PACT to deliver its first budget on Friday

| 23/11/2021 | 27 Comments
Cayman News Service
House of Parliament

(CNS): The government will be meeting in the House of Parliament on Friday to present the Throne Speech and the finance minister’s first budget, which will cover the next two financial years. This will be the second meeting of the 2021/2022 Session of Parliament since the PACT government was formed, and while the public is invited to attend, they must be seated by 9:30am and must remain so for the session. They must also wear masks as part of the safety protocols due to the pandemic.

On arrival at 9:50am, Governor Martyn Roper will conduct the Inspection of the Guard of Honour before entering the House of Parliament to deliver the Throne Speech.

The PACT’s first spending plan will be based on the Strategic Policy Statement delivered by Premier Wayne Panton in July, but it will also have to tackle the issue of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the sharp rise in the cost of living.

According to the latest figures from the finance minister, the current state of public finances remains solid, even though the borders were closed for 20 months and despite the cost of managing the fallout from the pandemic.

The government is currently running a budget surplus for 2021 of well over CI$100 million and money is pouring in from import and stamp duties as well as the financial services sector.

But the broader community is feeling the pinch, given the significant increase in the cost of living, which is especially difficult for the working poor and micro business owners, as well as those who are depending on stipends or are unable to work for extended periods due to COVID-19 outbreaks in their households.

Many members of the public, especially Caymanian voters, will be hoping that Finance Minister Chris Saunders will include something in this budget to help them make ends meet.

The meeting meeting is expected to start at around 10am, when the governor will be invited into the Chamber. Members of the media who will be attending must confirm that they have taken a lateral flow test with negative results on Friday morning, and will not be admitted inside unless their name has been submitted to Clerk of the Parliament Zena Merren-Chin.

The proceedings will be broadcast live on CIGTV and its YouTube pages and other social media platforms.

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Category: Government Finance, Politics

Comments (27)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It would be nice if we could get better counsel and ceased the ritual wasting of public funds doing battle against our own citizens’ civil and human rights – paying costs and damages in redacted settlements. We allow ourselves to get walloped again and again with the same mallet of stupidity. Stop it.

  2. MackB says:

    There should be no new long-term expenditures in the budget as the PACT administration is claiming that one of the reasons why everyone has be exposed to the uncontrolled spread of the COVID-19 virus is because the government is running out of money.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If they can get someone at WORC to answer the bloody phone I will be ok with this massive budget that PACT is about to drop

    Word of advice. Try to remember all the campaign promises and see how many actually show up in the budget

  4. Anonymous says:

    I suspect that ALL MPs with the exception of Wayne and Andre will have problems understanding what they’re presenting. I imagine the Minister of Tourism & Transport and that for Agriculture (whatever their official designations are) will have the biggest struggle.

    MP Kenneth Bryan, dropped out of high school (not unlike some previous “successful” politicians here), does not write well and has never held a job. MPs Jay Ebanks and Sabrina Turner are not much better.

    These are some of our islands “top” representatives.

    I’m sixty four and perhaps soon out the door. Thank God I know Cayman before all of this!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      With Chris Saunders presenting the budget, I don’t see how Wayne and Andre can do anything more than pretend that they understand it. What Chris says probably makes more sense to Kenneth, Jay, Sabrina et al.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Close both Turtle Farms, release the turtles and staff into the wild, and sell the land. Trim CAL and CIG payroll dead weight. Use that money to build a drug rehabilitation center, promote birth control use, and get D-level and below “graduates” into a real trade school, not into gangs. PACT don’t need to continue blowing money on unaccountable public investments like Moses K.

  6. Time for import duty reform says:

    Time to remove import duty on fruits and vegetables, help us eat healthy. bonus: CINICO will save on health care costs!

    Remove stamp duty on dipaers and children’s clothing, no reason to tax the hard working parents of this country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Time to ban the importation of the pesticide-riddled foodstuff and really save on health costs.

      Hint: not all of it is though

      And STOP the importation of the pesticides banned elsewhere but still used in local agriculture and sprayed indiscriminately by many of the landscaping companies.

      Agree fully on the children items.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said! If they are worried about losing duty then apply it to the fast-food restaurants instead! Unhealthy food should never be cheaper than healthy

    • Anonymous says:

      We need a consumer advocacy agency. A crackdown on price collusion on all wholesale imported goods. We should all agree that 300% profit margins are drifting into the consumer exploitation realm when many of those same consumers are earning minimum wage with no savings.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’m betting the same short sighted reliance on permits as with PPM asses.

  8. Anonymous says:

    things that should but won’t be in the budget:
    reduction of cig spending
    redcution of civil service numbers or salaries
    measures to control inflation
    measures to control cost of living
    measures to reduce cost of doing business
    any stimulus measures that will help business and create employment.

    • Anonymous says:

      Begone Sir with your outpouring of common sense and lateral thinking. You are not wanted nor needed here!

      Signed: PACT

  9. anonymous says:

    Maybe they could help out elderly people with the astronomical cost of healthcare premiums instead of giving themselves raises.

  10. Anonymous says:

    And a sovereign wealth fund? We are going to need it when the construction boom ends in 2-3 years. That will be the time to fund public works projects just to keep the core construction industry operating. Where will the money come from then?

    • Anonymous says:

      SWF?!? We have to first pay off a carried nine figure debt load, and fund billions in unfunded public servant health and pension liabilities. No previous regime has wanted to admit the shortfalls, lest we loose our UK backstop. If this is an honest budget, it would be shocker.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Can’t wait to listen to see if PACT discusses these proposals:

    I am particularly interested in the RFP for the Orwellian social monitoring and listening tool from the Cabinet Office.

    From the RFP document, page 19, Appendix D:

    ‘Scope of work:

    One of the Cabinet Office Communications Team’s strategic functions is to perform social listening and schedule content on social media to inform Cayman Islands Government professional communicators and senior leaders of developments bearing on the Cayman Islands Government’s reputation.

    The tool will provide the Cayman Islands Government with detailed and comprehensive social media listening, scheduling and analysis reports.

    This includes daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly qualitative and quantitative social media monitoring.

    In addition to social listening of specific keywords, locations and certain accounts, the tool needs to be able to provide social media scheduling with an approvals workflow for different users.

    The tool should be able to recommend the best time of day to post, enable url tagging & shortening, and reply to messages and comments.

    We require this tool for 20+ social media accounts.

    The tool should have two-factor authentication, and a mobile app.’

    Surely, there are enough overpaid, do nothings sitting in that overstaffed office all day who could be tasked with justifying their existence by checking government’s social media during the workday instead of their own?

    The rest of CNS readers may also find the RFPs for a submarine and for body armour interesting.

    PACT is the worst thing that has ever been created by the Cayman Islands and we have years left of this insidious chaos.

    I know things seem unbearable for many right now, but, please pay attention to what the government is getting up to.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wait until you see who that office is hiring next. Nepotism is alive and well in PACTland

      • Anonymous says:

        Get rid of hiring staff for the funding of LFT for all the vaccinated tourists. That would save some $$$$. Concentrate on the hospitalizations and the community spread.

    • Anonymous says:

      My mistake, it was a RFP for a submarine cable! But the RCIPS requesting quotes for armour to militarise the idiotic and corrupt police force is concerning.

      Also, people may be interested to know that past opportunities page includes closed, cancelled and awarded RFPs, along with the chosen companies and costs.

      This one was in the news, right?:

      ‘Award Notices:

      Vendor Date Awarded Value Actions
      BLUEWATER MEDICAL SUPPLIES LTD. Oct 27th 2021, 3:00 PM EST $1,275,000.00’

      Note the lack of information when you click ‘View Award’ on this RFP versus when you click on other awarded RFPs.

    • Anonymous says:

      23 @ 3:02pm Spot on! Just like no one noticed the ad for the post of “IT Analyst” in RCIPS some years ago. No doubt long filled and VERY active. At the time, my questions to certain politicians went unanswered.

      Could it be worse? Mostly illiterate, power-drunk (or just drunk, or both), populists with access to large accounts, technology and snake-oil “advisers”. Sounds familiar?

      Sleepy Caymanians can’t be bothered, expat residents won’t ruffle any feathers, WP holders… not their problem. I fear for my kids and the gens.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Its pretty hilarious that stamp duty and private fund registration (along with the increased registry & CIMA fees from all the recent activity) has literally put the entire Cayman economy on their back. Absurd spending from Gov and it seems to not matter whatsoever because financial services and property is just steaming ahead.

    Everyone in financial services knows this cant last forever. The SPAC boom we had late last year early this year was literally the most craziest thing i ever experienced. It was a frenzy of people setting these up. 13k private funds as well.

    Rising interest rates next year and tapering from the US fed will cool the market – less borrowing for property and less free cash for investments. The business we have isnt going to dissapear, its just not always going to continue at this rate.

    Hopefully they are prepared and not running through 22 and 23 forcasts alike this will continue.

  13. Oprah Ebanks says:

    You get a pay increase, you get a pay increase, everybody gets a pay increase!

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