Fact Checker

Lie

Truth

mac claims businesses gone

McKeeva Bush claims more Caymanians have lost their businesses since the Progressives took over in 2013. 

There are more businesses here now than ever before

There are more medium & small businesses today than there were under McKeeva Bush. Medium to small business are doing better today than they were under Mac.

  • The Progressives have been pro small business.
  • In every year since the Progressives implemented a small business stimulus of greatly reduced fees the number of small business startups has doubled.
  • Small businesses are also benefiting from the current growing economy compared to the years of stagnation with McKeeva Bush at the helm.
  • The economy under our stewardship has grown consistently and impressively.
  • This Government also waived outstanding licensing fees for small businesses that had fallen behind during the Bush years and could not catch up on license fees owed.
  • This means they are now operating fully legally and because they are licensed again they can compete for contracts, including Government contracts.
  • Caymanian unemployment is the lowest it has been for 10 years. The economy is stronger and there are more businesses and more jobs now than ever before.
  • We are making significant progress in turning a failing economy around with great success and overall, people are better off than they were just three years ago.

 

mac claims caymanians worse off

McKeeva Bush claims more Caymanians cannot pay their bills or are worse off since the Progressives have been in power.

 

Employment up; economy up!

This is False. The truth is incontrovertible. With more Caymanians employed, taxes reduced, and cost of living lower, gas prices lower,

  • Under the UDP you definitely couldn’t pay your bills if you were a part of the 10.5% unemployed. Even if you were employed you had to pay nearly $2 MORE for a gallon of gas in addition to the other UDP imposed taxes.
  • This Progressives Government has:
    • put more people back to work
    • reduced import duty on goods from 22% to 20%. 
    • reduced the CUC fuel duty from the $0.75 per gallon under McKeeva Bush to $0.25.
    • grown the economy faster and more consistently (0.8% versus the Progressives 2 plus %)
  • The Progressives CUC fuel duty reduction alone is leaving $17m in your pockets and thus in the economy each year.
  • Because of our efforts, combined with lower oil prices, during our term the cost of living was not only kept in check, but fell by 2.5% in 2015.
  • Our government also successfully intervened when we saw what we thought was unfair pricing at the gas pumps and the prices subsequently dropped by $2 a gallon.
  • More Caymanians are in work now than they were in 2012, and there are 2 times more small businesses in 2016 than in 2014. This is a tremendous achievement in three years.
  • More Caymanians are better off today than they were when we took office. Also, all of these benefits have been generated fairly and transparently. It is not a matter of special handouts for some while others get nothing.

 

airport stopped

McKeeva Bush claims the Progressives stopped work on the proposed UDP airport expansion.

 

We demanded transparency and good deal making

The awful track record of McKeeva Bush around procurement contracts, including not following correct process, caused the UK to stop it.

  • The UK stopped the proposed UDP Airport project over concerns that the contract procurement process was not transparent and ignored proper process – an issue that followed all of McKeeva Bush’s so called ‘deals’.
  • As reported in the Compass: – (https://www.caymancompass.com/2014/12/02/Bermuda-takes-on-Cayman-s-airport-deal/)
  • “The deal collapsed… after the U.K. expressed concerns about a lack of open tendering for the development… Concerns were expressed about a loss of direct government revenue, loss of control over a key strategic asset for the country and potential loss of jobs at the airport..”
  • Contrast this failure with the transparent and best practice operated by the Progressives.
  • We now have the airport expansion well under way – on budget, on schedule and with no borrowing.

Cruise dock stopped

 

McKeeva Bush claims the Progressives stopped the work on the proposed UDP cruise dock.

 

 

We insisted on good governance!

The awful track record and the action of McKeeva Bush caused the proposed UDP cruise dock project to implode. Costing the country and taxpayers millions of dollars!

  • The UK actually stopped the China Harbour contract because of concerns around the process of awarding the contract.  Some history:
  • McKeeva Bush tried with DECCO to build the cruise port and this failed. He went to the GLF company and signed an agreement.  He shortly cancelled that contract and moved to the Chinese, and he failed again – because he continually refuses to follow proper process.
  • The Port Authority Board had concerns regarding the cancellation of the GLF contract. McKeeva Bush then directly interfered in the process and the Port Board.
  • This Compass report showed the concern of the Port Board: –https://www.caymancompass.com/2012/02/29/minutes-port-board-changed-mind-on-china-harbour/
  • And with McKeeva Bush’s proposed dock deal there was no independent environmental impact study done and there was no real transparency in the process.
  • There would have also been huge costs as it included the so called ‘upland development’.
  • By cancelling the GLF contract McKeeva Bush cost the Cayman taxpayer over $2 million in payment to GLF in a breach of contract lawsuit.
  • What was the real reason why the contract with GLF cancelled?
  • GLF is a reputable and substantial company, bonded by several governments to complete large marine works projects.  It does not add up.
  • And why was China Harbour awarded a contract without a proper procurement process?
  • No wonder the UK had concerns and stopped the deal.

major investmemt stopped

McKeeva Bush claims the Progressives stopped major investment into Cayman by campaigning against concessions & tried to stop the Shetty Hospital.

 

 

 

We supported sensible and responsible projects

The Progressives supported sensible & responsible projects when in the Opposition, like the ‘Shetty Hospital’. We did not support Mac’s reckless projects – such as building oil refineries in Grand Cayman or cargo docks in East End.

  • The Progressives are a pro-Caymanian and pro-business Government and we support those projects that are responsible, well funded and that will provide benefits to Cayman and Caymanians long into the future.
  • These include the Beach Bay (St James point), Ironwood developments and Arnold Palmer Lodge & Golf course.
  • We also supported and continue to support Cayman Enterprise City, Dart, and Health City Cayman.
  • At no time have we tried to stop the Shetty Hospital (Health City Cayman) and this is borne out by statements in the LA and in the press as well as statements by the developers acknowledging our support from the start.
  • However, we have always insisted that concessions are transparent, fair and that they will generate good returns for Cayman and opportunities for Caymanians.
  • We have successfully signed agreements with and granted concessions to get good solid projects moving forward, such as Beach Bay (St. James Point) and Ironwood – now linked with the Arnold Palmer Group.  McKeeva Bush never got these going.
  • Our Manifesto noted on page 8 the desire to support new pillar industries such as CEC and medical services, whilst page 6 speaks to supporting medical tourism.
  • On page 11 of our Manifesto we state that “We recognise that DART’s financial strength and commitment to Cayman are great assets as well as cause for legitimate concern”. We go on to indicate some of the concerns and our actions regarding them.
  • We have maintained good relations with Dart Realty whilst ensuring the commitments in our manifesto were kept – including renegotiating the NRA Agreement.
  • We also successfully renegotiated and improved on the agreement with Cayman Enterprise City that creates new opportunities for them whilst allowing others to get into sectors that was closed entirely to CEC.
  • As a Government we have created an environment that encourages investment and today there is new development all around the Cayman Islands.
  • McKeeva Bush wasted nearly ten million dollars on lavish travel expenses in 3.5 years searching the world for investments that were never found.

Mac pretends he was successful

McKeeva Bush believes that his time as Premier was a successful one with lots achieved.

 

As a country, we were embarrassed under McKeeva

Never in the history of our country did we suffer more harm and embarrassment, with so little achieved, than we did under McKeeva Bush.

  • McKeeva Bush was not only combative with the Governor and the UK, but also with the business community and the expatriate community.
  • His tenure was filled with chaotic leadership, lack of transparent procurement, a cruise dock fiasco, lack of business & investor confidence, and reckless business deals.
  • Remember the inability to get the UK to approve budgets quickly and the ‘pretend budgets’ that would sol.
  • Remember the infamous expat tax fiasco and the bad press it brought Cayman.
  • Remember the cruise dock fiasco with the Board rebelling and the UK stepping in to stop China Harbour from being given the contract without proper process being followed.
  • In the end there was no dock and the country paid $2M
  • Remember the failed attempt to build an airport without due process – the UK stepped in to stop this as well.
  • Remember the Cohen loan deal fiasco that cost the country $450,000
  • Remember the $10M Nation Building Fund controversy, amongst others.
  • Remember the talk about building oil refinery’s and islands in the North Sound.
  • Remember the tourism tax giveaway as part of the Dart/NRA Agreement.
  • All in all McKeeva Bush’s tenure as Premier was unsettling and unstable and investors lost confidence in Government, businesses did not trust Government, and the economy was stagnant.  Unemployment for Caymanians was at an all time high at 10.5%.
  • Today, under this Government life is stable, Investor and Business confidence is up, the economy has been growing and Caymanian unemployment has fallen to 5.7%, the lowest it has been for 10 years. And Government continues every day to work to improve things further.

 

mac claims unemployment still 8%

McKeeva Bush claims the unemployment rate for Caymanians is 8% today and more Caymanians are out of work today compared to his tenure.

Unemployment lowest in a decade

McKeeva Bush likes to deny facts that are inconvenient and he is careless with the truth. Under Mac Caymanian unemployment was a high 10.5% in 2012. Today under the Progressives it is reduced to a 10 year low of 5.7%.

  • In mid 2016, the PPM’s third year in power, Caymanian unemployment is at 5.7% – a RECORD LOW over the last ten years.
  • Without a doubt more Caymanians are EMPLOYED today than at any time in our history.
  • On the other hand in the UDP’s last full year in power, Caymanian unemployment was at 10.5% – a RECORD HIGH.
  • Unemployment rate is measured by the Economic and Statistics Office using the same calculations that it always has, regardless of which party is in power.
  • During McKeeva Bush’s tenure Cayman was in a political and economic crisis because of his irrational policies and actions. The country does not trust him for good reason.
  • The pro Caymanian and pro growth policies of the Progressives has helped bring more jobs and employment opportunities for Caymanians.

 

Unemployment remains an issue for some in the community and the Progressives are tackling this using innovative means such as the Ready 2 Work programme.

mac claims home loss higher

McKeeva Bush claims more Caymanians have lost their homes while the Progressives have been in power.

 

A strong economy means less defaults

More loan defaults occurred during McKeeva bush’s tenure as Premier than at any time in our history. With the economy improved and growing under the Progressives many people have real hope again.

  • High loan defaults are what you would expect with the high Caymanian unemployment under McKeeva Bush and the UDP.
  • McKeeva Bush and the UDP did nothing that was effective and that prevented home losses. In fact their actions substantially increased the cost of living and the cost of doing business particularly at a time when their policies did nothing but promote a shrinking economy.
  • Even his failed “Save the Mortgage” programme that was only doled out to his supporters did nothing in the end but give money to the Banks.
  • On average over 80% of the recipients of the $2.5 million programme were in default within four months of the money being given to the Banks.
  • This Progressives Government has not worked on a band-aid approach.  We have worked proactively with the local banks to see how best to help give real relief to those who need it and the majority of those situations have been settled successfully.
  • Many of the foreclosures have been from non-Caymanian owners and unfortunately; there have been some people who could no longer afford the homes they bought, for a variety of reasons, including divorce, job loss, or death of a bread winner etc.
  • The only way to truly resolve loan default scenarios is the approach we have taken – to create an environment where the economy grows, businesses thrive and more jobs are created and filled by Caymanians.
  • We have also designed and implemented the innovative Ready2Work programme that is helping our people find and keep jobs by bridging skills gaps.

 

selling land for less than worth

 McKeeva Bush claims the Progressives are selling Government land for less than it is worth.

Land was sold at fair market value

The Government agreed to sell the Dragon Bay freehold title for fair market value and by following the required Law. And we got the best outcome for our Caymanian people.

  • The property was sold as required under the Governors vesting in lands law. With three independent valuations obtained.
  • The valuations ranged between US$12.448M and US$16.686M.
  • Government sold The Dragon Bay property (around the North Sound Club) that has been on leasehold for decades with little movement to develop. The properties that were built did not sell well because of the leasehold and the country was earning no income from it.
  • This property is potentially valuable real estate only when investors are willing to develop it and people willing to buy property. This did not happen with the property being leasehold.
  • Civil Servants did the negotiation and the final agreed price was US$14.574M. Entirely within the range of evaluations and represented a fair negotiated price.
  • Dart will develop the property and the Country will earn stamp duty on sales and Caymanians will gain employment during development.
  • Premier’s statement on the NRA Agreement and Dragon Bay sale can be found HERE.

mac claims no action on landfill

McKeeva Bush claims that the Progressives are doing nothing about the George Town dump.

 

Cayman now has the first Solid Waste Management Strategy

It was a dangerous and badly managed Dump under the UDP – it is a safer and better managed Landfill today under the Progressives.

  • This Government has done more than McKeeva Bush ever did regarding a solution for the Landfill as well as fixing the immediate problems with mismanagement.
  • Firstly under McKeeva Bush’s Government the proper management of the landfill and the maintenance of equipment was ignored.  Creating many issues, which ultimately helped worsen if not actually create the major tyre fire in 2013.
  • Needed equipment valued at over $575K was provided to DEH to ensure that the refuse at the landfill could be properly handled.  There is also a proper landfill management plan.
  • As reported in the Compass:  - DEH head Roydell Carter said his department has changed the way it manages the landfill to make sure the waste is compacted and covered regularly. “We now have equipment that works,” he said, including a new compactor that gives landfill crews the right machinery to make sure they can eliminate air pockets in the dump that can cause fires. Landfill fires can occur when waste is not properly covered and compacted. The decomposing material creates heat in the pockets and can spontaneously combust. “We have had no major fires at all at the landfill for quite some time,” Mr. Carter said. The last major fire at the landfill was in March 2015, which firefighters were able to extinguish that same day. -
  • In addition, for the first time in Cayman’s history, we have a national waste management plan and are moving forward to a full solution in line with best practice methods and expect to go to tender by year end for the full solution.

 

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