UK refuses to sign off on budget

    Civil service costs the issue

    Mr. Bush Top

    The United Kingdom Government has refused to sign off on Cayman’s budget for next year until more civil service personnel cuts are made. 

    Premier McKeeva Bush, explaining why the presentation of the 2011/2012 budget had been postponed for the third time this month, said the UK government wanted more time to review the proposed budget. The budget had been expected to be delivered in the Legislative Assembly on Monday, 23 May. 

    He said the main area of scrutiny was personnel costs that the Cayman Islands Government was unwilling to cut further. 

    Premier Bush said that even though Cayman’s budget position had improved, the UK Government was insisting on a reduction in personnel costs. 

    “The UK says the present personnel cost level is unsustainable. This has resulted in the Budget Address being delayed for additional review time by the UK,” the statement from the premier read. 

    Mr. Bush said he could not bring the budget to the Legislative Assembly until it has been 
approved by the UK. 

    “We won’t cut back on salaries and benefits,” said the premier, adding that other cuts would have to be made to gain the UK Government’s approval for the budget and that more time was needed to do so. 

    Premier Bush, in a speech earlier this month, said the Cayman Islands has gone from a projected central government surplus of $13 million in February to an estimated $4.6 million operating deficit as of 5 May. 

    In Friday’s statement, Mr. Bush said the UK Government had informed him that further scrutiny was needed for the proposed expenditures. He said loans taken by the government to fund new schools, the new government administration building and other spending by the PPM government during its term in office had caused an $81 million recurrent expenditure deficit and a $120 million capital deficit in 2009. 

    Despite the postponement of the budget address, the official state opening of the Legislative Assembly will go ahead as scheduled on Monday, 23 May, after which Governor Duncan Taylor will deliver the annual Throne Speech. 

    Traditionally, the budget address has been delivered after the state opening of parliament. 

    The delivery of the budget and state opening of the Legislative Assembly had initially been scheduled for 17 May. This was subsequently delayed to 20 May, and then to Monday, 23 May. 

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

    Mr. Bush

    Mr. Bush
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    15 COMMENTS

    1. The voters of Cayman need to start demanding that the cuts be made in these useless members of their Legislative Assembly, so -called Government and their clique’s salaries.

      Demand that a sustainable salary cap be put on MLA’s salaries and pensions; the voters themselves can do this through a petition to the UK from the Governor’s office.

      Then see how attractive it will be for the set of con men to trick the honest citizens of Cayman out of their hard earned income to fund their lifestyles.

      Demand that these cuts are now made from the very top by the UK government.

      Caymanian citizens still have that right.

      Its now time to USE IT !

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    2. I hope the UK Government is asking for time to consider for the right reasons. It is for the Caymanian people via their elected representatives to decide on what they think is sustainable or not. The chances of the UK government bailing out an ‘out of control’ Cayman economy is virtually nil.
      I fear, though, the UK Government is doing this more for their domestic electorate who are being faced with probably the most savage cuts in services and public servants in history.

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    3. A lot of people may say I’m wrong in my interpretation of this, but is seems that the UPD is fighting as hard as they can to protect the Cayman people from the nasty business of such things as direct taxation and personal cuts to the Civil Service whom seem to employ a great deal of Cayman citizens. I hear a lot of folks complaining that the UPD does not fight for the people but it seems that if they were not for the people it would be easy for them to agree with the things the UK are pushing for such direct taxation of Cayman Citizen and huge cuts to Civil Service personnel both of which would put a huge strain on the Cayman people.

      I read comments from people saying they should go to the UK and rally against the current governments choices, but it seems that if they do so they may end up with the UK putting someone in charge whose first goal will be to hit the Cayman people in their pockets. They would love to see every Caymanian giving a big part of their income to the Government as well as paying for the right to own their own homes by collecting property taxes, like everyone else in the world.

      Keep up this nonsense and you may find yourselves jumping out of the frying pan right into the fire..

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    4. The government should bring in consultants to examine their procedures. My experience dealing with most departments of government is that they are very inefficient. Anyone who has ever dealt with importing goods knows what a nightmare that is. Container loads are a nightmare. You go pay the dockmaster for landing the container — line up for over an hour. Go to another building and line up again for an hour, to give in your itemized list. Then go to another lineup to pay the duty. Clearing a container will take up an entire morning or afternoon — sometimes longer. Very inefficient systems are in place and too much paperwork. We live in a computerized era — but someone forgot to tell the government, so they are buried in paperwork. Chopping jobs is only part of the answer — cleaning up the work habits procedures must come first.

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    5. hey,
      Just because the premier uses the term the UK government will not approve this and that until certain civil servant or budget cuts are made….. like daaah! DOESN’T NECESSARILY MEAN HE HEARD THIS FROM THEM!
      Shake yourselves before you suck that up, bear in mind the man is already crafty and cunning as any fox.

      The premier quoting the UK does not mean that the UK really said any of this.They may not even be able to identify with those words used by the Premier.
      If there’s something he wants to do and he knows he’ll come under fire for doing so, well he’ll ust go ahead and do it and can easily say that the UK forced him to do so! Throwing a stone and hiding behind a tree nearby.
      Why doesn’t he tell the Caymanian people that he is ready to come clean and STOP leading the way DOUBLE DIPPING into the Public purse causing the country to be broke because we are paying out two salaries to he the premier and too many other greedy old men taking up space in the L.A.

      People work for a living. WHEN THEY RETIRE THEY RECEIVE A PENSION! NOT BEFORE!

      Yes such cuts as I mentioned in my comments on last week should be made.
      CUT THE PREMIER’S SALARY,
      STOP THE PENSION AND REINSTATE IT WHEN HE RETIRES LIKE EVERONE ELSE IN THE WORLD!
      STOP THE PENSION FOR THE OTHER MEMBERS IN THE LA. THAT ARE DOUBLE DIPPING COLLECTING A HUGE SALARY AND A HUGE PENSION.

      MR.PREMIER YOU AND THE UK MAY START YOUR CUTS THERE!
      We need our money back!

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    6. @Tiger – You seriously think that the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office will tolerate a man lying about them? If that is the case like you say, then definitely, the UK is sided with him on it, because they refrain from objecting – don’t you think? Please… I am getting a headache from all the ranting and speculations. THIS CAME DIRECTLY FROM THE UK OR THE PREMIER WOULDNT HAD PUBLICLY DECLARED IT!!

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    7. Cuts? We are increasing the size of the public service everyday! We are going to increase it even further with the increase in number of MLA’s from 15 to 18. Two (2)new Ministries will be also be created under the new Constitution and these will need additional civil servants. Also when the two new large schools come on line i suspect they will require additional teachers just wait and see. So if the civil service is going to continue to grow in size it seems to me the most logical way to START to control personnel cost increases is to have all future new government employees contribute to health and pension.
      To not implement this immediately, just means the sitaution just keeps compounding. This will not be unfair to new employees as they are not forced to take up employment in government and will know befeore they join.

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    8. It is Wrong, for anyone in their right mind to accept what is happening in this country at this time in our history. It is even more disgusting to hear some in these forums that have the audacity to suggest taxing or asking for a community tax, or a tax of any kind. This would be the beginning of introducing taxes, including property and more; then people would begin to lose their houses, businesses and lands because they could become unemployed by becoming seriously ill, and cannot continue to work . The next step is here comes the Cayman Islands Government throwing the poor people into court and TAKING AWAY THEIR PROPERTY AUCTIONING IT OFF FOR PENNIES ON THE DOLLAR! oh yes those of us that are educated living overseas are looking out for you and watch dogging what these leaches are doing to the people of the Cayman Islands. We know how taxes destroys nations and brings the citizens to their knees while the governments rake in trillions in tax payers monies, lining their own pocket with your tax money and the rest they distribute it to the wealthy like US WALL STREET THIEVES of 2008. WE DO NOT NEED ANY of this in the Cayman Islands we have enough of them already.
      Paying Big Mac and the others who are being paid two salaries IS FAR TOO COSTLY! AND IT IS SO WRONG! Why do you people allow this? They are no more important and no better than anyone else. People who hold a job or have a career These rich greedy old men must collect pension only when they retire as anyone else? NOT BEFORE This is what’s norm al there are no exceptions to the rule! Why do the people of the Cayman Islands allow elected officials to continue to RAPE THE PUBLIC PURSE and blame it on the civil service when it is in fact the L.A. members huge salaries and pensions that is a SINK HOLE and a GREAT BURDEN to government financially!
      THEY ARE DOUBLE DIPPING!
      Does anyone know what double dipping means? It means you have elected hungry sharks swimming around in blood waters looking for prey. The PREY IS YOU ! THE PEOPLE and your money! Blood suckers are what they are! Yet they have the nerve to mention the word Tax a dirty and nasty and insulting word to the inhabitants of a tax free nation enjoyed for decades.
      HAVE YOU ALL FORGOTTEN:
      Commissioner Gerard Smith admonished the people of the Cayman Islands NOT TO ALLOW anyone to TAKE OUR TAX FREE PRIVILEGES AWAY FROM US. It’s time we exercise that right and teach it also to our children. Anyone suggesting otherwise should be looked upon as an infidel and an outcast!
      The Premier of the Cayman Island and the others are collecting two salaries IT IS TOO COSTLY! They are a burden to the people. They are no more important and no better than anyone else. They must collect their pension only when they retire as anyone else? Why allow them to continue to RAPE THE PUBLIC PURSE and blame it on the civil service when its the L.A. that is sinking the country financially and is the first Burden to government financially.

      The choice is yours, would you petition the UK to CUT THEIR PAY or would you rather the UK impose a Tax on You?

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    9. Bodden,
      You’re a political pro, I’m sure you will agree that RANTINGS AND SPECULATIONS is not only the normal response by those of us who are tired of being hood winked by this government! but it is indeed the end result of observation and sensory of an unpredictable, reckless, irresponsible, and unscrupulous government headed by greedy OLD MEN! It is even more disgusting for you to suggest community taxing the people while THEY ARE OVER PAID AND DOUBLE DIPPING! WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON THAT? does this one give you a headache, convulsions or complications? Or all of the above?

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    10. No doubt – at least I hope so – we shall learn the whole truth about this pathetic business, in the fullness of (political) time.
      Meanwhile, I offer a small contribution towards more sensible and transparent budgeting/expenditure:
      -any Bill being put to the LA which involves expenditure, specifically but not exclusively, being capital, recurrent, personnel and related, immediate and future in all those areas, must include a statement covering all such projected expenditure, certified by the Auditor-General. This may already in theory be required; but if so, it seems remakable by its absence; I don’t recall seeing it in the Schedules to Bills.
      This would to some extent meet Che’s points, with which I fully agree.
      Further, all pensions for which the Government is responsible, should be fully funded. I thought that when Mr Thomas Jefferson was Financial Secretary, some such arrangemnent was begun?
      And: the power of Ministers to order expenditure not specifically authorised by the LA, and to vire between heads of expenditure must be drastically limited, to avoid in future for example such nonsenses as 800,000 on tarmac/pavements or whatever in Cayman Brac.

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    11. I would like, through you, Mr Editor, to ask the UK FCO how/why over the years, Governors (bearing in mind that draft Budgets have to pass through the Governor in Executive Council/Cabinet, before being put before the LA) have obviously for several years either not reined in their Financial Secretaries/ Ministers of Finance/Executive Councils/Cabinets, or not informed the FCO that Budgets are unrealistic/insupportable?
      If, as we are now told, the UK is in the last gasp responsible for Cayman’s financial situation (and is now taking steps which clearly show this to be the case), why did the FCO not listen to Governors, if they explained the situation?
      I am serious about this. Someone, or some authority, is at the end of the day, responsible for the dreadful financial situation in which Cayman now finds itself.
      It is not a situation which can be shrugged off. The future of Cayman and our people is at stake, and puerile political I told you so stuff will not suffice for an answer.
      I shall be very grateful if you will forward this letter to the FCO, copied to the Office of the Governor, with my respects. Sadly, I have to remain
      Old Hand, in the realisation that we do not reply to anonymous letters, but feeling sure that there may be enough support from public-minded citizens for what I have said to compel a reply from the Governor, the FCO, or even – and that would be very welcome – the Cayman Government itself.

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    12. The problem with Cayman it is a nanny state without the tax policy or private sector population to sustain it.

      The answer is sound political policies of new right as practised in the UK in 1980s reducing the size of the state through privatization of state section and open public tenders for all services- if the private section is more competitive than the state let the private do the work and close that state department. This will allow a transfer of labour to the private sector and remove future pension burdens on the state or country to finance.

      The first departments to privatize should public works and NRA as these are non core areas and there is a large private sector that can compete for the work on a term basis plus it will release a large area of industrial lands which and be sold off and raise cash for the government to pay off loans and avoid the government spending money on equipment that can be rented on as need basis instead of incurring cost to own it.

      Secondly phase in co-pay for medical and pension to match private sector requirements. This can be easily done when new contracts come up for renewal then introduce co-pay as the employee will be agreeing to the new terms of employment and by the next election it should be done and dusted.

      To ensure that accounts are delivered on time hold back 10% of salary each month for the head of department, which is paid for signing off of audited accounts – I think you will see the accounts being delivered on time when it hits people’s salary.

      If government employee are actively involved in private firms as well as there full time government job then they have six months to either leave the civil service or wind up their involvement in the private firm – failure will led to non renewal of contract – write in to future contracts no conflict of interest clause.

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    13. New right,
      Here’s a reality check.
      which corporation or business in the Cayman Islands private sector is hiring Caymanians and moreover who among them are faithfully paying into employee pensions as required by law but not regulated. Are you also comitted to standing by the Work Permit office’s door,put your foot up and stop them from granting work permits to X-pats that are working for less and keeping our people out of a job? No I bet you’re to elite to do that! And You are seemingly an advocate to strengthen the arm of this already incompetent government and now you want to make civil servants vulnerable by laying them off and sending them to a private sector who does not hire Caymanians?
      Its time you get over your bitterness. Everyone has to live and so far you are not an advocate for our people its best you keep those UDP supported suggestions to yourself.

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    14. New right,
      Wake up you are having nightmares.
      The first pockets that need to be hit is the sorry bunch that are OVERPAID and doing nothing with their time but vacationing overseas every chance available to them. Time for you to stop supporting a sorry government the UDP and start thinking about your kids future if you have any. You must be a rolling stone.

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    15. The UK is right. Personnel costs are way too high — too many people working inefficiently. Bring in some management consultants to show you how to streamline jobs. Too much bureaucracy in the Cayman Islands. While you are at it, cut the salaries by at least 10%.

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