Churches get $400k from fund

| 11/01/2013

gty_money_in_bowl_thg_111027_wg.jpg(CNS): Close to a half million dollars was given to churches from the controversial Nation Building Fund created by the former premier and administered by his ministry, during the 2011/12 financial year. According to a document released under a freedom of information request submitted by the independent member for North Side, Ezzard Miller, 11 churches received $420,548 from the public purse for a variety of reasons. A further $1.5 million was randomly given to people and causes connected to the arts, sports and community activities across a diverse spectrum. Almost $8000 was also used for the proposed Christian heritage monument in George Town.

From a $3000 grant to fund a Caymanian’s efforts to get on the US TV Show X-Factor to $15,000 for the UCCI’s observatory, the grants range from as little as $300 to as much as $750,000.

Although a significant portion of the funding appears to be going to worthwhile causes, it has always been controversial for variety of reasons. While the former premier has insisted the funds given out under the nation building programme are transparent, the actual criteria and reasons for granting one application over another have not been spelt out.

Most of the grants appear to be to assist young people in their education or cultural development with grants being given to sports clubs, the scouts and brownies as well as a local half-way house. The vast bulk of the money however, went to around 85 students who were given scholarships under the programme, which is outside of the normal scholarship application process. Amounts to individual students ranged from as little as $588 for a summer camp scholarship for one student to as much as almost $46,000 to another scholar studying in the US.

The grants have also caused controversy because these scholarships are not dealt with by the education department and again, the basis on which these special educational grants are awarded has not been defined. In this third full financial year of the fund’s existence around $1 million was given to the various students.

See full details of where cash was allocated below.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The additional problems with the so-called Nation Building scholarships are that they are not audited by the Education Ministry, like the regular scholarships are. I am willing to bet that criteria such as grades are not applied either. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    BTW- giving 10% of your earnings is called 'Tithing' and that IS Biblical (if that matters to you).  Be cautious however to whom you give to the Lord through.  It is for God's work- like outreach to the less fortunate not the purchase of the Pastor's BMW or Rolex!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup, I remember reading in the bible "thou must give thy 10% tithe".

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have mixed feelings here.  While it is very troubling to know that misuse of Government monies continues, I am very concerned about the Spiritual state of Cayman.  To those writers who have made ungodly remarks- you should feel ashamed.  Our God fearing forefathers helped to build this nation which is why I believe we have come so far.  This lack of fear to God displayed today is also perhaps the very root of the reason we are beginning to reap the fruits of what is sown.  Cayman (yes everyone in it) needs to get back to God, read your Bibles and pray.  

    I do agree however that not every gathering of people is a part of God's people (The Church), most seem to be fixed upon "getting the gold, rather than saving the soul".  I personally know of a church building that was constructed solely from the labor and donations of it's members- this is how it should be.  This building is not a fancy building compared to others.  Perhaps the Government needs to refrain from giving funding to the erecting of these mega churches with their overly elaborate design.  God desires worship of the heart even if it is from a group of people sitting on the beach.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Thumbs up to the latter part of your comment; thumbs down to the rest.

      Any educated and reasonably well-traveled person knows thatthere are millions of ethical, law-abiding, moral and "good" non-Christian people in this world — yes, some of them are even atheists.  While it may be partially true that the faltering of Christianity here has had some deleterious effects, that is as likely to be because the social fabric that once thrived around the churches has been weakened than because people have stopped believing in God.  There is quite a lot of data to suggest that crime rates are lower in secular countries than in religious ones, so I doubt very much that reading the Bible in and of itself would help us.  

      (See here for a start:

      The second part of your comment I can support.  

      • Anonymous says:

        One who truly wants to be moral and good- not only will read the Holy Bible but must live by it.  jesus is our example to live by.  Reading about His life absolutely reveals no faults.  As true Christians, our aim should be to strive to live the same.  Mere 'Religion' in itself is a mess and cannot help or better anyone or nation.  Look at events like 9-11 and everyday on the news there are people to would blow themselves and others away in the name of religion. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Also I do not disagree with you that there are some wonderful people out there who are not Christians- but because of this it's all the more reason they should be.  Then there are sonme people who call themselves Chrisitans but truly are poor representations.  An HONEST evaluation of oneself is what is needed.

  4. Anonymous says:

    cayman needs an open and honest discussion about their local money-making 'churches'…many of which are money making scams the prey on the fears of the less fortunate….

  5. Anonymous says:

    As Bono from U2 said.

    "The God I know isn't exactly short of cash"

  6. Anonymous says:

    As a student I feel sick reading this. I know one individual who works hard every single day, does not spend his sponsorship for his enjoyment but the money he himself earned. On the other hand, I know individuals who must be out at the best clubs, must have the most expensive clothes, do no work, have never gotten anything better than mediocre grades that are benefiting from the NBF and, no, they do not necessarily come from backgrounds that can afford such luxuries.
    I come from a family which some of you posters would call one of the ‘elite’. My parents worked hard to afford their children the best education and sacrificed a lot. I worked for scholarships despite not ‘needing’ one because as the eldest, there are my siblings after me and you just never know. They in turn have worked hard to get scholarships as well and can proudly say we got to where we are as a family that took pride in education and hard work. People may accuse me of being bigoted, but children who did not put in the work when some of their peers worked their hardest to be afforded an opportunity to study among the best should not take their place. If the government wants to sponsor such students, make them stay HERE and study. There are options here- utilize them. That money spent may just give government the motivation to invest in improving standards here. Unless a student is making top grades, is involved in the community, and is willing to put in work to prove they deserve someone else’s money, which I know not everyone of these sponsored students are, government needs to find better ways to invest in the country.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The churches already get all government fees waived as far as I know, that is, no fees to licence church vehicles, no registration fees at ROC, no annuual fees etc and do you ever hear of a church on this island sponsoring any local events or hosting any events which we as the public are not expected to make an offering or make a "small" contribution?  I think they get away with far too much all in the name of religion.  In my opinion there are far too many churches on this Island because of all the benefits they know they can reap !!  10% of my wages? unni mussa mad ! I ga bills to pay bobo and none unna na offering me nuttin but a "promise" for everlasting life – really? Well guess wha, I am enjoying life here on earth because no one ever came back from the dead and told me how great heaven is, show me the proof and I might think about it.  OK, I need a smoke break ya now !

  8. Anonymous says:

    What the actual f***?


    Chruches don't need money, religion will slowly dissapear the longer we stay on this earth and realize Jesus isn't going to save us from all our problems..  Forget about god worshipers and focus on more important issues! What about a million dollars towards a recycling programme?  Incentives for green building?  Who allows the public money to spend on programmes that are clearly exploited?  BS.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I also wonder if that's why the pastors drive such nice cars….

  10. Anonymous says:

    Can we overlay the location of the persons receiving monies from the NBF on a map of Cayman?

  11. Anonymous says:

    This kind of money should be used towards setting up better education on island, more after school programmes to keep our young citizens off the streets while out of school and for more modern and better functioning infrastructure – what a waste for it to go to a church… where intelligence goes to die.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The money does NOT go to a church, it goes in the pocket of a contractor that overcharges since government is paying.

    • Anonymous says:

      …that the Church uses to attract more customers. The Church benefits and Constructions benefits. All the rest of you can go to %^&#$ 

      • Anonymous says:

        Churches don't have customers.

        • Anonymous says:

          Wrongo, they have 10% paying customers who recieve the social and economic support from the members of the church.  Nothing wrong with that, just remember that 10% is a private donation, not a public diversion of funds.

          • Anonymous says:

            You're wrong. People can choose to tithe or not and to give offerings or not. There is no compulsion. They are not customers in any sense of the word.  

            • Anonymous says:

              Lets conduct an experiment, I dare you to go to one of the Cayman Churches around here, pick the one with the most expensive cars in the lot, then attend church for the next 20 years without paying tithes and see how many "blessings" you will recieve from the Lord. I know people who have been "let go" from a Church's board members for this very fact.



              • Anonymous says:

                Yes I am sure this is true, and this only goes to prove what a load of bullshit our churches are?  I am sure if we were able to obtain opinions from God and Jesus they would be disgusted at this practice.

      • Anonymous says:

        It isn't a problem unless…. the money is coming out of government coffers without the decision going through the proper process. 

    • Confucius says:

      I am wondering if any of this went to the Church of the Open Door. If so did it go out the other door.

  13. anonymous says:

    For all those people critizing the YNBP, please be aware that there are requirements such as transcripts from the schools, property management agreements if their request was for rent, the students have to sign a bond and it depends on their situation, then the funds will be sent directly to the school or the Institutions. Most times the money is not put directly in the students hands. Maybe only if it for food, books or an airline ticket, but they have to file their receipts with the YNBP Secretary, every Semester.  I agree these students should be diverting their applications to the Ministry of Education, but there are some students like the Pilots and the Nurses that this program should be geared towards. There was a lot of waste and glutteny, according to the attachment. There are known overseas students getting these monies for Business Admin, Acounting, boarding schools and others, but they are not making the 3.0GPA requirement by the Ministry of Education, so they are being funded by the YNBP and that is just so wrong.  Some of these students are UDP members children and they are funded just for who they are, so sad. They should stay here in Cayman and work on their GPA, before allowing them to go overseas and some of them are just going overseas to party, shop and drink.  Check them out on Facebook and other social networks. Its all about good times for them. Others I know works real hard and are producing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Amen! Thank you for clearing that up. Some people running off their mouths here have no clue of exactly what is taking place and I'm quite sure the majority of them don't even have kids that are studying at the moment. Its just because McKeeva had something to do with this programme and they're bent on beating up on him as usual.

      Bring on the replies!! I always look forward to the daily jokers on here.

      • Anonymous says:

        and you are such a Bush lover you are blind to everything.

        The reason wht people think this stinks is notheing to do with Bush, and everything to do with the fact that a process is already in place for these funds to be granted to people with a set process.

        This just appears to be a crony paying slush fund or at best a vote buying scheme, where there is no process just beg to one man and he may grant you funds (our tax paid funds) by his own largesse, so he can appear to be doing people a favor he can later collect on.

        If Dart or Da Gunv'ner was doing this with our money people would protest.

        The People are against corruption, XXXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      I noticied that you said pilot.  I know a student who is studying to be a pilot and he got his money from the Education Ministry.  

    • Ed U Cator says:

      It is pathetic that we focus on GPA in an overly Americo-centric tertiary education when there is much better value for money for most Caymanians in the UK.

      • Anonymous says:

        The problem with going to school in the UK is tha the students pick up a bit of British accent, making their speech virtually unintelligible.

        • Anonymous says:

          lol. As opposed to picking up an American accent which is intelligible to all?

        • Anonymous says:

          I have never heard a British-educated Caymanian speak whose speech was unintelligible.

  14. Anonymous says:

    IF this is corruption, do those who sponsored it face any issues? Just wondering.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you mean legal issues, no.

    • Anonymous says:

      In Grand caymankind speak corruption is spelled "honorable".  Hence all the confusion.  No laws against honorable here……..yet.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile funding for any number of needed services have been cut…including MRCU and now dengue fever is at the highest levels in decades…with most cases in West Bay to boot.

    That's some real irony eh?

    Mac should have to pay all this back…and more! There is no proper criteria for this. It gives the appearance of giving out money to supporters…or those who can be bought.

    No Politician should be allowed to do this…period!

  16. Anonymous says:

    The present government should publish the names of ALL of the students. With about 100 students listed as recipients of funds it is possible that money was received on their behalf and NOT passed on to them.


    As Nation Builders, they should be proud to have their names published. Perhaps one of them could start the ball rolling by posting their name on CNS to tell us it was money well spent.

    • Anonymous says:


      there is  a site that these students sat up to communicate amongst themselves.I will get it from my son and you all can have a ball putting them down. good luck ! hope you all can stand the heat….hypocrites!  

  17. Anonymous says:

    Pay it back, come on now!

    The country is in financial difficulties. This is a moral argument, but if our church leaders and pastors are supposed to be the leading examples of morality and forthrightness – so, DO the right thing, the fair thing.

    Church leaders, Christians – we are watching you

    This is a chance to show us your character.


    M. Novak

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree with your comment, but remember this is going through their ears and coming out through the next.They only like to preach about money is root of all evil, but yet there the ones that can't do without it.They drive up and down in fancy cars and have expensive houses and always show everyone that money is there first priority.The pastors down here only give christains a bad name and always turn people minds from wanting to become a christain.

    • Anonymous says:

      M. Novak you want to ask the 9,000 recipiants that is on well fare to pay back the 60 ml. dollars we pay to them yearly.

      Better than that lets get all the school children going to public school, who started from the tender age  of 5 up to  17 years old to pay back the government for their free education.

      you people are something else!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      "if our church leaders and pastors are supposed to be the leading examples of morality and forthrightness" – I fell of my chair laughing.  Church does not exist for that purpose in Cayman it is there to assist business contacts and to persecute homosexuals.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Pay it back, you crooks!!

    If you couldn’t get it through legitimate normal channels, there’s a reason why!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Just the tip of the corruption iceberg xxxx.  This just keeps getting worse, yet adding more material for a novel then movie.  Think CI has bad press now just wait and see what the movie does for the image and the increase in violent crimes will too.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Guaranteed student loans is the way to go. All scholarships ought to be converted to zero or low interest loans. Has the education ministry considered this? These is no reason students cannot pay this loan over 15 years. All Govt will do is guarantee payment due to death or disability of borrower (similar to the US student loan programme). No interest is paid while in college (and for 6 months thereafter). No free lunch please!

    • Anonymous says:

      The "elite" will never allow their children to be educated here and will never support the working-class caymanians accredited local education to compete against their chldren.  UWI has much more integrity in the region yet is in a much poorer country.  I looked into our colleges and have to ask, is this the best we can do?

      • Anonymous says:

        Your dreaming big here.  Caymanian parenting has done such a poor job of pushing both kids and politicians to get a good education that all the "elite" has to do to make sure that their kids don't have compitition is nothing.  Which is what they are doing now.  Caymanina working class parenting is its biggest problem.  Any educated person can see it.

      • Anonymous says:

        True integrity of any institituion can be judged by whether the particular institution is set up simply to assist their own people by using others for financial gain versus demanding christian values be practised.

        • Anonymous says:

          True integrity is never so cheap as to be fitted within a nice an neat  argument that provides only false alternatives as a forced solution. 

      • Anonymous says:

        The "elite" being the employable Caymanians?  Not in Civil services.

    • Anonymous says:

      That has only compounded the problem in the US with every scamster and his cousin trying to make a buck off the backs of lower socio-economic students promising and promoting lies that they are assured salaries that will enable them to a higher quality of living while still being able to pay off thier loans. With thier fake assurities, these scamsters have created a student loan bubble over 1 trillion dollars while they "earn" their 6 figure salaries on student interest.

      Higher Education should be free for the first 2 years and then based upon student performance , and the only cost should be a transparancy fee to track how funds are distributed. You lose transparency  and confound the problem once you start to let the banks and credit card companies play with the future incomes of students.

    • Anonymous says:

      What happens to those families that can't pay loans or doesn't have any collateral?  A loan requires collateral and the average working person can't afford them.  The family may still have a mortgage or may not and be paying rent.  I think that CIDB provides loans.

      • Anonymous says:

        Under the US programme no collateral is required. No parent needs to co-sign. The borrower student is solely responsible. If the borrower dies his wife and kids or parents do not need to worry. All this is covered by the govt guarantee (insurance). The borrower however has to repay the loan and can even ask for extension of time.

        • Anonymous says:

          That's not how it works with student loans here.  I had to use my house as collateral and I'm the parent so I had to co-sign the loan.  What incentive is there for the student to pay back the loan if there is no collateral?

          • Anonymous says:

            And you were lucky to have a house to use as collateral. its a known fact tha students loans are discouranging british students from furthering their education. it take s 3/4 of their working life to pay it back.

            Castro gives full free education to his people and we call him evil. most people on these blogs dont want the underpreviliage to get an educartion, which government pays for.Hmmm!

            • Anonymous says:

              Yea, thats something to laugh about, discouraging students from pursuing quality of lifestlye. LOL.  Edumacation is a luxury, not a necessity for the 21st century. If we all went back to Little House on the Prarie, that would be fine by me.

          • Anonymous says:

            Then it must have been through one of the banks and not a govt sponsored programs like the other posters are proposing.

      • Anonymous says:

        No Shame, reads like you are advertising for student loans.

        • Anonymous says:

          I'm sorry that you see it that way but I'm not advertising for CIDB.  I don't work nor have a loan with them.  I think emphasis on "I think" that's what the government says, that you can apply with them if you need more money than the Education schloarship to pay for your tuition and fees.

    • Anonymous says:

      Making money off students loans is like taking candy from baby. A baby who has been lulled into believing that the job market will support them once they earn thier degree.

      Can't think of a better way to distract and dupe the lower class. Maybe we should change the motivation of  education from being the "great equalizer" to the "great tranquilizer" of low income family hopes.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can't get more insulting than pre-supposing that disenfranched low income students do not deserve a free education.

      The free lunch is and has always been going to the banks that support and take advantage of this socio-economic arbitrage. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Will the bail-out of the defaulted US student loans be in anyway similar to the financial crisis where Wall Street recieved a FREE LUNCH? 

    • Anonymous says:

      And lets start paying school fees for all our students from the age of 5 until they leave school. Bring it on Rollie!!

      i'll bet you all of the money in the bank you hypocrites wouldnt want this…. the mentality of the black crab never fails in our socity….Caymanians!!

      • Anonymous says:

        The government has an obligation to provide free primary and secondary education to all resident children.

        • Anonymous says:

          So, are you saying the government  has no obligation to further educate our children to university level…especially if they cannot afford it?? 

  21. Anonymous says:

    if no actual "Nation Building" went on, shouldn't these persons have to pay the monies back?

    Why do I, an avergae broke-A$$ resident, have to pay for the freebies, via the government's inflated import 'duties'?

    • Anonymous says:

      dont force me to use the term "expat tax"  oops, I said it

    • Anonymous says:

      Because your in a third world Government run island.  Still.  Look who is king..I mean "Honorable" premeir now.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Are you kidding??  Over $ 960,000 of OUR MONEY for Scholarships and not one irecipient is identified??  Who is overseeing this?  Who is making sure these people are in need of this money?  Who is making sure they are keeping a high enough grade to justify spending this insane amount of money?  Who is making sure this money is FAIRLY distributed?  I am absolutely STUNNED…almost a MILLION DOLLLARS… It boggles the mind..

    • Anonymous says:


      Thats right, give or take a half a million, depending on what you call a cholarship. why? whos wants to know?

      No one.


      Absolutely no one, though like many,many,many, many things, it gets brought up from time to time, pontificated on and dropped.

      your elected 'leaders'?  

      It does, but then it apperantly numbs the mind as well.

      Signed- Expat contributor BUT not a reciever of ALL BS money scams.

    • Anonymous says:

      These are the scholarships in addition to those granted through the Education Ministry. I don't know of any child in the last two years who applied through the Education Ministry, got the required grades and did not receive the standard CI$20,000 scholarship. So, are these others special cases who could not meet the requirements, who were chosen to get up to $50,000 per year and who will expect the same next year and the year after? Also, how many of them are Caymanian? Several of the UK tuition fee amounts for 2011/2012 do not look to be "home student rates" which all Caymanians are now entitled to in the UK. xxxx

  23. Runs to the computer says:

    Is it too late??  I can be bought!!!  Forget these posters!!  Send me some money!!!  I'll even throw in my sister's vote for free!!! 

  24. Albert Conolly says:

    As a caymanian,who tried to get help for my son heart transplant and recieved no help from the UDP Government especially the one Mr. Adam,who did not even return my calls.But they can waste money on thier croonies.It''s a good thing we had insurance and some money in the bank.Thanks to Mr.Mark Scotland we finally got some assistance after the fact.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Wow, now we see why some people can defend anything and we know their price! Where are all these 'CAymanians' who needed all that extra money for education? wedon't need fromal education to be able to teach kids how to thatch and while it is great they were learning about our culture maybe if we had been paying the Caymanian qualified teachers to remain in teaching profession there would beneed to have to pay 120,000 to teach kids about their culture……..educated Caymanians could pass on knowledge and culture or maybe the parents & grandparents could show respect for their culture and pass this on!!!

    We really need to have a true wtachdog of independent people until we can get honest politicians and educated/ethical voters who can't be bought.

  26. Anonymous says:

    A national disgrace. Vote buying pure and simple, all those who accepted money should have something to show where it went. and why it was given and if all is not on the level then pay it back. And believe me this was given to cronies who did not need it while others who deserved it lost out on an education. Catron, that big mouth is now bought and paid for. The waste of this money is a criminal offense and is just another of the long list his honorable corruptness will answer for.

  27. Anonymous says:

    400,000/400=1000 happy students with an Ipad or Laptop. Of course there is always some church-going middle-man administrator who will want to see his cut, so maybe 800 happy students.  

    • Anonymous says:

      How many churches helped any of their congregation save their homes or made sure they had food on their table???????  

  28. Anonymous says:

    Handing out the gravy, happily taking the gravy, too many people think who you know is more important than what you know. Caymanians should strive to be independent of handouts from the government. Then you don't have to go with your hat in your hand to some fatcat politician,you can do what you want and nobody can hurt you.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I like money. I like money. Please gimme some dat fat cat money

  30. Anonymous says:

    NOW can we turn the Christian Heritage park into something useful like parking for George Town….

    The Kirk's have a very succesful parking arrangement behind their waterfront Mall, all thats needed is just that.

    • Anonymous says:

      I got stuck @ Sandra Catron getting $55k!!!! xxxx Can't she get a student loan like most ppl? She must have really annoyed the shit of him for this $$$.

      • Anonymous says:

        Say it ain't so…Is this the same Sandra Catron who came to my doorstep to tell me how honest she will be as a politician if I vote for her…?

        • Anonymous says:

          What does running a business in a legal way and helping people do a course have to do with being an honest politician? You people are petty haters and need to get a fu***** LIFE!

      • Anonymous says:

        Look on the bright side, at least we will not have to listen to Sandra Catron say anything about this. LOL.

      • Anonymous says:

        She received it because she teaches the courses to training paralegals.  She didn't receive it for her own education.  Not that I agree with the Nation Building Fund!

        • Anonymous says:

          Then why not have it publicised when receiving the money? This should have been in the paper. As it is Government money, some transparency was, and still is, in order.

      • Anonymous says:

        The so called $55k sponsored voer 30 persons to do the Paralegal Course. Before you all blab off your BIG A$$ mouths prehaps you should request CNS to do some research other than printing 1/2 the story!

        Many persons were recipients of that and TONS of paperwork was required to be submitted included proof of status etc. The Premier's office had no say in who got exept I understand they removed 3 senior govt. workers because they felt there was no financial need.

        In fact, all of us had to then provide feedback on the course independent of the service provider. I should know because I did it. Also, no $$ has been received for this fiscal year despite promises to sponsor others – so the so-called facts in this CNS story/FOI are also not correct.

        Sandra owns a small business and over the years I know for a fact has had a lot of govt. contracts over the past 10 years – much more than this amount and there's never been any discussion about it. Funny huh? Just because you all hate Mac so much everything he does is wrong no matter what. NO here are comments negatively implying thingthat could impact her business – if I were her I would sue CNS!

        Keep in mind that FOI is ALWAYS subject to additional details. I suppose that's what separates real journalism from what we have here.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully this investigation will not be shelved and we can soon hear some details about who was given our hard earned money for their children while we struggle to support and educate them and our own children.  If funds were doled out unfairly or not according to protocol or if it is found there is no guidelines for issuing these funds then Bush needs to repay these monies to the Nation Building fund himself where itshould stay until guidelines are in effect that fairly designate how these funds can be used. He is shameful and his practices are beyond unbelievable.  Shame on you West Bayers that support this XXXX uneducated, XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX …….    

  32. Anonymous says:

    Anyone know whatever happend to the Home Repairs Program that the former Premier had set aside funds for???  That seems to have gone quite too and all the Ministry can tell you when you phone for information is that there is a Committee dealing with it… been 7 months now since the deadline to submit applications.

    • Anynmous says:

      15:34, Yes the Ex Premier had good and every intentions to distributing this fund to those in need, but were you not following the news and listening to the LA.  Every time he tried to do something with it it was objected to.  Now the New Government will definately show the people what they are made up of.  Because they were for it before, now I do not hear a thing from them.  So what does they have to say about continuing helping those who had needed it so badly.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh you mean the big business people putting in claims for repairs to their houses?  I know some of those applicants and they didn't need governemnts help, they were just being greedy and cheap.

  33. Anonymous says:

    $55,250 to Sandra Catron….hmm… it all makes sense how she carefully supports Mac Daddy on facebook these days…

    • Anonymous says:

      My goodness, I thought the heritage money was the worst waste of cash I had ever heard of, but HER???? OMG!!!

    • Stiffed-Necked Fool says:

      What you talk about $55,250.00! Try so recount that figure, its $75,500.00 given to Sandra Catron and she really get on Facebook and publish a photo of an innocent lady receiving a raffle prize suggesting that there was wrong-doing going on. Well if $75,500.00 is not a more reason for us, the people of Cayman, to believe that this is a very good way to get someone to support you, then nothing will, as she made a big U-turn suddenly a few years ago!  How Pathetic can one get! I know she naw get mine or my family "X", even though she never get it in 2009! All dignity & respect done gone, if there was ever any!

    • Wendy Ledger says:

      Just for purposes of clarity Sandra Catron has told CNS that the money was given to her in her capacity  trading as Micro Matrix that received the funds to provide paralegal sponsorship for over 30 students. The money, she states, was not for her own studies.

      • Anonymous says:


        Perhaps she cares to give us a breakdown?  You know for clarity?  The checks are normally given in the students' names.

        I would also like to know why her business.  They are a lot of other learning centers on the island.

        • Anonymous says:

          Im sure it was because the classes were put out for tender and the lowest bidder won..I mean, after all…that's how everything is done here, right???

      • Anonymous says:

        How many paralegal courses are we running here?  Do we make it up as we go along?  Only at the recent graduations Mr Bodden was alluding to yet another paralegal diploma.  Cayman already has the benefit of CILEx programmes (the UK's Chartered Institute of Legal Executives) at the UCCI.  So when you are already running programmes that can equip young students with paralegal skills that could employ them internationally as well as just in Cayman, why on earth would you come up with your own brand of diploma, unknown and unrecognised elsewhere?  What opportunities does that open up to young Caymanians?  I encourage all young Caymanians considering a career in law to enrol for the CILEx programmes and not on any other paralegal course.  This could open up a miriad of opportunities to young Caymanians both here and abroad, and can, (should they choose to continue to obtain further CILEx qualifications) open up an alternative route to becoming a fully qualified solicitor in the long run.  None of the other paralegal courses offer any such propsects or opportunities.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I had to get a student loan like everybody else, and still paying it back… what a vote buying sham this is.

    • Anynmous says:

      15:13, I believe you should go and enquire from some of the Independent members and PPm, how many of them McKeva authorised to have free scholarship, when they could have afforded it.  Ask them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Read the details of "National Building Fund Scholar" payments… some of these guys are getting their student loans paid off, so it's not too late for us, my friend!

  35. Anonymous says:

    Title of article could have been Old People get $750K…just sayin

  36. Anonymous says:

    As usual, things were done Mac's way and so there were no criteria and there is no acccountability possible. Some students got money from Mac and also from the Education Ministry Scholarship programme  – a new twist to the term "double dipping". And has anyone checked to see how the online paralegal students got on? Was there value for money? And why refund half of a government eployees Law School fees when he was already getting masses of time off GOVERNMENT work to study, attend lectures etc. I could go on but what's the use? Will it stop now that Mr Bush is no longer premier or will the names just change?

    • Anonymous says:

      If you're speaking of any of the CILEx courses, the students are doing very well, and turning out to be very good quality employees too.  Not to mention the opportunities this widely recognised qualification provides in other countries too.  IF the government spent any money on this, it was, and continues to be money well spent.

  37. Anonymous says:

    "as much as almost $46,000 to another scholar studying in the US" – that could assist up to 3 to 4 students at a state university or up to 8 students at Community colleges in the USA for one year.


    Who was this favoured person? Any nepotism connection?

    • Anynmous says:

      13:45 I suggest you ask the Independent members how many of their children got free scholarship. from McKeva.

      • Anonymous says:

        I can speak for this independent member neither of my two children ever recieved any money for their education.

        Ezzard Miller

  38. St Peter says:

    Lord 'hep' us!!!

  39. Anonymous says:

    I'm not such a big supporter of the NBF but I think I have an understanding of why it has been deemed necessary. The large donations to churches, and community groups are one thing but the thing that disturbs me most is all of these students that have been funded. There are scores of students on government scholarships and Ministry of Edu has really cleaned up its act and they are only granted and further renewed if a student can meet the academic requirements. I'm going to make a bold statement and assume the students which are being assisted could not meet that requirement and some of them are now being given more money that they would have received if they were on a scholarship which would be 20,000.00 KYD per annum. This looks like rewarding the undeserving better than those who earned it. Someone please tell me I am thinking this the wrong way through

    • Anonymous says:

      Some students have over 7 O levels + UCCI degree.  How is that for your bold unfounded judgment?

      • Anonymous says:

        So why couldn't they get money from the Education Ministry if their grades are so great.?

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh don’t worry – they probably got from there too. This is just their fun money while they are in school.

      • Anonymous says:

        yea I have exactly the same and got myself a scholarship, didn't have to go down the shady route to get my funding

  40. Old Sea Captain says:

    It is so easy to give away other peoples' money especially when you dont know how hard they had to work to earn it. To add insult to injury, we actually pay people that do nothing but give away our hard earned money.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I think spending a million on young Caymanians education is fantastic, spend two million or three milliont, here's the issue with this program how many, more deserving, Caymanian children did not get their education funded because they weren't "connected"? The results of these sponsored children should be publicly available and if they aren't receiving stellar results their funding should be immediately cut. I must say I struggle to keep my food down while reading the stories on this website……

  42. Anonymous says:

    That's a lot of vote buying power for Mac.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Must of the scholarships funds went to wealthy UDP supporters and their kids.Can you Please be more transparent and provided names and you will see.Even a blind man can see that some people got multiple withdraws from the funds every year.Some Udp kids got up to 200K from government coffers for the past 2 years.Good job Mr Miller but we need more information on the scholarships.

    • Anynmous says:

      12:10 that is not true, You fully well know that PPM and Independent Members children are singing praises of joy.  Go and ask them who got scholarships.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Unlike other Government scholarships the recipients do not have to show any receipts or account in any way for how they spend the money.  So where did the invidual who took $15,000 to "revive the catboat industry" spend the money exactly?  Or the individual who received $3,000 for an audition for America's X-Factor (thanks Mac for spending my hard earned tax dollars on that by the way).

    As for the churches – taking over $400K of tax payers' money for paving, landscaping, fencing etc – you should be completely and utterly ashamed of yourselves!

    • Anonymous says:

      I personally know of one individual who received a massive amount of money, and spent the lot recklessly on his own enjoyment and lifestyle… not one cent went towards what the money was intended for.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Too bad we can't get school transcripts to see how much value we received for our money.

  46. Anonymous says:

    This the way you build a nation… you dismantle it.  And then build it in your image.

  47. Anon says:

    "a significant portion of the funding appears to be going to worthwhile causes"


  48. Anonymous says:

    Wote-buying fund, thats all it is. Giving money to those who supported Mac.

    It concerns me that funds are given to scholars who would not otherwise qualify for it. If they don't qualify for it there must be good reasons why not.

    As for a grant of $3,000 to support someone seeking to appear on X-Factor, that is amazing. It is good thing we have so much money to spend. How long does it take the average worker to earn that sort of money – and the government blow it in seconds. Our hard work just frittered away.

  49. Anonymous says:

    1. State and Church must be separated. It is so easy to accuse the people from Government who fund Churches of "vote buying", or trying to buy themselves a place in heaven. Any Church Minister should be aware of this. I think the Churches would be surprised at just how many people would support fund raisers of their own. Or if they could actually all get together under one fund raising Umbrella, they could be so good at putting their own message out while raising the money needed to fund their good work. The State has no place here, This funding also makes it difficult forChurch ministers to criticise the Ethics or Morality of what government is doing. I did not see one statement from a Church Minister on openess, transparency or corruption during Mac's reign.


    2. Other funds should be chanelled through the appropriate authority to ensure money goes where it is needed and not where politicians think they will get most votes.

    • Anonymous says:

      "This funding also makes it difficult for Church ministers to criticise the Ethics or Morality of what government is doing. I did not see one statement from a Church Minister on openess, transparency or corruption during Mac's reign".

      You are right on the button. A number of churches have in effect been corrupted by this. There were even pastors demanding from the pulpit that their parishioners not criticise McKeeva and his govt. and blaming his failures on people neglecting to pray for him personally.  

  50. Anonymous says:

    He is a politician to the core, you don't think he expected anything in return? Just waved a giant chequebook and said vote for whoever you want, I do this purely out of goodwill? And how is he able to judge who is a worthy recipient and who isn't? That's our money remember.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Criteria = deymy family or dey vote fi me

  52. Anonymous says:

    Actually, the Pastors are the ones who benefit from the huge donations, its no wonder they can afford the luxury lifestyles some of them live !  all in the name of religion !!! and the poor and under priviledged still remain poor and under priviledged. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I completely agree, what a total sham, they should be giving back to the comunity and to the poor and needy, not living it up all in the name of religion.

      It sickens me how they use religion to profit for themselves, the amount of churches and religions on this tiny little islands is an utter joke, and completely unecessary, and useless.