Surplus $18M short of goal

| 06/09/2013

(CNS): Although the UK appears to have fewer concerns about the current budget situation in the Cayman Islands than last year, the government has wound up around $18.7 million short of the predicted target. Finance Minister Marco Archer confirmed this week, as he went through the supplementary appropriations, that the unaudited results for the 2012/13 fiscal year saw government end the year with a surplus of $63.3 million. While this was the biggest surplus for many years, it was still short of the projected budget surplus of $82 million, which the former premier and minister of finance, McKeeva Bush, had presented last year after a protracted battle with the UK and a flurry of new fees and increases.

Although austerity measures across the civil service resulted in a fall in the operating budget of a welcome $10 million, government collected around $30 million less than anticipated.

The fall in predicted revenue was because the relevant legislation was passed too late to generate new fees or not passed at all and because predicted sources of revenue missing thier targets. For example, the special economic zone, Cayman Enterprise City, was expected to generate millions of dollars but the revenue collected was less than $200,000.

Although the new PPM government has not yet presented its full budget for the 2013/14 year, because of the need for an interim budget it has already cleared the broad outline with the UK after the FCO confirmed that it had accepted the government’s new four year fiscal plan and the route back to compliance with the Public Management and Finance Law.

Presenting a report on the first 99 days in office on Thursday, Premier Alden McLaughlin said that government had managed to tighten its belt recently and by not using its overdraft facility over the last quarter, it had saved government those fees as well.

“Government negotiated an increased overdraft of up to $46 million for more flexibility with cash flow, with the stipulation that government could not spend more than $30 million before 31 October. One of the positive effects of achieving expenditure restraint is the fact that government has not incurred an overdraft balance during the three-month period from 1 June to 31 August, 2013. Consequently, overdraft interest has been completely avoided,” McLaughlin told legislators.

Government is expected to deliver the full budget for 2013/14 during the week starting 23 September, more than a month ahead of the expiration of the emergency budget, which the finance minister and premier have said will give MLAs time to properly scrutinize the spending plans and question civil servants without sitting in the early hours of the morning in last minute marathon sessions, as has been common over the last four years.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I see history repeating itself. Soon Bush will be proclaiming the shortfall to be 81 million….

    • Anonymous says:

      I don't think we will have to worry about Buish proclaiming anything again.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Spend the next 100 days convincing Dart to purchase the Social Services Department of Cayman Islands Government (since he is in the buying mode) and we could eventually get out of this mess. But wait, we gave him the Treasury department in the For Cayman deal so he probably not interested in anymore Government Departments.

  3. Anne T. Krist says:

     Yet another preposterous fable courtesy of our government… Until real financial records are both maintained and audited, these claims are just so much meaningless bullshite served up to bolster the images of the leaders of the day.

  4. Anonymous says:

    On one hand….a deficit/debt, on the other, this year we have a..wait for it….surplus. Not counting, of course the underfunded… by hundreds of millions… CS pension and health care plans. I believe, aside from crooked accounting firms such as Arthur Andersen, responsible for the ENRON scam, governments are just as likely to 'cook the books' or at least hide and obfuscate the true finacial situation. I don't believe a word of it.

    • Anon says:

      Incase you haven't kept up to date with world politics….every other country is taking the route of practically nullifying the public and private pension funds.  This will happen here too. Sad but it will happen, they have no other choice.

  5. Anon says:

    Marco, it's great to hear that no overdraft was used in the last 3 months, but are all supliers' invoices all current? Are we paying them on time or do we not pay them so that we don't experience cash shortages forcing us to use the overdraft facility? Please let us know!

  6. UH UH UH says:

    It is my firm opinion that we would never have been in the financial position that we are , if we, for the last two decades would have had leadership that was determined to get us back on a sound financial footing, whereby we would have maintained a small annual surplus of say, $20,000,000.00. If we  {our government} would have set  such a goal "a reasonable goal in my opinion",  we would not now be scrambling trying to find ways of cutting our budgetary expenditure!

    There were certain decisions  made back in 2002 for which we're now seeing the "negative" results. We embraced some of those who came here flashing their wealth and declaring their affection for our little island, and as is customary, we welcomed and embraced them without any scrutiny or any questions being asked."They", seeing our kindness as naivety and/or weakness, began tossing  a few goodies at us causing us to believe in their sincerity, and we in turn ate it all up hook line and sinker, completely oblivious of the fact that we had already entered the trap. No one even thought of  asking This Question! Why the unsolicited   generosity?  Why are they being so nice to us?  We should have asked these questions because had we done, we will have discovered the "true intent" of this seeming generosity! 

    Now we have  since learned that this "assumed" benefactor is no other than someone whose "modus operandi" is well known world wide, and whose main objective it is to amass  as much wealth and control as possible. Be it in real estate , in commerce, in infrastructure or in governmental debt! You know! The Argentine, Brazil, Greece kind of debt! And slowly but surely over the years they { our government} will have become mesmerized by  all these things  and will have soon been  obligated to this once "assumed benefactor" to such an extent, that our government will have to be granted permission from the FCO before we can borrow enough money to build an Out House!

    And therein lies the problem. Out of desperation we now must call on Mr. You Know Who for funding, and once this happens, we have committed Government and we now must play the game according to the rules of Mr. You Know Who, unaware of the interest rates which can be in the high tens of percentage, and  so "we" the borrower must now repay this loan thru {since we'll have no funds} the reduction or non payment of fees and taxes or other concessions etc. etc.  Leaving government with basically little or no real income without "more new taxation", which will be suicidal, so one can see where all this will lead eventually, leaving us at the mercy of Mr. YOU KNOW WHO. 

    And to all those who now think they can play with the big boys, think again, very carefully, for you may discover that you are just a little fish in the pond and before long you too will find yourselves being used for bait and eventually  eaten up by the really "BIG FISH"

    We now humbly ask The Progressive Government to quickly implement laws that will prevent those who may come, or those who are already here from using their big bucks  to accumulate too much of our economic sector. For if this happens  we will no longer have control of commerce in this Island. 

    So! Before we let "our government" take us down this path, let us physically come together in mass and show "Them and Those Who" would feast on us " that we have had enough and "WE WILL TAKE IT NO MORE" nor will we let our government and/or any individual or company acquire too much economic power!  Whether it be Hotels, Retail, Electrical Utilities, Banking, Schools, Transportation, or Tele Communications etc. to the point where they will have acquired a monopoly, and in turn the total control of our Island's economy!

    So we ask you to pass these laws  quickly and in so doing  we will have saved The Greater Portion of our Island for "OUR KIDS"!  

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. You Know Who has now branched out to the T&C Islands.   Dare I hope he mostly moves on as he did after ruining the previous countries' economies?   Yeah, I dare.   Well written comment.   We didn't see him coming, but we see him now, yeah?

    • Anonymous says:

      I applaud you 19:47 for taking the time to share your comment with which I wholeheartedly agree. The idiots who have given thumbs down to this post are examples of why those like You Know Who will always be able to arrive here and do as they do. I think you forgot one point, You Know Who was made a Caymanian during the UDP reign in 2003 when mass status give aways took place, a shameful act that we are now suffering from and will continue to suffer from for years to come. Reality of the ignorance that exists here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks poster. I was beginning to think it may have been our fault somehow but that has cleared it up nicely and shifted the blame.


  7. Dick Shaugneary says:

    The UK does not have "fewer concerns".  It has "less concerns".

    • Nicky Watson says:

      The UK has less concern but if someone wrote down a list of all their concerns, there would be fewer of them.

      • Anonymous says:

        Given that the concerns were almost certainly not emunerated, "less" is appropriate in the context of the article.  "Fewer" is incorrect.

    • Anonymous says:

      Get a life, Dick. Sometimes your observations are "de trop".

      • Anonymous says:

        Why put "de trop" in parentheis?

        • Anonymous says:

          Because it's French, "numnuts".

          • Waas up? says:

            See, all you've done is double up the damage: you've proven that you don't know how to properly use quotations marks (not once but twice), and you've proven that you are rude and a sore loser over getting called out for the mistake.  I don't get the motivation to do that to yourself.

        • Gram Arian says:

          The term was not in parentheses, it was in quotation marks.  You know, these: “””, (see how I put a quotation mark in quotation marks, and wrapped this subtext in parentheses?  Cute, no?).

          • Anonymous says:

            Parenthesis is a valid term for inverted commas or quotation marks.

            • Gram Arian says:

              No, it's not, no more than "apple" is a valid term for an orange – they are completely different things.  Wrong again I'm afraid, so back to school for you. 

    • Bear Baiter says:

      WOW! You sure got that wrong! Government does in fact have "fewer concerns", OR less concern. I think you need to redo year 9 English grammar!!

    • Anonymous says:

      If you're going to try to correct grammar, Dick, do get it right. "Fewer" is correct in this context. Good Lord!

    • Anne T. Krist says:

      Unless they started with 667 and resolved one, then they would have fewer concerns.  That said, I have to agree with Dick in that the sheer volume of concerns are massive enough as to (a) stun a team of oxen and (b) be incapable of enumeration.  Accordingly they are less (think infinity minus 1 on account of Herr (ex-)Diktater having been demoted out of Premiership), but still incapable of enumeration. 

      Bring on the Mouse… right Dick?

    • Dick Shaughneary says:

      Refreshing to see so many comments below.  "Less concerns" is the most techincally accurate option.  Thank you all for showing so much interest in grammar, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

  8. Anonymous says:

    There is no shortfall.  They just didn't take into account a certain someone's 22.8% "Surplus Creation Fee".  No names mentioned, of course, so that CNS can post this.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Unless accounts become properly audited, these numbers are a joke.   This must be a priority but this government lacks the spine to sort it out as it would get in the way of their vote buying spending habit.

  10. Anonymous says:

    People really still think Cayman Enterprise City is going to bring revenue here??!!!….its just a office rental scheme for the 'developers'.  wake up folks, it was granted concession after concession without the need to invest one dollar here first…I doubt you will ever see this materialize into anything other that office rental.

    • Alan Roffey says:


      The whole island used to be an enterprise city, and most people benefitted.

      We ought to be thinking the old way if we are to see again the tide that float all boats.

      • Anonymous says:

        So you think that the whole Island should be run on minimal work permit fees, other duty concessions and no opportunities for jobs for Caymanians? That is what Enterprise City is all about. We are getting no benefit from Enterpise City so why would we think that making Cayman one big Enterprise City would help us? Where would govt. get it's revenue?   

  11. Anonymous says:

    It cannot be , One garage wanted 800 to fix a govt vehicle  and they took it to another for 4000.

  12. Anonymous says:

    still a surplus.  Good job Mckeevs Bush!!  You might not like him but at least he brought the country to surplus position.

    • Anonymous says:

      The financial industry recovered and brought back revenues. McKeeva increased fees on businesses and made the cost of doing business here escalate. Any benefits were in spite of him.

    • Anonymous says:


      Good job getting out of the way, McKeeva Bush,

    • Mac Attack says:

      Sorry, i still get weekly emails from all over the Globe asking about his disgraceful actions.  It is embarrassing when trying to conduct high and white collar financial transactions and the conversation comes back to our previous crazy premier!!!

      I have been living working and supporting the Cayman Islands via my business and community for over 25 years I am proud to live and serve in this Cayman paradise, but I will never be proud of what our politics has become. It is a shambles.  I voted for the first time this year and encourage more to get involved instead of relying on this runaway train of crazies and cronies!!!

      • SSM345 says:

        I hear Mac saying that Marco and the PPM lying about the surplus HE made for Cayman, I mean look at the facts, turtle meat cheaper still.

        • Anonymous says:

          Hey sunshine, if the PPM is lying about it then that means HE couldn't have made it for Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      By doubling my permit fee.

    • Anonymous says:

      Looks where the savings were achived – in personell costs and supplies and consumables- those are areas under the control of civil servants- does that mean we have been beating up on the wrong people?  Wow excellent job!



  13. Anonymous says:

    now roll back the fees which are crippling businesses….. then you will see real growth in the economy…

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes! Just to get a certificate of good standing (or whatever the new terminology currently is) costs a small business an arm and a leg! Let's see what the goodly PPM bunch will do about these kinds of rediculous overcharging that is crippling small businesses!

  14. Anonymous says:

    This is not good news.  We have a massive bullet maturity approaching and need to get on target or face default.  Painful cuts to historically immune services and emplyees will need to be made.  I think we all kinda knewthis would be coming.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wait, teh Civil Service made the cuts asked of it, went beyodn in fact, and the let-down ont he budget was revenue collection adn your solution is … more cuts? I guess 'the beatings will continue until moral improves' is also your other big idea..

    • Anonymous says:

      It is good news, and the massive bullet maturity is in hand. 

  15. Anonymous says:

    "…unaudited results for the 2012/13 fiscal year…"


    In many departments, the term should still be "unauditable results".


    The reported numbers still do not have any credibility.


    Over time, I hope and pray that situation will slowly improve. Good luck to the auditor general.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Getting better, however CS needs a complete revamp to cut cost and make it efficient…if that means cutting heads, so be it. If they want to enourage more growth, get rid of the 60% Cayman ownership requirementfor business and you will have a flurry of investors overnight ready to take on those cut by the CS and the other unemployed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sure and while we are it, why don't we just fast track the 1800 to status..I hope Alden isn't that fool, fool!!

      • Anonymous says:


        We don't elect fool fool people to run our country. At least not any more we don't

        • Anonymous says:

          Oops, some people seem to think we do. I guess they're the fool fool ones.

      • he may be says:

        He is changing the law so that the two year extension counts towards Permanent Residence! do you know what that means ? They have been here 9 years and can apply for PR immediately. 

    • Diogenes says:

      Sure the 60% rule does not exactly say the door is open, but any investor can get a Local Companies Control Licence  if they show a material investment in an area of the economy needing further investment and not ring fenced for Caymanians – all they need to do is advertise for Caymanian participation (hence those ads asking for a few million for this or that business venture).  How many of those ads get answered?  It cannot be a realsitic deterrant to mediium to large investments, and the really large investors like Shetty negotiate their own terms anyway.  And why would any investor come toCayman for anything less than a medium to large sized investment?  So where  exactly are all those highly promising opportunities in the Cayman economy for inward investment that will magically be financed absent the 60% rule, but which are not large enough to secure an LCCL in their own right? 

      • Anonymous says:

        Jobs tend to be created by multiple smaller investments. There is little reason to make a large investment in Cayman outside the tourist industry.

    • Whodatis says:

      Yeah … that oughta fix it.