Minister forecasts CI$168M gov’t deficit

| 27/10/2020 | 130 Comments
Finance Committee on Monday

(CNS): Finance Committee members heard that government is now forecasting a $168.7 million deficit by the end of this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As he opened the committee hearing for the appropriation changes to this year’s budget, Finance Minister Roy McTaggart delivered the bad financial news that everyone was expecting. He said the changes to the 2020 budget arose from the mitigation and suppression of the virus.

As McTaggart, the PPM’s heir apparent, explained the appropriations, he pointed to the additional $40 million that had not been budgeted that was spent on COVID-19 testing, air-bridges between the UK and Grand Cayman, and other specific virus-related spending.

Another $23.1 million has been spent so far this year on financial assistance to the most vulnerable, as well as displaced tourism workers and non-Caymanians stuck here as a result of the border shut-down. $9.5 million has been spent on micro and small business relief efforts, while $3 million was used to buy laptops for students in public schools to reduce gaps in education equality exposed by the need for online learning during the pandemic.

A further $16.3 million was spent on operational support for Cayman Airways Limited to keep the national flag carrier afloat during these times of uncertainty.

Government also spent more than expected in areas unrelated to the pandemic, such as regulating the financial sector, the new West Bay Police Station, the John Gray High School project and creating the Cayman Islands Regiment.

Government’s accounts are also impacted by the Government Guaranteed Loan Scheme for Medium and Large-Sized Businesses, where the government will guarantee or be liable for 50%, or $100 million, of a maximum loan facility of $200 million, as well as its own line of credit to the tune of almost $400 million and a loan to the Cayman Islands Airports Authority.

However, the finance minister has said that while the government will be temporarily outside the requirements of the Public Management and Finance Law Regulations, the UK, which supervises the government’s fiscal management once it breaks the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility, has offered its support to the Cayman government, given the circumstances.

Most of the appropriations bill reflect increases in spending but there are decreases, though the former far outweighs the latter. While the tourism ministry offered up some of the biggest savings in some areas, totalling more than $15 million, the increased spending of more than $30 million still left the ministry in the red.

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Category: Government Finance, Politics

Comments (130)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So, 168mm loss here, but spending an additional 50mm on the airport

  2. Anonymous says:

    168 million in hand outs. Thank God for health,strength and ambition my family can raise their heads hight knowing we never receive a penny.

    Proud to be a caymanian and will never need the goverment to hold my hand.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What’s happened to the $48mm CIMA generated in the 12k new PE Funds registered by 5 August?

  4. Check my math says:

    So, based on the math:

    $100M surplus + $169M deficit = $269M spent in 9 months.

    $269M/9 months = $30M/month

    Loan was $330M now reduced by $169M = $161M remaining of the CIG loan.

    So, $161M/$30M (per month) = 5.3 months until all the money is gone.

    So, in the month of May we will have an election, but who will want to run to take responsibility for this fiscal mess? And at the same time all the money will be gone.

    Am I missing something here?

    • Anonymous says:

      The piggy bank is going finish sometime! Wake up, wake up, we all can’t afford to live on Cloud 9, when it go belly up!! If you think it’s bad now, I have two words for you: bankrupt and default.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey keep ure highfalutin book learnin to yoseff smart guy.

  5. Anonymous says:

    So if Cayman islands opened up now how many years of scrimping and saving(like that’s gonna happen) will it take to make that up? And because everyone knows that Cayman will be the last place on earth to open the only question is how much longer can they hold their breath before drowning in debt? I think much less than a year.

  6. Anonymous says:

    thank you ppm. that’s twice you have bankrupted the islands in 10 years.
    what’s the plan now….treble work permit fees again while refusing to cut the civil service(aka caymanian social welfare program)????

  7. Johann Moxam says:

    Perhaps CIG will now STOP GIVING CONCESSIONS to wealthy developers for political support and favors. Premier McLaughlin, Minister Hew and the rest of Cabinet cannot afford to surrender current and future revenue to any persons, entities, developers and projects. It is clear that Cayman cannot continue to subsidize the development industry particularly for their political friends, donors and sponsors given the current economic woes the country is experiencing.

    There must be full transparency and accountable for all the Development Agreements that have been negotiated and signed by the current administration over the last 3.5 years? The public have the right to know the total value of these concessions and exactly what is gained in return over the life of each project including the number jobs for Caymanians, net financial gains and other terms that will benefit the Cayman Islands economy and government over the life of each project.

    The deficit and state of government finances is all the evidence we need to need to understand CIG cannot continue the current ad hoc process of giveaways. All industries and projects must pay their way. Failure to rectify this situation will accelerate the implementation of some form of direct taxation which will further impact our economy, the costs of living and quality of life for all Caymanians.

    • SSM345 says:

      Johann for Premier.

      • Anonymous says:

        He would be great. I know he would never sit back and allow government to waste millions every year on fluff. Cayman need people like Johann with credibility and principles in 2021

      • Anonymous says:

        If he run, I will vote for him!!

      • Anonymous says:

        This is the type of honest and practical leadership that Cayman needs in financial services and other areas. Mr. Moxam is clearly stating the reality of what many of us in industry feel. Thank you for being brave enough to speak honestly when most prefer to hide from the reality.

    • Anonymous says:

      TELL EM!! Full Ombudsman investigation to follow up too.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where is the Auditor General’s office investigation or report on these concession packages? There must be full investigations into the process and all agreements

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for calling it like it is and hitting the nail on the head Mr. Moxam

    • Anonymous says:

      johan,,,chamber of commerce needs to step up and petition the governor for real economic expertise to be brought in from overseas.
      the chamber is sleepwalking themselves and their members in to oblivion

    • Anonymous says:

      Without the concessions(incentives), many of the developments wouldn’t happen but you know that already. Not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing but it’s a hard truth.

      • Anonymous says:

        Nor do the concessions represent less revenue over time.

        Nor are the concessions some sort of a savings account that we would otherwise have.

        Nor would it begin to solve the financial problems we’re now facing.

        It’s a red herring..

    • Anonymous says:

      Concessions extend far beyond developers,

      Don’t stop there!

    • Anonymous says:

      ‘the implementation of some form of direct taxation which will further impact our economy’

      And expedite the exit for a LOT of ex-pats!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Does compass exist in a parallel universe exploring all kind of unrealistic or even bizarre ideas?

  9. Jazzy says:

    Cayman needs to find a way to open up and allow ppl to travel in and out more freely with a 14 day quarantine it’s totally unrealistic. Other Caribbean islands have found ways that can work. Keeping us shut down is not realistic.

    • Anonymous says:

      it might be better than nothing but if you think that plan will save cayman your are sadly mistaken

    • Anonymous says:

      The same pro lockdown people will complain they lost their jobs and want government to bail them out.

      • Anonymous says:

        At this point, with what money? Unless Progressives Government and Associates Ltd. politicians would like to make donations to charity.

    • Anonymous says:

      TRANSPARENCY…..? ACCOUNTABILITY…..? The people running the government of the Cayman Islands do not know the meaning of these words!

    • Anonymous says:

      Open, but skip the quarantine! Testing is the only way to get the tourists or otherwise they will go elsewhere.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Money spending like crazy, why we need to spend millions on an army at this time, millions on the UK Airbridge etc etc

  11. Richard says:

    From the song “My Way” made famous by Elvis. “And now, the end is near
    And so I face the final curtain”

  12. Anonymous says:

    It is obvious what the desired result is. All across the Western world (including Commonwealth), money is being printed like there is no tomorrow.
    This money is actually debt and will eventually have to be repaid. This will mean that the GBP, the USD and by extrapolation, the KYD, will enter phases of severe inflation, hyper-inflation if one is to be pessimistic.

    Money in the bank will become worthless and cash in hand will buy very little.
    One solution is to empty your bank account and buy provisions now that you won’t be able to afford in the future.

    All these rich idiots clamouring for an indefinite lockdown will soon change their tune when they become poor overnight like the rest of us.

    • McCarron McLaughlin says:

      Excellent summation of what’s about to go down. I’m feeling better everyday with the investment I made in Physical Silver.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Finally. The end is near which just means the beginning of a non Caymanian run Island. Caymanians can have it back when they pay all their bills. In the meantime it will thrive like never before.

    • Anonymous says:

      You have been wishing for that for a long time but like our current Governor, you are only here for a time and to get what you can get out of us. Some of us are not so foolish as our elected members. You maybe able to get around Alden and his bunch of asses but there are plenty of us out here that won’t take it lying down so bring on your Regiment. Let’s see how far you will get.

      When you running down my country, your walking on the fighting side of me.

      • Anonymous says:

        For a person that doesn’t know anything about me you sure have some major issues separating fact from fiction.
        It’s not the country (or really the British overseas territory) that is screwing up so badly it’s the leadership. That’s OK I leave you with this thought: Prove me wrong. Please. Less folks with no way to make a living.

      • Anonymous says:

        not a country…

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh shut up with your sanctimonious claptrap.

          • Anonymous says:

            Sanctimonious yes. Claptrap – no, more a fact really, no matter how offensive you find it.

            • Anonymous says:

              Why crunch a place that is not yours?
              There was a delicate balance before us expats (locusts) showed up.
              UK attitude to Cayman sucks.

              • Anonymous says:

                Sorry to be the one to tell you but Expats own most of Cayman islands. Soon come they will own almost the whole thing as you Caymanians have to pay your bills……With what? Watch closely as Caymanians learn what most expats already know.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope you know that irresponsible developers, financial institutions, businesses and politicians have been running them up the most. Don’t put those burdens on the common men, women, and children of these islands while they are unfairly paying for them without choice anyway. You personally pay to put food in somebody else’s fridge but can’t get any? C’mon man!

      Most take pride in financial independence for personal expenditure and will do without it before they ask for any handout. Now, for what is left, they are barely scraping by to make ends meet. Don’t assume for all when you try to exemplify the some for your “convenience of argument”. Despite what maybe said in your exclusive social circles about Caymanians, we nah all stupid and lazy ya nah! That is exactly why we are complaining. The toes you step on to get your “thrive to the top” are connected to the backsides you kiss on way back down. I hope you know!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Can you believe $5,000 /month for under-performing teachers? We need a Walmart type of rollback and hold the weak to account.

    • Anonymous says:

      4.23 Great idea! Lets start with ‘alleged’ woman beater Bush, JonJon, AntAnt, JuJU, Bryan, Moses, et al….

    • Anonymous says:

      How about the underperforming, overpaid, and pampered voters in the civil service? The biggest hole that swallows the most money with almost nothing in return but votes to a few. Feeding them now when there is no income means they will be the straw that breaks this Camel’s back. Bye bye Corrupt Caymanian way of governing. Now you can’t afford it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Oh they can afford it…. as long as they can get more loans. They will drag it out as long as possible.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Can anyone tell me if we are in this bad of a shape, why in God’s name are we spending millions of Dollars on a Regiment that no one but a few want and on another Police Station. If the West Bay Police station is not fit for purpose rent or buy some place cheaper. There are literally hundreds of empty spaces available right now.

    Do these people that we elect realize that we see what they do? Do they even care? I expected better from Roy after Alden’s fiasco’s but it looks like he is following in his footsteps.

    • Anonymous says:

      And 80-100m on a new school that Alden couldn’t finish because he bankrupt the country in 2009.

      All they are doing is the same thing over and over expecting different results, and that is the definition of insanity.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I was under the impression that the Governor and the UK were handling the BA flights. So is what Roy saying to me is that I paid airfare on BA only to have them charge the Government so that I can pay it again. Boy you can are some $hit!

    I warned all of you that the UK does nothing for us and anytime the Governor tells us that they are don’t believe him. All he is a mouth piece wasting our money.

    The next time I hear anyone say anything about the UK supporting us, I will be asking you for how much? Nothing is free folks! Don’t even trust them as far as you can throw them. Sickening!

    • Anonymous says:

      Without tacit uk underpinning your offshore financial market would disappear overnight

      • Anonymous says:

        Explain “underpinning?” What the hell does the UK do for us other than treat us as an ugly stepchild?

        It’s nice to say that you own us but I am not a slave. The British have never gotten over their colonistic ways and there are still a generation of us that bow down and sing God save the Queen to them.

        Tell me how the Queen with all her riches and no political power helps me. I am supposed to fly to London at my expense to the the Queens wealth and jewels. What good would that do me? Which UK politician other than possibly Thomas Russell have you ever known to have Cayman’s interest at heart. How am I supposed to respect someone or some government when they treat me like scum and tell me that they will do to me what they will whether I like it or not and that I must stand at attention and bow to them..Hell no !!!. I will no longer be blindly lead..Those old colonial means of suppression will soon be forced out and I hope I live long enough to see it and to see them haul ass from Cayman.

        Now let all the idiots start that say we will end up like Jamaica if we even think about independence. We are not ready for independence right now, that I will agree but we better start preparing ourselves for its inevitability. Jamaica was not ready and just like us the British had divided them into the have’s and have nots setting them up for their ultimate failure. We cannot allow that to happen to us.

        • Anonymous says:

          Can’t allow the ultimate failure? Sorry, but it is already happening. Do you have anything in mind to turn things around? Does anyone?

        • Hubert says:

          Underpinning is basically the British judicial and legal system. Without it we are screwed.

          • Anonymous says:

            100% agreed. UK risk (and governance?) with Caribean weather is what makes CI an attractive locale for investment and offshore business.

            I don’t know how you get slavery from the word underpinning?

            I think covid is having very deleterious effects on people’s ability to think…

        • Anonymous says:

          So you don’t want to accept any more money from them then? Slate pension? Passport etc etc? Yes please….go for independence!

      • Anonymous says:

        Underpinning?? Is that the same as paying BA for a full flight that they are charging more than $1000 per ticket. Do you realize these planes have up to 250 seat on them? That is $250K one way or $500K roundtrip.

        This isn’t underpinning..more like charging twice for the same product and ripping off the people of these islands. Of course we do not have politicians with any balls to stand up and say it isn’t right..

    • Anonymous says:

      Too funny! So ignorant. When CIG spends all that borrowed money and the next debt is due who do you think will support you then? Bush? Juju? John John? I’m sure they have lots of cash hidden away but still not enough for you too. Where will you go when your money runs out and there is still no jobs here? I bet Cuba would take you.

  17. Anonymous says:

    hilarious 😆
    the best part is always reading your comments…
    safe bubble? lol 😂
    I hope you’re ready for a ver special christmas 🎄 locked up without gifts 🎁 and family around the table.
    unless of course you have a private jet 🛩
    wake up, Cayman Islands… wake up

    • Anonymous says:

      Mind your business expat, mind your business.

      • Anonymous says:

        They are minding their business. They are here for the business. If they leave they will take the business with them because Caymanians have not been “minding” their business and now the Caymanian side of the island will fail. What expats own will not fail. America, the UK, and all the rest of the developed world still has a functioning economy(that’s how you get your food and material still) Cayman does not.

      • Anonymous says:

        Says a person who’s ancestors were most definitely expats. Are you native Carib or Taino by any chance? If not you’d better sit down and you know what.

  18. Anonymous says:

    this is only the start….the real recession and following depression starts early 2021.
    listen to real international economic experts not the local realtor tricksters….

    • Anonymous says:

      Why, its the best time to buy. Condos on the beach for 50k soon…lol.

      • Anonymous says:

        And when the economic destruction has devastated everyone here financially, who do you think will be buying those 50K condos?

        Caymanians? Guess again…

        • Anonymous says:

          Sadly true, highest bidder games need to stop. Locals need airtight laws to guarantee something in Cayman before international market allowed to devour.

  19. anon says:

    The Minister mentions assistance to non Caymanians stuck here following the border shutdown. I understood all they got was a one off food voucher for $150 if this is the case it can hardly be cited along with all the other major Covid expenses.
    It’s ironic the UK Govt is offering to be flexible with regard to the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility when their budget has been blown to smithereens with all the Chancellor’s ginormous handouts to those affected by Covid.

  20. Anonymous says:

    168,000,000/30,000 = $5,600 per person (or $15-20k per household)

    All of which will eventually be clawed back in the form of higher taxes or reduced spending and thus lower living standards in future years…

    Was it worth it to protect “Cayman’s bubble”?

    • Anonymous says:

      No big deal, we can go on like this as long as it takes…years even. There are no consequences.

      • Anonymous says:

        No, none at all. The magic money tree will never run out…

      • Hubert says:

        Except personal income taxes and property taxes implemented in a years time.

        There are no other choices.

        • Anonymous says:

          We could stop importing poverty, downsize the civil service, and decrease rampant waste and corruption. That would be a better alternative.

    • Anonymous says:

      Still potentially got another 6 months to go at $XX,000,000M per month before we have the full damage amount.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the denominator is underestimated so your household estimate is overestimated.

      • Anonymous says:

        I did a back of the envelope of 60k total with 50% Caymanian and the rest expats. Is that far off?

        The ex-pats I excluded as they don’t incur the debt on themselves and their children etc. They can always go home.

        And I assumed 3-4 per household.

        All pretty rough numbers. However, when you put it into the context of the individual it is quite a burden

    • Anonymous says:

      That is an easy question to answer if you look around the world. Countries that opened early for economic reasons are paying the price two-fold with no end in sight.

      • Anonymous says:

        You mean like Sweden?

        “It seems increasingly clear that Sweden will suffer a much milder recession than both the euro zone and the U.S. But a fresh analysis published on Tuesday shows Sweden will fare better even than its Nordic peers this year and next.”


        • Anonymous says:

          He means number of positive cases is growing. Still 99.9% of world’s population is unaffected. 44 mil. out of 7 bil. and that includes those who never got sick but was positive.

          • McCarron McLaughlin says:

            First the hysteria was centered around the mortality rate, now it’s the increased cases. I hope these chicken littles in the CI/UK governments will man up and admit they made a mistake after literally claiming the sky was going to fall in if they didn’t lock at the UK’S direction for a virus we now know 99% patients survive from.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s an interesting perspective.

        Can you cite any statistics to back it up?

      • McCarron McLaughlin says:

        Cayman Islands are down in a rabbit hole and still no recovery plan, guess CIG is still waiting on orders from their handlers in the United Kingdom.

        • Anonymous says:

          I don’t feel safe in elevators.

        • Anonymous says:

          Well, we can’t figure out how to deal with trash, we elect officials that are morally stuck in the 1700’s, and won’t hold our ministers accountable for abusing women… So yes, we need Mommy to change our diapers – again!

          Stop electing fools.

        • Honest expat says:

          McCarron, for God’s sake don’t wait on orders from Boris, independence would be a better choice.

  21. Anonymous says:

    3 million on public school Laptop for students, 3 million can buy a lot of Laptops,I wonder how many Laptops was bought that cost 3 million ci $

  22. Anonymous says:

    So taxpayers are subsidizing those that want to go on holiday in the UK?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes and shopping trips to the US.

    • anon says:

      12.12pm Like a lot of Caymanian students.

      • Anonymous says:

        My children are Caymanian and I paid for their flights to go to school in the US, what is your point?

        • anon says:

          3.19pm I flew on the Oct 15th flight to London and there were a lot of Caymanian students. The subject was the taxpayer subsidising flights to the UK, not the U.S. and in any event those flights are not subsidised. Get my point?.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually we paid dearly for those flights so I have NO IDEA how they can claim they paid for it?!?!?!?

  23. Anonymous says:

    As long as they still gettin paid..oink oink.

  24. Anonymous says:

    When this utterly destroyed economy fully sinks in and as the noose strangulating it remains, this is going to be far FAR worse.

    It’s going to be quite revealing when we see all the pro lockdown sanctimonious evangelists switch their tunes on a dime when its starts to affect >>>THEIR<<< pockets.. and IT WILL!

    But hey, we can always as the UK to give us a loan right? Who knows, may be is this time if we agree to performs abortions, they may give it to us.

    Alden? Sounds like a plan? Go out with a bang and be known as Alden the Foreclosure Man

  25. Anonymous says:

    from 100m surplus to 168m deficit in 9 months??? = $30m a month deficit or $300m reversal!!!
    and still no recovery plan???
    and still will not look at expenditure reduction?
    the scope of this economic disaster is beyond the grasp of roy and anybody else in cig.

    time to bring in real economic experts from overseas, mr governor

  26. Anonymous says:

    Yet the Government is spending millions on The Regiment!

    • Attenshun! says:

      They are getting their priorities right. Getting ready for when the proletariat riot.

      • Anonymous says:

        More like when the next big Ivan hits and then the riots start.

      • Anonymous says:

        That must be why they won’t let Caymanians have weapons…..

        • Anonymous says:

          They don’t want you to have weapons because you might decide to stand up against them when they decide to take over everything. Some people are dumb enough to believe that not allowing the people to own a weapon will prevent crime! H-m-m-m-m… It doesn’t seem to be working!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Lock it down Alden!

  28. Anonymous says:

    and can you imagine what it would have been if they built the port?

    • Anonymous says:

      If they had started building the port…not if they built the port. They would never have finished it.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Just wait until the millions in lost permit fees starts adding up as everyone pursues Global Citizenship and the work permit holders that government would not allow back home on the repatriation flights, even through quarantine, stay overseas and do not bother to renew their permits. The lack of understanding, planning and large amounts of waste, are astounding.

  30. Anonymous says:

    If we are outside PMFL, it means the CIG doesn’t have enough cash on hand to service interest on pre-existing outstanding debt, and/or 3 months reserve salary banked for current civil service payroll. What prudent job cuts have been proposed by these ministers? Any? Salary cuts for ministers?

  31. Anonymous says:

    Wait – we paid $40 mln for mother’s air bridge flights on their carrier? How does that make sense?

    • Anonymous says:

      Huh, are we reading the same article?

      $40 million that had not been budgeted that was spent on COVID-19 testing, air-bridges between the UK and Grand Cayman, and other specific virus-related spending.

    • Anonymous says:

      Add in 16M for KX and it is fun for all.

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