Mac aims to try again

| 20/08/2012

mac 3 (236x300).jpg(CNS): Updated LA rescheduled to 4:15pm:  There is still no official word from government on whether the UK has approved the latest budget submission but sources have told CNS that the two sides are still in discussions. The premier has re-scheduled today's meeting of the Legislative Assembly from 2:30 to 4:15pm in the hopes of being able to finally present his government’s spending plans for this administration’s last year in office. Cancelled at the 11th hour on Friday, McKeeva Bush, as minister of finance, is now facing another emergency as the clock ticks on the need to appropriate money in order to keep government in business once the stop-gap funds approved by the LA in June run out on 31 August.

Even if the UK offers its approval by noon today, the Legislative Assembly will once again be forced to rush through the scrutiny of the spending plans in less than eleven days.

Once the Throne Speech is presented on Monday afternoon, followed by the premier’s budget address, the leader of the opposition is usually given a day or two at least to consider the government’s budget before making his reply. That is followed by a debate in which all members of the House have the opportunity to present their own take on the spending plans. Once that’s done, the legislators are expected to scrutinize the details of the budget with the relevant government department heads during a meeting of Finance Committee before the vote is taken on the appropriations for this financial year.

The Finance Committee stage was traditionally a process that members spent weeks on rather than just days in order to examine the credibility of government’s projected revenue collection and its spending. 

However, over the last three budgets, since the UDP government changed the Public Management and Finance Law to remove the requirement that a budget should be prepared and brought to the Legislative Assembly before 30 April, the process has been forced into an ever-shrinking timeframe as the premier has presented each budget later and later.

This year the budget is already two months late. Government was forced to bring a motion to the Legislative Assembly in June as a result of its failure to present a proper spending programme after the UK refused to give approval to the government’s original budget which included a borrowing requirement of almost $60 million.

Over the last two months government has been endeavouring to create a budget with a surplus of more than $76 million, while at the same time covering a whopping government spending plan of some $650 milllion.

The controversial suggestion of a tax on expatriate earnings was dropped recently and replaced with a number of new revenue raising measures, which had received the support of the private sector.

Last week the premier listed some of fees he intended to impose to “further improve government’s revenue” for the next financial year. These include a proposed new licensing system for fund and corporate directors and an annual fee increase for exempt companies of $100.

“Proposed amendments to the Companies Management Law will create and implement a new licensing system for fund and corporate directors. At present, these directors are not licensed or regulated,” Bush said. 

Issuing of certificates for a company, filing of a company document, company certification and express service for certificates, certification, filing and registration and re-registration are also to see increase of $25.

Annual fees for directorships under the Companies Law will see significant increases. Securities and investment businesses will increase by $500; regulated entities by $300; and all other directorships by $100. Company managers and trust services are both listed for increases of $100. A variety of Cayman Islands Monetary Authority fees are also among the proposed fee increases, ranging from $100 to $800. 

“These measures are in addition to the revenue measures that replaced the Community Enhancement Fee, namely increased bank and trusts license fees, work permit fees, tourist accommodation tax, departure tax, master fund registration fees, traffic regulatory fees, exempted limited partnerships, imposition of a stamp duty on certain property insurance policies, reverting to the 7.5% stamp duty on land transfers, and implementing fees for non-commercial boats,” the premier revealed.

“In all, these revenue measures and those measures that replaced the Community Enhancement Fee are expected to earn the government some $90.46 million during the 2012/13 fiscal year,” he stated.

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Category: Politics

Comments (22)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Mac tries to aim again would be more appropriate.

  2. NeoSurvivor says:

    Never before have I been afraid of my government.    Never before have I been so afraid for my country.  

     

    If my friends and family are any cross-sampling of the populace as a whole, many of us are in the uncomfortable position of trying to predict what cataclysmic turns this government will take, how that will adversely affect our already diminishing income, and what, if anything, we can do to mitigate whatever weird twists and turns the government might take;   remember way back when the worst thing we had to fear was a hurricane?    

     

    It's not a bad thing to simplify our lives in order to save money and go back to basics;  I just hope to be able to use the proceeds from my own efforts.  

     

    The ONLY avenue open to us is to vote.   God hear our prayers — let there be an election and the country no worse for wear at that time.  

    • Anonymous says:

      There are only two choices, you stand up and face it whatever the outcome or get up and run the choice is yours.  This is what happen when good menand women stand around and do nothing.  When anything is wrong we should say that it is irrespective of the consequences. 

  3. Whodatis says:

    Re: "Once the Throne Speech is presented on Monday afternoon, followed by the premier’s budget address, the leader of the opposition is usually given a day or two at least to consider the government’s budget before making his reply."

    Oh well, we can all sleep easy now! After all, the leader of the opposition has a stellar track record when it comes to fiscal management. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

    However, I truly wish we would back off the claims of the Cayman Islands facing an "economic crisis".

    We are not facing an economic crisis – our industries are healthy and vibrant. Instead, we are facing a crisis of an artificial economic deadline imposed by external factors.

    That is the simple reality of the situation.

    Furthermore, we are being refused the reprieve that every other modern economy / democracy is relying on in this greatest ever global economic recession that has seen entire nations fall to their knees – the UK included. (Are we fully aware of how dire the British economic situation stands today? Are we aware of the gross hypocrisy between their words to us and their actions to self?)

    Both David Cameron and Barack Obama would sell their mothers to be "cursed" with the supposed "crisis" that we are facing.

    That being said, the Premier really needs to bite the bullet and do the necessary to getus past this artifically imposed hump.

    For example, if the solar panel initiative is still on the table it ought to be scrapped. If anything, it can be reviewed and considered for next year's budget. (No good? Conflicts with election year?)

    According to the last detailed rejection it seemed as if the crux of the matter boiled down to a mere $6 million discrepancy. Has the democracy of the Cayman Islands (my democracy, OUR democracy) truly been valued at $6 million??

    There are many ins and outs, and ups and downs surrounding this situation – but in my opinion, this is what it all boils down to.

    This country is full of so much promise and hosts so many amazing people but it is a shame the way in which a few select individuals can wreak so much anxiety and instability – all in the name of "ego".

    As I see it – neither side in this debacle truly has the welfare of the country and its people as the priority.

    To clarify, when I refer to sides I am not referring to UDP vs PPM, but Cayman (officials) vs. British (officials).

    • noname says:

      If you truly believe even a small part of your post, you are a fool beyond any help. The premier is acting like a child who has been told to resubmit his homework because it is so bad, and he is petulantly handing back the same piece of rubbish a second time, saying he's right and everyone else is wrong so there……. It will all end in tears and or a big mess, and then you and he can play the blame it on the UK game again.  

      • Whodatis says:

        The actions of the Premier and the question of whether we are facing an actual "economic crisis" – especially in light of the current global climate – are two very separate issues.

  4. St Peter says:

    Question: If Mac and the UDP were on a boat in the middle of the ocean and it started to sink. Who would be saved?

    Answer: Caymanians and the rest of us…

  5. Anonymous says:

    waiting for what?? they already said "NO" you moron

    ugh!

    Minister of Finance or Financial Secretary – WHO SHOULD BE FIRED FIRST??

  6. Anonymous says:

    Time's up, you are a pathetic waste of public office and impotent in your duty as Premier. Can't you see what's coming? Get ready to face the music; "God save the Queen".

    • Anonymous says:

      When he has his meetings in West Bay with his status grant supporters, God Save the Queenis not on the agenda…anyone notice this dangerous sign of things to come from this man…?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Mac…

    Emergency…

    Failure…

    If I had a dollar for every time I saw those three words in a sentence I would be rich I tells ya!

  8. Anonymous says:

    The real problem is that government is taking money from the private sector and spending it in ways that are often counterproductive. The need to reduce spending would still exist-and be just as compelling-if the UDP government had a budget. Fiscal policy should focus on reducing the level of government spending, with particular emphasis on those programs that yield the lowest benefits and/or impose the highest costs.

    National Building Fund,Solar paneland the Wasteful Spending by the Civil Services and Public Authorities.Stop this Madness Mr Honorable Premier.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Why unna worried boout the budget goin thru in 11 days? Doesnt Mac just push it unda the rug and everyone says AYE!

    Come on now, who really approves this budget. Seems like we jus hafta be real and take wha we get cuz we da ones that put that bumbling, high school dropout fool back in government year afta year afta year afta year.

    ***By the way Big Mac, my driveway could use some paving and we could use a washer n dryer and a few months of CUC bills gettin paid by unna cuz well it really hot out and we need run our a/c all day and night. And a coupla hams n sides a beef to fill dat deep freeze in case a hurricane come along and we can grill everyting out back fa the neighborhood. We'll let u know when you can come on by…Thanks in advance….your loyal Baya.***

  10. Anonymous says:

    With all the rules to be followed on finances along with the other responsibilities, I would hate to be in the Premier's shoes. Being leader of a country is like selling your soul away. Too many strings attached. 

  11. EXPAT101 says:

    Lets stop calling him "BIG MAC"! I prefer "THE WOPPER"

  12. Knot S Smart says:

    I dont think we will get the budget approved today because it looks like it is going to rain…

  13. Anonymous says:

    Mac doesn't realise how angry he is making his countrymen, saying he has cut spending as much as possible and causing all this trouble when we can all see his vote-buying wastefulness and his hubris asplain as day.

  14. anonymous says:

    The UK wants him to dump the Nation Building Fund and he refuses.  Can he not see the harm this is doing to cayman.  Remember the old sayng. 'None so blind as those who will not see'

    • Anonymous says:

      Don't worry – he soon reach the end of the rope!

       

    • The Deliverer says:

      Nation Building Fund is just a base to fund monies to transfer it to voting. To fund the for votes and other influencing way by May 2013.

      My people, that is why the low cost homes are being held back until March 2013, so this can be a teaser. This will entice the voter or their family members that want a home and in turn they have to vote for UDP. But it don’t always work like that either.

      You see, the OMOV sent a clear message where most of the populace stands today for the betterment of Cayman. With the 10,000 plus unregistered voters to be signed up between now and May 2013 (9 Months to go), I see new a beginning. A new batch, a new generation coming forward.

      Look at most of the countries across Europe, especially the Arab world, see how the younger generations has taken things into their own hands? Taking shape through the likes of technology and using the media to covey education and the true love of their home land from “Tyrants”. Be it Saddam, Haitian dictators  Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier or his dad Francois “Papa Doc”, Franco of Spain, Gadhafi, Mussolini of Italy or our beloved “Mac”, we have seen what has become of dictators. All comes to and end. Lucky for us in Cayman we are not killed off yet.  

      And so; as those men I have mentioned, has come to pass and so will Mac and his fake UDP party in 9 months time.        

      The Deliverer