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:

    None of the MPS increased salaries are warranted. The bunch of Cayman Islands’ elected representatives already make too much money. The salaries that you all were getting were quite enough for the poor a88 jobs most of you all do. There is truly never value for money when it comes to the bunch of you greedy, fake, self-serving/interest, Bible-bashing bunch of elected hypocritical citizens.

    Yet, as a retired civil servant who was pensioned out after thirty years of service, I just recently got an $11.96 pension increase for 2021. Go figure!

    • Anonymous says:

      Everybody was and are scared to talk for retaliation and that still exists. That has to stop and keep talking here to show the truth! Thank you!

  2. Anonymous says:

    When oh when will these Islands elect persons who are truly dedicated to helping Caymanians live a better life instead of lining their pockets and ensuring their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren live in luxury for decades to come? My guess is NEVER!!!!

    This is the most disappointing set yet, at least previous Governments took some time before showing their true colors!!!!

    A very annoyed and disappointed Caymanian.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It’s difficult to believe that the pay of each MP and heir expense account isn’t a matter of public record.

  4. Anonymous says:

    How can they call themselves honourable,they should call themselves highway robbers

    • Anonymous says:

      If they can buy pieces of paper online and call themselves ‘Doctor’ in official transcripts we should not be surprised.

  5. Anonymous says:

    In all other occupations taking something that you are not entitled to gets you sacked, if not imprisoned.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The only apparent metric used in determining the pay of our elected officials is self-interest. In what universe does a local MP deserve higher take home pay than the President of the United States and all US Senators, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and all UK Cabinet members, the Prime Minister of Canada and all Canadian Cabinet members, The Prime Minister of Australia and all Australian Cabinet members, and all other Commonwealth elected officials for that matter.

    • Anonymous says:

      To say I am disappointed in this PACT government would be a HUGE understatement. I am so baffled by their blatant disregard for the people of this country and the trying times we are facing. I listened to a certain morning show this am and the host of that show has her head so far up the PACT A$$ it’s unbelievable. She did not call them out on this move but instead tried to paint a picture of this being PPM’s doing and PACT could not stop it. This decision while made initially by the PPM, could have been rejected or undone by PACT. They have so easily undone other things but not the one that will further line their already deep pockets. PACT government is filled with newbie, wannabe politicians, majority of whom should not even have ministries. They have not offered and put in place a single thing that they promised while campaigning, yet they managed to vote and agree to give themselves more money not even passing a probationary period?? WTF?? You just cannot make this stuff up. How do our politicians earn more than US state Governor’s or British MP’s?? This would have been a great opportunity for them to say they are going to veto this decision made by the previous government because:

      • They are all newbies and have a lot to do and prove before a raise of pay is warranted – if at all, as they already earn more than they deserve.
      • They have barely been in office 3 months
      • They have not fulfilled any of the promises to the people that must take priority over a raise of pay for themselves
      • The economy is in shambles right now and it would be remiss of us to take more money when so many locals are unemployed or struggling to make ends meet
      • Our boarders remain closed and opening with uncertainty with added concerns of how that will unfold (WE HAVE NO TOURISM AND DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT WILL LOOK LIKE EVEN WHEN WE OPEN)

      This honestly leaves the people stuck between two evils as we know what to expect from the PPM, also greedy and all for themselves while shitting on the people and PACT has proven to be no different. A classic case of stick to the evil you know. Persons like Chris Saunders who I believed was pro-people is now so out of touch. Kenneth’s head has swollen 10 tens over from the little power he got, McKeeva is the head pimp with all his bitches when he definitely should have been done by now. Let’s just brace ourselves for further disappointment and outrage over the next 3+ years.

      • Bob Smith says:

        But have you seen the lovely work that has been done to the road shoulders on Frank Sound Rd. Jay Johany deserves a bigger raise!!!

        • nauticalone345 says:

          While the widening of the road there is needed and much appreciated, I am disappointed that the opportunity to use proper surfacing and paint in cycle lanes was not done? Especially given uneven surfaces caused by so many years of neglect and the poor patch work repair after cutting up / trenching the roads….and the many cycles on that stretch on the weekends.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are soooo right.

      • Anonymous says:

        Tell it as it is! People been too scared to talk and others been bought!Get rid of that damn piece of shite Bush. Then sort rest out. Panton just like the previous. This chain needs to be broken for good before Cayman can move forward to better. Right now it is too tainted to deserce any credibility. Politicians quite happy to keep locked down…

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’m more shocked at the voters that didn’t see this coming! First of all – we have a Government thrown together overnight by a man who apparently wanted nothing more than Premiership.

    The obvious single goal of this entire Government from day one after election was simply – form a Government that excludes the PPM entirely – that was their entire goal.

    Never-mind that in order to do so they selected “Ministers” who probably never read a Hansard document in their lives and will take at least 2 years in the LA to fully understand protocol and the process of enacting legislation.

    The current premier absolutely disregarded the fact that he chose Ministers with NO prior political experience whatsoever (or so much as a Public Administration degree)…

    Forget about the fact that most of the Ministers (with very few exceptions) have any prior knowledge of what their Ministries entail…

    And yet the Caymanian voters still insisted that the PACT was indeed their saving grace despite the numerous red flags that pointed to nothing more than a power-hungry, egotistical bunch (again, with very few exceptions).

    This is only the beginning, look out for more.

  8. Anonymous says:

    PACT’s first 100 days comes up tomorrow so here is their first report card based on the standards they set for themselves-

    P – stands for people driven – clearly a lie as their only accomplishment was to ignore the people in order to give themselves a pay rise while ordinary people are going hungry

    A – accountable – there has been no evidence of accountability – they have not produced the ‘Code of Conduct’ that they promised would eliminate conflicts of interest and corruption – instead they voted themselves a pay rise – a massive conflict of interest

    C – Competent – there is no evidence of competence in their handling of anything – actually they have not done anything other than raise their own pay

    T – Transparent – there is no evidence of transparency regarding anything – that may be in part due to the fact that they are doing nothing but still they get a failing grade.

  9. daddywasapirate says:

    Caymanian style leadership: Take all you can, give nothing back. Jack Sparrow would be proud.

  10. Anonymous says:

    HOLY SMOKE BATMAN!

    They agreed on something without further debate or a strong voice of challenge from the opposition.

    Who says they can’t work together for “their” common good.

    This left no stain on Cayman which is contrary to what JH said after the election.

    Shame so many other issues are pressing and we have a government and opposition that have challenges in working together for the betterment of Cayman and its citizens.

    Guess it’s easy to cast aside personal differences, sour grapes, anger when it comes to $$$ for themselves.

    Signed:

    A Starving Caymanian who’s wondering which bill to pass over until next payday.

    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent comment! No one could say it better. I hope others are inspired to make similar comments on their situations.

  11. dining in style says:

    It’s a safe bet that a wide swath of Caymanians read this publication. So, the fact that a whopping 96% of readers of this article have clicked on the red face with the FURIOUS expression at the end of the article tells you something. It tells you that legislators are ignoring the strongly felt will of the people they serve. Of course, this surprises no one. Legislators are there to serve themselves, not the people. But it’s nevertheless sad that legislators are SO determined to enrich themselves — even beyond the exorbitant level they were currently at. Memo to legislators: Thanks to COVID, there are thousands of people on the island who can barely put food on the table — but thank goodness you folks have a further increase in pay to keep you dining in style…

    • Anonymous says:

      “Dining in Style” – and you really think any of those highly-paid MPs will read the public’s sentiments on this or any similar forum? They couldn’t care less!!

      Yes, the Unity Government proposed this increase, but PACT had the chance this week to reject it (like Minister Andre Ebanks did with certain initiatives under his Ministry) – but clearly they are very selective!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Very well written – thank you for taking the time to submit this comment.

    • Anonymous says:

      +1 7:57a – However, as per usual, NOTHING will be done about it. Just like double dipping in the pension scheme. Our politicians are as greedy as any other country.
      Rape an pillage the coffers to get your share before it’s gone.

      Genuine question here;
      Why isn’t there anything we can do about this???????

  12. George says:

    This is just the beginning

  13. Anonymous says:

    Was this not proposed by the last lot of self-serving crooks?
    Still, im sure none of them are complaining.

    Nice that we can reward wig man for all his hard work making Cayman look like a backward shit show.

  14. We need to pay attention says:

    How does the new government get blamed for a salary increase that was approved in November of 2020, as part of the LA becoming Parliament? That’s right, this obscene salary increase was proposed and passed by the previous administration; the PACT only approved the allocation in the budget in the same way they approved moving 2+ million into social use. Could they have refused to allocate the salary funds? That I don’t know. Would there have been repercussions? 🤷‍♀️

    • Anonymous says:

      “We need to pay attention” – They could’ve rejected it now like they did some other proposals.

    • Anonymous says:

      PACT could have simply said no – just like they did with the allocations for new overseas representative offices. Instead they chose to enrich themselves further while many of our people cannot put food on the table.

    • Anonymous says:

      The difference is PPM were in for 8 years, PAC have been in 8 weeks and done f*** all

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you dumb? Yes PPM were the instigators but PACT could’ve vetoed this decision in these hard times for so many Caymanians, if they had any heart or a shred of decency. In light of their campaign slogan…”PPL ELECT CHANGE AND VOTE INDEPENDENT, WE ARE FOR THE PPL” only for them to f@#K us over the same way PPM did. Is this really what we have to settle for over the next 4 years?!

  15. Anonymous says:

    This would have been a great opportunity for our new govt to show their difference. Not fund the increase AND implement a pay cut.
    Our MP salaries seem to be quite excessive based on their responsibilities.

    • Anonymous says:

      Their pay before this increase was the highest in the world for an elected politician representing a tiny number of constituents – higher than UK or Canadian Cabinet ministers, higher than US Governors, higher than the pay of any politicians in any other Overseas Territory
      On top of that they clearly do not merit even a fraction of the pay they were getting before this increase based on their non-performance. They did nothing other than cancel programs designed to help our people and then vote themselves pay rise!

  16. nauticalone345 says:

    I expected as much of all the others….but Wayne really surprised me with this! Maybe half way through the term and after successfully re-opening the island / getting past Covid. But less than 3 months and near the very first thing you all do / agree on!….is to raise your own already inflated salaries and benefits?….with borrowed funds / loans that our children will be paying for?! I’m Fu#$%^G infuriated!

  17. Anonymous says:

    I was going to suggest that the PACT government take another weekend retreat at the Kimpton where they could discuss the optics, and how the voters might feel about them voting themselves such a big raise so soon after taking office. But then I realized they would most likely come to the conclusion that they should have given themselves an even bigger raise.

  18. Watching clouds go by says:

    I have a question for all the “outraged” commenters. when Bills (proposals for laws) are discussed in the House? – where are you? SLEEPING? Making babies? Why is it that you never protest or oppose anything until it is passed? 🧐 Our job as citizens is to be informed and oppose from the streets.

    • Anonymous says:

      The lied to us about their intentions. Shame on them.

      • Anonymous says:

        While agree with you, its time we stop taking politicians on their word. around the world, people say the same thing yet time after time they don’t stand up and demand politicians to stick to their word.

        They have successfully dumbed us down and kept us too busy with a 9 to 5 Mon to Fri and only 1 day (Sat) to get anything done as Sunday we all need to sit back and drink beer.

        • Anonymous says:

          Allow Status Holders with years and genuine qualifications PROFESSIONAL experience and invested their lives, families, money and respect into Cayman more than these ‘native’ aholes have only robbed its own people!

    • Anonymous says:

      8:16, We are a naturally passive people.

    • Anonymous says:

      too hot and we only go to events where chicken is provided..

  19. Anonymous says:

    Our greedy politicians voted to pay themselves many times what UK Cabinet ministers get although UK Cabinet Ministers are responsible for a country with 1000 times the population. We are idiots for allowing this!

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/930798/Salaries-of-members-of-Her-Majestys-Government-April-2020.pdf

    • Hubert says:

      Incredible as it may seem, our politicians are the most well paid politicians in the world taking into consideration that on top of their salaries they pay zero income tax.

      They make more than every American Senator, Canadian and Australian Ministers and everyone in the British Parliament.

      Oh, the wonders of living on 3 dinky islands with so much wealth. Great living in a bubble.

      • Anonymous says:

        Incredible isn’t it? The US president takes home $220k a year, the UK Prime Minister half that.

        • Anonymous says:

          To be fair, they make a lot more afterward. Not sure our MPs and Premiers carry the kind of clout an ex-President or PM does for consultancy/lobbying/advocacy/(insert other corruptive euphemism here) work.

  20. Anonymous says:

    So the term ‘Honourable’ actually means dishonourable????

  21. Anonymous says:

    Voting yourself a pay rise is clearly a huge conflict of interest, if not a form of corruption. I suppose that may be one reason, or the reason, why we have no effective legislation to stop it.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Shame , Shame on you PACT, you are a Disappointment to All persons who put our trust in you. We were desperate in need of change for the better and we took you at your word which is like a basket without bottom.
    I worked 40yr as a Civil Servant and I gave my all, and as a pensioner, who cannot make ends meet you have the audacity to give us 1%, which equates to $7.00 per month or less for many pensioners and lined your own pockets with a hefty increase after only 2 1/2 months. This Government is very, very shady. People nothing started so wrong can end right.

    • Anonymous says:

      Very well written. I agree with you completely and I am glad that you spoke up. More need to do the same.

  23. Anonymous says:

    How do we go about getting a Constitutional amendment that limits this type of profiteering. I would be generous in that regard and allow our elected members to get paid 1.5 times the median take home wage for Caymanians and allow Cabinet members 2 times the median wage, but no more. That way our Parliament might have an interest in improving the situation of average people rather than grabbing as much as they can for themselves.

  24. Anonymous says:

    This PACT Government is a complete Disappointment!!
    They are so cunning and yes they had me fooled as well as I taught this time we had a few that actually had the people at heart. CAYMANIANS WE HAVE BEEN FOOLED AGAIN.
    2025 Please come down quick, this bunch is too bold faced 😡😡

    • Anonymous says:

      Hopefully there is some way to get rid of them other than having to deal with 3+ years of incompetence and greed.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Greedy pigs

  26. Anonymous says:

    They do not know the meaning of shame.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Here’s the salary of every governor in all 50 US states. … from a low of $70,000 (Maine) to a high of $201,680 (CA).

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.businessinsider.com/governor-salary-by-state-2018-1%3famp

  28. Anonymous says:

    🤨🤨🤨🤨

    What group of politicians you expect to be different?

  29. Anonymous says:

    They did not have time to publish the promised “code of conduct” that might interfere with corruption but they found time to take more of our money for themselves. Disgusting.

    • Anonymous says:

      The significance of this comment is enormous. There should be 1000 likes and replies. Obviously people in Cayman don’t understand the significance of “code of conduct”.

    • Anonymous says:

      This comment must be marked as the most important one.

    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent comment – says everything about this government.

  30. Greedy Self Serving B@$+@£€$ says:

    This is obviously unsustainable, what would UK charge for running this banana republic? We definitely don’t get anything close to $3.5M worth of leadership effort from our so called honourable members of Parliament. What say you Gov, is this what fair and good governance looks and costs like, or did you receive some shut up pay for your retirement fund too?

    • Anonymous says:

      Your posting ‘name’ is the best name yet for the non-party party we now have running things.

  31. Anonymous says:

    It is absolutely disgusting that wig man is even there let alone that we are paying him over $200,000 so that he can remind us that crime is irrelevant in Cayman.

  32. PoorPplFedUp says:

    While everybody else in the civil service continue with a shit pay

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh shut up civil servants. You are the only civil service in the developed world that pays absolutely ZERO towards your health insurance costs.

      You have no idea how good you have it too.

      • Anonymous says:

        @7:01 Just read your comment and had to tell you that you’re wrong! I’m an employee of a local government in The USA and my employer covers my health insurance as part of my compensation.

  33. Anonymous says:

    CMR is on the scene live-streaming accidents five minutes after they happen, and posting crime scene videos the day after, but somehow she hasn’t discovered the cold hard truth about the PACT pay raise yet. lol. She must be busy trying to blame it all of McKeeva.

    • Anonymous says:

      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.

      I think the PPM doesn’t have clean hands here either as they are they ones that voted for it and approved it in Cabinet not the PACT. PACT was left to find the money to fund it but they should have railed against it and it would have given them some political clout.

      Alden had the traps set. He is a smart politician, don’t let anyone fool you..and ethical one..not so much!

      • Foolproof says:

        You telling me PACT could not, in no
        way stop this increase for the sake of the country in these times of uncertainty and hardship, like they stopped other benefits from the prior government? Perhaps you should investigate that rather than looking for a scapegoat?

      • Anonymous says:

        The point is that PACT promised they would be a better cleaner more honorable transparent government.
        The first opportunity they had to show that has resulted in same old same old greedy self interest.

  34. Anomymous says:

    This is unbelivable today to think they get a raise and the retired people still struggle to pay health insurnace nothing for optical tests dental to so very very sad no wonder lots of young caymanians famlies moving away just a disgrace

    • John says:

      I think you should be more balanced in your view. Both parties appear to be deserving of your criticism on the basis of the article. I say this because the prior government voted in this increase at a time when the country has been dealing with the severely negative economic impact of the pandemic. This government inherited the position (laws do not always come into force immediately). Should the current government have taken action to delay (or repeal) it, that is a criticism that could be levelled at them.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Ridiculous been in from April and the only people they could take care of is their selves. They should be ashame.

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