Mac ‘knocking on doors’
(CNS): Admitting that the premier is travelling in Asia, his office has released a statement with limited details of his latest extended overseas trip. Following criticisms from the opposition about his continued absence and his failure to inform the country where he was and why as well as the neglect of domestic matters, the premier said he was “knocking on doors” in Asia, a “land of expanding economies where investors are looking for new opportunities.” Bush said that no government, including his, could change the economic situation Cayman faces over four years given world conditions, “but we must try,” he said. “In today’s world, that means knocking on doors.”
In the statement which was not sent to CNS directly from the premier’s office, as is now customary, but forwarded via another source, Bush attempted to justify his travelling as well as that of the deputy premier.
“Every government must travel to conduct business. Whether it’s a lot of travel or little, all depends on the business that has to be conducted. My travels and that of the Deputy Premier don't normally overlap however this time it could not be avoided because of the nature of the meetings, hers for postal matters and mine for finance, both of which had agendas which were set by the international bodies, each in their very different but significant areas of responsibility,” Bush's statement read.
“We have to go to the right places, to knock on the right doors; whether that is to try to stop the EU from forcing us to 'converge' our financial services legislation with theirs, as we have had to go all the way to Greenland to do, or it is to seek the right kind of investment, as I am now doing,” he added.
Blaming the opposition for the financial woes of the country, the premier said he could not bring new opportunities “using the same old strategies that the PPM used,” and as the finance and tourism minister he could not find new business “by sitting down in the Government Administration Building” or “playing dominoes in some bar”.
Although the details of the trip were limited in the statement, as reported on CNS previously, the premier’s office revealed that Bush had been to meetings related to the IMF and World Bank conference, which had taken place in Tokyo. The office also stated that the premier was “pursuing business opportunities” in other places in Asia, including Hong Kong and China.
According to other sources the premier is expected back on 28 October.
The Legislative Assembly will return on 5 November, and addressing the opposition question about the Framework for Fiscal Responsibility -- the agreement he has already signed with the UK -- and the need to pass it into law, Bush said that it and “any Constitutional matters” would be dealt with in what he called a “manner that is to the benefit of the people” but he did not explain what that meant.
Since the 21 day deadline for any legislation coming before the House at the next meeting has already passed, the premier will not be able to bring the FFR without falling foul of that constitutional requirement.
Meanwhile, CNS has submitted FOI requests regarding the travelling by both the premier and deputy premier, including the destinations, the reasons for the various trips, the delegates that accompanied them and the cost to the public purse. The request has been acknowledged but no information has been released in connection with the request.
See the premier’s full statement below.
Related articles on CNS:
|Bush 17Oct12.pdf||78.71 KB|
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