It’s not often that a member of the Progressives-led government receives congratulations from both Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush and East End MLA Arden McLean.
But that’s exactly what Finance Minister Marco Archer got on Friday.
A three-week-long slog through Legislative Assembly’s Finance Committee this month featured regular 10- to 12-hour workdays – or even longer sessions, such as one that ran until midnight Thursday – when Mr. Archer, government ministers and civil service managers were peppered with tough questions from Mr. Bush, Mr. McLean, North Side MLA Ezzard Miller, West Bay MLA Bernie Bush and even the Progressives own backbench members at times.
Mr. Archer rarely curtailed questions, as has been the practice of other Finance Committee chairs in the past, and often allowed members to spend hours on a single budget line item.
So when it came time for Mr. Archer’s own ministry to face questions Friday, opposition members gave him a pass. Mr. McKeeva Bush said no questions would be asked of civil service entities under the direction of Mr. Archer, and all of the budget items under the finance minister’s responsibility were voted through without a word. There was only one exception, which involved the Cayman Islands National Insurance Company, a government-owned company that operates separately from central government.
“Well done,” said government backbencher Anthony Eden. Mr. McLean lauded Mr. Archer for his “hard work, straightforwardness and honesty.”
“The country is also speaking about that,” Mr. McLean said. “I believe hard work is always, always rewarded. Thank you for your stewardship.”
Mr. Archer, taking part in his first LA term and in his first ministerial position in any Cayman Islands government, credited his staff in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development for the kudos.
“This compliment that’s paid to me, I extend to you,” Mr. Archer said.