McTaggart hits back over stipend provision

| 06/07/2021 | 59 Comments
Cayman News Service
Opposition Leader Roy McTaggart delivers his message via video on Friday

(CNS): Opposition Leader Roy McTaggart, the former finance minister, is defending his role during the previous administration after the current minister, Chris Saunders, criticised the PPM for not making any provisions to cover the cost of stipends for tourism workers impacted by COVID-19, either at the current rate or with the increase that the former premier promised on the campaign trail.

In the pre-election economic update, the last government did not include the stipend beyond the end of May, skewing the deficit projections. However, McTaggart claimed he was right not to, based on “the principle that a government leaving office shouldn’t financially bind a new government”, as he challenged Saunders revised deficit predictions.

In a press statement at the end of last week and coming ahead of the PACT Government’s strategic policy statement, McTaggart appeared keen to take an offensive position against the new finance minister while defending his own legacy in the job.

“I am proud of the vastly improved financial position that the two governments that I have been a part of have achieved,” he said. “It is our strong fiscal health that has greatly assisted us over these past 15 months as we have fought Covid. The Progressives-led coalition governments have left behind a solid foundation and successful policies on which the PACT Government can build.”

The Progressives have made it obvious that they will be targetting the PACT government’s inexperience in political office as its main weapon of opposition. Continuing this theme, McTaggart said Saunders’ recent “curious comments” regarding the current state of public finances “could be that the minister may not understand how government truly works and is simply wrong”, or an effort to create public doubt regarding his stewardship. He said Saunders’ explanation over the stipend meant that he was either unaware of how the process works or was being deliberately misleading.

McTaggart claimed that Saunders’ new revised 2020 deficit prediction of $87 million has emerged post-election and somehow has nothing to do with the former Unity government, as he had previously relied on the Pre-Election Economic and Finance Update (PREFU) during PACT’s first press briefing in May.

“No mention was made of any concern regarding the information contained in the PREFU, including the estimates for 2020 and 2021. So, it appears that whatever adjustments were made to the 2020 year-end results occurred after the election and seemingly after his first press briefing,” McTaggart stated.

“I trust the financial secretary, the accountant general, and the ministry staff who prepared the 2020 year-end financial results back in March,” McTaggart stated. “I have some difficulty believing that they would have gotten their March figures that wrong. The change looks to have occurred under the minister’s watch but hopefully not under his direction. And so, I eagerly await the minister’s explanation as to what accounted for this supposed increase in the 2020 fiscal year-end deficit. I hope, though, that he has a better rationale for this increase than the one he offered for the increase in the estimated population numbers.”

See McTaggart’s statement below:


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Category: Government Finance, Politics

Comments (59)

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  1. Fair and Balanced says:

    Can anyone explain what this back and forth achieves for the Cayman Islands?

    Reminds me of my childhood where 2 boys both want to win in a game of marbles.

    Roy has proven himself as an accountant but he can’t seem to break free from Alden’s grip and be a leader of his own.

    Chris is hot headed and trigger happy but, he’s not being a follower of anyone else which Roy can’t say.

    Pick your poison between the 2 men.

    • Politrricks says:

      Leader of the Opposition Loser isn’t it time you take a deep breath count to four while holding it then Let it out with a big sigh” Alden and Joey put it on me, I’m not the Premier oh boy”.

  2. Jotnar says:

    “the principle that a government leaving office shouldn’t financially bind a new government” – didn’t stop you from campaigning on the basis that

    a) you would increase, let alone extend, the stipend and

    b) references to the projected financial results as an emblem of PPMs financial trustworthiness, sort of conveniently forgetting to mention that there were a slew of election promises in there that hadn’t been budgeted for “fear od binding the future government”?

    I have been in the accountancy game for over 30 years, so try it on some other sucker. The old joke about the accountant attending a job interview and being asked what 2+2 equals and saying it will equal whatever you want it to seems to apply. I am sure you can make the numbers dance on a head of a pin, Roy – doesn’t mean you are being entirely honest though, does it? Trying to take the moral high ground on this is a bit off – you misrepresented the position, and you know it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Roy McTaggart, who I used to respect and hold in high regard (even though he joined the PPM), is know taking on the characteristics of Alden “The Terrible” McLaughlin, who I and most of the country despise for the harm and destruction that he has inflicted on the Cayman Islands and the Caymanian people.

    If Roy thinks that his attempts at belittling the PACT are effective, then I have news for you Roy: they are not effective and you are not effective. Roy, you lack the leadership ability that is inherent in any great leader. You are (as your cousin pointed out) a jellyfish, which has no spine and backbone.

    The legacy of Roy McTaggart will be remembered the same as Alden McLaughlin’s, which is a total failure and a traitor to the Caymanian people.

    Roy you are nothing more than a puppet of Alden and it is sad to see how bad company corrupts good manners.

    Once again, Roy is sitting in his study looking like some type of mafioso crime boss, which is fitting because that is actually not far off from what you are.

    I hope that the people of GTE recognize you for what you are: a fool, a coward, a puppet, a failure and a man with a tarnished legacy.

    May God have mercy on your soul, Roy.

  4. RES IPSA LOQUITUR says:

    Roy McTaggart seems to be losing the plot and is nothing more than a puppet for his master Alden McLaughlin who runs the show from behind the scenes. The speeches and comments from the current leader of opposition have been scripted and do not sound anything like Roy. The PPM seem to have changed him for the worse.
    McTaggart had every opportunity to join the PACT and form a coalition government like his PPM member Juliana O’Connor-Connolly but chose not to do so because his leader Alden McLaughlin would not allow it. The nasty side of McTaggart, McLaughlin and PPM is evident for all to see. They need to grow up and get over the sour grapes. Cayman has significant issues to address that should take priority over dealing with the bruised egos of the opposition.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you listen to the main thrust of McTaggart’s comments? He is addressing the incorrect and misleading information distributed by Saunders. The job of the leader of the opposition is to hold the government accountable and ask questions on behalf of the people of this country.

      • Anonymous says:

        The incorrect and misleading comments? Like the fact the stipend wasn’t budgeted? Even Roy admits that. That the PPM didn’t make it clear that it wasn’t? Ditto? That the numbers for the year were completely unrealistic as a result? ditto. So what exactly did Chris get wrong? That a new government shouldn’t expect that the outgoing government was entirely honest during the election or took care to ensure that the budget they left the incoming government with was sustainable? Yeah, that’s about it. The amateur politician who made the mistake of assuming that the outgoing government had presented figures that could be trusted in an election campaign.

      • Anonymous says:

        11.47am You are spot on, but certain individuals are of the opinìon that PPM lost the election and should shut up and just agree with all that PACT does. Would be nice if CNS would remind the public of the role of the opposition so that they can make better informed decisions. Pointing out someone’s mistakes does not mean that you hate them or are being spiteful; sometimes it simply means you are doing your job.

        • Anonymous says:

          PPM did lose the election just that they believe they won.. Trump-like

          • Anonymous says:

            To 9.03 the commenter at 10.45 is not saying that PPM did not lose. Read the whole sentence. His point is that because they lost the election they should be quiet and let PACT do as they wish.

        • Anonymous says:

          PPM lost the election, period..this is not a Trump-Biden election..the PPM doesn’t get it that they lost and will do every thing to act like they are still in charge.

          Roy has taken a page out of Alden’s book and he is trying to replicate him as if this is something to be proud of. I have spoken to members of his family and even they say that they are very concerned.

          Roy never had, or at least I have never seen him with this high and mighty narcissistic until he joined up with the PPM. This narcissism has become the trademark of the PPM now and it is almost like if you stay in long enough you will become indoctrinated..It has now become an official cult where certain people will follow blindly and reject everything ethical they have ever known in the name of PPM.

          • Anonymous says:

            @6.37pm Read the whole sentence then comment.The poster was simply saying that some people feel that since PPM lost the election they had no role to play and should go sit in the corner and be quiet. However they do have a rple to play and that includes keeping the Govt accountable for their words and deeds.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Roy McTaggart should 100% be part of the government. However it is clear for anyone to see that several members he would have backed in his government shouldn’t be anywhere near the positions they would have been given. Their party politics put Cayman in a dangerous position.

    • Anonymous says:

      Party politics works just fine for me. Anytime all 18 MPs are in agreement on anything, other than pay raises for themselves, God help us. As far as I am concerned, being in opposition is a very important part of government.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Parliament will be in session next week; let us do our part— listen to the radio, tune in to the TV or go to YouTube and let’s be informed. All of these people work for us, so let us keep track of how they are performing both at constituency and ministry level.

  7. Anonymous says:

    These politicians all are getting paid so who cares about anything else? It’s all lip service. Open the borders, move on.

  8. Bigfire says:

    PPM trolls are in full effect!

    • Anonymous says:

      Now that’s for sure. Deputy Opposition Hew, I believe called them, keyboard warriors in coffee shops. So what are we witnessing here. Mr. Hew, it seems PPM has their own keyboard warriors.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Poor Roy, still trying to find something to do or complain about to stay relevant.

    Roy, you and the PPM are no longer relevant. Get that through your thick skulls..

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank God for Roy.
      I wish we still had an experienced professional in charge of our finances than a wannabe accountant with a background no professional should have.

      • Anon says:

        He had the chance to remain as Minister of Finance…but alas he lost his professionalism, ethics, and good sense.

    • Anonymous says:

      i just hope they are better in opposition than they were in government.
      cayman needs a strong opposition to the nonsense of no-plan-pact.

  10. Anonymous says:

    it doesn’t matter how big the deficit is…how are we going to manage when the country is losing $20m per month?
    no-plan-ppm followed by no-plan-pact is a disaster for cayman.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Saunders isn’t used to an opposition who actually knows something and will do something. Saunders idea of the ‘job’ of opposition and Roy’s will be quite different. Keep them on their toes ppm and stop the bs rookies.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Borders are opening September 1st as Cayman Airways is selling twice daily flight.
    Finally some of us can get beck to work!

    • Anonymous says:

      Incorrect!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Read the news from the BVI, and cancel your reservation before it gets cancelled for you.

      • Anonymous says:

        BVI only at 33% fully vaccinated though. They had to know an outbreak was going to happen with that low of an uptake of the vaccine.

      • CSF says:

        The news from BVI is suboptimal and not going to help our government look to reopen, but it does appear that the main problems in BVI may be a very low vaccination rate AND not requiring unvaccinated children to quarantine at all (not even 5 days plus negative test as in eg UK).

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately those are just ghost flights.

    • Say it like it is. says:

      12.59pm Cayman Airways needs to tell us how much money it’s losing every hour, it has to be an all time record even for them. If we want to get our tourists back we need North American airlines to start flying here again asap.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone care what he has to say anymore? Is he even relevant?
    Genuine question here. I just feel like he’s grasping at straws.

    • Anonymous says:

      Saunders is definitely grasping at straws. And no Saunders is really not relevant.

      • Anonymous says:

        He is the Minister and able to make decisions, therefore he has relevance.

        Roy puts up a youtube video every two weeks, put together by Alden, criticizing the Government. He is trying his best to stay relevant but nah, if he wanted to be relevant he should have dumped the PPM and went over to PACT. This just makes him look like Trump doing a rally because he lost and doesn’t have social media anymore and needs attention.

        Does anyone believe that the next time around Alden won’t want his Premier job back? He will chew up and spit out Roy faster than he did Marco.

        I feel sorry for Roy but it is like he has been drawn into that narcissistic PPM mentality. They believe that they know better than anyone and only them are able and qualified to run the country. They are full of crap basically.

        • Anonymous says:

          To 10.34 “Roy puts up a youtube video every two weeks, put together by Alden”. Prove it, or withdraw and admit you made it up. Tired of all these unproven or fabricated stories.

        • Anonymous says:

          @ 10.34pm So Roy ” if he wanted to be relevant he should have dumped the PPM and went over to PACT”. So you want a Government without opposition eh. See what that gets you.

  14. Anonymous says:

    He probably still cries himself to sleep every night because he is not premier.

    • Anonymous says:

      He was just the front boy as Alden was still going to run the show!

    • anon against ignorance says:

      12.23pm You will also be crying yourself to sleep very soon under Pact because he in not premier.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not having Alden and his huge ego is enough for me as well as all his flunkies (Joey & Jon-Jon)! Thank goodness the PPM did not stay in power.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Roy. Misleading people about complex financial issues is not on. Esp inappropriate + inaccurate blame.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have to stand up for Chris Saunders on this one, he is not misleading anyone. In order to mislead he would have to have some basic understanding of what he has seen/read/been told etc. and then try to change it. The simple truth is that he is completely lost when it comes to financial matters, and it’s not just with him as Minister of Finance, he has been clueless in every financial post that he has ever held.

      • Anonymous says:

        He also needs to advise his relatives about the law requiring pensions to be paid.

        • Anonymous says:

          A certain group do not pay holiday, sick pay, overtime, pensions or health insurance plus make the employees pay for their own permit and find their own work to boot. Was told by one rich person, that is the Cayman way and help keep the development costs down. Thank you all you wonderful politicians! Lets give a few more duty concessions while your at it.

          • Anonymous says:

            So sad but true @ 8:17pm.

            This inhumane practise is sickening and widespread.

            WORC also knows the name of every single individual/company that engages in this exploitation but continues to grant these individuals/companies extra permits.

            You could finance an enforcement team just from the fines collected by doing the clean-up job.

            • Anonymous says:

              What you say is absolutely true, and has been the case for years. It certainly looks like corruption.

            • Anonymous says:

              A crackdown will never happen because the big money developers want the cheap labor and since they have the ear of out esteemed leaders, nothing will ever be done.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes the minister of finance should champion that cause.

    • Anonymous says:

      You mean as opposed to campaigning on the basis you will increase the stipend but sort of forgetting to mention that it hasn’t been budgeted for beyond the election? Cause that’s not misleading, no sirree.

      • Anonymous says:

        Poster 12.34 you left out this most important fact. The Progressives said they would implement this if they were returned to power. The never said that any other group forming the Govt had to do it. If Progressives had been returned to power then they would have submitted their plan to finance committee and gotten the funds approved.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I truly questioned Mr. Saunders competence by listening to him. He sounds very ignorant. He needs to calm down, take time to understand government finance protocols and do as he learns, and stop blaming the previous government. if he messed up the end of the 4 years he will have to give account to the people , not the previous government. Stop playing blame games!

    • Anonymous says:

      I know people who worked worked w Chris who say the same thing. Question his comprehension.
      How about the way he read his statement at the last briefing. No inflection, just words on a page, no real comprehension. Roy is right to query this discrepancy. It is millions.

      • Anonymous says:

        I worked him,found and saw the complete opposite. My guess you are an ex politician who just can get over the loss – probobolity of guess? 98% right

        • Anonymous says:

          And you probably think you are quite capable of teaching high school English as well.

  17. Anonymous says:

    That’s Chris…lot of wings flappin but no birds flyin

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