Marco to tackle liabilities

| 26/11/2014

(CNS): The finance minister has made a commitment to tackle the growing liabilities faced by the Cayman Islands government for future civil servants pensions as well as the anticipated cost of healthcare for retired public sector workers, seafarers, veterans and the poorer members of the community dependent on government health cover. Marco Archer revealed that government is facing a future liability of almost $1.2 billion, based on the numbers, interest rates and life expectancy, unless it does something to address it. Archer said he was taking ownership of the problem and government would create a solution.

Delivering the strategic policy statement in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday morning, Archer noted that much has been said about government’s mounting future liabilities and it was evident  something had to be done soon and officials wereanalyzing possible changes to deal with the billion dollar problem

The minister said, "This government will not bury its head in the sand and pretend it does not exist. Rather, the government plans to fully ventilate the issue, take ownership of it, and most importantly, do something about it."

Archer added that government was already making $11.6 million annual contributions towards its defined pension benefit plan for civil servants above and beyond the usual monthly pension payments and the money was budgeted over for the next three years to begin plugging that potential future shortfall. 

He said that government had a legal and moral obligations to provide health cover for retired civil servants and others without health care cover. And with a potential future $1.18 billion liability based on the estimated numbers, projected interest rates, life expectancy and other elements, government had to take the issue on.

He said that the problem was not created overnight and a solution would not be found overnight but government was “not deterred”, as he promised transparency and consultation over what would happen.

Noting that "the number is big" and saying he was "under no illusions how it will be sensationalized”, Archer said he was making plans and by taking the issue on Cayman would be further ahead than many other governments that are facing the same future liability problems.

He pointed out that the government had been criticized for projecting significant surpluses for the current and coming budget years, but said that they were necessary to strengthen the public sector balance sheet so that it could be in a position to address the future liabilities.

He said the surpluses were laying the groundwork for how government would deal with what lies ahead. The minister stated that government should be applauded for taking it on and dealing with what is a difficult issue in such an open and forthright manner.

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  1. Knot S Smart says:

    I am grateful that we have a good, diligent, analytical, intelligent and hard working minister of finance…

    Thank you Mr Archer…

  2. laugh says:

    another lost one… he makes the map and still can't find himself.  We need a finance minsiter with vision not a glorified bookkeeper!!  Sad times in cayman

    • Anonymous says:

      Would you stop posting the same rubbish over and over. Marco is far and away superior to either of his precedessors as a Minister of Finance. We are fortunate to have him. You obviously don't understand the role of Finance Minister.

  3. Done and Done says:

    The obvious solution is to maintain headcount and give an across the board cost of living wage increase.

    Oh wait. They’re already doing that.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It would be very nice if our Mr Archer would look into doing something for our Justices of the Peace.They are making abig contribution to the Community and I dont think that most of them qualifies for free medical.Being the person Mr Archer is I am in no doubt that my comments will be well taken.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Increase retirement age to 65.

    Its simple and a no brainer

    • Anonymousx says:

      I don't see any problem with giving people the option to retire up to 70 years!

      I know people who are 70 years old still driving and clarity of mind.

  6. Soldier crab says:

    For starters the retirement age should be 65 which would eliminate the huge burden created by our senior citizens both from a financial dependency and free medical. Look at where CINICO is at?

    try something soon cause the general populace is that caymanians suffering.

  7. Anonymous says:

    What a difference a day makes, listening to Marco today, I am so proud to have him as our Minister of Finance. The previous Finance Minister certainly left a lot to be desired.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Good to have an honest minister of finance stay behind his desk, and not in front of a one armed bandit.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Having civil servants to remian in the old glass house full of mold and knowing it did not help???

    We will be seeing the effects of on persons health for many years to come?

    They are part of the problem.

    Solution: Make civil servants more responsible for their individual actions and not the mass!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Admitting that there is a problem is a good start.

    Keep up the good work, sir.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Kudos to Minister Archer for finally owning up to this growing problem and undertaking to do something about it. It is also good to finally be able to put a number to it, Hopefully there will be atimely solution and he is not only playing lip service to it. I don't want my children to be paying this 1 billion dollars in the future

  12. Anonymous says:

    Solution: track expenditure, keep proper accounts, stop wasting money on consultants when you have staff that should be able to do the job, stop vote-buying and hold people accountable for mismanagement of public funds.  I believe 30-40% of the government's annual budget is wasted, misappropriated or spent inefficiently. That's $2b+ over the next decade. You're welcome.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Good for him 

  14. Anonymous says:

    Archer ..pick me ..pick me ..please ..i will make a good consultant  .. i am cheap too !! 

    sure you will need a consultant for this   !!