LA backs CIG’s $2 billion budget

| 19/11/2019 | 40 Comments
Cayman News Service
Premier Alden McLaughlin winds up the 2020/21 budget debate, 18 Nov 2019

(CNS): All of the members still in the Legislative Assembly backed the government’s massive spending plan for 2020/21 when the vote was called on Monday evening for the biggest ever budget in Cayman’s history. As Premier Alden McLaughlin wrapped up the debate, he denied it was an electioneering budget, saying this was “demonstrably untrue”, as he claimed that his government had spent more supporting the community in past budgets than any previous administration.

Dismissing claims that the government had hoarded taxpayers’ cash only to spend huge quantities now a general election was round the corner, he said government was in the enviable position of being able to help the vulnerable and still fund major public services because of the hard work it had done to drive the economy forward and its stewardship of the public finances.

In a very short speech winding up the budget debate he revealed that he and Opposition Leader Arden McLean had found a way forward on constitutional reform to avoid a referendum, despite the insistence on a people’s vote from the opposition benches in the past.

The premier said he and the opposition leader would discuss the matter further and government would bring a motion to the Legislative Assembly following Finance Committee to pave the way for a debate and find a way to demonstrate that the package of changes that have been agreed to by the UK has wide support across the country.

Although most members of the government benches joined in the budget debate, Education Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly did not reveal any details of the spending plan for her areas of responsibility, despite having one of the largest ministries in Cabinet and accounting for a significant percentage of this historic budget.

From the opposition benches, only the leader, Arden McLean, and independent member Ezzard Miller spoke.

Kenneth Bryan (GTC) asked the speaker to allow him to speak after he had missed the final call. But as the premier had already risen to wind up the debate, he said he could not give up the floor. However, he was sympathetic to Bryan, noting that he, too, had been caught out in the past of playing the tactical game of trying to speak last and then losing his chance to speak altogether.

Finance Committee, where members will examine the entire budget appropriations bill, is set to begin at 9:30am Wednesday.

See the appropriations bill in the CNS library

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Category: Government Finance, Politics

Comments (40)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    garbage tax and spend nonsense. at the same time they totally ignore recommendations of miller shaw and e&y reports.
    next US slow down…cayman will be doomed. not even dart will be able to save you then.

  2. Anonymous says:

    ppm cayman bankruptcy #2 soon come………..

  3. MR says:

    Looks to me like since this Gov knows this is their very last term in the LA building they want to sink the ship before they walk the plank.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Alden intends to “run with it” 2008-2009 once again.

  5. MR says:

    And about 25% of the total sum is allocated for “policy and ministerial advice” because voters elected people that have not a clue what they are doing and are completely disassociated from the country and its citizens. MLAs so insulated by the LA that they cannot form thoughts and opinions on what is or may be required to solve an issue or avoid one and therefore spend 10s of millions per year for people to tell them what to think and talk about; politics at its best. Mess we in.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Compass is calling this a $1.5Bln budget and CNS is calling it a $2Bln budget. That’s a $500,000,000 editorial discrepancy…just saying.

    CNS: It’s US$2 Billion. See previous stories.

  7. Anonymous says:

    While some might think that having budgets in the billions might be something to shout out loud about.

    I, on the other hand, have serious trepidation about this remarkable development, for several reasons, to list a few: the size of our population to service such massive spending bills that will only grow and in the not so long distance future it will be a trillion$ is not sustainable without eventually establishing some form of income tax.

    A rainy-day budget, a timetable to reduce the national debt, especially health care costs; targeted investments in preparing the current and next generation to meet the global demands and challenges of the future and reducing the size of the public service and authorities.

    Then there is the Coast Guard and the Regiment. Both have sexy titles but are they really necessary. Sure securing our borders is important but we have a Marine Unit, which could transition to a CG but instead I’m hearing about new building and vessels, top salaries etcetera. What about investing in coastal radars?

    How much will even a volunteer Regiment cost the taxpayer. New vehicles, fancy equipment, a newbuilding? Has there a business case.

    Why are Caymanians suddenly migrating for work and retirement?

    Why do we need a banana republic-style socialist program called NICE once a year. If these people are willing to suffer the public indignity to appear in public to seek work to feed their families then, I submit, that if you pay them a living wage that you can place then why not invest in permanent job placement and or job-retraining/skilling?

    • Anonymous says:

      You are missing the point. There is no deficit- the Government has excellent income and are spending money into the community to benefit people. Utilizing surpluses for good while repaying debt, growing reserves, building infrastructure from cash, and reducing duties rather than adding new taxes is the opposite of needing to introduce income taxes.

      The marine unit is being transitioned Into a coastguard. And yes modern border and marine security are important. A regiment is a useful advance and serves real need. Open your mind

      And lastly perhaps the nice programme should be made full time but given your view that this is socialist gives me an impression of your perspective.


    • Anonymous says:

      You make a good point in your last paragraph, who is supervising these workers and can they not see who works well each program and offer full time employment of some sort? Seems like a great incentive to me..

    • Anonymous says:

      I think they run NiCE twice a year, or maybe the other time has a different name.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Wow! $30,000 for each man, woman and child in a “country” smaller than many American towns. And still no solutions to most of our real problems.

    • Anonymous says:

      2,000,000,000/ 28,000= 71,428

      Assuming there are approx. 28,000 Caymanians (out of total 63,000).
      7,800 age 0-24.

      Why there is a need for “Feed Our Future, Cayman Islands*”?

  9. Anonymous says:

    4:12…you may as well add that we are still towing containers to the sister islands on barges..they were motoring off spots for the last week…let’s hope the containers were empty.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Ju Ju sat on her ass because she is so out of her depth she didn’t know what day of the week it was let alone justify her $150k.
    This woman is a complete joke how can anyone even consider putting a cross beside her name

    • Anonymous says:

      Simple, she paves their driveways, books their hotel rooms and throws her expense account around.

    • Anonymous says:

      JuJu has done more for the Sister Islands than anyone else. Don’t be jealous about it. Give the Woman some credit!

  11. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if the current Government realises that the majority of Caymanians are not sharing in the wealth they claim we have..We are struggling while inexpensive imported labor is still allowed forcing the cost of labor down so low that Caymanians can’t even afford to live off what they make..The only how we will survive this would if we do as the cheap labor does and live 6 to a room and share the rent..

    Don’t stop the Carnival!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Amazing..instead of giving themselves a raise in 2020…why didn’t they reduce fuel cost or something that the entire islands could benefit….now the private sector workers still have to pay high cost…”a fool and his money”…please don’t vote for this crew again….Mr. Archer and Mr. Panton must pulling their hair out right now hearing such a budget.

  13. Anonymous says:

    “Kenneth Bryan (GTC) asked the speaker to allow him to speak after he had missed the final call. But as the premier had already risen to wind up the debate, he said he could not give up the floor. However, he was sympathetic to Bryan, noting that he, too, had been caught out in the past of playing the tactical game of trying to speak last and then losing his chance to speak altogether.” ….

    AKA: BUSTED !!!
    Or as we say here in Cayman.. Do wa ya get KenKen! LOL

  14. Anonymous says:

    $2Billion dollar budget plus surplus and we have to hold NICE programs to give the unemployed work for a few weeks a year. Meals on Wheels are underfunded and feeding our seniors that have no pension. NAU is spending millions of dollars to house, feed and clothe those who are unable to work, or underpaid and or the indigent..CINICO is still a mess and we are paying through the roof for health insurance. We also have a road system that we keep throwing bandaids at..Mount Thrashmore continues to go with only a promise from the Government that DART will cap it but no idea what happens after that…We also have a multi-million dollar over budget airport that doesn’t have cover for our visitors when they step outside into the rain not to mention it is already overcrowded..

    These are just a few items that come to mind but the only thing this government is focused on is building a cruise port because this is going to be our saving grace for jobs for Cayman ians and to ward of the cruise ships not coming to Cayman..Both we know are not true, promises are comfort to a fool.We have been told the “jobs for Caymanians” so many times in the past that the government should really look for another line to use..

    I am so fed up and can’t wait for 2021

    • Anonymous says:

      You forgot about “feed our future” and school supplies annual collection.
      A country with 2bil. budget can’t provide breakfasts and pencils to its children.

  15. Anonymous says:

    2 billion budget ….chhhhhh na ya wa see more big houses going up, big pimping rides, and 1st class trips around da globe… a lil mess

  16. Anonymous says:

    As long as it doesn’t effect his port deal.

  17. Anonymous says:

    neat, so now Arden has gone turncoat as well. All changes to the constitution should be done via referendum. It is a document dictating how the people are to governed and we should have a say in it.

  18. Kurt Christian says:

    Vote No

  19. Anonymous says:

    2 billion, are they serious?! WTH is meals on wheels without proper funding?? I’m so pissed by all of this. We are going to VOTE out every single of you inadequate wastes of space. Better enjoy it now.

    Every country in the world trying to minimise and help their people and these fools talking about a 2BN budget….why praytell are our kids starving, people without work and living from pay check to pay check? Why don’t we have universal health care yet with all this money?

    • Anonymous says:

      Meanwhile, the mass importation of poverty and certain increased burden on the CIG gathers pace. You cannot make this shit up.

      • Anonymous says:

        You mean the children of Mac’s mass status grant’s children ?

        • Anonymous says:

          No, they are already here. That was the first wave. Now it is their cousins, spouses, and hundreds of others with incomes and education that are compelling them to live (and remain) in poverty. The PR system is failing us if it is supposed to stop persons who will be an economic burden on Cayman from having permanent rights. Watch out NAU.

        • Anonymous says:

          Low paid civil servants and their families who are immune from rollover, get education and healthcare for free, have underfunded or unfunded pensions, are immune from rollover and are a baby daddy away from guaranteed PR and status, amongst others, as well as the continuing and growing consequences of Mac’s Status Grants.

        • Anonymous says:

          Honestly, it would be helpful if the 2003 Status Grant Conspiracy Theorists would read the Gazetted list of recipients, documented in public domain for 16 years, and reconcile that against Births and Deaths, and the requirement thresholds for Caymanian Status and Continuation at 18. There is no meaningful fast lane for anyone. It’s a myth. No only that, but the whole process was on ice for 4+ years! The NAU people are CAYMANIAN, many of them multi-generational!!!

          • Anonymous says:

            Simply not true. Large and growing numbers of non Caymanians are benefitting from NAU and other government programs. The Caymanian people should be outraged. The amount of money being spent by the government educating, housing, feeding and medicating non Caymanians, all while Caymanians may not be having their basic needs met, is worrying and unsustainable.

          • Anonymous says:

            Who says the children even bothered to become Caymanian, let alone applied for continuation at 18? If they didn’t they are not Caymanian, but is that stopping them from getting benefits?

          • Anonymous says:

            You are either an idiot or think we are…there was some vetting for the second tranche just because they had to dilute the amount of truly unworthy that were on the first tranche lists’ of the politicians and connected folkse…many that I knew hadn’t even been on island for five guy had been here a few and had been living elsewhere for years. Some of the spots were sold.
            Quit trying to justify a corrupt abuse of the system

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