PPM accuse PACT of heading for 2023 deficit

| 03/10/2023 | 43 Comments
Opposition Leader Roy McTaggart’s message on the CIG spending crisis

(CNS): Opposition Leader Roy McTaggart has said the Progressives abstained on every vote during last month’s Finance Committee because of concerns that the PACT Government is heading towards a budget deficit for this year. In a recent statement, McTaggart, who has also urged PACT to increase welfare support and other spending, said government expenditure was at record levels and could surpass revenues.

“That could lead to dire consequences for the country and our people,” the PPM leader said. “It was against that background that the opposition refused to support the PACT ministers’ additional spending plans in parliament. We believe it is irresponsible for ministers simply to add to spending and that instead they should reprioritise and find savings to fund necessary increases in spending elsewhere.”

Although the opposition filed a number of motions that were debated during the most recent parliamentary meeting that would increase public spending if adopted, the former finance minister is pushing the Progressive’s credentials as responsible, experienced stewards of public cash.

“Two years ago, when the PACT Government passed the budget, the opposition warned that they were playing fast and loose with government finances,” McTaggart said. “Since then, we have consistently cautioned that not only has the government’s spending been getting out of control, but the revenue that they projected for this year will not be achieved.”

The PPM believe that Premier Wayne Panton recently called for the civil service to reduce spending by around 8.5% during the last few months of this year because he is aware that the country is at risk of falling into the red by the year-end.

The government is on track to spend over one billion dollars this year. However, it expects to earn more in revenue and is aiming to have, at the very least, a small $3.3 million surplus.

Panton and Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson addressed all of McTaggart’s questions ahead of last month’s meeting, held to deal with the $68,million of supplementary appropriations. But McTaggart accused the premier of failing to acknowledge the risks and telling the country that all was well. He accepted that Panton had been truthful last month when he revealed more details of the current state of government finances.

“The premier admitted that the revenue earned would be less than he told the country only back in April,” McTaggart said in his statement. “Despite this, and despite his calling for spending cuts, he brought a spending bill to Finance Committee seeking to increase government’s spending for this year by $68 million dollars — an amount that would push government spending to a record $1.03 billion for this year.”

In the April Strategic Policy Statement, Panton had said that government would not reach a billion dollars in spending until 2026. But with spending now three years ahead of forecasts, McTaggart questioned how high expenditure might go.

“The premier is now asking the country to accept that the government will receive only $3 million more in revenue than it expects to spend,” McTaggart said as he warned that “it would not take much to go wrong for the expenditures to surpass revenues”.

He added, “This is not a situation I would have accepted when I was finance minister, and neither should the premier in his role as minister of finance,” as he accused him of running the country’s finances on the basis of hope.

“The PACT Government continues to try to wish away its internal divisions while keeping its fingers crossed that the government finances will work out in the end,” McTaggart said. “If Cayman does avoid a deficit this year, that will be a matter of good fortune rather than sound financial management.”

McTaggart now wants the government to find savings across the public sector to cover the $68 million in extra spending requested last month, but he has not yet offered any suggestions about what should be cut from the budget. Speaking on Radio Cayman last week, he had explained that the opposition didn’t vote against the additional spending last month and chose to abstain because they were aware that the spending was needed.

Given the challenges ahead, the opposition leader said that tough decisions would need to be made about future priorities and spending.

“I fear that with the PACT Government in continual disarray, they will not be able to make the decisions that are necessary,” he stated. “We in the opposition will continue to hold the PACT Government to account; we will carefully scrutinise the upcoming budget proposals and we will remain watchful on behalf of the Cayman public.”

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Category: Government Finance, Politics

Comments (43)

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  1. Ppm Lost in the political wilderness says:

    Dear Roy leader of opposition please tell us what the future holds for cayman under ppm complaining about pacts financial misdeeds whilst poaching some of the very rats who bit holes in Pact’s economic plans to suit their economic and political whims does not exactly encourage or inspires me to cast my vote for you guys ! This place is Gilligan’s Island sorry mackeeva and Kurts vagabonds political hideout is probably better name for it .

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    • PACT Rats! says:

      @9:31.. are you joking when you refer to rats who bit holes in Pact’s economic plans”? What economic plans are you talking about? The so-called PACT has done pretty much nothing so far except spend $2B since January 2022 with little to show for it.

      Wayne has failed, and so has his Impactless government. The rats are all on the government benches, and the constant fighting proves it.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    There’s no need to cut anything to balance the budget when there are so many areas that Govt could easily dip into without causing increase in Cost on the public. (BTW, that doesn’t mean i think Govt shouldn’t cut spending..but show me a Govt anywhere that ever does? All the do is cut the amount they are going to increase spending by! Thats not cutting).

    Anyhow, just off the top of my hat –

    the Banking cartel makes a fortune stealing from us all daily on the .8/82/84 conversion between US/CI$. Nothing stopping Govt allowing this to continue but mandate that the banks share the spoils with them and prevent banks increasing the charges. This doesn’t take any more money out of the economy, it just stops the Banks CEO’s buying ever bigger homes for themselves

    The CIREBA cartel, stealing in plain sight for years. Nothing stopping the Govt mandating that the commissions are subject to Duty, and nothing stopping Govt mandating that CIREBA cannot increase their commissions. Again, not taking anything out of the economy

    The stunning scandal that few are aware of – the amount of pre-construction and pre-completion sales of real estate contracts that go without being subjected to Stamp Tax. Govt are massively missing out on this one.

    Telecoms – govt should charge all telecoms for renting the roads and airspace they use for pipes and poles (if they dont already) and mandate that these charges cannot be passed on.

    There are so many areas where money is being paid for ‘services’ rather than ‘goods’. Nothing stopping Govt charging an ‘import’ tax on the hours of law and accountancy firms and their ‘services’ they give to offshore residents and corporations. Its no different to import duties on on products. I am sure the law and accountancy firms can afford it, and these charges will be easily passed on the offshore clients who dont particularly care what they’re being charged.

    So many ways to raise funds for Govt without increasing costs on the residents here. You just need to open your eyes and look outside your boxes.

    Oh, and please ban leaf blowers. And ban all construction on Sundays. Give us some peace where you can. Life is hard enough

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  3. Anonymous says:

    I can’t remember how a surplus ever benefitted me or any other working class Caymanian. I would honestly love to know.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s amazing how CIG can collect so much money but somehow can’t use it to get something as simple a working bus system up and going.

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    • Get the point. says:

      @7:45 – A surplus pays for teachers, doctors and nurses, police, builds roads, builds more schools – well, you get the point, hopefully.

      A deficit will undoubtedly cost you and me and everyone else. Again, you hopefully get the point.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    So Roy – does Mr. Dart want the Government to spend $20million to replace the beach between his house and the Marriott? Please tell us PPM’s position on this? And how much would we have spent on the cruise dock by about now?

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  5. Anonymous says:

    There are hundreds of thousands of dollars to be saved simply by looking at how many vehicles are being purchased with public funds and who is using them exclusively for their own private use, under the guise of a ‘government vehicle’. It should be a government rule that ALL vehicles purchased with public funds are clearly marked as a government vehicle so these people are exposed.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    when will people realise…pact were never elected… they had no common agenda or manifesto…they just grouped together for their own selfish needs.
    that’s what you get for voting in small minded, small town independents.

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    • Anonymous says:

      9:17 – so true. No one elected a PACT government. Wayne pulled them together with promises of wealth and glory. Worst government ever!

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  7. Anonymous says:

    roy…what would you do differently?…this is what an opposition is meant to do.
    all you have done is to suggest further spending plans?????
    welcome to wonderland

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    • Anonymous says:

      The Opposition recommended spending in the next budget that starts in 2024. Roy McTaggart is talking about spending in this financial year – 2023. It’s a shame CMR keeps ignoring this.

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  8. Swims with the Rays says:

    How is abstaining showing their lack of support? If you don’t like a motion, Vote Against it! Schoolboy politics.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    We love you PPM leader Roy, please can you, Sir Alden and Honorable Joey come save us before the PACT destroys Cayman.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Who do you think put us in this mess? The bills incurred a decade ago are now falling due!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Rubbish… the PPM governments left $600M in cash in the bank and kept us safe during COVID. PACT are pi$$*ng it away in two years. God help us.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    ppm/pact two sides of the same coin….ppm did zero in 8 years to reduce or control spending. pact just doing more of the same.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That’s actually not true. The books were in pretty good shape after 8 years. Unfortunately without Roy or Chris looking after public finances, we are in for some real trouble as a country. Wayne, in his quest to hold on to the reins of power, instead of resigning with some shred of respect left like most would have, has decided he is going to pull this country through the mud by any means necessary. He actually is no better than McKeeva in this regard. Ego is a hell of a thing I guess.

      The right thing would be to call a fresh election.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If you truly believe that PPM did not operate good fiscal governments with contained spending and sustained budgets, then you are living in an alternative universe. The PPM governments achieved much over eight years, including rebuilding government finances. PACT will close out this term with more debt and nothing to show for it.

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      • Wa ya say says:

        ppm signed contracts after they had kost the election tok, elsewhere they would have been improisoned. PISS POOR MANABE ENT = PPM, And dont forget the concessions gee wniz.

  11. Anonymous says:

    How about we start the savings by doing away with Radio Cayman? Sell it to the management for a dollar (if they will buy). Let it become a commercial entity and compete like all the others.
    Where else in the WORLD are there 14 radio stations for a resident population of under 80K?

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    • Anonymous says:

      I believe you must be referring to the 2014 EY report that was commissioned to rationalise the civil service but then nothing happened with it, or the million dollars spent. Instead Franz created a unit to “reform” the civil service and that’s where they largely put misbehaving or poor performing civil servants to collect a paycheck Project Future it’s called… not sure what reformation has actually happened.

      https://cnslibrary.com/project-future/

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  12. Anonymous says:

    PPM – you imported poverty and inflated the economy on the backs of desperate foreign workers, whilst marginalizing Caymanians. What did you think was going to happen?

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    • Anonymous says:

      I am unsure how the PPM would have imported poverty or marginalized Caymanians. I actually – I am sure that they did no such thing. Look at the work permits that have been approved since the election – Is PACT the cause of that?

      Only individuals or companies can get work permits – and they should only be able to get a work permit for a job that a Caymanian cannot do.

      I suspect that if you have a business or young children, you have an employee on a work permit. If so, are you a part of the problem you see – importing poverty?

      I am just asking.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The PPM:

        1. Implemented minimum wage and allowed it to be applied equally to ALL roles without regard to training or experience required.

        2. Got rid of a functioning work permit advertising system that allowed all Caymanian workers to see all opportunities across the economy.

        3. Got rid of any obligation to advertise for many promotions.

        4. Allowed unlimited numbers of workers to flood the market at remuneration below subsistence level.

        5. Destroyed the PR Points System, and gutted term limits principles.

        6. Allowed domination by particular nationalities.

  13. Anonymous says:

    On today’s episode of No Shit Sherbanks…

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  14. Anonymous says:

    You all go ahead believing in Wayne Panton, remember he has multiple millions in the bank and he will be alright if it all goes to hell in a hand basket, but I and many others wont be ok!

    The man is useless and needs to step down now! Are we going to wait for the UK to take control of our finances before we wake up ?

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    • Anonymous says:

      There were reasons why he was lobbying for changes to the PMFL. Not good reasons, but reasons all the same.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The fact he is well-off means he is less likely to chase corrupt earnings via his office, unlike so many of the other MPs.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Really now? Not so! The rich are as corrupt or even more so than the poor. Donald Trump vs Nelson Mandela, for example. If you think otherwise, then I feel sorry for you.

  15. Anonymous says:

    There was never a surplus Roy. PPM already put in place the mechanisms to piss our money away. And if your circus won the last election we’d be in the same mess, or worse.
    Put a sock in it!

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    • Anonymous says:

      +1

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    • PACT is hopeless I say says:

      @7:10… Give an example of what you claim. If you cannot, then you are talking rot, and it is you who should put a sock in it!

      The PPM’s fiscal track record over their two terms was excellent – including during the Pandemic.

      PACT is no PPM, and in fact, PACT is hopeless. Facts!

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Not the song you were singing when you were in the hotseat. Not even the same notes or time signature. Nope.

    Here’s an insight for you Mr. Roy: You were all worse, and even less careful of the needy. You were all pushing the big money development, the cruise pier, other horrible debacles. You all had TWO terms to deal with the atrocity of the dump, and only managed to sign an agreement to make a future agreement in the weeks before the election.

    I think you have lost your standing to point fingers; I’d just rather you said, “I’m sorry”.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    What would the PPM cut?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Not their job to make those cuts or decisions right now.
      When they were the government, had they had these budgetary issues, that would be a great question to ask them. Point being though, that they didn’t have to make those calls because they (unlike PACT) didn’t end up in this position.

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      • Anonymous says:

        If they want my vote, they need to tell me what they would do differently. “We’ll tell you after you vote for us” isn’t good enough

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    • Anonymous says:

      What would PPM cut…?
      Start with the 1100 new civil servants UDPact wants, plus put an IMMEDIATE stop to consultants spending on the new 100 Million dollar prison.
      A couple of hundred Million dollars saved as a start.

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