behind them, are not our friends. This is a true fact. Are you going to deny that?  

      • Anonymous says:

        That would be like blaming the credit card company for the irresponsible spending habits of a schoolboy using his mom and dad's credit card.

    • Dred says:

      I personally would like to apply for the UDP to officially change the name of this to the National Fudget. I really believe we could get sued for using this word in accordance with the documents produced by this government.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Here's my $6mln proposal: the MLAs give back the 40% raise they gave themselves (at onset of recession) and end their double dipping on pensions while serving in office.  Maybe that's more than $6mln…does anybody know?!? 

    • Anonymous says:

      Pass the mike! That pay rise was used by the hard working MLAs to put in savings accounts with banks that employ Caymanians and invested into lucrative investment schemes with Caymanian directors therefore accepting that pay rise was nothing less than a duty and another example of how McKeeva's administration has made fiscally prudent decisions in order to stimulate the local economy and help the average Caymanian each of whom are now above average thanks entirely to McKeeva, don't you understand!  Now let me tell you about the previous administration's decision to build those schools until your ears bleed…

      • Anonymous says:

        Sit down and pass the mike on lil boy you've had your turn already….

      • Anonymous says:

        lol. "McKeeva's administration" and "fiscally prudent decisions" don't belong in the same sentence.

  24. We didn't start the fire says:

    ha hah ha! look at this!!! it's the new budget!!!

    you're kidding

    no, i'm serious.

    wait 'til bellingham sees this!!!

    is ganja legal there??

    no! that's the funniest part!!

    yuk!!! yuk!!!.. look on page ten!!!!!

    they're going to tax fish!!!

    and there's a new sunshine tax!!!!

    ha! ha! ha! this is too much!!!

     

    • St Peter says:

      You and the poster at 9.33 are just too funny!

    • Honorable MacInOverMyHead says:

      Little girl… Little boy… pass the microphone. It is a "fee" on fish. Dat is what dey call it in otha places so why is it seen as a tax here? I hope yu trip and pop ya mout.

      Dis may or may not happen. I can needa confirm nor deny and will only inform da "real" press when I decide on my next trip owaseas looking for forren inwestas. I will travel anywhere to sign an MOU.

      An alternative revenue measure, because I am not cutting spending, will be the sunshine "fee" dat you jus mentioned.  I shall call it a… let's see… yes a  "community illumination fee" and it will be introduced…  It will be going into effect… ummmm yes…. the next time the sun rises if not sooner. 

      It will be levied on all persons other than the Caymanians that live in West Bay. I will not be introducing taxes… Never!!! Not on my watch under my administration…. No I will not… Dat fuel duty is not a tax. It is a duty despite the feedback and adwice of the private sectah and gowerment adwisas. Unna donkey faced people…

       

      • Anonymous says:

        This is exactly what our leaders should get for giving away the country with the stroke of a pen, he did not know that one day the chickens would come home to roost.  This is what happens when you give people too much power in your country.  You give them an inch and now they want the yard.  Welcome to the new Cayman Islands so glad that the real politician of the day are not around to experience the disrespect given to our leaders good or bad.

  25. Anonymous says:

    FCO staff: "Hey look, he sent another one, did you read it yet? god they just keep getting funnier, you would think they were done by a 5th grader"

    • Anonymous says:

      They are

    • Anonymous says:

      As an occassional tutor to a couple of 5th graders I am offended on their behalf.  Not only are they literate, thoughtful, and mannerly, but they manage and budget their allowances so they have savings for Christmas.