Taylor calm over Mac attack
(CNS): Although the governor said he is “disappointed by the tone and content” of the remarks made by the premier about him this week, Duncan Taylor has remained measured in his response to the premier’s attack. The governor stated Friday that he is committed to the vision of a flourishing Cayman Islands and in the “spirit of co-operation” was keen to work with the premier to address the budget challenges. During a meeting in West Bay on Wednesday night about the proposed tax on work permit holders Premier McKeeva Bush condemned the governor for not helping Cayman but being “hell bent” on its destruction and told him to stop interfering with the political arm of government.
Bush accused the governor of not helping with the budget process and not going to bat for Cayman with the UK. He criticised him for interfering and stalling government policy to divest government assets and said he and his "hit man", the auditor general, were frightening everybody.
In response to queries from the media regarding the comments made at the public meeting, the governor released a statement Friday afternoon stating that he was aware of what had been said but he supported well managed public finances and adherence to international standards of governance to enhance Cayman’s reputation as a good place to live, work and do business.
“I am committed to do everything I can to contribute to that vision,” he said. “I have worked hard to this end since my arrival in the Cayman Islands two and a half years ago and I will continue to do so for the remainder of my time as Governor.”
He said that while his particular responsibilities include security and policing, as well as supervision of the civil service and promotion of good governance, wherever he believed there was a role for him he would do what he could to help.
“That includes contributing to the efforts of the Cayman Islands Government and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to reach agreement on the budget,’ Taylor said.
“These are challenging times for the Cayman Islands, as for so many countries around the world. I am keen to work with the Honourable Premier and his Government, in a spirit of co-operation, to address these challenges.”
Speaking to CNS, the governor confirmed that while he is responsible for appointing and supervising the civil servants, a job delegated to the deputy governor, the cuts to the headcount could only be made based on policy decisions by the elected arm.
He said that he and the deputy governor could reduce numbers once the ministers made clear what the priorities are and what services could be cut. Taylor explained that if ministers identified policy changes and specific reductions in their ministries, the deputy governor would then work out how that could be achieved and then bring back the plan for ministerial approval.
Although at Wednesday’s meeting the premier had pointed the finger at the governor for the size of the civil service, he admitted that if the deputy governor tried to make cuts or reductions to services, the elected arm of Cabinet would need to approve them and he was not going to support any job losses.
In the Whitehall system, adopted by Cayman, ministers do not appoint or direct public servants. They create policies, which the civil service then implements in the most effective way to achieve the goals of the minister. It is the ministers that must direct the policy changes which will allow the civil service management to recommend cuts to reflect those changes.
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