CIG bags $99M more in 2018 than forecast

| 16/04/2019 | 22 Comments
Cayman News Service

Government Administration Building, George Town

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Government collected a whopping CI$830 million in 2018, according to the preliminary unaudited results released Friday by the Ministry of Finance. Although the CIG spent around CI$6 million more than it expected, it still netted a surplus of $180 million for the year ending 31 December. Operating revenues were $830.2 million, around $99.4 million more than the budgeted target of $730.7 million, while expenses were $650.6 million. Statutory authorities and government companies also performed better than expected and offered up a modest surplus of CI$400,000 after budget expectations had been for losses of $5.6M.

Increased volumes and values of property transfers provided $36.6 million in additional revenue, according to officials. Government coffers were also boosted by $25 million more than expected in duty and $17.8 million more from domestic goods and services fees.

Savings in government spending were undermined by overspend on medical care but the increase in revenue overall outweighed the increased costs.

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At the end of last year government had over half a billion dollars in the bank.

The financial performance which is filling the public purse was largely attributed to robust demand in the international market, and the gross domestic product (GDP) in Cayman grew by 3.4% in last year. Along with significant growth in the tourist sector, the finance ministry said construction was a key driver of growth in 2018, expanding by an estimated 8.1%.

Economic activity was also stimulated by the growth in the population, which was estimated to be 65,813 people at the end of 2018. However, inflation was a significant problem last year, peaking at 4.8% in the second quarter.

The economic growth was credited with cutting unemployment. Officials said the solid performance of the local economy “contributed to a surge in demand for labour”. Employment increased by 9.5% and the unemployment rate fell to a record low of 2.8%.

The ministry is expecting the growth to continue this year, albeit marginally slower. Growth is projected at 2.8% for 2019. A slowdown in the US economy may result in a drop in tourism but improvements in local capacity and services are expected to improve the resiliency of the sector, the ministry said, as shown in the January 2019 stay-over arrivals which grew by 5.6%.

Construction is forecast to continue driving economic growth as existing works in progress support a projected expansion rate of 8% for 2019, with further growth averaging 4.3% for 2020-2022. But the forecasts are based on private sector proposed developments as well as the government-owned capital projects.

“These projections assume the implementation of three new hotel projects and proposed residential and commercial development projects, as well as the announced expansion of Health City, planned road works and the proposed construction of a waste-to-energy plant,” the ministry said in the full SPS statement.

Government also intends to continue reducing public debt. According to the financial predictions, the debt will have fallen to $286 million at the end of this year and by 2022 it plans to have that down to $181.6 million. The government said it remains committed to the reduction of debt through annual principal payments and does not plan to incur any new borrowings over the next three years.

“A robust debt management strategy is a key component of the government’s overall fiscal strategy to comply with the principles of Responsible Financial Management as set out in the PMFL,” government accountants said, also noting that government expects “to pay off approximately $104.4 million in outstanding core government debt”.

See the full SPS report in the CNS Library

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Category: Government Finance, Politics

Comments (22)

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  1. Say it like it is says:

    CNS your English and grammar are top notch, but I believe your headline should have read “forecast’, rather than “forcasted”.

    CNS: “Forecasted” is not actually wrong but I agree that “forecast” is better and is the more usual version. Thanks!

  2. Anonymous says:

    That’s just what they saved in DEH overtime.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “unaudited” I hate that word.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    as surplus grow…so does bank foreclosures …it would seem…along with divorce rates…see a trend??????😂

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  5. No Diggidy says:

    They gots to bag it up.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Now’s the chance to put some of the surplus towards the under-funded pension liabilities for civil servants. And there will still be enough left over to do another ill-fated appeal against gay marriage…

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone seriously believe these figures reflect the true state of CIG finances? They don’t take into account (or remotely cover) the long-term liabilities these islands have. It’s creative accounting at its worst.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Bermuda has around the same population as here but yet its national debt is US$2.5 billion (up from under US$200 million in 2007) vs. ours of around CI$286 million. 11 cents of every dollar the Bermudian government takes in goes to service this debt which is money that could otherwise go towards education, infrastructure, health care etc.

    People will always find something to complain about but we could easily have been in that same situation here. This isn’t all due to CIG’s voluntary fiscal prudence because the FCO put the brakes on spending after the financial crisis, something they couldn’t do in Bermuda. Afterwards though, successive administrations have been able to manage this debt fairly well and for that, everyone benefits.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    9:30. You are so right. We never give credit when it is due. If the headline was CIG was $99m in debt we would be screaming for the Premier and Senior Civil servants to go. I want to thank the Premier his Ministers and civil and public servants for achieving this fantastic result.

    I also note that the Premier announced that for the first time in history his Government was going to look at reducing fees for our elderly. Now who is going to criticize that?

    To the negative posters when you criticize everything you lose credibility.

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    • Say it like it is says:

      Please explain what our civil servants have got to do with all this extra revenue. They consume it, they certainly don’t create it.

  10. SingleMomof2 says:

    Well done to all public servants for their hard work. I encourage the MLAs to show some respect for the tax payers money: do not ramble during house sessions and address each other with respect – we do not care to hear you passing side remarks against each other or your constant pissing contests. I encourage well educated Caymanians under 50, who meet the electoral requirements, to dislodge the barnacles from our LA, cause they coming like they will only leave that seat when they stop breathin’

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  11. Anonymous says:

    And that money should be going back to the people who f’ing paid it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Mainly expats …
      1. PR/Work Permit fees lawyers, bankers accountants, insurance industry finance and banking industry, doctors and 90% of healthcare workers, 90% construction industry, aestheticians and 90% of the beauty/spa industry

      2. Trade and Business licence fees … lawyers,accountants insurance industry, finance and banking industry, doctors and 90% of healthcare workers, 90% construction industry, aestheticians and 90% of the beauty/spa industry

      3. SEZ fees
      Yes give it all back to them … #RollEyes

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      • Jotnar says:

        Or you could reduce duty on food or fuel – but hey, just keep rolling your eyes whilst your politicians keep screwing us all over so they have money to throw around.

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  12. Johnny Rotten says:

    This bagged surplus is no surprise as CIG is full of thieving, lying Carpet Baggers!

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  13. Anonymous says:

    yep…the people and business community taxed to the hilt….
    while cig uses every opportunity to expand the civil service and spend more….

    a receipe for disaster.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    LOL!

    Your headline could have been:

    “CIG collected $99 million less than expected in 2018”.

    Geezz!

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  15. Anonymous says:

    World Class and the envy of many. Who are we going to blame for this?

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    • Anonymous says:

      The CIGs “surplus” is an actual disaster waiting to happen. Give the civil service a pay rise, oh please. They already are bleeding this country dry with their government pensions, health care and slow if any work actually accomplished.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    There is no mythical “extra” money. With territorial debt of a quarter Billion, and an est >$1Bln in unacknowledged, and underfunded pensions and healthcare liabilities, just for past CIG employees, we are deep in the hole, still without proper accounting controls or department head or ministerial responsibility. We also don’t have any SIPL law to supervise known kleptocrat MLAs and House members, with a long history of “consultation work” while in office.

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