Budget meets all FFR ratios

| 06/05/2015 | 7 Comments
Cayman News Service

Marco Archer, Minister of Finance & Economic Development (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

(CNS): Government has confirmed that the finance minister will present the 2015/16 budget to the Legislative Assembly and the country on Friday 15 May. While Minister Marco Archer was keeping the details of the spending plan close to his chest this week, he confirmed that there will be no new taxes and, for the first time in several years, the budget meets with all the requirements of the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility (FFR). 

Expecting to deliver another whopping surplus, government will be including a 4% cost of living adjustment (COLA) for government workers.

The official event, which is open to the public and broadcast on the government’s TV service, will include the Throne Speech, delivered by the governor, covering the PPM administration’s broad goals for its third year in office.

The budget will spell out the expenditure for the ministries and portfolios and how much government hopes to collect via coercive revenue such as duty and business-related fees, such as work permits, as well as other income sources.

Although the minister has said there will be no new fees imposed on either the man on the street or the commercial sector, despite reaching the halfway point in the government term, there is no sign of any election promise roll-backs on the fee hikes imposed by the previous UDP administration when the UK froze the CIG’s right to borrow.

The government is still under the watchful eye of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which set ambitious targets for the CIG within the imposed FFR, which McKeeva Bush was forced to sign when he was premier.

Government cannot increase its borrowing and is required to deliver large surpluses in order to pay down its principal debt and cover any capital spending from the money it earns.

Following the presentations by the governor and the finance minister and statements by the premier, the members of the Legislative Assembly will have the holiday weekend to consider the content before the parliament will hear the response from the leader of the opposition and debate the content.

Archer will then chair the Finance Committee hearings, when members will be able to closely scrutinize the detailed line items in the ministries by quizzing the civil service bosses across government.

Although government had indicated it would bring a number of new pieces of legislation, such as the builder’s bill and the cancer registry, once Finance Committee is completed, no new laws have appeared on government’s gazette page for public review.

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Category: Government Finance, Politics

Comments (7)

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  1. Bean Counter says:

    It’s been nearly 12 years since the last credible audit. Until a full set of audited consolidated financial statements is produced for the Cayman Islands government what is presented and debated is numerical wizardry and propaganda by the ministry of fantasy.

    I wonder will they confirm that found the 1 billion that was unaccounted for?

  2. Anonymous says:

    When you strip away all the rhetoric, political one-up-manship, legislative argue-mongering and all the marl road stuff; It’s clear that love or hate them, this Government has surely shown a belter fiscal ($$) record than at least the precious two political terms (PPM and UDP). It is far from perfect (no government system is) however there seems a willingness to at least TRY to be better. Hats off to the and do please keep up the work towards good stewardship and governance.

    • Anonymous says:

      What exactly has this government done to deserve this type of praise? (Specifics please).

      Have they done anything to reduce spending? No, in fact they have increased it by restoring the civil servants’ COLA.

      Have they done anything to increase revenue? No (in fact they have reduced it by walking back previous duty increases).

      Have they done anything to encourage economic growth? No.

      Yes they have so far avoided repeating their past mistakes of undertaking lavish capital projects without a plan to pay for them. But it’s a pretty low bar to praise a government just for not doing anything stupid.

      And it’s a fine line between not doing anything stupid and not doing anything at all, which to me pretty much sums up the mentality of this government: “If we do nothing, we can do nothing wrong”.

      I would argue that in reality this government has simply been in the right place at the right time, with an improving global economy and several initiatives of the past government coming to fruition, both having a positive impact on the fiscal situation.

      Unless someone can name policies or initiatives of this government that can account for the primary surplus one must conclude that it is the result of good fortune, rather than good measure.

      • Anonymous says:

        Can’t wait to see if the “thumb-downers” actually have any such policies to cite! Or if they are just offended that someone would question the brilliance of Minister Archer, the luckiest finance Minister in the western world!

  3. Anonymous says:

    the cost the of the public sector keeps growing…. all paid for by taxes and fees on the private sector…..pure wonderland stuff…..which part of the e&y report or miller shaw report did it say that????

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank goodness for the FFR. The politicos hate it but it is the only thing stopping Cayman from becoming Jamaica2.0……..

  5. Anonymous says:

    Marco does seem to be doing a good job, not sure about the rest of the Government, but I am impressed by him.

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