MPs clear CI$3.5 million for wages in 2021

| 21/07/2021 | 195 Comments
Cayman News Service
Speaker McKeeva Bush in Finance Committee

(CNS): Elected members ensured that they will all be paid their newly increased salaries and additional benefits this week when an amendment was added to the supplementary appropriations bill for the 2021 budget to vote for the cash required to cover the cost of running Parliament and their wages. Some CI$3.5 million has been set aside to cover the annual salaries and benefits of politicians and the cost for their constituency offices as well as the money needed to run the House. The pay hike was already approved by the previous Cabinet and voted for before the end of the last administration but it fell to the new government to find the money.

What exactly each MP receives is not clear from the documents, and the details of politicians’ pay or how money is being used by the Parliament was not detailed as the members took the vote. But more than CI$527,000 was added to the previous budget to pay MPs and to run the parliament.

Senior Clerk Zena Merren-Chin, now the chief officer of the Parliament Management Commission, explained that the increase in relation to the staff at the House of Parliament was due to the new autonomy of the institution that led to an increase in pay for existing staff and a new deputy post.

House Speaker McKeeva Bush, who is also now the ‘manager’ of Parliament, a position almost akin to a minister with Merren-Chin as chief officer, raised the issue about the positions being recruited. He said he was not involved in this but implied that he had concerns about the recruitment of staff.

Bush said he had some “grievances… about how it was being done”. He said that while a minister would not be involved in the recruitment of civil servants, things were “different” at the Parliament and that he should “know something about who was going to be where”.

Little more was said about the issue but Chris Saunders, the Finance Committee chairperson, suggested that the original law had envisioned that the chief officer would deal with staff issues at the House of Parliament. However, Bush argued that the “manager”, or presiding officer, would have overall responsibility. He made it clear that he was not prepared to take the blame or criticisms that may follow, as he disputed Saunders’ position that the issues he was raising should be discussed at the next management council meeting.

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Category: Government Administration, Government Finance, Politics

Comments (195)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Panton will go down in history as the most socialist Premier ever. He is ruining what is left of Cayman. He needs to stand up to Roper and Lee and send them packing.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Here’s a partial comparison between Cayman and Bermuda. Two very similar jurisdictions with Financial Services and Tourism based economies, similar population size and both BOTCs.

    Members of the House: Cayman $155,148. Bermuda $56,023.
    Speaker of the House: Cayman $212,772. Bermuda $82,592.
    Ministers: Cayman $212,772. Bermuda $156,864
    Opposition Leader: Cayman $176,652. Bermuda $86,390.

    And don’t forget to gross up Cayman numbers by another 20% for KYD and probably another 30-40% for constituent offices and other perks.

    Which all begs the question. Since we are paying our politicians 3-5 times what Bermuda is paying theirs are we getting value for money?

    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent points – from what I know Bermuda also has much better quality representation – at a fraction of the cost.

    • Angus says:

      Bermuda is 3 billion in debt. Maybe if the paid their leaders more the islands would have a better run Government.

      • Anonymous says:

        Cayman’s financial situation is an illusion. Cayman is more than 3 billion in debt it is just off the books in the form of unfunded health and pension liabilities and other off the book debts.

      • Anonymous says:

        Have you taken a look at the underfunded civil servant pensions ? That’s a massive liability that has been tossed one side

    • Anonymous says:

      Does entertainment value count? It’s not common that you see pictures of the parliament speaker beating a woman on front page news while he remains employed with no shame.

    • Anonymous says:

      Florida Governor Compensation: $130,273
      20M+ people live in Florida plus 131M+visit annually

    • Anonymous says:


  3. Anonymous says:

    They barely started to work and want raise ??!! Glad I didn’t waste my gas to go vote for them!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    The government closed the borders and theirs no job for the poor people that worked in the tourisim industry but they can get a big raise and still think it hard to give those people the two dollars, plus the poor retire civil servant who is suffering, the cost of living is sky high last week I brought one dozen from Foster food fair supermarket for two dollars & fifty cent today Wednesday the same eggs went up to three dollars & fifty nine cent per dozen a lot of these business place is very glad for covid 19

  5. Anonymous says:

    Looks like a lot of us got suckered by PACT. I wouldn’t feel so slighted by PPM if they did this (which I know they initiated it but PACT could’ve reversed the decision)as my expectations of PPM were already so low, but PACT is worse because they are so inexperienced and already feel they deserve more money. smdh Most are lining their pockets now because they know they’ll be one hit wonders.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Slap in the face to all those supporters hoping for a change. The only change has been to an even less competent group.

  7. Anonymous says:

    And this is why I don’t vote all you that protested I think you need to get back out there to undo what you did so silly they cut the free shuttle cut the farmers stipend stopping the tourism stipend but turn around and vote themselves a raise . Pact you are just what you are

    • Anonymous says:

      Arrogant,egotistical, self centered and incompetent bunch is exactly what they are. So dissapointed in them. They should all be ashamed of themselves.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Im so over politicians

  9. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if the Deputy Premier Mr. Saunders will now open a constituency office?

    • Anonymous says:

      I think that they are allowed to keep the constituency office money even if they do not open the office – Remember that A for accountability in PACT’s name? It is a sham just like the other letters. they make the rules to suit themselves.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Direct rule now!

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately, I think we’re already there, via Dr. Lee.

      • Anonymous says:

        Lee is Roper’s puppet and Roper is executing his orders from the same fool that tells Boris Johnson what to do.

        • anon against ignorance says:

          4.10pm You are a true Caymanian, blame your mess created by your politicians on expats.

        • Anonymous says:

          Congrats 4:10 for one of the most effing stupid comments I’ve ever read on this or on any of the other many sites I monitor. It is hidjuts like you that make foreigners think we are unable to govern ourselves.

  11. Anonymous says:

    And Kenneth Bryan standing and giving statement today talking about and giving out reusable water bottles to themselves and opposition. Donald Duck, Popeye, Pluto, Tom and Jerry, Minnie Minx, SpongeBob Square Pants..Help!!!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    So nice of the PACT government to line their pockets first instead of fulfilling some of their “fake” promises to get votes. Unuh will never get my support again. Unuh are no betta than the PPM Government.

  13. Anonymous says:

    And this my friends is POLITICS. The art of making the people believe they have the power and are in charge while the politicians help themselves!!!

    PACT waits three months to finally get to the Parliament to do some work and what do they do? Give themselves some CASH!!!

    I hope all you suckers who voted and celebrated and even protested for these guys see what a bunch of jokers you put in charge!

  14. Law Abiding Citizen says:

    This is insane, an absolute disgrace and an insult the the whole community, not just PACT but any member of parliament who voted in favour of this, in the current climate, should be ashamed of themselves!

    • Anonymous says:

      this was pushed through by the progressives before the election, thought they would be lining their own pockets. PACT just getting the reward from the PPMs self interests.

      • Anonymous says:

        Rightfully so, however the PACT is now the Government. They could have rejected it. They have speaked out against many decisions made by the PPM why not this ? This is just the beginning of what is to come from them.

  15. Pensioner says:

    As a retired civil servant I receive $398 .00 a month. Do not ask me how I live! I’m ashamed to call myself Caymanian. The number of retired civil servants on meager pensions is shameful. The government could easily fix this by ensuring no pensioner goes home with less than $1500.

    • Anonymous says:

      Presumably you weren’t a civil servant you full career yet you want a full pension? How does that work then?

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually no that person may be one of those who retired shortly after pensions were instituted and therefore receives a very small pension. There are quite a few in that position

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry to hear that. You are probably one of the few real Caymanians left.

    • Anonymous says:

      1:53, obviously you did not work for government for the full 33 and and a third years required to grant you a full pension. You are misleading people and making mischief.

      • Anonymous says:

        33 1/2 years to get $1500 pension? Really? That’s almost half of someone’s life. You expect them to work that long? My father worked with the US Merchant Marines during WWII and the Cold War and got more pension than that and that was for 20 years. Pension Law here needs to change if someone has to work 33 1/2 years for a measly $1500.

  16. Shocked beyond belief says:

    Unbelievable! People are out of jobs…struggling to make ends meet and this is the solution?…to give themselves a raise.

    Regardless of which Govt approved it….those in office now will benefit and they only been there 2 months. These monies should be donated to NAU, tourism industry workers and others that are struggling.

    • Anonymous says:

      They can find money to give themselves unwarranted raises but can’t offer the people a stimulus??

      • Anonymous says:

        Only the tourism workers are getting any help. There are private sector workers that were laid off and if you are at retirement age, you are capped at USD1,200, but there are others not getting any help. The people still have mortgages to pay and health Insurance, plus those high utility bills. There are a lot of suffering on our Islands.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Not true

  18. Anonymous says:

    NO SIR!!! It’s all about fatting their own pockets!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Great choice of photo. Stirs the emotions when you see that lump.

    • Anonymous says:

      Stirs up memories of what an expensive low life buffoon we are saddled with….proud of yourself Wayne..?

  20. Anonymous says:

    Some people are comparing this government to pigs at a trough. That is unfair. Pigs have at least some basic problem solving abilities while this government ….

  21. Anonymous says:

    I’m surprised at Wayne, he has enough money and he knows that the MLA’s (or whatever) get paid enough considering their skillset. And to do it now, when the economy in certain areas is really hurting, it’s a disgrace.

  22. anon says:

    You vote for the muppets.

  23. WBW Czar. says:

    I am ok with the (small) increase as our MP’s do have a tough job representing our islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have seen no evidence that they are representing any interests other than their own.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Maybe, but the PACT have been bragging about how they are going to be doing things differently than the PPM. They could have easily reversed this but instead they showed us all what scumbags they truly are.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Incredibly disappointing that the new premier is allowing this. They have made it clear to me now, they are not for the people but only themselves. Totally disgusting.

  26. Anonymous says:

    And there you have it, more PACT priorities…

  27. Say it like it is. says:

    A better example of avarice would be hard to find. The salary range for M.P’s was CI$121,000 to !55,000 in addition to their constituency allowance (for which they are not required to produce any records) of CI$24,000 to 96,000.The fact that the Unity Govt authorised it does not mean these spendthrifts could not reject it, like the overseas offices which have been cancelled.Mr Bryan dictates that now we have to make written submission to CAL to justify ant trip as “essential”travel. Can the Minister please submit in writing why these increases in pay and allowances are “essential”?.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Hon speaker is right. His position is similar to any cabinet Minister and Hon Ministers r responsible for funds allocated so himself

  29. Anonymous says:

    The fact that this woman beater is being paid a huge salary to roam bars and beat up women and run his stupid mouth every chance he gets when many people are struggling to pay bills and keep food in their fridge is mind blowing!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Like 10,000 a month wasn’t already more than enough! Imagine getting paid so much for not doing your job.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Snouts in the trough and the biggest pig in the farm (or rather, the manager) is at the front of the queue.

    • Anonymous says:

      And this is the PACT government sent to save us from the evil PPM !
      No difference except that Mac is in charge of doling our jobs and funds to feed his own future.

  32. Anonymous says:

    spend…spend…spend….all while running a huge deficit every month.
    pure madness.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Like taking candy from a very loudly crying baby. Easy.

  34. ISAIDSO says:

    Yeah so you all see what this PACT is all about now! Making that money hunny, and POWER!.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Shameless. Too bad we can’t pay them based on job performance!

  36. Anonymous says:

    So this is why they are borrowing 330 million?

  37. Anonymous says:

    They are quick to increase their own pay, but the Civil Servants who do their work have only been told that maybe we will be given “half salary payments ” in December as a thank you. What we want is for our pay to be comparable and equitable. We want a significant pay-raise (NOT COLA) of at least 8-10%. We want this pay increase urgently and without further delay. We want a pay increase to support our families.

    I close by saying that I would also support them providing for the needy and hungry as stated by Caymanian @10:24AM

    • How's about says:

      we give you a 15% raise, but we reduce overall headcount in the CS by at least 1/3 and you all start contributing to healthcare and pension costs.

      Also might be nice if the rampant moonlighting stopped as well.

      Give your head a shake!

    • anon says:

      Try doing your jobs to a standard that isn’t sh1t3!!
      Civil service here is APPALLINGLY BAD.

  38. Anonymous says:

    People-driven (yes, the people drove us to take this increase in pay). Accountable (of course we can account for this, and we know your short-term memory will not extend to the next election). Competent (we have to be to earn this kind of money). Transparent (most people said they could see right through us before the election, and now everybody can).

  39. Anonymous says:

    No qualifications required, not even a High School Diploma at mininum to run for MP.

    Applying for any job with the Civil Services requires a High School Diploma, passes in certain subjects, and then if you’re lucky to chosen you must first sit a test that includes absolutely nothing pertaining to the job. If you don’t pass that you’re not even given an opportunity for an interview.

    Can any MP (past or present) explain this logic ?

    • Anonymous says:

      This is what happens when you have draconian voting methods.
      At least 60 % and I am being generous of the elected “honorable “ MPs are unqualified for these positions . What’s honorable about any of them by the way. Makes me laugh.
      All their credentials should be made public so we can get a real account of who’s running the gong show. Seriously this who’s most popular in their little area where they grow up or have family scattered in will be the demise of this country. Time to cop on ! But that won’t happen.

  40. Anonymous says:

    They want to cut the stipend and not increase anyone else’s wages. They seem like one term politicians. One thing about Mac, he does for his people. Regardless about what you want to say about him, he isnt helping people just during election time. Also sthu about that video lol, he wasnt the aggressor.

    • Anonymous says:

      What did you sell out for? An apartment at the Ritz? A microwave? A family spot on the public sector payroll? A fridge? As for the video; he pled guilty!

      • Anonymous says:

        What did you vote for? These PACK of Muppets?

      • Anonymous says:

        And lastly I didnt “sell out” for anything, I voted for him because he loves his people unlike majority of the politicians. Say what you want! You voted for a “change” now look at this different smelling shit hole youre gona be in. We are taking the Rainbow back in the next term as well 😎. Go march about that too.

    • Anonymous says:

      @11:15 Put down the crack pipe. Step away from the crack pipe.

  41. Anonymous says:

    When the vast majority of the non- civil service voting Caymanians are struggling to make ends meet, have had their wages cut or are now unemployed and living on government stipends (hand outs), this is just a disgusting and outrageous kick in the teeth. So much for the promise to serve the people!!

    Let’s see if just one of them has the decency to say “ no thanks, donate it to a charity”

  42. Anonymous says:

    PACT- Personally driven, arrogant, confused and tactless.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Vomit, vomit!

  44. Anonymous says:

    It appears that being shameless is contagious. People can decide for themselves whether the photo is evidence.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Seeing as there is no other issue facing the country it is understandable that the government took up Parliamentary time voting themselves a pay increase – I am so angry that sarcasm is all I can come up with.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Absolute F***ING circus! Meanwhile they impose more and more regulations and fees on the private sector so they can give themselves raises.

  47. Tone deaf! says:

    This is so wrong.

    Caymanians are suffering and they give themselves a pay raise?!?!

    Just because the previous administration drafted this law does not mean it is morally acceptable to go ahead with it.

    Open the borders and allow us to resume trade, commerce and help the economy heal

  48. Anonymous says:

    Is there anybody out there who still believes that this government’s priorities are anything except self interest?

  49. Anonymous says:

    Pandemic/Economic collapse/people suffering – what does this do? They vote themselves another raise. This is not a government focused on the concerns of the PEOPLE.

    • Anonymous says:

      Pay attention: the PPM government voted this in.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not true. PPM voted prior to the election to send the matter to whoever controlled the government after the election. PACT voted themselves this disgusting raise.

      • Anonymous says:

        which makes most of the pigs at the same trough.

      • Anonymous says:

        …PPM also proposed increase of stipend, continuing to assist local farmers, free GT bus shuttle and opening of boarders imminently (using a safe and phased approach as they have been) amongst other things. But yet all of the aforementioned proposals were quickly and firmly rejected.

      • Anomymous says:

        Premier panton and criss saunders could have stopped this going through its a disgrace to the cayman people

  50. Caymanian says:

    WT Flip!!!

    So people are out of work starving and all PACT is thinking about is securing their pocket??? WTF.

    I would think they would donate this to others who are suffering now.

    All I gotta say is WOW!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      And they know that’s all your going to do.

    • Anonymous says:

      To 10:24 am – it was the Unity government that approved this – not the Pact government.

      • Anonymous says:

        Rubbish on steroids no doubt from a PACT member or beneficiary

        PPM voted prior to the election to send the matter to whoever controlled the government after the election. There was no obligation for PACT to betray the people this way. PACT voted themselves this disgusting raise.

      • Anonymous says:

        PACT can do the moral thing and not accept it. Shame! Shame! Shame! They go in preaching all these good things but are really 90% self and 5% maybe the people and 5% I don’t know what. This was a chance to send a clear signal that they are very different. It is only about power.

      • Anonymous says:

        Other approved matters were terminated. Don’t be so biased. Our country’s future has taken a serious turn for the worse.

        • Anonymous says:

          Did you expect better? Kenneth and Chris made a career out of fighting for the people and the “small man”, and had us all fooled, but you see what they do with a little power ?


          When those two turned cutthroat to join Wayne Panton I knew it would be a matter of time. Don’t forget Sabrina and Jay either…

      • Anonymous says:

        There is no Unity government. It was approved by today’s government which is PACT. The PPM may well have introduced the Bill before the election, but all PACT had to do was make an amendment in Finance Committee as they have done to the other things PPM proposed like the farmer’s subsidy, tourism stipend, overseas posts etc.

        Just imagine the joy if PACT had taken the bill for a pay increase and inserted a negative number. Oh joy! Oh rapture! politicians have decided to give money back to the people.

        Even just a plain NO on the vote by PACT would have made our hearts sing.

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