Weekly briefings cost $6,000

The Cabinet’s weekly live televised press conferences cost up to $6,000 per programme, the government has revealed.

The People’s Progressive Movement launched the live TV press briefings – aired live on Radio Cayman and CITN – in September last year.

Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts, in response to questions from opposition legislators at a Finance Committee meeting in the Legislative Assembly last week, said: ‘The weekly press briefings costs between $5,000 and $6,000 to produce and to have aired twice.’

The PPM first began holding weekly press conferences in May 2005 and announced last year that the briefings would be aired live to enable more transparency and to allow the public to hear the questions and answers first-hand, in September 2007.

The briefings, which are limited to one hour, are usually held at 10am on Thursday mornings.

As well as being aired live, the briefings are rebroadcast on Radio Cayman and CITN later in the day.

The question of the cost of the programme arose as legislators met to vote on supplementary budget spending by the Cabinet and by government departments and statutory bodies.

Opposition politicians have claimed that the press briefings are using public funds for electioneering and to further party politics.