Bush must pass all FFR, says Miller
(CNS): North Side MLA Ezzard Miller has said he believes the premier must pass the entire Framework for Fiscal Responsibility into law as he is not in a position to pick and choose what he likes from the document, which was signed by McKeeva Bush last November. Speaking to CNS in the wake of Wednesday's controversial announcement by the premier that not only had he not committed to a specific date for passing the FFR into law but he was also not necessarily agreeing to the ratification of the complete agreement, Miller said the premier would not have a choice in the issue.
The outspoken MLA accused the premier of contradicting himself as it was Bush who announced to the Legislative Assembly that the FFR must become law by the 30 September as a condition of the budget approval last month.
“Someone needs to remind Mr Bush that his signature is not on page three of the fiscal agreement but at the end of it and he needs to understand what that means,” Miller stated.
He pointed out that Bush's reluctance to sign the document was late in the day, given that the former FCO minister Henry Bellingham, the FCO director Colin Roberts and Cayman Governor Duncan Taylor had all stated that the agreement was binding from the point Bush signed the document last year.
“Once again, the premier has placed the entire Cayman Islands in an embarrassing situation with the UK. It has to be remembered too that this document, which the premier signed under duress, was as a result of his government's failure to meet any of the UK's previous requests to get the country's finances in order and the continued mismanagement of public funds by this government,” Miller added.
The premier’s claim that more time was needed for discussion with the private sector over the details of the FFR was, Miller said, ”ludicrous” and “disingenuous", considering the legislation that is consistently pushed through the parliament with little or no consultation.
"Everyone has known about the FFR for almost a year and very few people disagree with document, given that it is designed to improve the management of government funds,” he said. “Everyone in the LA supports it and few, if anyone, in the private sector have complained as it should lead to more prudent public spending, something the private sector has been clamouring for.”
The North Side MLA said that Bush's continued reluctance was related to his fears that the major private-public development projects with Dart and CHEC could be undermined by the FFR.
“Clearly Bush sees this agreement as a threat to the ForCayman Investment Alliance with the Dart Group and his plans to develop the cruise berthing in George Town with CHEC. Having read the agreement I cannot see how either proposal would comply with it,” Miller added.
The premier's revelations that he had told the new FCO minister that he would not be bringing the bill for the FFR to the LA until 5 November and may not pass the entire document has elicited no response from the governor. A spokesperson from his office indicated Thursday that Taylor would not be making any comment on the issue. CNS has also contacted the FCO about the premier's announcement and the UK's position regarding the conditions attached to the budget approval and is awaiting a response.
CIG has 4 years sort debt (November 2011) - documents attached
Mac may reject some of FFR (September 2012)
The comments posted do not necessarily reflect the views of CNS or any individual staff member. All comments are posted subject to approval by CNS. Read more
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