Change limited for new gov’t

| 21/05/2013

hands tied (300x283).jpg(CNS): Despite the commitments and promises made by all of the parties, groups and independents on the campaign trail, whichever group of politicians ends up forming government over the next week or so will be very limited in what they can do. How the budget will look for the next two to three years has already been agreed with the UK; the major cuts in spending being promised are likely to take several years to have any affect; and with the UKdemanding that CIG return significant surpluses until it is back within its own legal parameters for its borrowing ratios, the next government will find it difficult to cut the fees and taxes and also spend money on the projects and initiatives they are promising.

The budget is critical to the direction of any government as policy is dependent on how much a government can, or more importantly is prepared to, raise from the community in fees and taxes and how it will spend that revenue.

With all of the politicians talking about prudent spending and no one wanting to impose any more taxes, the new administration will find it difficult to implement any major changes. While everyone is currently pointing to the spending side of the balance sheet but promising no major cuts in jobs or services, it will be very difficult for the next administration to cut the existing $200 million tax package added to the tax-payers' burden over the last four years.

While most parties and political groups have pointed to a reduction in fuel duty in particular as a result of its impact on the whole community and the wider economy, the revenue from that tax is currently included in the next two budget forecasts. Without a dramatic cut in public services or the civil service headcount, whoever is returned will face a battle to balance the books and meet their campaign commitments.

Whichever group of ten or more MLAs forms the next government, they will need to begin working on a budget almost immediately as the financial year ends in just over one month. While the new government will pass an interim spending plan to cover the first quarter of 2013/14, it will need to have a full budget for the year completed and approved by the UK well before the end of September.

Despite the campaign promises, it is very unlikely that Cayman will see any new initiatives, tax cuts or major changes in services in the 2013//14 budget, regardless of who is in charge of the finance ministry as the flexibility of the budget is now constrained by the plan agreed last year with the UK and by the Budget Oversight Committee.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I am praying today be the day the Cayman Islands will go down in history, as a day of miracles right from the Throne of Grace and Mercy. Lord we are in great need of a change in leadership and I pray on behalf of our country "today will be the day" and each hand will be guided by you and you alone.  Serious though, whoever enters this ring will have a hard road to travel and I wish they will all lay down the horty spirit and work together for the betterment of these islands.  Someone wrote 9 ways to curb over spending and stop the extravegance in government and I would like to add No. 10: Dismiss any employee (without pay) who abuse the system by taking away or giving away anything that belongs to "Cayman Islands Government". Including status, work permits etc. I was passing the prison a few weeks ago and I heard a hand clapping so I looked in my mirror and stopped. It was a prisoner who had mistakenly thought I was someone else, but we did spoke for at least 15-20 minutes on issues of Cayman past and present, this person really made so much sense and I still wondering why? some people are so unfortunate. During our conversation he said to me, every Caymanian going to the polls next month should read  Dr. Roy McTaggart speech in the archives regarding Cayman breaking away from Jamaica and remaining under the UK reign. He said Mr. McTaggart saved our country from corruption and left us under the watchful eyes of the UK government, XXX I trust this 2013 group will make the relevent changes that MUST take place in our island in order to secure at least something for our children's future. I have never in all my years dream Cayman could be the way I see it today. Please God send us a soloution today. With thanks!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mac getting back in. Can’t wait to see the people he exposes! The testament is in the numbers, did you hear how many west bay voters he attracted tonight? Nuff.

  3. Cold Hard Truth says:

    Well done CNS: this article is realistic and I really hope the public pays attention to it because it shows the nonense talked by those running for office about making huge reductions in revenues (by reversing $90 million to $100 million of revenue increases that were introduced by the UDP Government) but saying that the Civil Service will not be adversely affected. The Civil Service personnel costs (salaries, wages, pensions and health care costs) amount to about 45% of the Government's Operating or Recurrent expenses. How can there be any significant reduction to expenditures of Government of the Civil Service is not affected?

    I am afraid that the public will fall for the hogwash from candidates.

    I do find that the PPM and the UDP are both unrealsitic in what they say. The PPM say they will rebuild John Gray High School: how can they do this when the Government does not have the money of its own to do so and, the UK has said no borrowing for the next few years? How PPM? The UDP is also unrealistic about what it will do in the first 100 days in Office.

    I do believe that the C4C would manage the Country's financial affairs better.

    It is a pity the article did not come earlier.

    Two minor corrections: the new Government can produce a temporary budget that lasts to 31 October (not September as stated in the article) and, the name of the Committee is the Budget Delivery Committee ( not the Budget Oversight Committee). Again, these are minor points that do not detract from a "slap in the face" article to hood-winking candidates that take advantage of a very gullible public.

    Again, well done CNS  BUT I'm really sorry it wasn't done earlier.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Should have nominated Kirkie

  5. David Shibli says:

    It is the evening of the day…as the song goes.

    Of all the candidates, I would choose Sharon Roulstone. She is an excellent person of impeccable character.

    God bless Cayman.

  6. 4 Cayman says:

    So if this true then why is ppm telling us they can roll back the $200M in taxes bestowed by the UDP administration? Also why is Joey Ebanks on the radio saying he’s going to demand the funding from government to do schools, corporate plazas and hotels in north side?

    Are these all lies? If so I’m changing my vote tomorrow!

    • Anonymous says:

      The PPM said that they would look to roll back the most harmful. They also said that it would be done as savings permitted. Not all at once and not everything.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Good LUCK Cayman voters, please go out tomorrow and vote smart. 

    I will invest in Cayman AFTER I see who is elected.

    Put God first and I pray that the Caymans get a good goverment.

    God Bless each and everyone of you.

    Texas – USA 


  8. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how Alden plan on cutting 200 million … Campaign talk!

    • Anonymous says:

      Great "Mr. Big Spender" wants to runthe country. God help us. Please folks, don't vote for anyone but an independent because look at the mess party politics has landed us in. You think it'll get any better? Dream on, baby.

    • Anonymous says:

      Said that PPM would cut most harmful as soon as possible. He did not say cut all and he siad that it depends on reducing expenditures. Please pay attention.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Yep..thank you PPM and UDP!! Please Cayman vote for real men and women. Vote independents!! They have the expertise to solve this problem.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Vote for Dirty Willie!
    He’ll never change!

  11. Anonymous says:

    I disagree CNS.  How about the practice of keeping track?  Something we are not doing, even today, over a decade since our last audited financials.  Nobody will object to keeping an accurate balance sheet.  Nobody will object to opening up the LA to journalists again.  Nobody will object to MLAs giving back their double-dipping, nor will anyone object to their reversing their 30% raises they gave themselves in 2009, at the very time that CS salaries where being cut.  Amnesia is the all-too common affliction here.  There is plenty that can be done immediately to reign in the widespread abuses of authority and get us back on track.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree to a large extent — one of the primary and most important acts of the new government should be a complete audit to finally know the true numbers;   we can't move forward with any certainty until we know the entire scope of our debt.     After that, if the new government merely refrains from pissing away our money on backroom deals, extravagent travel and insider giveaways, that will be enough to put the country on the road to recovery.  

    • Datisme says:

      So your going to NOW ask the same bunch of nonperformers to FINALLY do what they have been payed well and often to do and you expect them to NOW do it when they couldn't do it for the last 10 years?  Insanity.  If they NOW want things to work well they will FIRST need to fire all the political and incompetent CS (read voters) and replace them with those who can actually do the job.  See that happening?  The voters here will not vote unless the leadership agrees to keep the gravy train moving.  The problem with Cayman is its full of lazy, incompetent, and very corrupted voters.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Both Parties had their chance and created little more than a group of 8 year olds who had been given a school project to run an imaginary government with imaginary money.

      Meanwhile, in the background, another set of 8 year olds were given a school project to keep track of their finances and audit them.

      Any other kids who were left out got to be voters in the school's 'pretend government ballot'.

      Once this was finished, they were all given cars and let loose on the roads.


      At least consider bringing the United Kingdom in for a few years at least.





  12. Anonymous says:

    The unfortunate thing is there are far too many voters that just do not have a clue about whether or not we are better or worse. The number of folks who I have spoken to than just want "my Premier" back is baffling.

    Worse is the latest wave of accompliments and promises. 

    Listed as an "accomlishment" by Ms. Julie was the medical school on the Brac. Did I miss the opening? 

    Or thepaper in my door yesterday from the UDP stating continued good stewardship of the country's finances. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds to me like the candidates are the ones without a clue. I think they actually believe the scat they spout.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Not much point in having an election then!!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Actually, the answers are very straightforward.

    All the Government has to do is:

    1. Enforce the Immigration Law and thereby cut off the importation of poverty that is overwhelming our education, health and social services systems and curtailing the appropriate participation of Caymanians in the workforce. (Eliminating rollover in its entirety would only make the position much much worse).

    2. Enforce the Local Companies Control Law and thereby stop the significant and constant outflow of millions from our economy.

    3. Enforce the Health Insurance Law and thereby save several million dollars a year in providing free healthcare to the uninsured.

    4. Enforce the Pensions Law and thereby ensure that Governments exposure to funding retirees   is minimised.

    5. Move the civil service over to a private sector type pension scheme.

    6. Privatise certain Government services.

    7 Stamp out corruption to negate the burden of wasteful spending and unequal collection of revenue.

    8. Sell the right to pursue debts owed to Government to a private sector entity, and allow them to collect.

    9. Computerise and automate systems from the payment of bills to payment of traffic tickets.

    There – it really is that easy. All it takes is people who really have the long term interests of Cayman at heart. 


    • Anonymous says:

      These are additional expenses (spend column), not revenue measures (save column)!

      The government betrays its own pension plan by allowing the double dipping by MLAs!  

      6000 people in the country receive social assistance – that's 30% of the electorate!  These are some of our real problems on the the expense side.

    • Anonymous says:

      .. All it takes is the will to enforce.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree, except for the Pension Law.    This has been a huge ripoff.    I have been and still am a contributor toward my pension, as well as my employer.     I could've saved more money had I put it in a sock under my bed.     The administrators of this "scheme"  need to have great oversight if it is to continue.    There was one year where I lost over $4000!!!    When it was presented to us, less than 15% was to be speculative.    The administrators of these accounts should be required to be paid on commission.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Six fronters worried about the criminal offences including money-laundering they are committing, seem to disagree with you. Quick, maybe the expats who are pretending to own only 40% can get status before anyone finds out.     

  15. Anonymous says:

    *********** Listen folks with a budget of 600 + million $

    and we only receive 45% value of the 600 + million $ spent

     we can reduce the budget by 20% a savings of more than

    120 + million $ a year and the budget will still be 480 + million $'s.

    ************ How? manage our finances properly by increasing

    our value for money from 45% to 75% thats how we can lower our

    expenditure, taxes and achieve great things with less money.

    ************ But we will have to vote for change for that to happen.

    ))))))))))) We do not have to layoff anyone just work better, smarter,

    get it right the first time and when we give the Civil Sevants the opportunity

    to work with competent elected officals with integrity and honesty they

    will rise to the challenge and we all will be better off.

    VOTE FOR CHANGE CAYMAN, they have been there 12 +++ years and we are

    all worse off, more crime, higher un-employment and without hope for the future.

    IT took less time to build the Empire State Building, vote 4 change please.

    • Fun Fact says:

      The Empire State Building was built in 13 months.

      Let's see how long it will take to re-build Cayman after the UDP's destruction.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The most needed change is a new government that implements honesty, integrity, transparency and accountability. Those changes will actually save us money.

    If we make the right voting choices our politicians can also make sure that statutory boards and the civil service know the law and follow the law from here on. That will also save us money in the long run.


  17. Anonymous says:

    Whoever gets elected will not have a honeymoon period and will be shocked when they realize there is no money to fund all the dreams and empty promises in the glossy magazines called manifestos

  18. Anonymous says:

    Why are the international observers only arriving in Cayman Brac today?

  19. Anonymous says:

    You got to start somewhere or you end up nowhere! 

  20. Anonymous says:

    read the miller shaw report!

  21. Anonymous says:

    The irresponsiblity of those candidates who pander to voters speaking about all the tax rollbacks and cuts fail to share how they expect to make up for the loss of revenue.

    But are the voters clever enough to see beyond the smoke and mirrors?

    The candidates can always rely on the hot button issues of West Bay Road and the Boddentown Land Fill to seal the deal and if not that the demonization of Dart.

    But actual solutions seem to be as scarce as hen's teeth.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Not all major change is expensive. Bringing in legislation to ban corruption and conflicts of interest for elected officials and public servants, including board members, will cost very little but would be an enormous benefit to the country. That will save every dollar now wasted on corruption and will make this country a much better place for both the local population and overseas investors. Bringing in OMOV legislation is also not expensive but will improve this country for ever.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummm. Haven't you heard of the Anti Corruption Law that was enacted by the PPM? It bans corruption and conflicts of interest. What we need is funding of the ACC and the will to prosecute.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am glad that the PPM brought in the legislation but as everyone knows who has looked at it compared with anti-corruption legislation that actually works in other countries, our legislation needs to be strengthened to eliminate a lot of loopholes that are allowing too much non-sense to continue without any threat of prosecution.

      • Anonymous says:

        AND we need the right people on the anti corruption board. We don’t need longstanding friends of the politicians that are in power! When we get the right people on the Board than put some TEETH into the law.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have the legislation, it just isn't being enforced. That's what incompetance and corruption thrive on and result in.

      • Anonymous says:

        We have some legislation that was a good start, but unfortunately it is neither comprehensive or sufficiently clear. The same is true with what must be declared regarding conflicts of interest. The current conflicts of interest rules are full of holes that you could drive a truck through.

  23. Anonymous says:

    cayman is doomed unless the waste and overstaffing of the overpaid civil service is seriously tackled…..

  24. Anonymous says:

    Thanks CNS for pointing out the facts. Every candidate that is promising to cut fees and taxes know that they will not be able to do it. Once they get in office it doesn't really matter they will just point the finger at someone else as to why they can't….

  25. Hunter says:

    I believe we are going to have a coalition Government. After following closely on the heels of the PNA, the C4C and the INDEPENDENTS I feel that a mixture of these groups will do a better job.
    Cayman would be foolish to vote back in the PPM. Take a serious look at them and really see who they are. Would you say they are for the best interest of this country, or would you suspect Power. Theleadership and followers of the PPM have done much harm to this country. We do not need them back in to finish destroy and broke this country.
    The UDP, I cannot even find a place to put them again either because I trust none of them. Check each one of them out thoroughly and decide for yourself what they are all about. Are they honest people? you be the judge.
    I have followed politics closely and know very much about Cayman and its Politicians and want to be politicians. Speaking generally my advice to Cayman is to think seriously before you make the X.
    This is what Cayman needs as I see it. We definitely need the PNA People National Alliance to continue their work, because the things that they have achieved in 5 Five months, neither the UDP or PPM have achieved. Check their track record.
    Then we need a mixture of C4C and Independents with them. Ladies and gentlemen make your choice carefully. Select people who can speak good, people of intelligence, persons that are God fearing, aggressive, yet humble in their approach; and most importantly remember we are not on our own, We are children of a King (God) and we are ruled by the UK. Respect both of them and we will be ok. We must also endeavor to get along with the expatriates among us, because; not all but many of them are helping to build this Island. Be good to yourselves and God bless Cayman Islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL Dream on! Give me some of the miracle water PNA had. You seriosly think they could have had those achievements in 5 months? They only continued with what was in place by their former party.

  26. Anonymous says:

    At least PNA left a 50 million surplus vs PPM a 81 million in deficits.Coalition Government is the answer.

    • Anonymous says:

      We have no idea whether either figure is correct made as they were by the same FS.

    • Anonymous says:

      You believe that?

      I bet you are still waiting for the oil refinery to arrive or the Christian heritage park to open?