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Cayman Islands Government

LA Meets on Interim Budget

Financial Secretary, the Hon. Kenneth Jefferson.

There is no overall increase in government's debt position.

—Financial Secretary, the Hon. Kenneth Jefferson.

As the first order of business, lawmakers in the House today (Friday, 26 June) are considering an interim budget of $573.6 million, in order to continue government's operations for the next four months.

This is to help tide over government's funding requirements, including capital expenditure needs, until the next annual budget is presented, which is expected mid to late September 2009.

Moving Government Motion 1/2009-10, the Financial Secretary, the Hon. Kenneth Jefferson, proposed the spending schedule for the period of 1 July to 31 October. He told members that the sum does not represent a third of the core government's spending for the 2009/10 fiscal year.

He also called on the civil service to spend less, and to expect smaller budgets than what they received in the current fiscal year. He warned that the current global crisis has still a long way to go.

The $573.6 million covers:

  • $150 million for government operations, including $7.4 million for police services; $3.3 million for prison services; and $5 million for civil service pensioners' health insurance;
  • $16.6 million for transfer payments, which among other items includes $4.6 million for local and overseas scholarships, as well as bursaries; $2 million for poor relief payments; and $2 million for benefit payments to seamen;
  • $64.7 million in equity investments, including $43.7 million for the ongoing construction of government schools; $7.3 million for the Ministry of District Administration, Works and Gender Affairs; $3 million for Boatswain's Beach (referred to Cayman Turtle Farm (1983) Limited in the document; and $2.1 million to cover the Health Services Authority's operating loss;
  • $6.5 million for government's financing expenses for public-debt interest payments;
  • $11.6 million for executive expenses, including $4.7 million for meeting past service pension liability contributions; $1.5 million for the special police investigation; and asset depreciation in various ministries and portfolios;
  • $26.4 million for executive assets, including $12.2 million for the continuing construction of the new Government Administration Building;
  • $425,000 for loans, including $250,000 for overseas medical advances; and
  • $297 million in borrowings, including $128 million in central government borrowings for 2009/10; $154 million to repay an existing debt; and $15 million to renew the annual central government bank overdraft facility.

Regarding the $154 million borrowing, Mr Jefferson explained, "There is no overall increase in government's debt position. It will be used to repay a temporary loan that was taken out in 2008/9."

Prior to the start of the debate, members approved increasing the budget sum from $544 million to $573 million. The addition needed became apparent after the initial government motion was circulated among members on 19 June, Mr. Jefferson explained.

The interim budget motion is being considered during the first sitting of the first meeting of the LA's 2009-10 session. Debate continues Monday, 29 June.

(GIS)

For further information contact: Bina Mani