CIG paints rosy picture

| 26/11/2014

(CNS): Both the Cayman Islands premier and the finance minister were up-beat about the local economy and public finances on Wednesday as government presented its strategic policy statement. Marco Archer said Cayman was in a “sweet spot” with an economic outlook for the next three years showing sustainable growth and the strongest rates since the world financial crisis. Meanwhile, the Premier Alden McLaughlin said that the Progressive government had, so far, delivered on its pledges and had made strides to keep Cayman on a steady course. He told his Legislative colleagues that “things are getting better.”

He also said government was on track to meet the targets agreed with the UK to get the public purse back in line with the public management and finance law. “We are poised for compliance,” the premier said, as he stressed that the 2015-16 budget was crucial for government. “We have to comply withall Framework for Fiscal Responsibility ratios and come December 2015, we must legally comply with the mandated cash day’s ratio of 90 days,” he added.

Although things are on track for government with its budget targets and significant projected operating surpluses, McLaughlin pointed to some early budget pressures such as exceeding the refugee’s budget and losing some $5million because of concessions and waivers from the previous administration. But he said there was good news as well.

“Our managed vacancy programme is working with early savings noted in personnel costs and the government will retain positive cash outcomes throughout the fiscal year,” he said.

“Revenues of $5 million collected in the first quarter from annual permanent residents work permit fees is already $2.1 million more than the full budget year…Cayman Airways and the Port Authority are two statutory authorities that are reporting positive early results. We have also recorded a $2.7 million positive variance in stamp duty on land transfers for the first quarter.”

McLaughlin said that because of fiscal prudence government’s revenue for the 2015-16 budget year was up from the $648,172 unaudited figure in the 2013/14 budget to $661,224. “We are forecasting to grow the economy year on year with revenues of $672,205 in the 2016/17 fiscal year and $703,993 in fiscal year 2017/18,” he predicted.

The premier went on to list plans for achieving government’s goals as he spoke about a number of policy plans from the redevelopment of the airport to getting the construction of John Gray high school back on track.

McLaughlin said the SPS kept government on the path it began in May 2013 and what he described as “very clear policy objectives” aimed at ensuring a strong, stable and healthy society.

“We are keenly aware of our need to develop, but we are even more cognizant that the development we seek and welcome doesn’t leave our people behind or harm our environment,” he said as promised to push the country forward.

Having introduced the SPS the finance minister had also painted an upbeat picture forecasting surpluses for government over the next three years and economic growth from a number of planned development projects.

“The outlook for the Cayman Islands is one of renewed optimism and confidence,” Archer said, adding that the primary pillars of the economy remained vibrant with growing stay over tourism and a flourishing financial services industry.

“Overall, the economy is forecast to have moderate sustainable growth, and unemployment is expected to fall below 5 percent over the next three financial years,” he said, as he pointed to government plans to grow a stronger economy, improve public safety, promote a healthy society, and a culture of good governance.

“This strategic plan makes key provisions for the achievement of those goals. It allocates resources for the continued support of our tourism and financial services industries, education, and our law enforcement agencies. It also outlines strategies that will lead to job creation in the private sector and improved opportunities for Caymanians,” the minister added.

He said a main goal of the government was the restoration of public finances and the SPS, he said, shows that the plans laid by the Progressives to achieve “that goal is coming to fruition and that the Country is poised to realize the dream of restored public finances and the other benefits…”

See the SPS in full below.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So what else is new. The udp’s been brainwashing cayman with rosy pictures for thirty years.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Happy Friday everyone!!

    Amazing to see that even when some things are improving in Cayman, that they are attacked. Yes there is a long way to go, but could you Cayman Christian souls just recognise that at least some things are moving in the right direction? Or is the Cayman Christian soul dead and gone?

  3. Anon says:

    There are many,many of our people who would not describe the "spot" they are in as "sweet". Perhaps Minister Archer and his government could enlarge that "sweet spot" so a few others could get on. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Marco stop parroting the PPM garbage. You have a future but all will be lost if you take us for fools. You know very well about the permanent job losses becuse of at least 3 major bank closures and downsizing, You know about the forclosures. You know about the unpaid CUC bills….. stop the BS. Do not follow Alden he is a zombie who knows his time is up come 2017. Remember PPM only got 9  of 18 seats. Wake up Marco …..

  5. The REAL Truth says:

    People of Cayman.  Look and see with open eyes what kind of people you have been voting into office for the last decade.  All that's  necessary for the failure of Grand Cayman is to do nothing.  Keep voting for your heroes.    Keep pretending that they know whats good for you and how to do it.  They will keep getting richer of f of you while driving the country into the ground.  You had better ask yourselves now; are all the handouts worth it?  Are you smart enough to save yourselves?

  6. Anonymous says:

    just goes to show how out of touch the ppm are…..

  7. Anonymous says:

    How much subsidy has been given to Cayman Airways in order for them to show "positive early results"?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Marco is the one person I would like to see continue doing the job he is doing for many years. He is making headway and if he has to stop in a couple of years time, then all the good he has done will be worthless.

    As for the rest of them, it doesnt matter.

  9. Anonymous says:

    "Things are getting better" …that is easy for him to say.

    • Anonymous says:

      Once again it is PPM Lala Land.   Caymanians are hurting due to unemployment, bad immigration policies, crime, even the smell of the dump and they are talking about a sweet spot???   That's what happens when you have mostly well to do people running the country. They are too busy fishing or yachting to care.

  10. Anon says:
    How exactly are things improving? Any discussion of the rise in crime – daily onslaught of muggings and armed robberies? Didn't think so. 
  11. Anonymous says:

    Why can't politicians answer a question? Like the rest of us do. Simple terms and honestly?

    I think they are afraid of losing votes or monetary support. A smart voter said "Politics is the delicate art of soliciting funds from the rich and votes from the poor while promising to protect each from the other."

    Where at the jobs for caymanians in this report?

    2013- 2014 Budget 100 new jobs went to foreign contracts without being advertised? Thanks PPM for nothing.

    • Hear hear! says:

      Hear hear! 100 NEW contracts? Don't forget about the 400 Admin contracts renewed at civil service!  If you are from Barbados, Guyana. Trinidad, or Jamaica… Welcome! If you Caymanian with an overseas degree,impeccable references, and excellent work experience: forget it.

      Out of 6000 civil service jobs, at least 600 of them should be succession planning and a last term contract, but we all know the plot is to renew these contracts until status is granted so these expat workers become loyal voters.(while good quality locals starve and go on social services.). Enemy of the people? Chief Officers.

  12. Anonymous says:

    2 jokers leading the circus of clowns. The regressives are at it again more fantasy island stuff LOL

  13. Really? Can't swallow that sorry says:

    Really? Want us to swallow this? Sorry what a lie. My US University educated son (Who took to use abroad with charity experience in his field and impeccable references)  with a speciality degree cannot get a job while ex-pats walk into every interview and walk out with a fat paycheck? My spouse is the top in their field and are not even asked for an interview – we are white collar upstanding Caymanians with advanced degrees and good community citizens and we are going broke looking for work and trying to pay CUC!

    I don't believe a word of these lying politicians and unless your have connections into the cartel of the civil service you are lost. The politicians pander to big business and the voting block, but ethical hard working locals with skills are second class citizens.

    dont feed me anymore bull. I read the Compass editorial today and it speak volumes – just wait until the new.5000 citizens cannot get their white collar grads a job either- then the cries will be heard?

    Cayman, we played by the rules. We got the scholarships and got the grades and experience, but we can't get the jobs!?!

    • noname says:

      I can see why you spouse and son do not have jobs.  They are above every job that is available.  Sometimes no matter how book educated you are it doesn’t mean you are the top of the field (especially if you have only received the little experience you would on this little island).  My son has 2 degrees and he had to take on a low paying entry level job..guess what..he has a job and now he can work his way up like the rest of us had to do to get where we are today.  Education is only the start and you cannot just assume that a white collar job is going to behanded to someone fresh out of school…they need to prove themselves fit for service and the responsibility of high level jobs.  That is how it works in other countries and that is why those coming from other countries get the higher level jobs..they have proof that they can perform the job that they have been trained to do. 

      Do you think someone straight out of medical school get a high paid surgeons job.  No.  They have to intern and take medial low end jobs and work their way up the ladder like every other surgeon has before him and after him.

      As I have told my son hundreds of times it isalways easier to find a job when you have a job.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry you cant get a job Here is why from my outside view but here for 10 years.

      In most Govt departments the children of each official is being groomed for the job their parents have.

      The expat that is below or above the parent is only a pawn to keeep the game going.

      Naturally this is how it is in the merhant class of cayman also. 

      It is very easy to see whom will be in power in the future I dont need to name off those children

      but you allready know them and their future is set.

      The policys of Cayman are designed to keep it this way



      • Anonymous says:

        There is a way to beat all of that.  Don't wait till you graduate from college to start working.  My children started working from high school.  They were bag boys, construction & air conditioner helpers, & government interns with different departments.

  14. Anonymous says:


    Alden and Marco are either living in another country or have yet again demonstrated how disconnected they are as MLA's and from the people who are struggling.

    "Sweet spot" my ass!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Ok, thats all good and dandy. Now, what about dealing with the out of control crime?!

    No point in having a shinny ship if the crew is at eachothers throats. Just saying. 

  16. Anonymous says:

    Well, at least it seems there is hope, we could certainly use some help out here, hopefully some of the promised improvements will trickle down to the average Caymanian

  17. Anonymous says:

    Are we missing something??? Houses up for foreclosure, people getting laid off and the country looks good to go….the lights are on but no one is home!!!

  18. Rosy Views says:

    Any solutions to the daily onslaught of armed muggings and robberies?

    Ah yes. Pretend it ain’t happening. That’ll make it go away.