Premier Bush proposes deficit budget
Cayman will raise import duties on
petrol, increase its total public sector debt to more than $623 million and
plans to end its next budget year with another operating deficit.
Premier McKeeva Bush’s $510.3
million spending plan is slightly more modest than the budget his government
rolled out last October and calls for further cuts in the government service.
However, Mr. Bush said there were
signs that the world economic spiral that has hit Cayman hard since the last
quarter of 2008 was beginning to ease up. He said the local economy should reap
the benefits if it was in a position to receive them.
“It is a new dawn,” Mr. Bush told
members of the Legislative Assembly during Tuesday’s budget and policy address.
“But we must not forget that the light reaches us with a delay.”
The proposed increase in import
duty for gasoline and diesel fuel was expected to take effect in July – next
month – and cost an additional five cents per gallon.
The duty increase was proposed to
take effect only in Grand Cayman and Little Cayman. Mr. Bush said Cayman Brac
would be spared the increase.
The new revenue measure, the only
major one proposed for the 2010/11 budget, was expected to raise $10.3 million
within the next year.
A number of cuts in the civil
service will take effect on 1 July, including a 3.2 per cent salary decrease.
Mr. Bush said all legislators would take a corresponding 3.2 per cent cut in
pay, except for himself and Opposition Leader Kurt Tibbetts who would receive a
ten per cent salary reduction.
Please see the full story in
Wednesday’s Caymanian Compass….