August 1, 2021

The Editor Speaks: Health care and Cayman Airways take the wrong direction

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It was a good thing government managed to generate $26.3 million more than the forecasted $908.5 million that was in the last budget prepared by former Finance Minister Marco Archer. Health care and Cayman Airways travelled the wrong way ending up costing more than $17.4 million than had been budgeted.

Persons needing health care because of no insurance, not enough insurance, then the indigent persons requiring health care overseas plus legal disputes, all added up to costing $19.1 million.

With all the hype of a rosy picture in our tourism figures it was a surprise then to learn that Cayman Airways’ passenger loads to and from Cuba and Miami had a “significant” reduction.

Cuban migrants cost government $3.1 million.

However, new Finance Minister, Roy McTaggart, was upbeat in his very first budget speech last Friday. Because of a boost in stamp duty on land and an increase in car imports and fuel the public purse was more than able to deal with the losses not forecast.

Prudently McTaggart said this surplus would not be spent on giving any of us unexpected cash in our pockets,

“It is always wise to spend less than you earn and to manage your finances so as to always end each financial period with a surplus,” he told members of the Legislative Assembly. “Maintaining an operating surplus is a key component of ensuring compliance with the Principles of Responsible Financial Management and the FFR to which this government is committed to maintaining over the long term.”

Public sector agencies must control their expenditure spending and improve their performance he warned.

Although the total pudding looked good to eat there were signs that not all of it will be so edible next time around.

If some of the good ingredients don’t get found along with others the food will soon become inedible. It will be fodder to the opposition.

And the opposition will find a lot in the budget as presented to find fault with, especially with the unemployed, the poor, the elderly and the down and outs not having enough ingredients to look after their problems.

There was nothing in the budget to excite me but then it takes a lot to do that these days.

I can’t even afford a trip on Cayman Airways to help with their problems.

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