Gov’t adds tens of millions to 2019 budget

| 10/04/2019 | 30 Comments
Cayman News Service

Finance Minister Roy McTaggart submits appropriation changes, 9 April 2019

(CNS): Finance Minister Roy McTaggart has said that the additional tens of millions of dollars of appropriations voted through Finance Committee yesterday for the 2019 fiscal year will still leave government with an operating surplus of around $67 million. The minister also said that the change to the budget does not break any of the financial ratios that government must meet under the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility in the Public Management Finance Law. Nevertheless, in some cases the changes to the budget are significant, especially when it comes to healthcare.

In addition to an additional CI$11.5 million for tertiary healthcare, more than double the original budgeted amount of nearly CI$10 million, lawmakers also voted CI$8.8 million for healthcare premiums for civil servants and another CI$8.8 million for investments for the fire service. They also voted CI$7.9 million to buy a new building for the RCIPS headquarters.

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The committee approved another $4 million to cover the government’s past pension liabilities for civil servants, as well as CI$3 million to cover losses at CINICO. CI$1.7 million was also voted on to help establish the premier’s new ministry of International Trade, Investment, Aviation and Maritime Affairs.

As Finance Committee concluded, McTaggart told the Legislative Assembly that the changes, which impacted all ministries and portfolios, were necessary because of the realignment of government policy priorities and work plans or changes in circumstances.

The committee began on Friday, but despite plans to have it completed that day, the lawmakers did not finish scrutinising the additional public spending until Tuesday morning.

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Category: Government Finance, Politics

Comments (30)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Expats hired with terminal lifestyle preconditions (eg. Smoking related) have also caused CIG millions in health remedies!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Still $4.5mln and counting as a public gift to Wesleyan Reformationist Church of God (Anderson Indiana)…we shouldn’t be loaning or offering a nickel of public cash (that we have to borrow at our expense) towards discriminating shams, especially when their organization has hundreds of millions at their disposal. We are led by profligate amateurs.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Roy McTaggart is the biggest disappointment. But I guess he has zero power in this mafia run country.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    No self praise about the record permit fees??? Remember in the beginning when Aldart and Marco used to pat each other on the back and about record permit fees?

  5. Anonymous says:

    And that’s just for futile appeals.

  6. Anonymous says:

    God forbid the surplus be used for paying down debt or saved for future infrastructure investment/healthcare/pension liabilities.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Shhhh, don’t tell anyone about the hundreds of millions in unsettled debt coming due in November and the far worse service terms we will have to refinance. #Details

  7. Anonymous says:

    Eugene is listening attentively as usual!

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Great! Now would you please give those CIG retirees the usual Cost of Living increases when the rest of the staff get them pleease? Their fixed retiree wages are not a joke in this upscale economy.
    Thanks

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  9. Say it like it is says:

    As always civil servants come first as they are by far the biggest voting bloc. They have no shame for gouging the private sector taxpayers.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Unless civil servants begin to contribute to their health insurance and pensions plans, income tax will have to be introduced in the near future, as increasing health insurance and pensions costs are simply not economically sustainable for the CIG.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Remind what the revenue sources are? I think the immigration department is a big one. How about cutting $250,000 ( 2 useless people @ $100,000+) from Off Reg and adding (5 hardworking people @ $40,000+) it to the front line of the immigration office.

    Service is at all time low levels. You can sense the frustration in the poor staff there having to work all the extra unpaid overtime hours.

    There is no longer a receptionist and it seems by the afternoon there are barely 3 windows open.

    Three to four hour waits are not uncommon and customers are not leaving until past 7:00pm.

    I know that there is no net gain by adding the staffing expense to immigration but the value to we Caymanian small business owners would be appreciated.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It is most disgusting for Caymanians to have to stand outside in a line in the hot sun to enter Immigration. Most disgusting. Reminds me of Jamaica line at the Embassy. Then the woman at the door is like a be….st. Looks like she is anti Caymanians.

  11. Anonymous says:

    So basically the public pays all the taxes to gain revenue and instead of using it to pay off the deficit quicker or god forbid, putting some aside as a reserve fund for hurricane restorations, it gets used to pay for health and pension for civil servants. How do the rest of us benefit from this? Nobody is helping us pay our premiums or increase our pension payouts. This is ridiculous.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Why don’t civil servants contribute to their own health insurance and pension plans similar to civil servants in the rest of the real world?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Morons. Spend, spend, spend. No sovereign wealth fund? No saving for a rainy day?

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    • Anonymous says:

      There is no “extra money”. The “surplus” is supposed to be applied against existing liabilities, not spent again to buy votes at next election. We carry close to a billion in undeclared liabilities. We wouldn’t be allowed to roll the hundreds of millions due in Nov if the true deficit picture was honestly accounted.

      • Anonymous says:

        The govt actually have many Caymanian people fooled into thinking that we have no outstanding liabilities. Same people who think they own a house with 5% down and 95% financed (aka owned) by the bank!

  13. Anonymous says:

    well as long as the civil servants are taken care of… smh

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Lets use most of it fighting the gay marriage ruling 🙂 90 percent of Grand Cayman doesnt mind.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    ppm ramping up to try and buy the next election.
    i know this for a fact from inside sources.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    But nothing for removing The Dump?

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    • Anonymous says:

      DART dealin with that! It will be a thing of beauty soon

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      • Anonymous says:

        Hopefully that’s sarcasm

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      • Anonymous says:

        Darts not doing it until he gets his 50 storey tower.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Nobody and nothing would make a rotting corpse, and that what the Dump is, a beauty.

      • Anonymous says:

        Is anyone running the show at Dart with a plan? How many years will they be allowed to initiate and partially proceed on some projects while simultaneously abandoning earlier projects, like the derelict shells of old eyesore hotels and bridges to nowhere? They are spread too thin, and lack concentration. They should be fined for their existing unfinished business until they get back on contract.

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        • Anonymous says:

          They have better lawyers and more money than govt so they can continue to change the contracts as it suits them.

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