$141M surplus forecast over 2-year budget

| 27/10/2017 | 34 Comments
Cayman News Service

Finance Minister Roy McTaggart delivers the Budget Address to the LA, 27 October 2017

(CNS): As he delivered his first ever budget and government’s first budget to cover two years, Finance Minister Roy McTaggart predicted that the entire government would end 2018 with a total operating surplus of around $140 million, even though that its statutory authorities are expected to suffer significant losses and government is spending much more on public services. In the Legislative Assembly Friday, following a very short throne speech from the governor on Friday and a policy address from the premier, the finance minister took less than an hour to deliver the broad details of the government’s spending plans for the next two years, beginning 1 January 2018 and ending 31 December 2019.

McTaggart forecast that core government would bring in revenues of $730.7 million during 2018 and almost $729 million in 2019. Meanwhile, government is expecting core government expenses of over $644 million next year and 657.7m the following year. The impact of losses of over $5.3 million and 5.6 million by the authorities will leave government with an estimated surplus of around $81 million in 2018, falling to over 59.3 million in 2019. 

The minister stressed that the Government of National Unity’s budget contained no increases or new fees or taxes and, with the exception of a need to partially refinance a government bond due in 2019, there would be no new borrowing either.

He said government would continue to pay for its day-to-day operations as well as the major capital projects from its regular fees, taxes and other earnings. McTaggart said that there would be more investment in public services, including education spending, more money for extra police, raising the headcount by 75 officers over the next three years, and cash for social assistance programmes.

McTaggart told his legislative colleagues that the 2018/19 two-year spending plan provided “a blue-print for expanded services”, while being consistence with the government’s policy and in compliance with the Public Management and Finance Law and the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility (FFR). The minister said it was a fiscally responsible budget that would provide enhanced social services to vulnerable people support economic growth and jobs, transform education as well as provide a solution to the landfill problems and improved management of healthcare, among other things.

Check back to CNS shortly for more on the budget and details of the premier’s policy aims for the next two years. 

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Category: Government Finance, Politics

Comments (34)

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  1. anonymous says:

    Roy, what about spending some time helping those in your society not as wealthy as yourself? I mean those about to lose their homes because of the absence of a properly regulated banking industry (unlike in the UK), or those poor folks being extorted by the banks every time they try and cash a cheque? Giving a thought towards the less affluent might be a good idea every once in a while, you know. I’ll see if you do anything, but I’m not holding my breath.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Creative accounting at work here. What about things like balloon paymants, future pension commitments and all the unpaid debts to CIG? Can’t wait to see this bubble burst because it’s going to be messy :-}

    • Anonymous says:

      Read the article. It’s clearly reported that the surplus is annual revenue minus expenses. The surplus is welcome because it means we can service our debt and save for the future unfunded liabilities you mention.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Operating surplus! Heading in the right direction but the government is still the best part of 500m in debt and double that again in unfunded liabilities.

  4. Anonymous says:

    thank you fco.

  5. Phil says:

    Here it goes to the bonus fat cheques for civil servants….

  6. Anonymous says:

    The run away SAGC’s are a disaster the civil service cuts spending and the SAGC’S gives raises. Who will tackle them?

    Saunders you know better. Can you take on CIMA who is wasting our money. Almost as bad as the Port.

    • Anonymous says:

      6:46pm Idiot! the scary part is that you actually believe your lies – crawl back under your rock somewhere deep in the Government Building.

  7. Anonymous says:

    And the rich get richer . . . .

    • Observer says:

      Good! Seaman’s , Veteran’s , Poor Relief and low paid pensioners monies increase should be paid without any hitches when it becomes effective. Great things are happening!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Does this include the pension liability expense or is that still off balance sheet?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Well done PPM. We are the envy of the Caribbean.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not a hard threshold. We should be compared to Scandanavia, or Singapore, not to a bunch of failed third world disaster areas.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Budget Breakdown according to the Office of the Premier:

    National Security: 22%
    General Government Services: 18%
    Education: 17%
    Health: 15%
    Social Security and Welfare: 9%
    Other Economic Affairs ( Whatever that means): 9%
    Tourism: 4%
    Financial Services: 4%
    Recreation and Cultural: 1%
    Environmental Protection: 1%

    *percentages are of government expenditure, which is subject to change over the course of the two year budget cycle*

    I can’t wait to see the debates in the LA, should be very interesting, with the surpluses they are expecting.

    Does anyone know the figures for the amounts they will be spending on capital projects for the next two years, I’m sure I could find the numbers myself but digging through a budget is not my idea of fun on a Friday night

    Diogenes

    • Diogenes says:

      To answer my own question it would seem that the government is planning on spending 192m dollars on capital projects over the budget cycle, all the while claiming that there isn’t enough money to get everything done according to the Premier.

    • bean conter says:

      Your total adds up to 101%

    • Anonymous says:

      Financial Services (FS) to receive only 4% of CIG expenditure!!! FS are the biggest revenue generator for the entire economy. CIMA is a tax collection agency by any rational analysis. Couple the CIMA fees with the work permit fees, private housing/rental, commercial office space building/rental, cars bought, supermarket shopping, private school fees, water/electricity, FS clients coming on island for meetings and staying in hotels, going to restaurants, renting cars/taking taxis etc labelled as “tourists” when they are here for business and FS keeps the whole show on the road.

      CIG need to keep feeding the golden goose and bringing the expenditure more in line with the revenue. 4% is not nearly enough for 60%+ of GDP.

      Cayman FS companies are competing in a global economy with insufficient backing from CIG. This is a huge issue facing the Cayman Islands – the disconnect between the FS as the revenue generators and the expenditure being wasted, inefficiently spent, badly mismanaged (and worse!!!) and used to buy/shore-up votes and “woters”……The average Caymanian speaks of “Government’s money” meaning they realise that it is not the “people’s money” as the people don’t pay DIRECT taxation (income tax, corporate tax etc) like that rest of the world…however they fail to make the next connection between the sky high living STANDARDS (and yes they are, just look at the neighbours JA, TnT, Cuba, Honduras etc.) and the fact that the FS industry (meaning international corporate bodies), pay for it all in fees and services and those international bodies have no idea/say in how their money is being (mis)used……

      Get It Right.

    • bean conter says:

      You should not post anything your % add up to over 100%.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Please ensure that it is only the REALLY vunerable persons. Not the under-a-tree sitters.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Hmmn, did they factor in all the back payments owed by Gov’t in to their employee pensions and all the other businesses that the Gov’t owes and takes for ever to pay?? When will we have a real accountant to say, folks their is no f@#%ing surplus!! Stop blowing smoke up ppl’s a$$.

    • Cupid says:

      Marco should be doing this job, he was the one that got us in good standing and should have been there to follow through but instead GT voted for ghetto politics

      • Anonymous says:

        Not only was he good at his job and good for Cayman but he was the only one of them that you could trust to keep his word and looked out for Caymanians in the Finance Ministry.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Predicting a surplus yet selling off assets, if that doesn’t make you question motives then what will? Who benefits from the distribution of the limited land space on the islands and why is the government interested in assisting them achieve their goals?

    Not to mention the fact that they still haven’t managed to allocate the money to provide schools with the resources they need, simply playing catch up instead of planning for the future. If we aren’t willing to make the investment to properly educate the citizens of the future, we are effectively throwing said future away. There is nothing wrong with having a budget surplus, but when there are areas and departments that aren’t being given the funding they need it calls the surplus into question.

    Diogenes

  14. Anonymous says:

    brace for tax heightening caymanians…money has to come from us??

  15. Anonymous says:

    Yippeeee! More work permits! And then we take over!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Record permits and residency fees.

    • Paper Caymanian says:

      Still not helping Caymanians! Still becoming a depraved society. Beggars everywhere., crime on the increase, social issues paramount, Caymanians leaving for a better life so where is the double standard, ” WHILE THE GRASS IS GROWING, THE HORSE IS STARVING . Caymanians dont be fool!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Expats get no help at all, and somehow do ok. You might want to think about that. Removal of foolish support programs would make people understand they have to work harder to live

    • Anonymous says:

      Right up until they get status in 2 or three years and then “poof!” Wha happen to de cash?

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