Fiscal framework bill stymied again

Third version to be presented next week

A
revised version of what Cayman Islands lawmakers thought the United Kingdom
wanted to pass as a fiscal framework for its overseas territory was scuttled
Friday. 

The
proposed Public Management and Finance Law amendments, incorporated some – but
not all – of the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility document Premier McKeeva
Bush and UK legislators signed last year. 

Governor
Duncan Taylor’s office gave notice Friday that the second proposed version of
the bill to be presented to the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly this week
would have to be changed again. 

Premier
Bush withdrew the first version of the bill on Tuesday before lawmakers got a
chance to debate it. 

“It
has been decided to reformat the bill whereby the Framework for Fiscal
Responsibility is appended as a schedule to [the public finance law],” a Friday
statement from Mr. Taylor’s chief of staff read. “The necessary redrafting has
taken place and the document was sent [Friday] afternoon to the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office.” 

The
foreign office was expected to respond to the third and latest version of the
bill before Tuesday. 

Premier
Bush, who gave no public indication Friday afternoon that he was even aware of
the governor’s office statement, moved to adjourn the Legislative Assembly
until next Wednesday at 10am. 

Lawmakers
later confirmed that they had received amended copies of the framework bill
Friday afternoon and were in the process of reviewing them. 

Opposition
Leader Alden McLaughlin said it was likely that the current bill, which
lawmakers had been debating for the past two days, would have to be withdrawn
and the new bill made public in the house Wednesday. 

That
may be just as well, because several legislators from the government backbench
said Friday that they would not vote for the fiscal framework amendments. Those
members included George Town MLA Ellio Solomon, West Bay MLA Cline Glidden Jr.
and Bodden Town MLA Dwayne Seymour. 

Cayman
Brac and Little Cayman representative Moses Kirkconnell said he would support
it. George Town MLA Kurt Tibbetts was in the midst of his debate when the house
was adjourned Friday. 

Please
see much more on this story in next week’s editions of the Caymanian Compass…. 

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