Alden gets nod for overdraft

| 14/06/2013

Mark_Simmonds.jpg(CNS): The Foreign Office minister for overseas territories, Mark Simmonds, has agreed to extend the Cayman government’s short term borrowing in order to help it get through the leanest period of the year and to tide it through its emergency appropriations at the year end. During his meeting with Cayman’s new premier on Thursday in London, Simmonds also said the UK would help Premier Alden McLaughlin’s government in its goal to privatize some elements of the public sector and said the FCO would provide technical experts who could advise Cayman on public/private funding packages that could provide necessary capital without long-term revenue consequences.

McLaughlin’s first meeting with Simmonds appears to have gone well, with the new premier emphasising the need for the Cayman-UK relationship to be "based on sound reason, trust and mutual respect”, as they sat down to discuss Cayman’s budget, development and the environment.

The premier told Simmonds that the government Intends to put the budget on a more sustainable footing over a four-year term rather than on a year-to-year basis, and explained that, until it could present a full budget in October, an interim continuation budget and renewed overdraft facility was needed, which was agreed. Simmonds said his officials would work out the details with Cayman officials as he emphasised the need to see a reduction in overall debt levels.

Having outlined government’s manifesto commitments and the intention to privatize government-owned business, Simmonds agreed with the premier’s position that this could free up capital for infrastructure projects. The men also spoke about streamlining government operations in order to make it more efficient, with the premier repeating his commitment that there would not be civil service layoffs.

Simmonds reportedly congratulated McLaughlin for his commitment to proper procurement practices for the cruise berthing facility and the government’s goal to pass the long awaited the draft Conservation Bill. According to the government released the OT minister commended him for giving the environment a prominent place on government’s agenda, and welcomed any input that Cayman could give on renewable energy in the overseas territories for the next meeting of the Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) in November. McLaughlin said he was looking forward to playing a constructive part in that meeting and pointed to growth, jobs and the cost of living as top priorities for the PPM government, which also happen to be topics on Simmonds’ agenda for that JMC.

The JMC annually brings together political leaders from the Overseas Territories and UK ministers to work together on common issues.

McLaughlin will meet UK Prime Minister David Cameron on Saturday and attend the ‘Open for Growth’ event on tax, transparency and trade. McLaughlin travelled to the UK with a small delegation, which included Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton, since the pre G8 meeting will cover tax information exchange and transparency, and Finance Minister Marco Archer and Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson for the budget discussions.

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  1. anonymous says:

    Well done Honourable Premier. I see already the defeated UDP'ers are hitting the blogs.

  2. Anonymous says:

    But when UDP wanted to o this with privatising some businesses they offered no helping hand!!!! This is a deal cut for sure beneficial owners for overdraft!!! Ppm don’t have much foresight fr anything else. So sad the blnd leading the blind.

  3. Mug Shot says:

    Yes Chris i do concur and for all you thumps downers who can't see the forest for the trees find out which Lord is trying to acquire our water company(if he hasn't already) who is also involved with a certain contruction company now looking at a certain fiber optic cable tv company poor old Cayman still living the colonial dreams but for the lack of wisdom our people shall but surely perish. the only thing free Cayman is cheese in a rat trap! I see there is still some light in and amongst us very perceptive raffaelle, catca fire and others i see some of us are not sleeping very perceptive indeed!

  4. Chris says:

    Did we cut a deal with the UK where we agreed to expose ultimate beneficial ownership of companies in exchange for a temporary overdraft facility?Short term gain for long term pain I say!

    • Anonymous says:

      Don't be foolish. Didn't you understand that all OTs have agreed to it? Why? They have no choice.

  5. The lone haranguer says:

    Let the wasting and spending begin.

  6. Sweet Talkin hypocrite says:

    Techical experts that have to be paid and who will never leave these shores Thank you Lord Zacheus! As Bon Jovi would say "only the names shall change everyday we keep wasting away". Thanks to all our  inept ,incompetent and corrupt politicans idiots who put us in this position and last but not least those in control who allowed it to happen please don't stand or speak we already know or recognize who you are Ya bunch a Punks!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Gets the Nod don't make me laugh. That is what usually happens when you are about to fall asleep. The UK gives us the "Nod" as you put it in order to borrow more money to put us further in debt is absolutely right lulling us into falsely believing that selling off our public assets to certain interest control by them is such a great thing isn't that why we are in this mess now. Those who allowed it to happen are the same people who now are sending or providing advisors to tell us to sell. Sounds great doesn't it, poor old Cayman being played everytime.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I admit it has been a very very long time since I took economics in college and it was by no means my major so perhaps I am ignorant in the workings of the finance world of Government but I would offer up for consideration some items to help the economy and the budget:

    1. Privatize CALthrough a two tiered stock offering with only those who are Caymanians could purchase the preferred stock with voting rights. These other common stock could be purchased by anyone. The shareholders would then run it like a private entity with just a regulatory body overseeing the air and safety guidelines.

    2. Privatize the turtle farm in the same way with the shareholders making the decision as to whether to sell off the"amusement park" aspect of it.

    3. Require all pension funds to take at least 20% of their portfolio of our pensions and invest them in our country (admittedly I do not know how this would help government but I am tired of losing my money in other countries).

    4. Partner with Harrah's or another large gaming expert company to provide the same type of casino enterprise here as offered to Native Americans in the U.S. I.e., all Caymanians are a stakeholder in the casino and receive quarterly dividends, the government gets the licensing fees and duties and employment options become huge and the partner makes a profit as well with a resulting set up that ensures all future generations of Caymanians get at least something every quarter as a nice dividend

    5. If you hold a Supervisory or Management position within government two things must occur, one you may not go out and "consult" or "teach" courses in the very areas you are employed by government to oversee (look to our Labour/Pension/Employment department on this one how can this conflict of interest be tolerated in any way) and two if you are working for government and retired from government and receiving a pension then you are not retired therefore you waive the right to collect your pension until you truly and finally retire from government in which case you should have a younger staff member assigned to you to fill your shoes so you can truly retire! This is called succession planning 101 or so I believe. By the same token if you are in any position within government where you hold a position that regulates or enforces on the private sector and you own businesses then these should be placed out of your hands in the day to day running of them and you must not be allowed to ioversee the regulation or enforcement on these businesses (again doesn't help the budget but sure controls undue influence and corruption).

    6. Public sector employees must at least pay for the health care of their dependents especially when said dependents are covered under a private plans well…. Apologies in advance for grammar, typos and the rest but just some ideas and food for thought

    • Knot S Smart says:

      Excellent post and  ideas…

    • NJ2Cay says:


      What happens if not enough Caymanians by stock in CAL to sustain the offering, should it then be opened up to other investors including noncaymanians. Turtle Farm, no one is going to buy that place, it’s a money pit either it will need to be closed or Cayman will have to continue subsiding it. Regarding The Casino Enterprise setup for Native Americans, they are all broke and the tribe is more than 2 Billion dollars in debt and they can  no longer afford to pay the stipends that people had gotten used to living on, read this article.


      • Anonymous says:

        Exactly what Native American tribe are you referring to? There are multiple tribes across the US and many of them are not in debt but receiving dividends. However good to know no positive suggestions just negative feedback. As to CAL sure have multiple tiered stock it’s called preferred stock and common stock or you can class it some classes have voting rights others do not. All airlines are a risk still better to risk from private resources than government and surely we can reduce the comps to just active employees. As to selling the turtle farm amusement park section how the heck do you know unless you try.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Congrats Mr. Premier, well done. I know you quite well and I know you are going to do your utmost best to help this country get back on track. Show all the naysayers that you do have this country and it's people at  heart. Praying for the entire government and especially for Minister Hon. Tara that God will keep her strong and focused and not let this challenge distract her, these are folks looking to retire on government.

    • Anonymous says:

      How in the world is borrowing going to "get this country back on track"?  Borrowing is only one half of a trade that ultimately will have to be unwound at a much higher cost to the country at some point in the future.

      With that logic, I should go out and borrow as much money as I can to indulge myself in any unsustainable endevour that suits my fancy and ignore the future consequencies of my borrowing.  Boy that is a recipe for success.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hello having the country at heart is commendable, but, having the wherewithal to make effective long lasting changes well, and anther thing.

  10. Keepin it real says:

    Great! They allow government to borrow more money, even though Alden has no plans to reduce spending or cut back the unsustainable civil service. Alden and PPM will spend us into the poor house by the time their 4 years are up. Build a port, expand the airport, keep the dump in GT, all while cutting taxes and maintaining the civil service and their bloated benefits. Sounds nice during an election campaign, but its not sustainable! It will take a lot more than flying economy to England to balance the budget. Time to wake up and make some tough (unpoplar) decisions if we are going to fix this country. Borrowing money is the last thing we shoud do. We dont have a revenue problem, we have a SPENDING problem!!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Gets the Nod oooooooooohhh from a country that itself is in desperate financial straits oh but us natives are so fool

  12. K-man says:

    Sounds good.

  13. Rafaelle says:

    All Caymanians should be given the opportunity to buy into their own infastructure or public assets and to control things like water/sewage and not wind up like  the already privately controlled electricity company and i hope this government does not allow private entities control by certain "foreign governments" and their local proxies to pawn off our public sector assets so they can snatch them up.Then turn aroundand raise rates to meet their profit margins. Also no set amount of investment the public can make into the asset so as to again keep the people out of owning their piece of it. Careful careful Cayman those who appear to be offering a hand up or hand out may very well also use the same very hand to push us out..

  14. Anonymous says:

    My goodness, send someone with some sense to the UK and lo and behold, the FCO is going to work WITH us, not AGAINST us!  Not even a month in to the new Gov't term and already things are starting to look up and turn in our favour!  Now only if the UDP will stop acting like spoiled brats and let the powers that be get on with righting the ship..

    • Anonymous says:

      Send someone to give away our off shore industry is certainly no great feat. Wait till ya have full outgoing planes with empty incoming. Then you will know how much of ” my goodness” you can eat.

  15. Anonymous says:

    An Overdraft facilty is a lot different than more borrowing, this will in no way help with getting things like the dump and cruise port built..

  16. Kurt says:

    The PPM already sell out the financial industry so of course the UK will allow them to get us into more debt.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Well done Alden and Team.  It would appear that you are making good progress in the right direction.  Keep up the great work!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Disappointing from the UK.  This money will be squandered.

  19. Da Great Pretender &Saviour says:

    Yes those who help put us in this mess, now come to save us by giving us an overdraft Whoppeeee do, just enough to get us further in debt so we give them what they want our financial industry keys and we will be force to sell off our assets to them to keep us afloat and when they are all sold off  to their specially selected bunch What then Cayman what then?????

  20. Catcha Fire says:

    The Wink and a Nod yes CNS but when done by the natives it is quite different and odious  isnt it now ,Wow Cayman look what we get for handing over everything and selling our assets to them no doubt or those they control in these islands.

    Why should they honor our rights, when we always settle for privelleges?????? Congrats Mr premier you have probably done your very best with  the situation you were face with. With that i say this because those who allowed or sat by and made it  happen to Cayman are unfortunately those who you have to negotiate with now which is quite repulsive and wreaks of hypocrisy.

    They run this place yet they have allowed our leaders and their minions to do what they do best and then pretending now to save us by giving us an overdraft and sending advisors with their agenda to sell off our assets what an interesting game?? I would rather take my chances with Dart at least he will keep the money here. 

  21. Anonymous says:

    bad news for cayman as this avoids the gov from making the tough neseccary decisions… it adds to our debt burden…..

    oh well get used to 4 years of spending/borrowing……

  22. Anonymous says:

    Excellent! Congratulations Hon Premier. These positive results are evidence of the difference that an approach of respect, common sense and a little decorum can bring as opposed to the unfortunate behaviors displayed by those who represented us in the recent past.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Interpretation: no further borrowing will be permitted for projects. Anyfunds for projects will need to come from privatisation of certain elements of the public sector and cost-cutting. 

  24. Anonymous says:

    Good start Mr. Premier. I am (was) a UDP supporter, but if you keep this trend up.. "Welcome to West Bay"