Today’s Editorial for March 24: Return to fiscal calendar year

It only makes sense for the Cayman
Islands Government to return its financial year to a calendar system.

As we saw last year, the 1 July
date for the new budget was just too soon after the General Elections in May
for those put into leadership to get a grasp of exactly comprised the country’s
budget.

We no longer hold our elections in
November every four years. Hurricane Ivan in 2004 changed that for us when
then-Governor Bruce Dinwiddy held off on elections so soon after the September
storm and ordered that they be held in May.

The country was still reeling from
the devastation brought on by Ivan in the early months of 2005 to think too
much about moving the budget date.

Too, it was envisioned that we
would return to the month of November as election time.

But the People’s Progressive
Movement members didn’t want to give up time in charge and the United
Democratic Party didn’t want to wait for elections, so in 2007 then-Governor
Stuart Jack was forced to make a Solomonic decision and move the elections to
May.

We don’t blame either the PPM or
the UDP for their decisions. It would be unfair to ask any elected government
to give up time in the seat or for those wishing to become elected to wait for
an election.

To return to a fiscal calendar year
makes good economic sense for the Cayman Islands.

The fiscal year is identical to the
calendar year for about 65 per cent of publicly traded companies in the United States
and for a majority of large corporations in the UK and elsewhere.

It’s probably a sure bet that May
elections are here to stay.

Just as it made sense to move the
fiscal year dates from 1 July to 30 June when our elections were held every
four years in November, it makes sense to return to the fiscal calendar year
for budgeting going forward.

It seems it would just make doing
business that much easier for all.

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