Editorial for May 25: Civil Service cuts impossible

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.

No doubt.

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

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Paying part of their pension and their medical insurance should be the minimum expected. Government need to roll back salary again if necessary. It is better to get reduced pay than no pay at all..
    There-after, government need to introduce a flat payroll tax. It is better to give five percent, than to let the good ship Cayman sink. Did anyone remember to bring the Calabash, government sure did not. Government need to take another dead reckoning and trow off some ballast before we are all dashed on the rocks..

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  2. It is quite surprising that the Island’s only newspaper would perpetuate the myth, in and Editorial no less, that Civil Servants do NOT contribute to their pension.

    I’m sure that one of the thousands of Civil Servants would be happy to show you their monthly pay slip so you can put that idea to rest and correct that bit of misinformation that is oft repeated.

    Editor’s note: In practice, civil servants do not contribute from their base salary toward their pensions in the same way private sector employees do. They are given a 12 per cent contribution above and beyond their base salary, six per cent of which is said to come from the worker and six per cent of which comes from the government. But that six per cent contribution from the worker is not taken from their base pay.

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  3. What the hell??? 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.

    First of all, the private sector is profit oriented and its interest is limited to a very select section of the population, namely owners/shareholders, not employees.

    Secondly and more importantly, we need to get away from the idea that such things as reducing benefits to the lowest common denominator will benefit the economy. Private health care in the US is by far, the most expensive in the Western world but by all measures not very effective.

    The focus here should be on getting comprehensive, universal primary health care for all, through a single provider. It will significantly lower costs, and benefit both the private and public sector.

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