CIG impresses Simmonds

| 07/11/2013

(CNS): Although the UK's overseas territories minister, on a one day stop to the Cayman Islands Tuesday, said that the relationship between the governments of the United Kingdom and Cayman is not about individual personalities, Mark Simmonds said he was impressed by the new local government. Speaking to the media yesterday evening following a packed day of events, the Conservative party junior minister made it clear that he was comfortable with the new leadership team and satisfied with the way things were going so far, especially the budget, which he said he had turned around so quickly because it was impressive.

Both the immediate past governor, Duncan Taylor, and Simmonds had a somewhat less than cordial relationship with the previous premier, McKeeva Bush, and the UK had some serious difficulties agreeing to the financial plans submitted by his UDP administration. But Simmonds said there was a much more streamlined experience following the submission of the PPM government’s first budget.

“When the new government put forward its budget proposals, I turned them around extremely quickly,” Simmonds said, adding that he believed it was in record time. “I and my officials were extremely impressed with the proposals and the way the budget was set out.”

However, he acknowledged that delivering what is in that particular budget has created some challenges and he was keen that the UK could do more to help.

“One of the things that I have been discussing with the premier and his minsters today is whether the UK could do more to support the implementation of that budget, particularly as it relates to providing capacity in government departments to provide the expertise in areas that perhaps the Cayman government doesn’t yet have.”

He pointed to the Treasury in London and other Whitehall departments that may be able to offer that kind of assistance to CIG in the spirit of partnership between Britain and the overseas territories.

Speaking in more detail about the budget, the UK minister said that he was not opposed in principle to the idea of four year budgets, which has been suggested by the local premier, Alden McLaughlin,to try and save government time, money and create stability.

“I certainly don’t have an issue with four year budgets as in principle. It is quite a good idea to give government departments certainty about the money that they will have,” Simmonds said, noting that it would “remove the feeling that sometimes exists that there is a necessity to spend money in one particular financial year where it may be better to spread it over a number of years.”

Impressed by the new government, the minister made it perfectly clear that the UK was not planning to impose any direct taxation requirements on Cayman.

“The mechanisms of taxation are a matter for the Cayman Islands Government,” Simmonds added but noted that he was happy to see what he described as a real ambition of the local government to diversify the economy.

The British minister said one of key facets of the JMC meeting in London later this month was the focus on jobs, growth and diversifying the OT economies, and said there were plans to hold a trade and investment conference at the same time so British investors could see opportunities that exist in the territories, not just in financial services and tourism but in new sectors as well.

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Comments (24)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Keep kissing up to Mr. Simmonds and see how Progressive that will be for the country

  2. Anonymous says:

    As a PPM supporter, I am ashamed that they have no backbone at all in dealing with the UK. London competes with us for business and if those buffoons for one minute think that the UK has Cayman best interest at heart – they are sadly mistaken.

    If you think I am joking, take a look at all the UK tried to do in the past that would damage our islands. From the Euro bank scandal to planting their spies in our government. Why didn't the minister suggest that we send Caymanians to the UK to be trained? Instead, he wants to send his people here to get work. Kudos to him for looking for his people. Its a pity that this government couldn't do the same.

    Where is the PPM's voice on this matter why the records for Operation Tempura can't be released? What is their position on the incompetent police commissioner being able to wiretap our phones? The lame excuse that the Governor acts as the Home Secretary is so dumb that I still cant believe he said it. The Home Secretary is a politician that faces the public and can be fired if they mess up. The Governor is a civil servant. All they would do is send her to another cushy assignment if she gets it wrong. At least in Britain they have Parliamentary oversight. Here we have nothing cause we are stupid little natives.

    Give the Americans credit. When they want something at least they do it the old fashion way. They invest in the necessary technology to spy and get what they want. They are tapping our phones and we don't even know. The approach of the British is so antiquated that all it does is remind us why they don't have an Empire anymore. We spent money on cameras and they cant catch anyone. You know why? They told us they had it. Now they want to tap our phones. This is a joke. If they couldn't catch the criminals with all the "eyes" they have, you think they will catch the criminals by having more "ears"? 

    What they need to do is fix the immigration system that keeps our people out of work and exploit expats. We are living in a global village and we need to embrace our diversity to make these islands better and stop playing these stupid political games that gets us nowhere. Stop wasting time speaking out Mckeeva as we already sent him packing. Get on with the job of fixing our country or handover the reigns to Moses or Marco.  

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why was it “impressive” when it didn’t change a thing put in place by the UDP?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I think this new government is doing WAY better than the last. It will take time for significant changes to show, but for right now I say they aren't doing bad at all. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    As somone who worked in local government in the UK I can vouch for the fact that annual budgeting is a bad idea and this concept of a four-year budget can, if it's properly managed, yield huge benefits. Based on my working experience the problen with working a year at time is that it discourages long-term planning and encourages annual year-end 'use it or lose it' spending sprees to use up surplus funds that can't be carried over into the next finacial year. Mind you if it's not properly managed (and this is CIG after all) you could easily find the money running out before the four years is up.  

    • And another Ting says:

      well,well, the play de music play de music jump like island beasts, bend right down now kiss the hand and we will let you keep, ya litle jobs now that you got by telling de people what they want to hear , beware the hand that you kiss will wipe ya out I say.

      Me say fe play ya music jump and kiss de beast till he ask ya to do something ya dont like then you cant back down.  And Another Ting.

      • Anonymous says:

        Mr/Ms "And another Ting", why don't you perhaps start by attempting to write proper English? That way you can eventually lead up to speaking it!!!!

        • And Another Ting says:

          12:37 your humidor is priceless. Haha. And another Ting.

        • Anonymous says:
           
           
      • SSM345 says:

        Are you one of the unemployed locals looking for a career? You just gave away your reason for being in that boat.

      • Anonymous says:

        And that, children, is why you should never smoke crack.

        • Anonymous says:
              Before you criticize "And Another Ting" for his use of the English Language I suggest that you look up the definition of "poetic license".Thank you.
           
      • Anonymous says:

        Clearly all these negative comments aren’t from natives, if so, they, like myself, would have read into this popular calypso lyrics. But I am sure, had it been the trendy bob marley words, they would get it, right? When your in Rome, do as the Romans. Embrace the culture. Kudos to this posters take on life as the people see it. Cleverly put.

  6. Anonymous says:

    he obviously didn't talk to any business owners then or anybody working in the private sector….

    • Anonymous says:

      Why would you say that?

      • Anonymous says:

        because the business community can not bleieve the incomptency/stupidity/ignorance of the elected politicians in cayman!

    • Anonymous says:

      07.59..absolutely correct. Obviously the man is easily impressed as there has been nothing actually to be impressed about so far. Better relationship, OK, balanced budget-we will see, how they balance that budget and remain true to human rights in relation to immigration- step backward, encouraging investment, a step backwards too.

  7. Anonymous says:

    hear that mac?

    • Anonymous says:

      Glad he is impressed and rightly so. No wonder for a change Cayman is being led by the most educated and professional team it has ever had. Lets hope the trend continues and we dont elect those again who failed at every thing they touched or did not certainly achieve the levels of success in fthe private sector we need to run the country. I am still amazed to see and hear the limited thinking and speech's of some former politicians.

      Roy Bodden's books show that Cayman was built with intelligent far-sighted people who had the foresight to implement immigration policies from the 1940's. If you compare running a company with a country, would you not want the smartest people to run your business?

    • Anonymous says:

      See what can be achieved when you finish high school, Alden did and got an A+ and Mac didn't and got F-. I guess you wish you had finished high school now.

      • Captain Clarity says:

        I wonder if your point is both became Premier of Cayman and have an overly inflated view of themselves whilst successfully overspending the countries funds? #Justsayin

  8. Anonymous says:

    Four year budgets may not be a problem, but annual audited accounts certainly are….

    Get a grip Mr. Simmonds.