Finance minister and premier defend budget

| 08/11/2017 | 12 Comments
Cayman News Service

Finance Minister Roy McTaggart in the LA, 6 November 2017

(CNS): Both Finance Minister Roy McTaggart and Premier Alden McLaughlin took aim at the opposition Monday as they defended the Unity government’s first budget in the Legislative Assembly, claiming that it would benefit many Caymanians. McTaggart defended his numbers, stating that the priority spending matched the priority concerns of the people: crime, education and health. With 22% of operating expenditure going on national security and safety, 17% on education, plus significant capital spending and 15% on healthcare, the top concerns amounted to 54% of the budget. He said that around 2,200 elderly Caymanians as well as veterans, seamen and the poor would see their benefits increase.

The budget would induce growth and improve the lives of ordinary people, he said, adding that the budget had determined the best ways to use the limited funds to address the priorities in the face of a seemingly endless need for services.

The premier also insisted that this budget did a lot for many people, and that he did not know how the opposition leader could have missed everything that is in the spending plan. Reviewing the broad elements of the spending, McLaughlin pointed to the need to foster an environment for growth and said the country’s economy depended on inward investment.

“One of things dimly understood by the opposition is that the government can’t provide jobs for Caymanians without economic growth,” the premier said. He accused MLAs on the opposition benches of complaining about development, which, he said, provided the revenue for things the opposition wanted, such as education and services for those in need.

“Money does not fall like manna from heaven; it is built on inward investment …if inward investment stops, see what happens,” the premier stated, as he made an impassioned speech about the need for growth. He said that all the men of his father’s generation went to sea because there was no work here when there was no investment, as he took aim at those beating up on “Mr Dart buying up all the land”.

“The day we stop growing is the day we start dying,” McLaughlin warned.

See closing address by McTaggart and McLaughlin on CIGTV below.

See the relevant budget documents in the CNS Library

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Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So he’s alright with one investor owning more property than the Country itself?! That’s why we will always be second class citizens. Everything and everybody is more important than the ‘Caymanian’. Why can’t we limit how much land any one person can buy? Why are we afraid to enforce our own laws? Like they were written to appease the few who care with no plans on ever enforcing them. We are going to deserve everything that will be dished out to us in the near future. These politicians better enjoy the ‘safety’ they have now. When the poor people start banding together and demanding better, they will all never serve again. Watch and see.

    • Anonymous says:

      Assuming that the “one man” you are refering to is Ken Dart, I think you will find that very little of Dart controlled property is actualy registered in his name.

    • Anonymous says:

      Better yet, why don’t you restrict Caymanians from selling their land. If there is nothing to sell , there is nothing to buy. problem solved.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Let the next administration worry about your increasingly liberal immigration polices in a declining economy. They can worry about those that have lost their houses. Roy you should have been a pilot and Alden should have maybe been a personal trainer.

  3. Richard Wadd says:

    It is important that we always remember the two (2) major truths about running a country sucessfully. 1). A country IS a business and the Government is the Managment. 2). In order for a business to be successful, the finances must be properly managed. When Accountants and Lawyers alone dictate the direction of a business, it CANNOT be successful. Once again, silence from our useless Chamber of Commerce.

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL! How did you come up with a such nonsense ? Government is your servant to start with. And no country is not a business.

  4. Thomas Field says:

    Well….. our fearless leader admits that Dart is buying up all the land!

  5. Anonymous says:

    McLaughlin. We are an island. We will have to stop growing one day? What is your plan? Simply that that is the end?

    • Diogenes says:

      You act as if there is a limited land space or something. What is this an Island?


    • Anonymous says:

      If they were smart., they would do smart things! I hope they make a great investment in public transport with electric buses with wifi that run on a schedule that is programmed into your smart phone or bus stops so u can say hey a bus comes every 10 min. Then tax the hell out of cars and cut down on the maintenance of roads and the building of new ones. hopefully, with all this growth they will take all this money and put it into a wealth fund that pays dividends to the citizen (well residents) because we are like a meat grinder to our citizens…lots of economic refugees. It would be interesting for ESO to show what percentage of Caymanians leave the Cayman Islands with no intention of coming back after they are 25 years old and table that in the LA for them to think about. They simply say yeah that was my childhood; sucks but Cayman has nothing for me…sure that is sending a good message abroad..

      You might find it is up amongst the highest in the world..not being negative and appreciate people have different reasons for coming and going but it would be nice to know why to see if the exit interview thinks that the Government is doing a good job for its people.

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