That’s how many pages are contained within the four separate government documents that make up the Cayman Islands proposed 2007-2008 spending plans.
And opposition MLA Rolston Anglin said he’s afraid the average person doesn’t have the time or desire to go through it all. So, Mr. Anglin said Joe Public is left in the dark.
‘Outside a person who has a lot of time or outside a person who understands numbers and has a good feel and can navigate; very little analysis can be done of the budget,’ Mr. Anglin said last week during his Legislative Assembly debate.
Mr. Anglin said all mature governments accept analysis and the criticism which can come from it.
‘But that fear of criticism, I think, continues to plague us when it comes to the budget,’ he said.
Mr. Anglin said he planned to bring what’s known as a private members motion to try and force the government’s hand on creating more transparency to the budgeting product.
The West Bay MLA said his statements were not meant as a criticism of Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson. He congratulated Mr. Jefferson on moving the budget process further ahead.
‘In 2000…we had people being able to take borrowings and pretty them up and make them look like operating revenue,’ Mr. Anglin said. ‘(We didn’t) have the type of detailed and output-driven analysis that we now have today.
Instead Mr. Anglin urged the country to take the next logical step.
‘We now need to really say, in very clear English…a concise analysis and summary, big picture where we are compared to where we were last year…where we are hoping to go. Not impossible,’ he said.
‘Put out…the type of information that will allow people to really think critically.’
Mr. Anglin said he brought this issue up during last year’s budget debate. However, he said he decided to make the private member’s motion this year because he felt the issue would not be addressed without ‘some further action.’