Tight budget process ahead

The Cayman
Islands’ upcoming budget approval process won’t leave much time
for dilly-dallying.

Premier McKeeva Bush has announced
intentions to present his budget address to the Legislative Assembly on 15
June. Governor Duncan Taylor will also present the annual Throne Speech at that

Following the Tuesday, 15 June
speeches, the Legislative Assembly will begin debate on the spending plan the
next Friday, 18 June.

That time-line will give Cayman’s
government a total of nine working days; 13 days in total, to approve the
spending plan.

“The Legislative Assembly will work
extended hours until the budget is passed to ensure that an appropriation law
is in place by 30 June,” a joint statement from Governor Taylor and Premier
Bush said.

Cayman’s new 2010/11 budget year
will begin on 1 July.

The added delay gives the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office
enough time to approve the Cayman Islands’ budget,
as well as a three-year spending overview that was presented earlier by Mr.
Bush’s government.

Without that UK approval,
Cayman would not be able to borrow to meet its needs for the upcoming budget

Mr. Bush plans to meet with representatives of the UK foreign office on 8 June to discuss the situation and hopes a budget deal will have been reached with the Mother Country by then.  

The Islands
are expected to end the fiscal year with an operating deficit of around CI
$50 million, according to estimates.

A number of cuts in government
services and for civil service employees have already been approved for the 1
July spending plan, including a 3.2 per cent pay cut for government workers.

The Cayman Islands government is expected to need to borrow well more than $100 million to make ends meet in next year’s budget.  

Please check back to www.caycompass.com for further updates…