Editorial for 28 June: CI budget a battle of wills

The battle of the budget between the Cayman Islands and the
Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the United Kingdom has been ongoing for
quite some time.

The Cayman Islands Government knew it was going to have to
have all of its i’s dotted and t’s crossed when presenting the 2012/13 budget
to the Motherland.

But in Mother’s opinion, we failed.

The FCO didn’t like what it saw in the way of long-term
borrowings of $59 million in the new budget, which was presented to it on 13
June, and it wanted a large increase in the overdraft facility for the next six
months.

A second attempt to appease the FCO was made 22 June, but
that too was rejected.

Now government is looking for a two-month extension of time
to come up with a 2012/13 budget that will keep the Cayman Islands government
operational and please the FCO.

Technically the new budget is due by midnight Saturday.

That isn’t going to happen.

We have to wonder if a two month extension is going to be of
any help.

In January Premier Bush sent his communication to the Civil
Service setting goals of $498 million in operating expenses and $59 million
capital expenditure.

He pleaded with the Civil Service to help the government
make cuts and come up with a doable budget.

That didn’t happen

Again yesterday Mr. Bush warned government agencies that
their budgets may be decreased below what they had been in 2011/12.

Same song, second verse.

We appreciate that government needs $84.9 million in the
next two months just to keep government running. What we can’t appreciate is
that $2 million of that is going into the financially failing Turtle Farm; more
than is going to our national carrier Cayman Airways and the Health Services
Authority. As a country, we have to do better.

 

 

 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. The battle looks more like one between barely prudent spending limitations sought by the UK and indefensible spending proposals from our government. I am old enough to remember when our government spending was little more than 2 Million for the year. The government now proposes to spend that much per day. I also disagree with three points in the Editorial’s budget analysis which I attribute to creativity in the Budget presentation. The first is that elements of the subsidies and slush funds are to be found buried in both the operating budget and the so called equity investments. The second is that the proposed CAL subsidy is something like 1.9 Million per month in total. Just look carefully at items CAL 1 and CAL 2 in addition to EI 1. The third point is that millions continue to be allocated to what clearly are little other than slush funds and potential patronage payouts. That has to stop and I call on the Governor not to let this continue and on the Auditor General to be ruthless in shedding light on what at best is waste.

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  2. The Cayman Islands Government knew it was going to have to have all of its i’s dotted and t’s crossed when presenting the 2012/13 budget to the Motherland.

    But in Mother’s opinion, we failed.

    Who is we?

    It is apparently not the same we mentioned further down

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