Political parties aren’t transparent

You can trust PPM to bring openness transparency and accountability to public administration….. A Government in Sunshine (PPM Manifesto).

The Auditor Generals report on The State of Financial Accountability dated April 2008 sets out one of the worst reports on a Cayman Governments accountability and transparency we have ever seen. Is PPM waiting on the next elections to become transparent?

No audited accounts have been tabled in the Legislative Assembly in over three years and some going back to UDPs Government.

$1,500,000,000 of government’s and the peoples’ money has been spent without public accountability. This can be seen by some unnecessary projects e.g. The East End cemetery wall, which Government removed, then replaced then removed again.

The Auditor General has rightly said that the Members of the Legislature have lost effective control of the public purse to $1.5 billion.

When politicians fail they say they are misled or they blame somebody else and in this case PPM blames the constitution and the civil service. This is sad and desperate. UDP and PPM brought in the accounting system by law. We believe the accrual system is good in principle if used properly by a sensible Government that cannot not easily be misled.

Did PPM not know that the accounts were in such serious default for over three years and why have they waited over three years until now when it has become public knowledge to start blaming others. Were they also misled as previously stated by a minister on UCCI’s Dr. Syed.?

How can PPM effectively run the Government without up to date accounts and no 10 year plan like Vision 2008, which the public created during our government’s tenure.

It is like not knowing where you are going (no comprehensive plan) or where you have been (no audited accounts).

Surely the Financial Secretary must have known the seriousness of this matter as he is responsible also.

Worse still is that the PPM and UDP have borrowed and have in unfunded pension liability an estimated US$1 billion and this will increase as the large projects have just begun. The paying public and their children will have to repay this and future governments will have to tax them to do so.

In the year 2000 the core Government debt was only $95 million (2002 $55 million).

From 1992 to 2000 hundreds of millions of capital works were paid from surplus rather than borrowings and loans only increased by $40 million in eight years.

Previous governments where MLAs were not party members made money before they spent it and only had small borrowings.

PPM’s small projected surplus of $13 million cannot repay the US$1 billion of projected loans in 2008 together with further loans, which also will increase to over $1.5 billion to finish the over expensive projects

Is the United Kingdom aware of the ramifications of no public audited accounts and the massive borrowing? The department responsible for contingent liabilities had better wake up. The UK stopped the UDP Government from borrowing previously when the debt was less.

Transparency by a political party PPM is sadly lacking—the public has no accounts so we guess they are transparent.

Accountability by a political party PPM— without public accounts? The public is not stupid enough to accept; trust us on this.

Political parties are big spenders unlike the prudent financial independent MLAs of the past who had the people at heart and followed the Peoples 10 year Strategic plan for the entire Cayman Islands rather than the political party’s manifesto.

This sad state of affairs is that the political parties, which were imposed on the public without a referendum, of PPM and UDP have mortgaged our children’s future by excessive borrowings without proper accountability, openness or transparency.

Truman Bodden

John Mc Lean