BBC and Chatham House cost public purse over $17k

| 12/03/2014

(CNS): The premier’s trip to London earlier this year to appear on the BBC’s leading news interview programme, to speak at the Chatham House conference and to meet FCO officials cost the public purse $17,437.70. Alden McLaughlin was joined on the week-long trip by Cabinet Secretary Samuel Rose and his senior political advisor, Roy Tatum. Officials from the premier’s office revealed Wednesday that the airfares totalled $8,048.59, the per diem allowances came to $3,300 and hotel expenses were $6,089.11.

“This Chatham House conference examined the prospects for concerted action to tackle global corruption and considered the role of governments and businesses in achieving lasting impact,”  the premier’s press secretary stated in a release. “Participants and speakers critically assessed current and emerging international efforts and considered their consequences for future business practice and governance.

“On HardTalk, the Hon. Premier shared Cayman’s positive story of being a successful Overseas Territory by answering hard hitting questions from presenter Stephen Sackur,” she added.

Although there had been concerns that Sackur would use the opportunity to undermine Cayman, the premier came away without too many licks.

While the appearance may have done little to change opinions on the global stage about offshore tax avoidance, fears that the appearance could make matters worse were unrealized and the premier was able to demonstrate that Cayman is willing to answer questions about the offshore sector after many years of turning away from the international media arena.

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  1. Foreign Devil says:

    Small potatoes Ju Ju would of spent that in a weekend.

  2. Anonymous says:

    A big cost, all while he sweated and nervously fidgeted throughout the 'ordeal'

  3. Anonymous says:

    little Mac.

    • james Pouchie says:

      Folks its all part of the job, what we should be more concern about is the results. We'll get no where by sitten home in a rocking chair. Mckeeva was unfairly critized for the same thing but without those travels we would not have the Shetty Hospital.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh no, you do not get to credit the Shetty hospital to traveling politicians.  The private sector gets to take full credit for that and they got beat up badly on places like this forum during the process but they pushed through.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The reality is that to travel and represent your country costs money, and that is a relatively small sum in the grand scheme of things comparedto the amount my country spends on its politicians be that lawfully or otherwise. I flew to Miami on the same flight as the premier and he did not put on any airs and graces, but was dignified in waiting in the queue with the rest of the passengers. I'm no political observer but would the previous incumbent have done the same; I somehow doubt it?!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Good value. This what the Cayman Turtle Farm loses on behalf of the Caymanian people every 15.6 hours. And no, I haven't made a mistake.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Very responsible and cost-effective considering the exposure for Cayman via the BBC and Chatham House members & guests.

  7. Anonymous says:

    $3,300! hotel? where were they staying at Buckingham Palace?

    • Anonymous says:

      $3,300.00 divided by 5 days for 3 persons is $220.00 dollars per room…would you really want your Premiere to stay in somewhere less than that in the City of London?  

      Lets be at least try and be fair.

    • Far Canal says:

      Have you ever stayed in a hotel in central London?  3 people for several nights and the exchange rate, the cost sounds very reasonable to me.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Money well spent

  9. Anonymous says:

    $6,089.11 for one week in a hotel in London? which did they stay in the Queen's guest room? thats ridiculous.

    • Anonymous says:

      actually not that bad, that's $2,039 per guest per week or $290 a night, in sterling GBP 181 per night.

      I'm staying overnight at the airport next to T5 at heathrow in the cheapest room and is GBP210 a night.

      SO actually very reasonable.


    • Anonymous says:

      Not that ridiculous..central London hotels (where I also stay) and noting that fancy (A Doubletree or a Novotel) in the City vary from GBP150-600 per night depending on demand at the time. Average seems to work out at around GBP300 per night per person.

      Cayman hotels currently cost the same and more in some places…why are you so shocked?

  10. Anonymous says:

    What happened here? Normally invited speakers have their travelling costs reimbursed. The delegates to the Chatham House event all paid over £500 (CI$700+) each to attend so it wasn't exactly a low budget event and the BBC aren't short of money either. Is this CIG being taken for a ride again?


    • Anonymous says:

      This is an inventory of the costs of the trip…any re-imbursements for speaking appearnaces have not been revealed or detailed.

      Was Premiere McLaughlin paid a 'speaking fee' ?

      That question can be asked in another FOI request if deemed necessary.

      The PR value of having Cayman's premiere appear before a global audience in live time and being given a chance to defend Cayman's position makes this excellent value for money.

      Consider what it would cost if Cayman were to pay to have Mr. McLaughlin on one of the USA's prime time networks like NBC for even 10 minutes.

      • Anonymous says:

        Fair point but normally guest speakers are flown in rather than having to fly in and then get the fares reimbursed – I know, I've been one more than once.

    • Anonymous says:

      He should not have accepted payment of any kind, otherwise the journalists may be able to exercise influence at some time in the future