LA will try again with budget

Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly - 300x250

Update, 1:50pm: The state opening of the Legislative Assembly will be held at 4.15pm today, Monday 20 August, according to a brief statement from the premier’s press secretary. Originally, the annual Throne Speech and Budget Address were to be held on Friday, but were postponed to 2.30pm Monday.  That meeting was then rescheduled for 4.15pm Monday, according to a one-line statement from the office of the premier’s press secretary, Charles Glidden, released an hour before the 2.30pm meeting was to begin. 

Earlier story: Government leaders will try again this afternoon to present a spending plan for the 2012/13 budget year, which started nearly two months ago.  

Plans to hold the annual Throne Speech and Budget Address on Friday afternoon in the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly fell through when local government and the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office directors couldn’t come to an agreement on spending levels, according to several sources who spoke with the Caymanian Compass.  

The LA proceedings were postponed until Monday afternoon, but by press time Sunday there was no clear indication as to whether the meeting would, in fact, go ahead.  

Several government sources contacted by the Caymanian Compass on Thursday and Friday confirmed that the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office had not yet approved the spending plan put forward by Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush’s government.  

According to those close to the negotiations, UK officials and Caymanian lawmakers were in intense negotiations and were getting closer to an agreement on the proposed $580 million spending plan. However, the UK remained concerned about the level of Cayman’s government spending and whether it was sustainable.  

Premier Bush released a statement Friday afternoon regarding government budget negotiations with the UK foreign office.  

“The government, working with the civil service, has produced a budget which we consider to be credible and sustainable both from the revenue and expenditure 
perspectives and which meets the targets established by the [UK] Foreign and Commonwealth Office for the next four years to return our finances to a sound footing. 

“The FCO still has issues with a few technical areas and we have agreed to postpone the budget presentation until Monday while discussions continue to resolve these issues. 

“We continue to do what is in the best interest of our beloved Cayman Islands.” 

Cayman requires UK budget approval because its government spending plan for the past few years has been outside acceptable levels for debt and cash reserves set out in the territory’s Public Management and Finance Law. Judging from government estimates, it will be 2016 before Cayman’s debt and cash position allow it to return to full internal self governance with regard to the annual budget.  

On Thursday evening, the office of Premier Bush’s press secretary issued a statement on a number of new revenue measures that had been proposed within the 2012/13 budget. The revenue measures would raise more than $90 million in the 2012/13 budget year, the statement read.  

It was unclear on Friday if the UK had signed off on those changes. The UK has previously demanded that Cayman improve its budget position at least partly through spending reductions as well as new revenue measures. 

According to the statement released Thursday evening: “In addition to the revenue measures announced as alternatives to the Community Enhancement Fee, government is proposing increases to other existing fees to further improve government’s revenue for the 2012/13 financial year and beyond. Along with the increases, a proposed new licensing system for fund and corporate directors will create a new revenue stream. 

“The government is proposing to increase the annual fees for exempt companies by $100. Issuing of certificates for a company, filing of a company document, company certification and express service for certificates, certification, filing and registration and re-registration are slated for a $25 increase. 

“Annual fees for directorships under the Companies Law are earmarked for the following increases: securities and investment businesses increased by $500; regulated entities increased by $300; and all other directorships by $100. Company managers and trust services are both listed for increases of $100. A variety of Cayman Islands Monetary Authority fees are also among the proposed fee increases, ranging from $100 to $800. 

“Proposed amendments to the Companies Management Law will create and implement a new licensing system for fund and corporate directors. At present, these directors are not licensed or regulated.  

“Once the 2012/13 budget and the amendments to the Companies Management Law are passed by the Legislative Assembly, they will have to pay the fees detailed in this revenue measure. The proposed fees range from a low of $500 for one directorship per director to a high of $25,000 for 100 or more directorships. 

“These measures are in addition to the revenue measures that replaced the Community Enhancement Fee, namely: increased bank and trusts license fees, work permit fees, tourist accommodation tax, departure tax, master fund registration fees, traffic regulatory fees; exempted limited partnerships; imposition of a stamp duty on certain property insurance policies; reverting to the 7.5 per cent stamp duty on land transfers; and implementing fees for non-commercial boats. 

“In all, these revenue measures and those measures that replaced the Community Enhancement Fee are expected to earn the government some $90.46 million during the 2012/13 fiscal year.” 

Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly V

The Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly. – Photo: File

1 COMMENT

  1. We will have a budget that is sustainable.
    I am baffled that so many negative forces are waiting for the Premier to fail!
    Why does anyone have to hound or stalk the FCO to streamline what is going on? Everything needs to take its course! It is clear that there are those that want the Premier and the Cayman Islands to fail.

    That being said,
    We will have a budget that is sustainable,whether the naysayers like it or not.

  2. Liverpool

    Don’t get your panty hose in a knot (knickers for my British buddies). Nobody wants Cayman to fail but we must be realistic in that the man at the Helm is not exactly a Rocket Scientist and he is inept to try and baffle the Brits with his preponderance of bull. It will happen when the budget makes sense

    So order a lot of food while you wait.

  3. I feel that there are staples in the budget that should be untouchable such as scholarships and the Nation Building Fund, this will help the Island grow in expertise because don’t forget the people is the island’s most valuable currency.

  4. Why blame an individual on this matter. The whole world is facing a down side right now. The ones to blame are the ones that are saying that the economy is good. There are the same ones that wants to invest your money in nothing helpfully for humanity. You voted for your representatives, then take the blame too. Listen to the small private enterprises at all time, they are the ones that feel the real pulse of the economy. There the ones that should create budgets for this country.

  5. What is the Mac’s background in finance? I’m not sure if this is true but I was told Mr Bush completed the 7th grade worked as a landscaper and if this is true it might explain why he is over his head or pay grade to be King of The Cayman Islands. Someone enlighten me to his background or is this sealed records like President Obama’s.

  6. Government is too big and that higher spending undermines economic growth by transferring additional resources from the productive sector of the economy to the UDP government,which uses them less efficiently like the National Premier Funds and the Solar Panel funds.
    Government directly provides many services and activities such as education, airports, and postal operations. However, there is evidence that the private sector could provide these important services at a higher quality and lower cost. In some cases, such as airports and postal services, the improvement would take place because of privatization. In other cases, such as education, the economic benefits would accrue by shifting to a model based on competition and choice.
    The real problem is that government is taking money from the private sector and spending it in ways that are often counterproductive. The need to reduce spending would still exist-and be just as compelling-if the UDP government had a budget.Fiscal policy should focus on reducing the level of government spending, with particular emphasis on those programs that yield the lowest benefits and/or impose the highest costs.

  7. Why doesn’t CIMA start charging for filing amendments to PPMs, Form MF1s, etc. instead of increasing the fees for issuing certificates and filing of registers with the ROC?

  8. You know what disturbs me more than anything else about this whole Budget fiasco?

    The news site Cayman News Service is not accepting sensible comments being posted on their site. I bumped into sereval persons who told me that they posted comments before on Cayman News Service, comments that were in accordance to CNS policy, yet their moderator has not accept comments to be viewed by the public.

    However, I noticed these comments were opinions that were not in harmony with the CNS status quo so to speak. These comments were truthful comments that called no names and did no harm, and were comments that entailed peace and order in our society.

    Here, we are bickering about this budget fiasco and a news organization is attempting to shape public opinion, and show to the world comments they feel the world should see.

    As a Caymanian, I am a staunch believer in freedom of speech and the press, but I don’t know about you… I find CNS moderation of comments at a time like this, very disturbing.

    Sir Turtle (excuse my handle name)

  9. Sir Turtle, its hard to see your point since there are comments on both sides (and then some) of all the issues on CNS. Maybe they don’t like you. Also difficult to see why sot being published is your biggest problem with the Budget fiasco (your words.)

  10. Sir Turtle, there should be a test conducted or an investigation, of course not into a crime, but an investigation into the disadvantages of freedom of speech in our small society where everybody believe the media teaches the gospel truth.

    Like for instance, you could have 50 persons post their reasonable comments on the CNS site, record them doing so, have the film rolling, and when the site is refreshed by the moderation, see what comments were not posted to be viewed. Then simply composed such a record and do a documentary about it. I haven’t heard anyone with this idea, but perhaps you could be the first one to do one, because you know people that are strangely having their comments being block. You can also use the record to inform and educate youngsters in our school that is if government allow it. Good Luck

  11. Sir Turtle, You are absolutely right about Cayman News Service, They are indeed a disgrace to the industry and clearly use their position of delivering news to the public to spread their own political views. News services should deliver the fact and let people make their own decisions without undo manipulation. True news services hold themselves to a high standard and realize that they are there to bring the news and state the facts in a neutral manor without using their positions in the media to influence public opinion. CNS is no more than a tabloid and people should really think twice about putting any faith in what they report being the facts.

  12. Bodden, I’ve done something similar in the past it’s obvious that they only post comments that support their own ideals. I posted identical comments about specific politicians the only difference was the person named and the only one that was printed was the one bashing the politician they disliked. I did this several time even during the whole EE Seaport thing I posted a comment supporting it and another against it, only the later was printed.

  13. NJ2Cay, I can’t help but not notice. It is interesting that after Sir Turtle had mention something that strikes against the headquarters of such negative/biased commenters, from 2:33 p.m. today until now, no other comments that are negative was affixed to this article. We experienced a long pause it seems.
    🙂

    Reminds me of a saying, darkness runs away from light. The more you shine and expose what is false is the more you stun them. Now don’t get me wrong CNS has alot of good commenters making good comments, but the ones which CNS approves and visits here, are relying on CNS’s image to continue what they are doing. All you need to do, is post the facts, and that refutes them, and they become stunned in a matter of hours. This is so funny. One time, I posted a comment on their site that slipped by the moderator. You should have seen the less comments that came flowing in when the comment came through

    10:10 p.m.
    Good Night

  14. Don’t forget to add in the paving budget like they illegally did on the Brac. Lots of votes scored on that venue. Bring in a Romney / Ryan team to kick some fiscal management into place instead of these undereducated lifer / loser politicians that simply have no clue how to run a country in distress.

  15. Bodden, The truth hurts but I think most intelligent people actually know what CNS is doing. I read it on occasion but have stopped bothering to post comments on that site because it’s so obvious that they only want to print comments that suit their own agenda. I have notice however that someone has gotten into the practice of copying specific comments I’ve made on the Compass into the CNS blog. Such as a few recent kudos I’ve given Ezzard Miller. Again only statements that seem to support their own political agenda, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the editor doing it. I also find it funny how they like to put their own negative twist on things they report by using phrases like the Premiers so called Budget, He’s choosing this path despite what the majority of the people want or he claims to be innocent. Just report the news, bring the facts and let people formulate their own opinions. I can respect new people who ask the hard questions to get direct answers but those who try to push their opinions on the population are not honorable News Services..

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