Alden reassures CS on jobs

| 07/06/2013

alden_0.jpg(CNS): Addressing civil service concerns that the axe may be falling on their headcount, the new premier has reassured government workers that his administration will not be laying people off. Although Alden McLaughlin said the new government was committed to and had campaigned on cutting operating expenses, it will not be at the expense of people. Appearing as a guest Friday on Radio Cayman’s Talk Today show, he said the Progressives' plan does not involve firing civil servants or cutting their salaries. He said morale was not very high after salaries were cut under the previous leadership, despite its failure to restrain ministerial spending.

“We are making a conscious effort to lead by example and cutting out extravagancies,” McLaughlin said, revealing that he has already dispatched with the personal drivers for himself, the deputy premier and speaker, except for official business. He confirmed that they would all be driving themselves to work from now on, which would save the public purse a significant sum over the government term. In addition, depending on the circumstances, he said the class of air travel would be cut and the PPM administration would do all it could to contain those kinds of costs when it comes to operating government.

However, he pointed out that people are needed in order to deliver the services that the community needs and wants. While government was adopting the deputy governor’s plan to cut the headcount slowly through attrition, he said, there was a particular point where a service cannot be provided without the people, who cannot be cut without impacting services.

To address this, government needed to get out of the business of supplying some services that could be provided by the private sector and there were a number areas the new government would explore where that could happen, he said.

McLaughlin accepted that the cost of government was disproportionately high, “but we can’t just send people home,” the new premier said. “It’s not just what that does to an individual and their family but it is what you do to the economy,” he noted, pointing out that a stagnant private sector would not be able to accommodate large layoffs from government.

He said he wanted to reassure civil servants that it was not part of the new government’s agenda to cut jobs. “We want to rebuild moral,”  he said, adding that he was well aware that civil servants worked hard and, contrary to popular belief, most public sector workers were not well paid.

“The vast majority of people in the civil service are earning less than $40,000 per year,” he said, adding that while a small number at the upper end get paid decently, most were not earning much.

According to recent civil service statistics, more than 60% of civil servants earn less than $4,000.00 per month.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    "he noted, pointing out that a stagnant private sector would not be able to accommodate large layoffs from government" – He's right. Just saying….

  2. Anonymous says:

    Simple solution! Cut politician salaries by half along with all those judges that only gave up their annual 1% pay raise when the rest of cayman had to live on reduced salaries in an ever growing cost of living.

    • Anonymous says:

      So……that will net us about $100K.   What about the other $30 million?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I've got THE Answer! Fire all the Civil Servants! Yes… go ahead. Or at least peel it back to a skeleton crew. Then the public can wait for months on permits, licences, approvals and confirmations. If you think the lines at Immigration, the wait for licences and the processing of educational scholarships are long now??? Well… hold on to your receipts because those same civil servants that a large majority of commentors are screaming for the Govt to axe, are the ones making sure that Private & Public business is carried out in some acceptable manner, despite shrinking salaries, evaporating moral and shriveling resources. Be careful what you ask for! 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Corrupt or useless?  We are beginning to remember the problems with picking the "useless" option.

  5. Anonymous says:

    We need investments is schools and salary cuts at the top! Remember the “for love of country” that every politician recently proclaimed? Well I think it should be their obligation to start by example. Come on. It makes no sense to me that a declared “servant” of the country is more financial secure than most of the people they are “working” for? We need to see, little pay and more honor. That’s how the old boys back in the day did it. And they had great responsibilities and little resources but they made this country succeed! Too much greed and power playing happening today. And folks, the only way out of this mess is to start by example. Show your people that your commitment to this country is so great that you will sacrifice for them. Start taking care of the children’s needs first though. Priortiy number one. Get schools in all districts! This country is going broke for all the wrong reasons. And education isn’t one of them! Even Cuba got that part right!

  6. The lone haranguer says:

    Do not cut jobs, cut the salary and benefits big time, and allow the private sector suck up the disgruntled but talented civil servants who can make it in the private sector.

    O at the same time cut the Benefits to the blood sucking 9000 by at least 50 percent, means test them every month until most of them get a job, we save so much money we will pay off the national in 4 years.

    Do it now, so it will have time to work before the next elections, I you will be national heros.

  7. Dont let the Gold Sink the Ship! says:

    Do what every right thinking person does who gets into a financial mess.

    Sell off or lease anything you own that is draining you.

    In CIG's case it may be the Turtle Farm, Cayman Airways, Pedro Castle, and so many parcels of land that remain undeveloped such as the old Cayman Airways building on the corner, the old farmers market building, the old glass house, etc etc.

    Some of these assets are extravagant relics of a past era which we can no longer afford.

    Not even pirates allow  the gold to sink the ship.

    These simple steps will save CIG millions of dollars but we need people in power to make the tough choices. The quicker we make them the better. The last thing we need is to come to the end of the term and realise what we should have done but being so close to elections it becomes impossible to make the prudent choices.

     

     

  8. Anonymous says:

    Am I the only one who is disappointed that the new Premier has jumped into this debate without thought and made a rash promise he may come to regret? 34% of Caymanians are now employed by the government: the same percentage, incidentally, as that other third world powerhouse, the Congo. That's utterly unsustainable and he knows it. The civil service HAS to be cut; but oh no, on impulse the Premier has shut the door on that possibility. And it's for political reasons only: believe me, he's looking to the next election. This last election has changed nothing when it comes to pandering to the biggest voting bloc on the island: the civil service. If C4C hadn't been so anxious to join the govt bandwagon, they would (or at least should) have been screaming blue murder about this. But no, they're bound by Cabinet responsibility now. Well done Alden for trussing them up so effectively. And they thought they were being clever! I would far rather they'd remained independent.

  9. Anonymous says:

    More of the same feel good psychobabble.  The only meaningful cuts that can be made in CS IS payroll.

    Unless the gov is prepared to make tough choices, these meaningless statements will end up just like the privious government and nothing of substance will be the end result.

    But as long as the premier continue to say things that sounds good, the elctorate are astupid enough accept incompetance.  Ezzard should know all about that.

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Our society is FULL of so many over paid BUSY bodies with no substance or hardwork in mind. Reason why we cannot sustain ourselves. This culture is the problem.

  10. George Towner to dah bone says:

    Some of you people need to give this government a chance and stop criticising, cha!. It isn't easy to lay off employees my friends, not when some departments are already short staff (I know what I'm talking about, I work along side them not as a CS, but  a public servant)  and for the government to do what some of you all suggested, is crazy! What the UK suggested was to bring down the head count over a period of three to five years, which the Deputy Governor as already started to do and so far they've been some progress made. Majority of the Civil Servant are Caymanians and to simply lay them off or to cut their salaries is going to make the economy worst. These people are humans like you and me, they have mortgages and family to feed, some are barely making ends meet and I fully agree with the government not to do an immediate staff cuts, like some of you have suggested. Once you lay off employees (some private businesses aren't hiring anyway) who do you think will have absorb this? us!. They'll have to turn to the already stretched Social Service for help and it's going to be yours, and mine money they are going to use. So stop with this non-sense about doing an exodus staff cuts, they are other areas that some trimming needs to happen, but to cut staff and salaries in an recession, would be an dumb move. Some of you just write for writing sake and don't stop and think of the reprecussions of what you all are suggesting, which leaves me to believe that some of you has no heart or very detached from reality. For some of you that weren't aware, the Civil Servants is under the responsibilty of the Deputy Governor and not the government, so the government cannot hire or fire any Civil Servants. So the Premier and the Government cannot go into the Government Building and start firing as they pleased, only the Deputy Governor under the instructions of his Chief Officers, has the powers todo so. The Government can only recommend, but they cannot demand staff to be cut, it doesn't work that way and like I've said earlier, the Deputy Governor has already started to bring down the head count, not drastically, but gradually over the next three to five years.

    • Anonymous says:

      When there is 3 times more people in Caymans civil service then there is in Jamaica per person it is hard to believe that anything there is short staffed.  Perhaps its the lack of quality and not quantity that makes it hard to get the work done?  If Cayman is ever going to survive itself it needs to cut its expenditures in line with other countries abilities.   Face facts.  Caymans Civil service is a welfare program that gives little back for what it cost.  It would be better to spend the money on projects and pay Caymanian local companies to get it done.  That way the money can still go to Caymanian worker and not just to the Caymanian Welfare program.  But since the program feeds voters its no wonder the voted will continue to feed them.  And house them.  And give them free gas.  All on the backs of the workers of the Cayman islands.  Not fair!

      • Anonymous says:

        anon 1658 I think your comment is typical of expats in this country.

        Big broom says all caymanians are this way.

        Despite what you said most CS staff are hard working under paid.

  11. WHAT !!!!!!! says:

    One thing that truly needs to be addressed is the amount of DEAD WEIGHT people government have who only go in to be seen then they are off to do there own personal stuff all day or just about. Who use government vehicles and burn gas while doing it…I know some one in customs who runs a buisness in town and all he do is take off he work shirt and take care of his buisness ..Now you cant tell me he on break that long as I see him at his buisness all kind of times in a day…Then you got some who just retires to be rehired and block the way for young ones too move up…I say… RESHUFFLE THEM ALL TELL THEM TOO PRODUCE THE WORK OR WALK THROUGH THE DOORS….

  12. Anonymous says:

    Personally, I would feef better if the Premier did not have to worry about the mundane task of driving himself in traffic at any time. That valuable time would be better spent returning telephone calls, having meetings and doing some work, whilst being driven. So, no, you do not save us money; it is a net cost to our purse. But, good politics none the less.

  13. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    Of course the new Premier would "reassure" civil servants that they can all stay in their jobs what would be the alternative, except an uprising amongst it's members? The fact is, government has underfunded CS pensions by two hundred million dollars if I recall the figure.  In other words, government, this one, and previous OWE civil servants a vast sum of money. It's government's own Catch-22. And in order to not pull THAT out of the bag it is much easier then to guarantee them work whether they are all necessary or not. Knowing the state of government pension plans it is no wonder that MLA's created a back door for themselves. Whereby they can begin collecting their pensions presently on top of their salaries…. because they know.. and I venture to guess civil servants know too that a future pension is quite possibly unlikely. This is a pacification program, and has nothing to do with as the Premier said "maintaining services". That's pure b.s. And according to Shaw-Miller it does not reduce expenditure even a fraction in the most obvious and recommended place.. the massive costs of the CS. I'm not disparaging civil servants. Some them show and work. There are just too many of them.

  14. Dred says:

    A program should be put in place to evaluate what we can do to modernise our services. As an example…

    1) Immigration – Can anyone tell me why most of the services there could not be submitted online in this day and age? Forms, Photos and even payments can all be done online. Things such as police records could be requested within the application and paid for at one time.

    2) Customs – A bunch of this can be done electronically also. I would charge a premium for people who actually come to the location to submit paperwork. I would have it that documents would be submitted and emails sent to tell business owners when they can come to collect. At the collection stage you do your necessary checks.

    3) General Regsitry – Certificates – Most of this can be automated also.

    By automation we can cut down on our reliance for manpower. This then allows us to MOVE (not fire) CS employees out to private sector.

    The next step obviously is a database accessible by Immigration for employees who are being moved to Private Sector. Then you put in place a Public/Private Sector co-operative where private sector businesses are rewarded for hiring CIG employees by concessions. I would suggest:

    1) First 3 Months – CIG continues to pay health/pension and 50% salaries

    2) Depending on business:

                a) 5% Duty Conecession up to max $5,000 OR

                b) Waiving of business license for x years to max $5,000

    After 3 months private sector business takes over the employee fully.

    How do you justify these outlays and general reasoning?

                      1) You give up $1,000 to $4,000 max in revenues

                      2) You remove $40,000 to $50,000 worth of expenses

                      3) Concessions in year 1  

                                    a) Payroll – $5,500 to $6,250 expense

                                    b) Other – $5,000

    Net is in year 1 you give up somewhere between $$34,500 to $43,750 in expenses and give away max $9,000 worth of revenues ($5,000 concessions + $4,000 work permit revenues). So even in year one you can look for a gain in the CIG books of $25,500 per employee avg. Do this 100 times and you just saved the CIG $2.5mil.

    This combined with attrition and you could really do two significant things:

    1) Cut CIG expenses

    2) Modernise our government

    As a by product you will make it a great deal easier for business people to do business.

    These are example figures.

    I think creating a database with the employees and tying this to work permit applications is the answer. Red flag the positions that you have employees for and anytime an application comes in for this it get red flagged.

     

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      The Progressives outlined their plans to use technology to streamline the government services.  They now have the expertise to do so, but we have to give them time.  Heck, they cannot perform magic.

  15. Anonymous says:

    ah boy… Clowns to the left of me and Jokers to the right. 

    now watch as Caymans poverty level increases and crime sky rocket, over the next four years. 

     

  16. St Peter says:

    An across the board 15% salary cut for the CS and MLA'S, combined with a lowering of import duties and lowering the fuel tax should have the following effect:

    Lower govt expenditure on employees,  lower government expenditure on utilities, and the cost of living for civil servants and everyone else will be less. In the short term government income will be less because of the reduced import duties.

    But a  lower cost of living for the general population will result in an increase in consumer spending on durable goods, and the net result will be increased import duties for government even though the import duty rates are lower…

    This is a win win situation for our economy…

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Really??? Maybe this is why St. Peter is always positioned "OUTSIDE" of the gates! Anyone who thinks that by reducing the cost of CS salaries will solve the economic challenges of the day hallucinating! Add to that, the reality that we have a financial situation that was years in the making, it would be extremely irresponsible to take the machete approach without understanding the long term effects to not only budget but services and facilities as well. It's funny how people always consider themselves experts in these matters when penning responses online but in reality have no expertise, qualifications or skills above a balancing their household budgets or juggling beer money. We didn't get in this predicament overnight and it won't be resolved overnight either. Thanks for the primary school economics though. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you volunteering to have your salary cut as well??  Until them shut up

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, tell all the workers like my mother who has been in the civil service for almost 20 years that they are going to cut her less than 2400.00 per month salary. Someone who has shown some of you who have your nose so high in the clouds about honesty and integrity.

      While I agree that the lazy should go, not all people should be painted with the same brush. Im sick of hearing about how some caymanians are lazy. So what? You dont have lazy arses in your country too. Maybe if some of the foreign people weren’t here avoiding tax, maybe they should fix their own back yard.

      Yes, I believe that there is room to cut, Yes I believe that some people are over paid in the CS, but the whole just fire them and ask questions later mentality is disgusting. These people are locals who sweat for this country, they didnt come to exploit it.

      Some of you forgetting where you come from, and saying to fire fire fire really shows how you all think like a dog eat dog world. In anycase so it goes, im sure you’ll hear about the load of caymanians fired and two months later there will be expats doing the very same job. Crabs in bucket people.. wake up

    • Anonymous says:

      No, no, no, no! I am not a civil servant and I have no immediate family that are in the civil service but that sort of blunt instrument approach will cause far more harm than good. It is far too simplistic and quite reckless. There are some bigwigs at the top earning enormous salaries but the mass of civil servants earn $3-4K per month. A 15% salary cut could mean that many  are no longer able to afford their mortgages.   Also, why should hardworking effective civil servants be treated in the same way as lazy, incompetent ones? This would just lead to a total collapse of morale within the civil service.   

  17. Anonymous says:

    He also stated on the talk show that there would be NO action on the new school. So much for the constituents of West Bay and George Town, despite having 2 elected representatives in the ministry responsible for education!  This means that a student in their constituencies, who entered high school in 2012, will complete 5 years in the old George Hicks campus! Meanwhile, his cousin, in the East, will have 5 years in a fancy campus with all mod-cons! Equity????

    • Anonymous says:

      First there is complaint about him building schools and then there is complaint about him not building schools. Somehow I get the feeling that this is not a genuine complaint and is coming from a UDPer. 

  18. Happy Caymanian. says:

     

     

    Well done, Hon. Premier. Keep up the good work, and make Caymanians proud to say you are their Premier.  Such a breath of clean air you and the Progressives/Independents are,  so far. Keep it up.  The majority of West Bayers are proud to say now, that they have a non-corrupt Premier!!!  I am so proud that you have not made being the Premier go to your head like the first Premier did.

    . I cannot forget how the first Christmas, after becoming Premier his electricity bill was $5,000.00, which of course, tax-payers had to pay, and needless to say his government credit cards.  If he is the devout christian that he claims to be, what business he has going to casinos, and let Caymanians see him there.  He does'nt play the machines like his wife and sister do, he plays the tables with cards for thousands of dollars. Sad to say he is addicted to gambling, God help him please. I feel so sorry for his lovely wife.

  19. JTB says:

    Two simple measures to cut the CS expenditure bill.

    1. End double dipping of salaries and pensions

    2. Enforce the retirement age

    • Anonymous says:

      04;09

      I can find a more simplier solution, to cut the civil servants expebenditure. 

      The hundred of civil servant that have lucratinve business on the side, let them go, they are more than double dipping. Let them compete fairly with the private sector businesses. most of them are using their positions and infulence to boost their businesses.

      We the private intities  are losing our business because of this mess. i thought the Deputy Governor was going to clamp down on these opportunist. 

      • Anonymous says:

        So let me get this straight. If YOU are not a civil servant, YOU can have as many businesses as you want or as it takes to feed your family, build/buy a home, etc. BUT if Civil Servants want/need to find extra income they should be denied?? Seriously? And before you jump on the bandwagon about lucrative, what would YOU consider lucrative?? Life or Lifestyle? 

    • Anonymous says:

      NO, NO!  Not that!!! RBodden

    • JTB says:

      I’d be interested to hear the reasons for the thumbs down, as I would have thought those two proposals would be pretty uncontroversial

      • Anonymous says:

        Not if you're a double-dipper who wants to continue double-dipping and working beyond retirement

      • Truth says:

        And yet hundreds of Caymanians voted for continued corruption.  See where the problem is?

  20. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Primeir, I think it is about time, since you have publicly stated that you are not cutting CIG jobs, to actually start replacing expats with caymanians who can fill the posts. There are too many expats possessing high profile jobs that can be done by out of work and competent caymanians now.

    To hell with all the stereotypical chatter. Your people come first andwe want work! Caymanians should be running this island. We shouldn’t have to suffer and watch other people take our own wealth away and treat us like crap in our own county.
    If our people dont have the training, then train them. Give them the tools and options to education. Educate our people so we can do the jobs ourselves, instead of bringing in people who are at the bottom of the pile in their own contry and pay them top dollar, way more than what would be paid to a caymanian, IF we were even given the job.

    • Married to a Caymanian says:

      Hear hear.  It does seem that the Civil Service is a streamlined ticket to status.  I can think of (3) expats that came here in 1990-1995, no college education, no community service at all, and NOW with status and between them have 13 dependents under our tax dollars….

      I have been here for over 20 years and married to a Caymanian.  We have degrees from overseas and excellent CVs, from the private sector but no way can we even get an interview at Govt. for any top jobs.  Sorry, but I have to agree….train the locals for these jobs if you refuse to cut the numbers!!!

    • Richard Wadd says:

      "Caymanians should be running this island"

      Caymanians ARE running this island. The problem is the Mentality and Level of Ability (or lack thereof) of the "Leaders" that we have previously chosen.

      Let's hope that THIS TIME we've done a better job with our Vote. And I disagree with Alden's position on the CS. Put them on Notice, "Shape-up or prepare to be shipped-out".

      Trim and streamline to both reduce costs and increase efficiency, and cut 'dead-weight' to reduce unnecessary expenditure.

      • Anonymous says:

        Caymanians may be running the country, but large rich developers are economically controlling it.  Or at least trying to.

        There is a difference between running and controlling.    What we need is Caymanians to once again control our country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Caymanian, I think its about time you grew up and realized that to get a job you must first be qualifies with skill and experiance and not just the correct last name.  CIG is already too full of nonperforming but politically correct people to the detriment of the Government and the Cayman islands.  You should ask for training and education so you can get the jobs for the right reasons.  Unless thats too much work for you in which case you do not deserve it. You just want a job.  Most people expect a working service when they are paying for it.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Yup. These low paying workers are the same ones that most of these high paying employees want to have fired so they can continue getting their Hugh salaries. I remember a few months back, so expats were on here saying they should get rid of alot if these people. So funny, wonder if you all have the same say in your own country. … troll this all you want. Caymanian for life

    • Anonymous says:

      If thats what a Caymanian is then it expains why CIG is so messed up.

  22. The Elephant in the Room says:

    He is not nearly addressing the main problem: that this Government's biggest expense by far is itself. It's been said before, but the Civil Service payroll and it's associated benefits, tops the list. Not the cost of the services to the public…the cost of delivering them. There is a difference. For a fact, the CS is enormous for the size of the country. It should not continue to be a place where people, un-employable elsewhere, are kept in perpetuity simply because they could not find other jobs in the private sector. Why didn't the Premier just come out and say it? "Rather than give them over to Social Services.. our government has decided to continue to keep the majority of them off welfare by paying them.. as employees."

    • Anonymous says:

      If he doesn't want to get rid of dead weight – fine, but at least, make the following happen:

      1. Civil Servants don't use their time at work for running their business on the side,

      2. Civil Servants don't use Gov vehicles for private business or to travel to and from work

      3. Proper controls over gas boy cards with appropriate repurcussions if abused,

      4. Blackberries only for those who truly need them for their work

      5. Civil Servants who are classified as clinically obese, who smoke or partake in high risk sports should pay a portion of their health insurance coverage

      6. Civil Servants should pay a portion of the health insurance coverage for their dependents cause that's what the majority of the people in the private sector have to do.

      • Truth says:

        Can you see Caymans civil servants agreeing to do all this on their own?  Can you see leadership making them do this and if not what are they prepared to do to them?  Caymans problem is the intitled ones that take more than they are intitled to.  They steal what is rightfully the property of the private business workers.  Caymanian and expat alike.  Its past time to make it equal across the board.  You keep what you make yourself.  Everbody works.

    • Anonymous says:

      There are far yoo many people getting all these handouts. For example hurricane shutters were being given out in the Brac,some got and others that really need did not get any. I am seriously asking Mr McLaughlin to see to it that politicians do not get involved in distributions if there is ever a disaster again. Thank you Sir in advance.

  23. Donnie says:

    I am absolutely delighted to learn of the new government's position with regard to the use of aides/drivers. The simple truth is that there was NEVER any provision in the Constitution or any other document that "required" the Premier and Deputy Premier to be chauffeured around from morning until night. It was simply a perk that they deemed themselves deserving of, in spite of the fiscal challenges that Cayman has faced. Thanks for dealing with that Mr Premier; you've made my weekend!

    • Proud Progressive. says:

      Well said Donnie.  Thanks for letting us know the facts concerning the aides/drivers.  Itwas, and still is, power hungry why the first Premier had to have Driver/Aides.  It is because of his, and his entourage running up and down all over the world etc. why our economy is so bad off today.  We have to learn to be  like our 'old people' used to say – 'We have to cut our garment according to our cloth'.  Hon. Premeir, keep up the good work and let the first Premier see that you are not power hungry like he used to say you were.  I wonder if tax-payers still have to pay his housekeeper/cook?  No, I should correct myself,  Mack is a millionaire, so he can afford to pay them himself.  How many Caymanians have bought a million dollar yacht to cruise around the Island with their friends? 

  24. Anonymous says:

    This is Alden's first wrong move…We simply have to cut the cost of the CS. He has promised to cut costs, to lower fess and to make it easier to live here. All that is impossible with that huge civil service–Jamaica with its 3million folks only has a civil service of 110,000 or about 4%. We have 6000 out of about 35,000 Caymanians or 18%!!! Most other countries the ration is similar.

    I am not saying simple fire civil service and throw them on the street but start a reduction plan- link employment and immigration so that when an employee is needed they can move straight from the CS to the priate sector. But we need to get rid of around 2000 of these folks even if they are making $3500-4000 per month…thats still CI$7-10M PER MONTH…that almost pays for the Cruise piers.

    • Anonymous says:

      14;19

      If he let loos those that own and  opperating their  lucrative companies, they wont feel the lost of their cs jobs as much as people thinks.

      They wont be having two BMW parked up in their garages, they will be down to one vacation per year instead of three. Instead of 6,000 sq. ft. mansions they will live in a modest 2,800 sq. ft . home.

      The rich and famous lifestyle that these CS live would be questionable if they were in the UK as a PS.

      Dont get me wrong, I dont envy any of you, but it is down right disgusting when CS are given the opportunity to compete against the private businesses, and given contract, while other business are failing because of no work.  

      These CS have their pension and medical paid by the same people that they are robing jobs from.

      I understand almost all our firemen have companies that enjoy government  contracts, given to them, by our politicians…this is so blatant and disgusting on the politicians part…it needs to stop. Let everyone of them go if they are running a business on the side.

      • Anonymous says:

        NOT just Firemen have on the side businesses. In the Brac just about every Department head  has a business or two that feeds off the Government in one way or the other. Disctrict Commissioner (firework retail shop, rental property and shipping company) and his Deputy (retails shops, Western Union, Construction Company, houses, apartments, plant nursery, CHURCH. Head of Customs (bootleg video club) Head of Immigration (Electronic store and apartments) IT Manager (retail shop) Marine Officer (aircondition business) Labour Officer (Construction Company) and the list goes on.

    • Anonymous says:

      The Premier is absolutely right. There is nothing wrong with his decision. I guess you are one of those gready merchants want to continue raping the Cayman Islands with your huge profit. Time for you to settle for a small profit and not millions per year. If you are not a merchant you must be a paper Caymanian who want to tell us what to do in our country. If you are i strongly recommend that you purchase a one way ticket out of Cayman and don’t look back.

      • Anonymous says:

        What? You must be just the opposite right?  I strongly recommend continued education.  Maybe get a ticket to a country with working school systems?

    • Anonymous says:

      Read the article please!

  25. Anonymous says:

    In othernew, Premier plants first of a forest of money trees to pay for civil service.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Seems reasonable.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Whew!  This statement has probably averted a work stoppage!. Which the rest of the population would not have noticed anyway and is McLaughlin also saying he's certain every single one in the massive civil service is needed  to function the way it does?  Then, he's probably right.

  28. Anonymous says:

    '“We are making a conscious effort to lead by example and cutting out extravagancies”McLaughlin said, as he revealed that he has already dispatched with the personal drivers for himself the deputy premier and speaker except for official business as he confirmed that they will all be driving themselves to work from now on which will save the public purse a significant sum over the government term. In addition, depending on the circumstances the class of air travel will be cut and the PPM administration will do all it can to contain those kinds of costs when it comes to operating government'. 

    What! I thought McKeeva said the constitution that the PPM introduced compelled premiers to accept them!

    Well done, Alden!You're off to a good start.

  29. Anonymous says:

    What a contrast to the mad man era!  Thanks Alden.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Another good and welcome example by the new Govt. by doing away with personal drivers, which was clearly extravagant and about ego by the previous administration!

     

  31. Anonymous says:

    This is the single dumbest thing I've heard this group say.  The only way to tackle the budget issues is by taking the whole situation in. 

    This is purely political, there is no way that this approach is intended for the greater good of Cayman.

    Work with the private sector to place some of the unneeded CS jobs.  As a business owner I wish more qualified Caymanians would apply. The overblown CS is the biggest budgetary issue, you cannot just skip over it Mr Premier.  To say that you will neither cut jobs nor reduce salaries (especially this early in your term when you haven't even looked at the figures) is a horrible stance that could ultimately sink the ship.  You can say "we will try our best to keep jobs and salaries" but don't gaurantee anything. 

    Very Irresponsible Mr Premier

  32. Lawsten Fown says:

    It would be nice if I were making $4000 per month!  My income is $1250 per month but I'm getting along O.K.   I don't eat fancy food and I don't waste my money on bottled or canned drinks, including alcohol.  I don't drive my car unless it's necessary and I sure as hell don't burn up any money smoking cigarettes.  It would be interesting to know how much the "needy" folks are spending for these items.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have to laugh when I $ee people walking from the store with a case of water on their shoulder. It’s more expensive than gas!

  33. Anonymous says:

    another nonsensical backward  anouncement by the ppm…….. god help us….

  34. Anonymou says:

    read the miller shaw report…you muppet!

  35. Anonymous says:

    Thats not encouraging!

    It is one of Caymans biggest failings, using the civil Service as an employer of last resort, you cannot manage a workforce under those circumstances, the result is uncontrollable cost and inefficiency. If you doubt that this is the current situation then you are fooling yourself. You have to employ the right people, in the correct numbers and manage them properly to contain costs, then, if you have people who need support, devise a way of doing that, at least you can see (and cost) the real problem instead of hiding it as now happens.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Smoke & Mirrors. The Cayman Islands committed to cutting Civil Service headcount. ITs disengenious to call it "the Deputy Governor's plan", as if he instigated it. The Government said 'we will cut X', so his job is to cut X. It wasn't this (PPM) government but to suggest its not going to happen, while recognising that its going to happen (look to where they can get out of providing certain services) is speaking with forked tongue.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Starting off by saying your not going to even try and fix the largest money hole is just another way of saying its going to be business as usual in Grand Cayman.  Now its just a matter of time.  No problem seeing that the next owners of Cayman island will do a better job then the last.

  38. Anonymous says:

    So I take it that 40k p/a or even better 4k pm is now considered a base line, just above poverty spec salary is it? Wish I was on that gravy train……

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s your work permit fees that fuel the gravy train, so in a way you are in on it. Ouch.

  39. Anonymous says:

    A way for the private sector to accomodate the large layoffs.

    1/ Reduce the work permit fees to 2010 levels.

    2/ Eliminate work permit renewal fees for all existing employees on work permits for the next three years.

    3/ Triple the first year work permit fee for all new hires, then maintain the renawal fee.

     

  40. Anonymous says:

    I think our Premier should have a driver, if you support this lets see thumbs up.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Strike 1 Mr Premier,

    The first thing  in the PPM agenda was to find jobs for caymanians that are unemployed.Caymanian are crying everyday while your administration sit on their a$$e$$ and protect  work permits jobs  in the civil services and government authorities.Shame on you Sr. Put cayman first,we voted for CHANGE not the same OLD POLITRICKS that got you elected.One love 🙂 thanks  CNS.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Bottom Line, the man is decent, the man cares, don't worry, we've got a great Leader now, be at peace Cayman!  God Bless Alden!

  43. 4 Cayman says:

    Mr. Premier great that you have taken the initative to drive yourself to work and you are showing us the voters that this what great men do not like the other guy who I think said that he is going to keep his chauffeur, cook and personal assistant as the ppm administration had it approved this way! What a selfish man considering the state of our economy and children going to school hungry. So far you have high grades and deserve all the accolades of being a great politician.

    Only one thing I ask of you is let’s get on approving the extension of the retirement law. You got able people that no company wants to hire due to their age. These people eat too and got bills to pay. So please act swiftly before you have a number of retires on social services if not already.

  44. J Salasi I. -111? says:

    Bredren ya doing a.rite, but in the interest of “transparency” please publish these statistics as well as the skill levels of the “unemployed ” no names needs. This will then show is where we need to train our people over time and replace work permits where skills of locals are matched and made good. Bless. Jah Rastafari scene Iah

  45. Anonymous says:

    Pathetic.  Sounds like they are going to end up blowing the budgets again this time round too.  I had hoped they had learned.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Great move. Government cannot collect rent on the dock property they have now. Please do not justify anymore developments by thinking CIG will operate anything at a profit.

  47. Anonymous says:

    now i thought Mckeeva had the magic wand

  48. Anonymous says:

    Help the civil sevice please we can’t even afford to buy a home because we don’t qualify for a loan. Not all of us are lazy just like any gov’t or private company there are those that make us all look bad. There are some small units in gov’t that work very hard.

    • Anonymous says:

      At first I thought no way.  Then I remembered my time at the licenseing department and at customs.  Good work you guys.  P.S. You could do without the large pissed off lady at the counter in Customs.

  49. Anon says:

    Bad move if the civil service do not understand that they must provide value for money on a consistent basis and earn the right to be employed. so i guess this means the cycle of incompetence and a bloated civil service which eats up much of the governments budget continues because politicians are afraid to lose votes from Caymans largest voting block. Premier McLaughlin needs to Make the tough decisions now and weed out the high earners who are doing nothing and hurting the country by having a job for life.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Okay Alden, here are two more high-end extavagancies: the 2009 40% MLA pay increases you all quietly accepted, and the pension double dipping that persists.  When can we expect those to be repealed? 

    • Donnie says:

      MLA’s did not receive an increase in their salaries in 2009. Can you please state the basis of your allegation that they received a 40% increase?

      • Anonymous says:

        Two persons obviously don't understand the purpose of the troll button.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Dancing act. That promise is shot.

  52. Anonymous says:

    You need to tackle the part of the public service which is not the civil service, Alden. In other words the statutory authorities and government companies. They have not had salary cuts (unlike the civil service) and some of them are still giving annual increases and bonuses and their senior managers are earning more than you are. They are out of control and costing government a fortune. I would name the big earners but I suspect CNS would not publish the names. Now you are in power, you can get the information. Please act on it.

  53. Anonymous says:

    so there you have it: it is poltically difficult to make certain changes so we are not going to do it. is this really that different from any other government?

    I wil wait to see if there is any action taken on these so called areas where privatisation is supposed to occur..

  54. Anonymous says:

    Alden, you are doing brilliantly. Keep it up. 

  55. Anonymous says:

    Can't wait to see the interim and then annual budget!   Because the math just isnt going to work.   Keep civil service and salaries at the same level, yet promise to spend, spend, spend.   The past PPM administration put this country in a short sighted hole, and am worried they are headed the same way again.   But the truth will be in the math!   This is real, and no longer putting out promises.   Lets see how they make this work (and if they can, great!).   But cant expect to try to raise even further revenue from the financial services sector (because it will just chase jobs away like it did for Goldman Sachs, Admiral, Butterfield Fulcrum, BDO……..)