It’s been no secret that the Mother country isn’t happy with the way the Cayman Islands handles its budget, so it came as no surprise that Governor Duncan Taylor took aim at the issue during his Throne Speech on Monday.
The people of the Cayman Islands have been patiently waiting for the 2011/12 budget to be presented to the members of the Legislative Assembly.
It hasn’t been presented yet because the United Kingdom Government wants to see more cuts – specifically in the area of the Civil Service.
Governor Taylor said the process for getting the new budget, which is due by the end of June, has been painful and stressful.
Earlier this month Premier McKeeva Bush said his government was going to develop reduced budgets for the ministries, portfolios and offices to adhere to, but we have yet to see any specific details.
He did promise Friday that no Civil Service salaries or benefits will be cut.
While salaries won’t be cut, they also shouldn’t be increased at this stage. And as far as benefits are concerned, it’s time to bring the members of the Civil Service into this century and let them help pay for the medical and pension. That’s how it works in the money-making world of the private sector.
Change can be a good thing.
Cuts will have to be made before the UK will OK any budget coming out of our country, so it will be interesting to see where that extra revenue is going to come from.
As for cutting the cost of the Civil Service, we don’t see how that’s going to happen with the completion and opening of at least one new high school – and eventually a second – and the formation of two new ministries under the new Constitution as well as the increase in the number of MLAs from 16 to 18, also provided for in the Constitution.
Those charged with setting our budget don’t have enviable jobs, and neither do those who have to cut spending in their departments.
The governor is right, it is a painful process for all involved