And it’s a good thing, because the deadline to have our house in financial order expires later this week, on 31 August. On Friday afternoon, the United Kingdom, after several refusals, gave conditional assent to the Cayman Islands budget put before them. The assent on certain conditions means that the Cayman Islands government is going to have to get serious about cutting expenditures. For starters, our government is going to have to adopt the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility and then live by it. The UK has told us that there will be absolutely no supplementary budget during the 2012/13 fiscal year unless we need money to recover from a natural disaster; God forbid. Too, the UK has agreed to help us out by appointing an economic adviser to conduct periodic budget reviews up to four times during the fiscal year. We hope that those reviews are made public so that we, the people who live and work in the Cayman Islands and give our hard-earned money to the government to operate, can know what government is doing with it. We need more transparency in the Cayman Islands when it comes to budgetary issues. In another move, the UK has insisted that the Cayman Islands go against its own newly adopted constitution and appoint a financial oversight board, stripping the responsibility of financial matters from the locally elected minister of finance, which the constitution calls for. The UK is no longer a threat in our budgeting process, it is now a reality.
The people we elected to lead our territory can this week, finally, approve a budget for Fiscal Year 2012/13.