PPM riding Mac’s gains

| 29/05/2014

(CNS): The leader of the opposition accused the premier of taking credit for the advances in Cayman’s economic situation when most of them were as a result of policy begun under his administration. When he began his response on Thursday to the government’s budget, policy and throne speeches McKeeva Bush said he was pleased to see the finance minister maintaining the fiscally prudent approach that he had started when in office but was amused by the premier’s claimed accomplishments in his first year when most were started by the previous UDP administration. Many, he said, were things that when it was in opposition the now government had opposed. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

From the Shetty hospital and medical tourism to the new Dart hotel as well as the launch of sports tourism Bush accused the now premier, Alden McLaughlin of riding his gains as he said these were all policies developed and started when he was premier. Bush said the policy statement was almost a verbatim copy of his government’s policy and he was pleased to see the continuation of all of the things the UDP administration had started.

“The present government is enjoying the early rewards for the bold action we took,” he said, as he listed achievements he claimed were made during the last government from the creation of the special economic zone to the success in overnight tourism which the government was now taking credit for.

He denied that confidence had ever been rocked in the country during his time in office as Moody's had retained Cayman’s rating. He also said he had already done a lot to help local business including some $11milion duty giveaways to Cayman not foreign businesses. He said that he had tried to help anyone who showed up at his office that needed it regardless of “which side they were on.”

“They can’t say we didn’t do work that wasn’t successful,” Bush said, but he spoke about the constant criticisms that had worn his government down.

He said the premier couldn’t keep quiet in his speech about the former government and what the UDP had done, but Bush emphasised the launch of medical tourism with the Shetty hospital and the efforts to diversify the economy as well as the Dart deal all of which he said he was proud of. He took aim at the premier for criticising the deal and said it was no worse than the one they were trying to get “with those people up in Frank Sound” as he said that was not going to be any better.

“I got something what have you all got?” he asked.

Raising his concerns about the impending civil service cuts Bush said people criticising government workers need to remember that Cayman did not get as far as it has without a good civil service. While he agreed there can be improvements he said selfishness from the people at the top of the service had blocked those trying to work their way up. He accused past civil service management of taking all the money for themselves when the wages were reassessed, leaving nothing for those at the bottom.

Bush said that government’s 2.5% bonus announcement was another demonstration of how those earning the big money would be well rewarded by that when it would be nothing for those at the bottom on the front line who deserved it most.

The former premier pointed out that it would not be easy to reduce the civil service as the private sector may be clamouring for cuts but they were always the ones that want more, calling for more policing and other government services. Bush pointed out that the constant criticisms of the civil service for those on the front line undermined moral when the huge majority of those at the bottom were pulling their weight as he urged the criticisms to stop and for people to be more grateful.

Bush also criticised the UK for telling Cayman how to cut the civil service when he said that they had messed up their own country and were “now coming here to tell us what to do!” he exclaimed.

The opposition leader also implied that the PPM government had attempted to borrow but the UK had flatly refused them. “They had a borrowing plan and the UK had turned down their request ….but we never heard about that,” he said. Bush said he was intrigued to hear that despite the claims they had gone to London with a borrowing plan though that appears to have been related to the last budget.
Bush added that, “I had to listen to them chastising me on mangling the UK relationship,” but

“I am still waiting to hear from him (the premier) what I did to mangle the relationship,” he said, as he accused the current premier of constantly fighting with Stuart Jack during the 2005 to 2009 administration. Bush said he did not make the UK-Cayman relationship bad but he had stood up to the UK and the FCO when they wanted him to introduce direct taxation after the PPM broke the public management and finance law.

“They thoughtthey had us conquered,” he said. Bush spoke about being called to London shortly after being elected to office and said he was told by the FCO to cut 500 jobs from the civil service and to put in property or payroll tax.

“I said no BoBo…. you taking to McKeeva Bush,” the opposition leader recalled, adding that he was nobody’s puppet.

He said if there was a lack of confidence in Cayman it was because of the now premier’s mistakes that wound up getting Cayman on the OECD black list. Bush said the premier now "had the audacity" to accuse him of losing investor confidence. The opposition leader said that ringing a bell doesn’t build confidence as he criticised the premier for making such a big deal of his Wall Street trip. “I had eight invitations to go ring the bell but I didn’t have time. I was ringing the UDP bell,” he added.

Bush also took aim at government for not doing enough to help those at the bottom of the pile and about creating jobs (see separate report on CNS later today). The opposition leader said there was much more that needed to be done to plan for Cayman’s future and get people back to work.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The truly sad thing is that some people will actually believe this BS. The man only discredited the country and the office of the Premier and he cost the country an absolute fortune in all the many debacles like Cohen & Co, GLF, the Chinese, and do not forget Dart where he sold out his country and its people giving it all away in secret deals while Dart bolstered him up and funded him for his nation building programme which was all about buying favours and buying votes. This is the legacy that this man did for the country. Shameful and embarassing that is waht he is.

  2. Michel says:

    I allways found that actions speak louder then words. We live in very challenging times. As I look back, we have lost a lot of good people that truly loved the Cayman Islands and it’s people (by following Bermuda model blindly better known as failed and maybe not legal Rollover policy)) for many undeserving persons for massive status grants that was the beginning of our shortfalls. Then you add a failing economy that finds us desperate to start trading crown land with swamp land on behalf of the highest bidder. Next is to disturb our natural habitats that has been set aside for our future generations in the name of progress. Then we feel like second class citizens in our own Country not forgetting many that are having a very difficult time to find work to feed their famlies. They say we’re lazy, not smart enough to unserstand the Tempura fiasco and many payouts in which it has wasted sooo much $$ ! Apart from a few politicians taking the time to listen to some disturbing real life srory and helping the best they can, there is not that much to be proud of past and present Government at this time. I am normally a very postive person but I have great difficulties in this suppose to be a great budget to serve our now ” Masters”. Funny how history repeat itself at the detriment of the local people. Where is the real Vision in All of this. Yes I too wished that we had Men that truly cared for our Beloved Cayman Islands and We the people, instead of the popular current saying ” they doing what we started and vice versa. I find it disgraceful to listen to a bunch of egos disrespecting the floor of Our Legisslative Assembly. God help us, Michel Lemay.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Toys and pram come to mind.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Seriously a joke. Politicians witha selective memory and cherry picking events are deluded, in denial and dangerous. I would be more impressed if he put his hands up and fessed up to all that he screwed up, choosing to focus on the ones that turned out OK by someone else's hard work isn't going to fool anyone, only those that can not see. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed. Then there is Rooster co-"host" Jonathan Piercy….the self proclaimed gaurdian of the "Truth".  You just cannot make this stuff up.

  5. Anonymous says:
     
    The operating surplus has nothing to do with the government doing a good job rather almost all of it comes from increasing 83m in taxes from financial services (47% increase)and increasing 10.5m from tourism (52% increase). If you want to kill off the goose that lays the golden eggs you certainly are going about it correctly. 
     
    And after our operating surplus you still need to fund money losing statutory authorities, meet your debt payment obligations, and spend something on small capital improvements to maintain the status quo. The surplus quickly gets evaporated to near nil and are these not also operating expenses??? 
     
    Time to stop misleading the Cayman people. 
     
    CIC you owe your own staff 200m in pension obligations that date well over a decade and you indicate it will take another 20 years to make good on it. I trust you will follow suit and allow each and every Cayman business who also neglects their staff's pension plans the same courtesy? 
     
    And there is only a faint whisper about the largest expense looming the 2004 665m estimate of the health care cost for retired civil servants equals (conservative) 1.1b today. How much are you putting away for that crippling expense nothing you say? Young Caymanians take note your future has already been seriously mortgaged! 
     
    Applause applause applause ah no. 
  6. UHUHUH says:

    QUESTION: WHO takes forever to say nothing?

    ANSWER: Those who have nothing to say!

  7. West Bay Voter says:

    Upon taking office, all new governments either gain or suffer from the actions of their predecessor(s). 

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Mac! It only cost us a few million that time and Government was BROKE! You had Dart paying the bills.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Public Service Pension Board is shameful …their investment results are shameful…their leadership is shameful. Website is shameful..

    They need to start the cutting right from that department 

  10. Anonymous says:

    ah yes, the good old triple-negative statement “They CAN't say we DIDN'T do work that WASN'T successful,” 

  11. Anonymous says:

    The sad thing is that some voters will probably believe him.  Remember people, he is still facing serious criminal charges from his time in office.

    • Anonymous says:

      The sadder thing is that he is right.  Everything that the PPM said they were going to do they have renegged on.  I seem to have wasted my votes on them – Again!

      • Anonymous says:

        That is false, and I doubt that you ever voted for PPM. They promised to bring down taxes and they have done so.

    • Anonymous says:

      In the meantime, I assume u n me is still paying him two pensions while he's on bail?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Having watched the LA on CIG Tv last evening, I can say without hesitation that the actions of the elected MLA's are nothing less than SHAMEFUL. When will they all realise that they are in there working for the people of this country and not for sefl-gain or self-gratification. Neither side is better than the other, they are all a bunch of ego-maniacs who feed their own adgenda by getting up in the respected chambers of our LA and thump their chest and see who can win shouting matches across the floor. SHAME ON ALL OF YOU!!! TO hell with who has done what,  If it is for the good of the Cayman Islands, everyone of you should be happy. But no- if the other 'side' did it then it deserves no credit or worse yet it deserves to be shelved and the process restarted- at additonal cost. ALL 18 of you should be hanging your head in shame. Do you all remember that the proceedings are broadcast LIVE so not only can we hear whats going on, we can see whats going on. We need politicians who want to progress the country, who want to make the citizens propser, who want to do good only for the country. We need politicians like Dr. Roy, Mr. Willie, Capt. Eldon, Miss Annie, Mr. Benson, Mr. Jim, Mr. Haig, Capt. Keith, Mr. Warren, Mr. Craddock, and the old stalwarts who were the true definition of a politician. The current 18 could do themselves and this country a FAVOR and try to adapt some of the traits of the older politicians who WORKED for this country- and got NOTHING for it.

    • Anonymous says:

      All 18 havent spoken yet so who are you referring to ?

       

      Alden?

      Mac?

      Marco?

      Alva?

      Wayne?

      Ezzard?

      Arden?

      Winston?

       

      The majority I listened to were talking about what has been done and wht plans they have! I dont think anyone can say they are bad politicians for that! Also of those names you mentioned just now, I vivdly recall some chest thumping and Politircks coming from that group!

       

       

  13. Anonymous says:

    Total BS. The fact that people actually take sides with these selfish failures is half of the problem.

    Hasn't anyone ever researched the origins of "democracy"? Democracy was created to control people, not liberate them. 

    If you have 65,000 people to govern, the best way to do it would be to select 15-20 of them as representatives and have them vote according to personal greed.

    This is why nobody is ever satisfied. It is because politicians have NO INTEGRITY. One batch comes in with a raft of false promises based on the failures of the last crop of losers and after 4 years, it is enough for people to see these people for who they are. The solution:- Vote the previous losers back in. Rinse and repeat ad nauseam.

    In Cayman, I have never seen so many dumb, "intelligent" people who are fooled by this.

  14. Crab Louie says:

    Ah Mac. The BEST politician in the land. The WORST politician in the land. Fantastic at blowing his own trumpet but it always sounds like one of those annoying vuvuzelas. Hollow with no substance.

  15. Anonymous says:

    When Government is successful:  "I did it!"   "No, I did it!"
    When sh*t hits the fan:  "It's his fault!"   "No, it's really his fault!"
    The never-ending cycle of politics.

  16. caymanlover24 says:

    PPM please explain

    1.The over budget new schools (from previous time in office)

    2. Employing Syed Hassan  (from previous time in office)

    3. Running the expats  of the island that supported local business and fill up rental houses for most of us who invested in building apartments  and making Cayman airways leave and re-enter empty for months (from previous time in office)

    4. creating social unrest with locals and Expats (from previous time in office and Campaign was run on this premise this time around as well)

    5. Over budget road works (from previous time in office)

    6. Government building that still not fully occupied (from previous time in office)

     

    UDP/ MAC – please shut up if you don't have any solutions, people are tired of the back chat and the ego. WE WANT THE COUNTRY TO GROW AND TO DO WELL – THIS IS NOT ABOUT  YOU OR ALDEN- PLEASE DO SOME ACTUAL WORK.

    UDP please explain-

    1. The trips and the big spending

    2.  So many questionable people was put in charge while in office example Joey?

    3.  Say what you want Mac but the relationship with the UK deteriorated on your watch, dont matter how it happened.

    4. Why is it that crime is such a huge problem in West Bay especially where the leader is from?

    5. Why so many small business had to close up during your time in office (would be interesting to see the actually numbers on this but I am sure people saw George Town businesses closing down and was wondering what's going on). Even though you claim you did a lot to help.

    Finally- It doesn’t matter who started what but I am happy to see the efforts by the finance minister and this budget is a step in the rightdirection stop the finger pointing and lets get Cayman back on track.

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, let's knock this one on the head once for all. Syed was NOT employed during the PPM's tenure. He was first employed as a lecturer in 2003 when Roy Bodden (the same one that is the current President of UCCI) was the Minister of Education and Sam Basdeo was the President. That is the time when the background checks should have been performed. He also claimed to have earned his doctorate during the time Sam Basdeo was President and Danny Scott was Chairman of the UCCI Board. Let's get our facts in order, please.

        http://compasscayman.com/caycompass/2006/08/09/New-UCCI-president-named/

      Please explain how the PPM created social unrest  with locals and expats. What created a lot of unrest were (1) the 3000 status grants; and (2) the expat tax, both of which were done by McKeeva who was also legislated Rollover. You've also forgotten also the breaches of contracts (e.g. GLF) that have cost us millions. You've forgotten that he wasone of the initiators of Operation Tempura that has cost this countty tens of millions of dollars. You've gone very easy on him.   

  17. Anonymous says:

    Given the ping-pong nature of Cayman politics, there is a good chance that McKeeva will be premier again.

  18. Anonymous says:
    “I said no BoBo…. you taking to McKeeva Bush,” the opposition leader recalled, adding that he was nobody’s puppet. Spot on Mr. Bush!! 
     
    The premier needs to stand up and start making him OWN desicions not forming any committees to do it for him. What has the PPM administration did for Cayman except put the government in debt? Need I say anymore?
     
     
    • Anonymous says:

      No you can shut up right there…and ask your self, what did the UDP administration do for Cayman, except put the government, (we the people) in debt.

    • Anonymous says:

      No idiot, please do not say any more!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Mac prudent?  How much did his government have to pay Dart when they cancelled he Port deal with him?  How much did they pay GLF?  What about the payout to the company that was going to buy the new Gov't admin bldg and give the govenment a loan?  And you call that prudent?

    • Anonymous says:

      Paying himself and buddy Suresh $600,000. Commission for finance to the turtle farm  was prudent…for Mac.

       

  20. Anonymous says:

    Can the opposition leader expain the fiscaly prudent approach he had begun when in Governmenrt? Is it fiscally prudent to be running up and down around the world with a big entourage of  persons as well as indiscriminate spending from the Nation Building Fund?

    • JonasDwyer says:

      Well well, the Premier has called out his troops to blog progressive. Ain't nothing like the truth to get those fingers going aing!.

    • Anonymous says:

      It sad but what Mackeeva say is 100% truth. Facts can't be changed no matter how much you try to deny it in your head man i teelin you. Him, UDP dis alot of work and that's why PPM have an easy time and making savings due to hard work by previous UDP government. Remember the"BIG BLACK HOLE' PPM left for Mackeeva to fill after  Kutt Tibbetts left office ???

      • Anonymous says:

        Facts can't be changed: "UDP dis a lot of work".

      • Anonymous says:

        I think we are about to find out the truth about the supposed "big black hole". That was when McKeeva set out to induce a sense of panic so the public would give him carte blanche to do as he pleased and then he could then pretend to be our saviour. Imagine the stupidity of telling the world that "we'z broke" and then expecting to get a good deal from investors!  Savvy businessmen take advantage of weakness and vulnerability. But that was all for his personal political gain and to hell with the country. 

        McKeeva only added to our troubles, and exaggerated them. He did nothing to help.  

    • Hear, Hear says:

      Hear Hear!  Stop this Us Vs Them Eastern Caribbean politricks mentality.  All is does is divide the people andget nothing done.  The only people who benefit from two party mud-slinging are the politicans with fat paycheques. 

      150 years ago here, and up to as recent as 50 years ago here…. we had a few caring men and women that found a way to all work together.  Bring back a simple Custos and a few accountants if we need to listen to this silly self serving egomanic rants.  (both sides)

      Please remember you work for US and it is not your money.  All we want is a fair legal system (including Immigration) less crime and better school graduates.  Focus on better education and the other two priorties will fix themselves. 

      Voters, do not be sheep and listen to these silly politicans.  With 65,000 people this is a manageable task.  Demand better returns on our investments and for god sake, stopy relying on politicians for hand outs or jobs….they want you to need them to get relected.  Big Mac, please go sit down and await your trial. The rest of you get back to work and find ways to make this country less wasteful and more efficient.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dam right a kin splain Bobo. It wasn me. My hands is clean, an ma hart is poor, a mean puer.

  21. pmilburn says:

    When are you all going to stop these childish blame games in the House?Dont you think we the public are fed up with it?Not one Govt over the past 2-3 decades have really put COUNTRY FIRST.The tit for tat and take that gimme this is so boring and really you all need to grow up and get on with running the country for the PEOPLE as we are the ones who put you where you are each four years.Nuff said for now

  22. Anonymous says:

    Excuse me, in view of past events (like being arrested), why is anyone with any sense listening to what this man has to say about anything? It is a  total absurdity.

  23. Anonymous says:

    If Mac was back as Premier for the last year, the Gov would not have a $100+million surplus, but more likely a $10million deficit as he would have spent it on his cronies.

     

    Every year that Mac was in office in Gov we had a deficit.

    • Dred says:

      But we had tons of FAKE Surplus….tons and tons of it….

      Raising fees during a recession…moronic

    • Anonymous says:

      Not entirely accuracte, plus it was the PPM Government that put us in deficit in the first place……Mac had to clean up the mess and he did a damn good job within four years if we can now brag that we have a $100+million surplus, which was made possible by the painful cost-cutting of the UDP Government.  God help us when this PPM government is done with us, we surely will have lost everything and back to chopping wood and carrying water!

      • Anonymous says:

        The UDP did not cut costs – it increased taxes and wasted huge sums of money.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Where does he get this stuff? I was born at night, but not last night.

  25. Anonymous says:

    In the wake of complaints that a large number of chief executive officers and seniors civil servants  were getting paid astronomical salaries, government should finally act and announced a CI 15,000 monthly salary cap.The cap only should affects executives of government owned entities and Authorities, following the salary-gate scandal that was triggered by the huge amount of money paid to  a Senior civil servant,who took home CI 17,000 a month.No chief executive of any government enterprise or local authority should receive a total package which is above CI 15,000 with immediate effect.Some chief executive officer earns a basic salary of just over CI 10,000 which balloons to a staggering CI 17,000 with benefits.The salary clamp down has been welcomed by many people, who believe the CEO's were earning huge amounts for nothing as most of the entities under their control were underperforming.

    Lets take Turtle Farm and Cayman Airways as an example. If part of his contract or package was premised on the fact that the corporation is a sound, sustainable, productive and commercially viable enterprise, then it would have been unfair to temper with their salary.But as we know all these things were not happening at Turtle Farm over the years and this gives government a good leg to stand on in cracking down on the salaries of the CEO's and senior managers.

  26. Anonymous says:

    i cant believe im writing this but Big Mac is correct on this one

  27. Anonymous says:

    The ramblings of a complete idiot.

    Nuff said Bobo.

  28. Anonymous says:

    You're preaching to the choir keke 🙂 means trying to make a point to someone who already agrees with your position. The analogy meaning that those in the choir are already familiar with the preaching… it's the others that likely need it. Amen!

  29. Anonymous says:

    Go there Big Mac, show them how its done.  PPM is so lost if lights were on all over cayman they still  couldn't find their way home.  my poor cayman islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      Big (now small) Mac couldn’t find his way home with all the lights on.

    • Anonymous says:

      You probably voted for PPM and now regretting it only one year in!

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, right! No one who ever voted PPM would be saying that Big Mac should show them how it's done. If PPM screw up they will be looking for independents, not McKeeva.

  30. Anonymous says:

    This is nothing new people forget what happened 4-8 years ago. Everything Big Mac is saying here can be proven. PPM put the country in debt when they built all those roads, bought government vehicles to be driven around in, and lets not forget the Government admin bulding that is still not occupied fully.

    Very few of the PPM ministers are doing a good job but for sure the premier isnt one of them and is riding on the succsess of his fellow party members (The little they have done) and the previous administration's.

    • Anonymous says:

      EXACTLY! Thank you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Lets not forget the high school fiasco.  Yes Marco is doing the country right and should be praised but Ossie is a joke at his current postion.  What man in his right mind would do what he did?

      • Anonymous says:

        With all said Marco is the only politician making PPM look good. 

  31. Anonymous says:

    I am always amused by politicians' selective memories "… the now premier’s mistakes that wound up getting Cayman on the OECD black list".

    Cayman was never on the OECD's blacklist, only the grey list, but getting there was as much Bush's fault as anyone's. Bush did not sign one single TIEA during his 2001-2005 tenure as LOGB even though the country had undertaken to do so in 2000. He also conveniently forgets that every single one of the OTs, who were not being run by the now premier, were on the grey list: Bermuda, BVI, Anguilla etc. 

  32. Anonymous says:

    Is anyone else sick of these egocentric maniacs?