Calling the annual speech that opens Cayman’s Legislative Assembly budget meeting “substanceless,” North Side MLA Ezzard Miller questioned Wednesday how the government had handled its budget process in recent years.
Mr. Miller said he recalled times during his previous terms in the assembly “when the whole country looked forward to” the governor’s annual Throne Speech.
“It is unfortunate that the Throne Speech has been diminished, relegated to such a substanceless speech as we’ve had in the last two or three years, particularly this year,” he said. “[The 2016 Throne Speech] is so short in length and substance, relevance, policy, guidance and plans that it can only be described as pathetic.”
In recent years, a brief Throne Speech by Governor Kilpatrick has been followed by a lengthy budget policy address from Premier Alden McLaughlin and then by a detailed review of government’s budget by Minister Marco Archer.
Mr. Miller pointed out that this year’s address to the House by Governor Kilpatrick was eight pages long while Mr. McLaughlin’s was 48 pages and Mr. Archer’s was 28 pages.
Other issues arose during House proceedings Monday during the governor’s speech that Speaker of the House Juliana O’Connor-Connolly said amounted to “disrespect for Her Majesty’s government.”
Ms. O’Connor-Connolly declined to “itemize” the infractions she said occurred both inside and outside the assembly chamber Monday, but noted there was a procedure set out to address misconduct under the Legislative Assembly Standing Orders and that she would entertain any motion brought regarding the infractions.
During the ceremonial vote to accept the Throne Speech Monday, some lawmakers voted “no.” It was also noted that at least one legislator walked out of the chamber during the governor’s speech.
Ms. O’Connor-Connolly said she wished to record her “deep disgust for what transpired on Monday.”
No further discussion of the issue was heard during the assembly proceedings.