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The Cayman Islands Government revenue surpasses 2022 projections

Updated: Apr 19

The Cayman Islands government made $159.2 million more in 2022 than 2019, and $80.3 million more than it projected, according to unaudited financial results recently released.

The total revenue for core government for the year was $1.02 billion, which then Deputy Premier Chris Saunders revealed last month on the Cayman Compass Facebook talkshow ‘The Resh Hour’, with expenditure at $973.5 million, leaving a $47.7 million surplus.

Financial services and work-permit fees, along with property-related revenue, all brought in many more millions than expected, according to a government press release issued 12 April.

However, import duty revenue fell $16.2 million short of expectations due to the “continued impact of COVID-19 on the world economy”.

Meanwhile, the entire public sector was operating at a surplus of $26.6 million despite initial projections of a $15.8 million deficit.

Premier Wayne Panton, who is also Minister for Finance and Economic Development, said he was pleased with the results, which were presented to Cabinet on 7 March.

“This is the culmination of the overall trend for 2022 of better-than-expected revenues each month, and particularly demonstrates ongoing confidence in our financial services sector and the post-COVID recovery of our economy,” he said.

‘Continuing challenges’

There were some negatives in the results, such as statutory authorities and government companies reporting a deficit of $21 million.

Operating expenses were $52 million more than was initially projected, mainly due to extra expenses for healthcare for, among other things, combatting COVID-19, the press release said.

In addition, transfer payments of $86.6 million were $25.1 million more than the initial 2022 budget.

This was mainly due to the ex-gratia tourism stipend, which was $16.4 million over budget, and the electrical assistance programme, which cost $7.9 million and was not in the original budget.

“We recognise that there continue to be challenges to overcome, especially with regard to the ever-increasing cost of living, rising interest rates and fluctuating global economic trends,” Panton said.

“The silver lining in all of this is that our higher than expected revenues and surpluses for 2022 will help us to maintain a positive financial position in the face of both local and international financial pressures.”

Huge net assets

As at 31 Dec. 2022, the government’s net assets were $2 billion.

Bank account balances, including fixed deposits, totalled $351.3 million – of which $171.3 million were reserve and restricted deposits and $180 million held as operating bank account balances.

US Treasury notes, which will mature in June 2023, were held as at 31 Dec. 2022 at their purchase price of US$333.6 million, or CI$276.9 million.

The premier said the 2022 results clearly demonstrate that the Cayman Islands remains an attractive jurisdiction for inward investment, as well as maintaining local economic growth.

The government’s aim for 2023 and 2024 is to build on this solid foundation, he added, “as we also seek to relieve some of the economic stresses on Caymanian families”.

IMS is one of the longest established company management firms in the Cayman Islands. IMS is licensed by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority to provide independent directors, company management and incorporation, mutual fund administration, captive insurance and trust services. For more information about our services, please contact us.

Disclaimer: this publication does not constitute legal or professional advice and should not be relied on as such.

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