Party spending out of control

We refer to the recent Government budget 2008/2009 and public comment on it.

In the year 2000 the core government debt was $92 million (1992 $55 million) and statutory authorities’ self financing debt was $15 million totalling $107 million.

The forecast budget core government debt is for $412 million and the statutory authorities’ debts are $246 million totalling $658 million. (Government annual plan and estimates for the year ending 30 June 2009 page 313).

Add to this the unfunded pension liability of $183 million and total debt and liability is $841 million.

By June 2009 the Government’s total debt and liability is estimated to be over $1 billion.

This is frightening that in eight years PPM and UDP have borrowed such dangerously vast loans with the larger part by PPM. Political Parties are spending machines.

PPM and UDP want more power in the new constitution and to give control of government’s finances to a political minister of finance. Why?; for the political parties to borrow more, if that is possible.

PPM has not said where the money is coming from to repay this huge debt. Anyone can spend money but it takes a smart person to make money.

Even more frightening is that the $658 million of loans only begin some, not all, of the over-expensive Government projects.

The annual cost of running PPM’s new projects once they are completed (several of which will not produce an income) will be horrendous.

It is wrong for PPM and UDP to legally commit future governments and your children for such vast sums of money needed to fund their projects.

For an alleged transparent government,t not to put details of the statutory authorities and companies debts of $246 million and their more startling losses in the budget address presented by the Financial Secretary and the budget statement by Leader of Government Business budget is not transparent.

The 10 year strategic plan for the Cayman Islands prepared by the people, VISION 2008 was shelved by UDP and PPM and only rarely referred to when convenient.

PPM and UDP have no 10-year people’s plan. How can they run a country without it?

We may get the country run into the ground financially as other Caribbean Islands have gotten from political parties.

The UDP and PPM stopped the Private Sector Committee consisting of most of the presidents of the private sector associations and other members who met with ministers monthly and gave good free advice on matters affecting Government and the private sector including finance and foreign negotiation advice. The private sector is now cut off from this transparent route to this Government. The Political Parties seem to take advice from themselves or their advisors from other Caribbean Islands some of which Islands themselves are financial, social and political disasters.

We have a strong governor. Past financial secretaries stood up to the politicians when they tried to over borrow or overspend and this was good for Cayman and its people.

MLAs Mr. Osbourne Bodden and Mr Alphonso Wright warned Caymanians to tighten their belts and brace for the economic downturn. Good advice. Why did they not advise the government to do the same?

Charity begins at home, so too should fiscal prudence. Talk is cheap.

PPM and UDP have mortgaged the future of our children and future generations for $1 billion US dollars. If PPM is not going to stop this dangerous trend then the electorate must stop them.

UDP’s spending record was bad and they are not the answer either.

The electorate must vote in competent people without political party obligations who will control borrowing and excessive spending and work towards implementing a 10-year strategic plan for the Cayman Islands similar to Vision 2008.

Truman Bodden

and John Mclean

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