The statement was made Monday during the Legislative Assembly’s Finance Committee as a response to some recent press stories Mr. Bush took exception to; calling them “tragedies in reporting”.
Of far more import to government workers, however, were previously unknown details contained in the speech of plans to cut the civil service.
Those budget cutting plans, according to the Premier, included:
*A reduction in “headcount” of the civil service by 360 over the next five years. That averages out to about 72 jobs per year.
*A “pay freeze” on all civil service salaries
*Requirements that the civil service will refrain from filling “80 per cent of the posts that were budgeted in the 2012/13 fiscal year”.
*Implementation of a revised health plan for new civil servants. It was unclear from the statement if “new” civil servants included those whose contracts were being renewed.
*The continuation of a strict hiring moratorium in future years
Deputy Governor Franz Manderson had released some details of government budget cutting plans in a memo dated 20 August. However, Mr. Manderson’s statements did not go into the same level of detail, particularly as it relates to specific job numbers and a proposed “pay freeze’.
Mr. Manderson said that his office was still working out details of a voluntary separation scheme for civil servants and implementation of health care plans for new government workers.
The government had earlier announced plans that essentially amount to a pay cut for Caymanian civil servants over age 60 who stay on with the government for a contract period and receive a pension at the same time.
New police officers joining the RCIPS will be given a reduced housing allowance as well, Mr. Bush said.