Cayman Islands spending and revenues down

Financial forecasts for the first
six months of the Cayman Islands government’s
budget year have shown significant drops in spending and earnings, Premier
McKeeva Bush said Thursday.

In the six-month period from 1 July
to 31 December 2009, the government reported the following results:

Operating expenditure dropped from
originally budgeted expenditures by $36.7 million.

Operating revenues were also down
compared to budgeted forecasts by $30.3 million.

“We are sailing close to the wind,”
Premier Bush noted while speaking to a crowd at the Cayman Business Outlook
event. “These figures do not yet include the fee increases, which came into
effect earlier in January 2010.”

Typically, the Cayman
Islands government earns its largest chunk of revenues in the
first three months of the calendar year, when company fees are collected. January,
February, March and April are also the peak season for Cayman
Islands tourism. 

Still, Mr. Bush indicated that
Cayman was expecting no rosy picture heading into the new year.

“Government will have to pay
particular attention to revenue collection to assess the impact of the fee
increases,” he said. “Ministers and members of Cabinet are acutely aware of the
fluid matters of the economic situation.”

Mr. Bush said while revenue
receipts were down, the Cayman Islands also
spent substantially less in the first six months of the budget year.

Net operating results have improved
overall by $6.4 million when compared to the projections for the first half of
the budget year 2009/2010, Mr. Bush said.