Parliament break – breaks records

| 25/02/2015 | 24 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly

(CNS): The independent member for North Side has accused the current administration of hypocrisy over its management of the legislative timetable. Speaking to CNS Tuesday, Ezzard Miller said he had just learned that the Legislative Assembly will not meet again until the middle of April, almost five months after it last sat and the longest gap between sittings that he can recall.

“To my recollection, this is the longest that parliament has ever gone without a sitting,” he said. Miller added that while the UDP had dragged out meetings with sittings in between, the current government adjourned the last sitting in November and has not met since.

“How do you expect to complete government business like that?” he asked government. “The PPM government, like the UDP government, has lost respect for parliament and is relying on caucus to make decisions about running the country.”

Miller said that despite the promise of a schedule, not one of those meetings has ever been met, as he accused the government of treating the Legislative Assembly as a “fishing shop”. The independent member said the current premier was treating the parliament with the same disdain as his predecessor, McKeeva Bush.

Cayman News Service

Ezzard Miller in the LA (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

Miller pointed out that he had three motions that he had allowed the government to carry over from the last sitting, all of which are duty related and would bring some relief to the travelling public, but despite being before parliament since last September, they have not been addressed. The MLA said he had more motions that he needed to bring but because he still had three outstanding he could not do so.

As well as the motions which are outstanding, the failure of parliament to meet also means that questions posed by MLAs to the Cabinet members are going unanswered. Miller said he already had five old questions outstanding on behalf of his constituents, none of which have been answered.

He noted that the failure of legislators to sit was not just about the opposition and independent members being unable to hold government to account; it was also about government business, he said, and pointed to some 80 anticipated changes to the labour law that government had said it would be bringing after it had accepted a private member’s motion to address redundancy and unfair dismissal payments.

Miller pointed to the pressing need for the legal practitioner’s law, which is still being held up. He said that only a fraction of the government’s proposed legislative changes for this financial year had been addressed, and with the budget meeting (signalling the start of the next government year) just around the corner, the PPM administration has run out of time to fulfil those legislative commitments.

On page 34 of the 2014/15 Annual Plan and estimates, the government lists more than 50 laws it had planned to amend or introduce but many have yet to reach the public consultation stage.

Miller said he was hoping that Finance Minister Marco Archer would be returning to a more suitable timetable for the budget this year after the UDP had changed the law to allow it to a bring a budget to the Legislative Assembly at the eleventh hour.

The independent member pointed out that in the original Public Management and Finance Law the government’s budget was required to be before parliament by the end of April. He said that by pushing the date further and further back, governments had reduced the timeframe for proper scrutiny.

“I am hoping Mr Archer is going to honour the original law,” he said. But he pointed out that he and his independent colleague, Arden McLean, had a reputation for asking a lot of questions in Finance Committee and he was concerned that the PPM government, like the previous UDP administration, would be seeking to reduce the window of opportunity those two members have for the scrutiny of its spending plans.

Earlier on in the administration the premier said he wanted to set a more regular schedule of meetings for the Legislative Assembly. In a release from his office on 10 December 2013, Alden McLaughlin stated: “We have been working with the Legislative Assembly and Madam Speaker Hon. Juliana O’Connor-Connolly to develop a calendar so that all Members of the Legislative Assembly can know when their presence will be required in the Honourable House.”

He added that it was “only fair that everyone be made aware so that they can plan and schedule their time with constituents and families”.

Cayman Islands Government 2014/15 Budget – Annual Plan and Estimates

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Category: Laws, Politics

Comments (24)

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  1. Driftwood says:

    I am starting to understand that pretty well all politicians here from whichever party or grouping are either afraid to make the changes necessary here or are unwilling to prosecute the criminals properly, be they those same politicians or the CSA or the common gangsters. Wheels within wheels, funny handshake brigade and family interests abound. I strongly beleive that Cayman should runs its own future, but either Mummy has to step in for a while and correct the failings or the voting base has to be widened to include people who could actually run this place properly and do what is right for all.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why is the queen not saving cayman? She helped the people of T&C rid their island of its filthy leadership.
    As I said years ago Cayman was a social experiment to see what happens when you give money to those that have nothing. Well the experiment has run its course. We can see the results of what uneducated people with $ do.
    What could of been Utopia is now hell
    Is our Queen going to let it slide further into civil unrest I hope not.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Poor us……..we vote for better and get worst!! PPM and C4C is a clueless bunch!! Oh but I forgot 2013 they were the ones preaching so loudly everybody; well mostly all voters; fell hard for their rhetoric……..of promises! As mama says :- Promises are a comfort to a fool. Sadly voters don’t learn do they? Chew and spit out Bush but not one of the gov’t has done diddly squat……..and now we got 70 Caymanians to add to unemployment with Caledonian now closed? Hope they help them now with labor and employment but I guess they’re at the bottom of the pole seeing they’re just newly UNemployed……SAD state of affairs!! Sad indeed with those homengous salaries. But as Mama says too:- Today my day but tomorrow yours BoBo…2017 can’t come quick enuf

    • Anonymous says:

      and who are we going to represent us then. This shower of losers but go without a doubt but what about the last shower. Who in Gods name?

      • Caymans List says:

        It may be sad to say and a lot of people may not even like. But the country was and is gaining ground due to a lot of the thing that were started and put in place by the last administration. Bush is by no means perfect but he did get things done and he didn’t let let nobody slap him around.. Unless we get another alternative we be better off with him in the drivers seat.

    • Anonymous says:

      Democracy is a device that insures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.” – George Bernard Shaw

      So no “poor us”. Poor us who had enough sense and education to see beyond the BS and political rhetoric. Those of us who see the truth but yet are outnumbered by those who are so easily fooled time and time again.

      Until we have a population that can think for themselves and not easily be fooled by a slippery tongue, and promises of rainbows and unicorns we shall all suffer and witness the destruction of the Cayman Islands.

      A politician has no authority unless it is given by the voter.

  4. oh yeah says:

    Al Suckoo is earning his!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I wonder what they actually do the rest of the time? It’s not like they have to spend lots of time dealing with their constituents. No wonder they are so keen to hang on to their jobs.

  6. Anonymous says:

    No question they are paid to much (unless you think they should be responsible to pay peoples utility bills etc.). Don’t really care whether Ezzard’s motions ever come up for a vote.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Free money for MLA’s!

  8. Caymans List says:

    It sounds like during their days as the opposition they spent to much time Bush bashing to get his job and to little time focusing on the issues and coming up with alternate solution to all the think they opposed just for oppositions sake. Oh and also because they just didn’t like bush.

    When I refer to they, I mean Alden..

    • Anonymous says:

      And the PPM claimed to have the answers to everything. Well what a disappointment that has been and I know that all their supporters have surely seen this by now. Vote for who can and will do the job to benefit Caymanians, certainly not this bunch.

      • Anonymous says:

        As a supporter I am not disappointed. They have the finances back on track and the economy is looking much better. Major projects are progressing in a transparent and logical way. Now is the time for each of us to step up and make ourselves more ready to take advantage.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe they are actually working on solutions to help our country move forward. Do you wish them to stop so you have more to moan about?

  9. Caymans List says:

    “Why meet if you have no answers or no idea of what to do”.

    In this case I am sure the last thing they want to hear are questions from representatives of the people.

  10. Anonymous says:

    So why are we paying them around 4 times the net salary of a British member of parliament who have over 10 times the constituents? Seriously do some research, they are among the highest paid democratically elected members in the world and they don’t even meet for 5 months and have around 3000 constituents

  11. Anonymous says:

    It is disgraceful but par foe the course for a government who prefers talks behind closed doors. So did the UDP but they were better at it! This shower not only do not to hear from the elected members, they do not want to listen to their own experts. This is a wing and a prayer government. Supressing reports like the last lot, hidden agendas, wasting money on consultants and then either ignoring their recommendations or rewriting for pallatibility. It will take more than a new hair style to reinvent yourself Minister Rivers. Us teachers know your game as you stand before us saying one thing but behind the scenes operating against teachers and our public education system. We cannot vote for either the udp, the ppm or the spineless independents in the next election. None of them have proved their worth so I expect that Bush will get in not because we like him but because he is proving to be the least disasterous candidate.

    • Anonymous says:

      At least Bush didn’t leave the country in financial shambles like this lot. The reason the finances are better now is because of the work permits being issued at the expense of a lot of Caymanians being out of work. The UDP were also innovative with new ideas like Enterprise City and the Shetty Hospital which I can’t say for this lot either. The C4C Has done nothing and so please people, let’s find some new blood out there to do right by the Caymanian people!

      • Anonymous says:

        Please does eery discussion have to com back to workprmts and unemployed unemployable Cymanians?

  12. Anonymous says:

    typical do-nothing ppm……

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