Panton to deliver inaugural SPS under PACT

Premier Wayne Panton is set to deliver, on Wednesday in Parliament, his government’s maiden Strategic Policy Statement which is expected to outline PACT’s fiscal and policy agenda.

The SPS projects government’s outlook for the next three financial years and aims to provide a road map for the administration’s policy priorities.

A Parliament Office notice, issued Tuesday afternoon, advised that the House will hold its first meeting of the 2021 session Wednesday, 14 July, at 10am.

The notice stated that the highlight of the meeting will be government’s presentation of its first Strategic Policy Statement, “which provides economic and financial forecasts for the next three financial years from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2024. It also includes Government’s Broad Policy Outcomes which will guide the development and implementation of government policy during this period.”

The premier’s SPS marks the PACT government’s first major policy presentation, coming from an administration mostly comprising independents, each of whom campaigned on different agendas.

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Despite the differences, Panton, in his swearing-in speech in April, said his team would seek to “uplift and better the lives of every Caymanian and those who call the Cayman Islands home”.

What is contained in the SPS?
  • Economic forecasts for each of the next three financial years
  • Total financial targets for the core government
  • An explanation of how the core government forecast financial statements accord with
    the principles of responsible financial management
  • Targets for operating expenditure and capital investments allocated to each minister,
    official member, the Office of the Ombudsman, the Office of the Director of Public
    Prosecutions and the Audit Office for the next three financial years
  • A summary of the broad outcomes, the specific outcomes and the links between them,
    that the government intends to achieve in each of the next three financial years

(Source: 2020 SPS)

He highlighted inequality, environmental concerns and the rising cost of living among key issues, as he pledged that his group would fight for equality for all.

In April, a Cayman Compass analysis of the independent candidates’ agendas as articulated during the campaign, outlined which 10 policies could feature early in Panton’s administration.

These include a clear policy on development concessions, incentivising low-income housing, targeting cost-of-living increases and establishing district councils.

It is expected that COVID-19 management policies will also be high on the agenda.

The SPS also establishes the foundation for the development of the budgets for the next two financial years, which is required under Section 23(1) of the Public Management and Finance Law (2018 Revision).

In addition, Wednesday’s session should include the presentation of a number of annual reports of ministries as well as statutory authorities and government companies, the Parliamentary notice stated.

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  1. Apart from the SPS , Government really needs to produce the Financial Statements for Cayman Airways, the latest I can find online are for the 18 months to Dec 2017. Although CAL has always needed substantial annual subsidies, the losses over the last 3 years due to Covid and the carrying cost of the 3 new Boeing jets must dwarf previous deficits.