Bush: Budget misleading public

| 06/06/2016 | 27 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush in LA, 3 June 2016

(CNS): The opposition leader has called on government to break its 18-month budget down so that people can make a fair comparison to last year’s spending plan. Responding to the government’s 2016/17 budget Friday, McKeeva Bush said it was misleading and confusing because it was impossible for the public to work out what was being spent where and what government expected to bring in. Bush said this was of particular concern as it covered an election year and that not giving a clear comparison for the people was not “the proper process”.

The opposition leader is usually the first to respond to the delivery of the government budget, but breaking with tradition, Bush remained seated through more than two days of debate and did not take to his feet until several members from both the opposition and government benches had already spoken.

When he did respond, he said he believed government could have still given the position for the first twelve months for comparison purposes, despite bringing an 18-month spending plan in supplementary documents. That way people could see what the PPM’s last twelve months in office would look like, he said.

Bush queried why the government did not want to give out this information that would be of “great value” for people when they go to the polls and accused the government of hiding the statistics that the public needed.

He said he believed they were trying to confuse voters ahead of the General Election, scheduled for May 2017, and the public would really need to see a pre-election economic and financial update before the ballot.

The opposition leader said that as well as being confusing, it was a good electioneering budget, with the 2.2% bonus for civil servants.

“I have no problem with that … but the man who makes $3,000 or $2,000 … won’t see much,” he noted, adding that it was nice for the ones at the top.

While he blamed the PPM for the problems of his own administration, Bush also accused government of plagiarism, claiming the current administration was taking credit for everything that he had done when he was premier.

He wondered where the country would be if he had not taken some difficult decisions, including being forced to raise fees,  since everything that was happening in the economy had started when he was at the helm of government.

Citing Cayman Enterprise City and Health City, as well as the Dart NRA agreement, which began during the UDP administration, he also took credit for the proposed projects of Beach Bay and Ironwood. He said all these projects were due to the “hard work of the UDP”, which had paved the way for these developments, in one case by changing the law and opening talks.

Bush also accused the PPM government of gimmickry and political spin over their announcement that they had signed the deal with Dart, timed to coincide with the final budget and the start of the election campaign, and he urged the people to throw them out when they go to the polls.

He questioned the details of the deal, which have not yet been made public. While the government were claiming that they had changed the accommodation tax concession but significantly increased the cap on the developer’s ability to get duty concessions, he suspected that this would be the same value added, which would allow Dart to still get the rebate but in another form.

Bush also wanted to know if government had secured a commitment from Dart for the community projects he had negotiated, such as another public beach and land for a new Sunrise Centre. “This government should be thanking us for having the courage to do something,” the opposition leader said, adding that the PPM were “phobic about Dart”.

The surpluses this government were enjoying were all down to his hard work because they had not generated any new sources of revenue, he said.

See the opposition leader’s response to budget here and here

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags: , ,

Category: Government Finance, Politics

Comments (27)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    What a perfect picture for the front cover of Mad magazine.

  2. Anonymous says:

    He is definitely an expert on misleading:
    ..cancel of port project to unilaterally decide it would go to a group who is known to practice corruption on a regular basis and then saying the country would not pay for the cancellation penalty…then when it appeared in the rarely prepared government financials he indicated what he meant is it would be recovered through some unsupported savings
    – remember all the security expenses from shadowy company that couldn’t produce invoices…hold on that turned out to be spent on gambling.
    -and $50k received in Vegas and Christmas trip on corporate jet..the Cohen financial scheme
    – Michael Ryan putting on the ritz…so many things to mention
    he definitely knows misleading!

    • Anonymous says:

      He’s a prince alright. Right regular royalty ole mac is. And backed by religion.

    • Anonymous says:

      And because of it he is well loved by his people.

      • Anonymous says:

        His supporters love the slush fund used for their churches (religion should not exist if it cannot support itself), scholarships to the less then scholarly, invites to extravagant events (example CayAir Panama), etc. They’re just hoping to get a piece of his nefarious deals.

  3. Anonymous says:

    UDP is more “business friendly” and thinks outside the box to bring new industry to Cayman. Health City and Enterprise City both opposed by PPM at the time, now look where we are.
    Problem is Mac and UDP are so XXXXXX you can’t trust them.
    PPM are much more transparent and competent with the “day-to-day” dealings of government, but lack vision and new ideas. What new development or industry have they brought to Cayman the last 3-years? None!
    Neither party are willing to make the tough but necessary decisions to put Cayman on a sustainable path. Reducing the civil service, fixing pensions and health insurance, ending the sister island welfare.
    Despite a near billion dollar annual income, we will never have the money for key infrastructure projects like the dump, port, jetways, roads, education, etc. until we get some politicians in office willing to make unpopular decisions for the good of the country.

  4. Anonymous says:

    not a fa of mac…but what he says is largely thue….
    ppm have acheived little or nothing and have made no major economic changes….

    • Chris Johnson says:

      I find your comment rather trying but let us take a look at ‘politicians ‘ and the word ‘integrity’ before we go any further. As usual Mr Bush is critical and blowing his own horn. We know of his previous antics of which there were many including the China Harbour contract that cost us millions and the strange loans borrowed from mates rather than the traditional banks. There again he was a bit of an expert whilst he ran First Cayman Bank, later to be liquidated. In fact such an expert in finance he became the Minister of Finance and like a true memglomaniac signed our currency notes.
      Then of course there is the infamous credit card borrowing at the tax payers expense. I will not dwell on the many others misdemeanors of the self appointed honorable man, a man whose character is not dissimilar from that of Caesar.
      However I must quote from Dwight D. Eisenhower for the honourable person to note in future.
      ‘ The supreme quaility for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it,no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a serious gang, a football field, in an army or in an office’.

      Mr Bush you need be the subject of self examination and call it a day. Should you stay be productive, make sensible suggestions as to how you can improve the lot of the Cayman Islands. All you do is dwell on ‘how you did it’ and knock the current government. You will never ever be able to stand on the podium with previous politicians such as Dr Roy, Mr Benson, Mr Norman and many of their predecessors that I did not have the pleasure to meet.

      • Anonymous says:

        A tole unna a was no finanshul expurt.

      • Anonymous says:

        Man Chris you still B-brurocratic harrassin po ol mac o wa? Y ga no respec fi di forewa onnowoble y donkey face you. Go home n drink y carrots n milk, da wa y doo. Ma hans is clean n ma hart is puer forewa, bo bo.

  5. Rocket Scientist says:

    Divide by 3, multiply by 2. You can even use a calculator Mr. Former Minister of Finance.

  6. SSM345 says:

    Looks like Mac read Winston’s FB post over the weekend……

  7. Anonymous says:

    Everything is misleading and confusing to Mac and his “people”. Is that a reason to change everything?

  8. Anonymous says:

    The rambling gambling man!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Poor Mr.Bush, desperately trying to stay relevant. He sure wasn’t “phobic” as he was basically handing the whole country over to this ever grinning monstrosity. Lord save us.

  10. Anonymous says:

    None of these developments were due to any of the politicians. The most they did was delay the projects until their “political needs” were satisfied.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Bush talks, Fools listen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.