Mac may reject some of FFR
(CNS): The Cayman Islands premier has said that he has not committed to making the entire Framework for Fiscal Responsibility he signed with the UK last year into law. In a statement released by his office Wednesday, McKeeva Bush, who is currently in Greenland, contradicted comments from the governor’s office about when the document will be made law and how much of it will make the statue books. Evidence of further difficulties in the relationship between the premier and the governor, Bush said the office had created a “misleading picture” of what he had discussed in London last week with the new OT minister Mark Simmonds.
“The statement from the Office of the Governor regarding assurances given by Premier McKeeva Bush to Minister Mark Simmonds during a 20 September courtesy call that the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility will be transposed into law 'no later than 9 November 2012' has omitted important information that creates a misleading picture of what was discussed,” the statement from the Premier’s Office said.
Bush was in London on Thursday and made a courtesy call on the new UK minister, which his office said was initiated by the Cayman leader, who was on his way to Denmark and then Greenland.
The meeting reportedly included the premier’s Chief of Staff Leonard Dilbert, his Senior Political Assistant Richard Parchment and Cayman’s UK representative Lord Blencathra. Bush was said to have reassured Simmonds that Cayman would cooperate in putting the FFR into law.
“However, Premier Bush also stressed that it was necessary, and important, for the government to consult with the private sector on the FFR prior to the bill going to the House. At no point did the premier indicate that the entire FFR as was signed in 2011 would be enacted in law," the Premier’s office stated, adding that this was not made clear by the Governor’s Office this week.
During the meeting the premier was said to have confirmed that the FFR bill was going to the House on 5 November but no further timing on the legislation was given except to say that it “should take no more than a few days to have it passed and to have the UKG, give assent to it, to bring it into effect."
According to Bush's office, he “could not and did not give the specific date of the 9 November, contrary to what is now being reported in the governor's statement. The date from the premier was the 5 November. That is the date the House will resume.”
The UK said recently however, that he agreement which was signed between Bush and the former UK FCO minister for the territories in November last year had to become law in the Cayman Islands by the end of September as a condition for the UK’s approval of the 2012/13 budget.
However, this is the first official and wider public comment the premier made about his decision not to honour that commitment and the revelation that he does not necessarily intend to implement the FFR as it is.
The opposition leader and both the independent members of the House have expressed their concerns about the premier’s reluctance to pass the FFR into law and the continued deterioration of the relationship between Cayman and the UK.
CNS has contacted the Governor’s Office and is now awaiting official comment regarding the latest development in Cayman-UK relations.
Meanwhile, in the same statement from the Premier’s Office, the issue of Bush’s attendance at the EU-OCT meeting in Ilulissat was addressed. The office said the premier was going to the EU territories meeting in Greenland to deal with possible measures that if not addressed, could negatively impact Cayman's financial services industry.
See the full statement below.
|FFR Legislation Timing Statement - 26 Sep-2012.pdf||74.1 KB|
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