Government wants property in exchange for welfare

| 05/02/2010

(CNS): An elderly resident of George Town who says she needs financial assistance to live is not willing to give up the property that she says she has worked hard for in exchange for welfare from government. Seventy eight year old Evalee Pars, who lives alone, told News 27 that when she went to government for money, officials said they can only give her the $550 per month poor persons allowance if she signs her property over. According to the Department and Family Services, over 900 people received government assistance and if they have property government is supposed to take a lien on it. Director Deanna Look Loy said the department has been criticized for not enforcing this policy.

Look Loy said that the application of the Poor People’s Relief Law is a very unpopular issue but she has no choice but to apply the law, which means that people wanting assistance will have to give up their property assets before they can get the money.

“We have come under fire from the audit department for not placing liens on people’s property,” she said, admitting they have not applied any liens yet.

She added that families of the elderly should assist their relatives. “We know they have children that are fairly well off that can afford to help them, but they don’t and that doesn’t speak well about our society.”

Go to News 27 video

Category: Local News

Comments (66)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is not fair for young children who should rightfully inherit the property if the parent (with no family contacts) should die!  I think the government should revisit this law again – maybe, first, fix the economy they messed up!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Mrs Lookloy’s assessment. Many of the heartless children of elderly Caymanians need to be ashamed of themselves and if they do not take care of their parents and forces the government then the government should be the recipient of their inheritance. Well done! Lookloy needs now to explain to us how her department is going to deal with the many individuals who are allowed to be here as permanent residents who should be paying their own way but are also taking handouts from government. If they cannot maintain themselves then they have no business still being here, they have their countries to go to and immigration should be sending them on their way. These are all ways in which government can cut back on expenses and get money or assets back in our government coffers.

  3. au revoir says:

    The problem is that government is enforcing this law willy-nilly, which gives some people the legitimate right to ask "why me" and "why not him/her".  Government should enforce the law across the board – simple as that.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Joe Bananas, you boast of no longer living here because you are successful enough to be able to live elsewhere (I saw that in one of your posts). Perhaps you acquired the bulk of your ‘success’ while you lived here, in which case Cayman was good while it suited you. Instead of bashing our ‘cultural traits’ and generally disrespecting Caymanians, how about sending Mrs. Pars a cheque? Thatwould show that you have some dignity and are willing to put your money where your mouth is. But methinks not. Your trait is closer to criticizing something you have no vested interest in. That is really pitiful and, in fact, cowardly.

    • Joe Bananas says:

      The only thing I "acquired" while in Cayman were friends.  People I still care for.  And a tan. I met many very nice and caring Caymanians, Jamaicans and South Africans, a person from Trinidad, and many other places.  I also saw how the many people on Cayman who believe they know everything about everyone and everything but cannot take responsibility for their own lives were making it hard on all of those Who still believe working hard and taking responsibility for themselves is the way to personal success.

      Thank you for your advice but I think that I will continue to fight for the rights of the respectful and hardworking, Caymanians included, and put my money where I want, (Good try).Perhaps you and those like you should try to speak only of what you know instead of what you think? I have a right to have a vested interest in my friends regardless of what you think.  Pitiful and Cowardly?  I think not. I do however understand why you think so.

  5. what a mess says:

    For me, the story highlights the shortcomings of Ms. Lookloy and her Dept. as much if not more than Ms. Pars. Would Ms. Pars (and others) have such expectations of the Dept. if the Dept. itself (and Politicians) not created same…by allowing this practice for many, many years?

    Note; Ms. Loolkloy says "we have come under fire from the Audit Dept". Which suggests she has thus far been negligent (at the least) with enforcing this law…which has resulted in abuse (at the least) by many recieving such benefits…and resulted with Govt. not having the required security/collateral in place.

    And, do many in Govt. even want such a body as an "Audit Dept." ?

    Would a Director in the private sector be held accountable for such actions (or inactions)?…will anyone in Govt. be held accountable?…

    This type of "selective law enforcement" only serves to create and nurture feelings of unfairness and injustice….and thus, social unrest.

    Cayman should strive for (fairness for all)…and govt. should (lead by example). Instead many in Govt. (including most politicians) more often than not, lead by the example of (I am above the law and will do whatever i want)…including limiting Human Rights for all.

     Then act surprised when others follow their examples…

     

  6. Anonymous says:

    I hope government takes note of the comments and the polls that accompany the comments; they may just themselves a wealth of common sense.  CNS is revolutionizing democracy in Cayman!

  7. Anonymous says:

    The saying "A drowning man will grab at a straw" is so true here.

    The Government is so out of touch with reality, they are now turning on our poor and indigent.

    I read on a different blog here that the price of turtle meat is to be increased by 300 percent.

    I also see a lot of similiarities here and wonder just where will we be going next.

  8. Anonymous says:

     

    Imagine my friend and I are about to retire.  We have about the same amount of retirement funds. I put all my money into land, she put hers into CDs and bonds.

    Our children at first helped with expenses but then they fell on hard times and could barely feed their children. I go to government for a handout and I get it. My friend, on the other hand, gets nothing as long as she still has money in the bank and bonds in her possession. She says it is not right that I get government help and she doesn’t.

    Once she has spent her cash and sold her bonds to buy groceries, she will no longer get interest and she will be truly indigent. I still have my property to sell or to pass on to my children.

    Fair?

  9. Durrrr says:

    This is a complete non-story. Poor people do not own property. If you own property you are not poor. If you cannot afford to maintain the property which you own, sell it, and move somewhere else.

     

    Or should I just tie all of my assets up in property, and look to the Government for handouts?

  10. Joe Bananas says:

    If she wants the Government’s help she should do like all the Smart ones and get caught stealing.  Free legal counsel, free meals (already cooked) free shelter, free health care, free educational opportunities, etc. etc. lots of friends, drugs, visits, outside time,  I’m just not sure if she will have to pay her own pension.

    Just one Question.  Many on this post want(demand) that those who work and pay the fees, duties, etc. have to pay people who can no longer get money by working or being taken care of by their families because why?

    Please answer the question to the best of your knowledge. I will try my best to translate.  P.S. Knowing or being related to someone in government that can write checks is not a good reason.

    • Anonymous says:

      I join the others in saying well done to Mrs. Lookloy.  If Government had done this long ago we would not be so far in the red now.  Most older caymanians might not have  saved money for retirement but they are sitting on valuaboe property, this should allow them to feel independent and live the rest of their lives with dignity (but is 550 enough). Nobody is putting them out of their houses.

  11. Macman says:

    Why should we pay for her to own the property. No one will buy me a house! I say let her sell the property and move into rented accomodation and live on what she makes on the property. Her buying the house was the same as her saving up for a pension.

    Why should I pay so that her children can inhert a house/land. Will they buy me a house or land.

     

  12. Anonymous says:

    i hope ci gov stands up to this emotional blackmail. Hopefully it will force some of these misers to free up their assests and you might see some signs of regeneration in the derilict areas of gt…… some of it is worth so much but looks like something out the third world….

  13. Anonymous says:

    There is already a legal obligation for children to look after their elderly parents if the parents are unable to look after themselves. This is just another sign of a breakdown in our society as Mrs. Lookloy says.

    I sincerely hope that government does put loans on land of people wanting government to give them money. That is only sensible.

    If government were to use our tax dollars to give loans/handouts to people who don’t have cash but have valuable assets, without putting a lien of valuable property and ideally charging interest as well, it is encouraging lazy children to do nothing for their aging parents. If children know that the value of their inheritance will go down by the value of the money loaned by government or a bank plus the ongoing interest, perhaps they might give some assistance to their aging parents, if not out of love then out of self-interest. This is an opportunity for government to give people a reason to do right by their parents.

     

  14. Anonymous says:

    Well done Deanna. The department seems to be growing up.  Now can we please stop giving Social Services support to non Caymanians or people who lied about their finances to get PR or status. 

  15. Anonymous says:

    "ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD," DOES NOT MAKE IT RIGHT for the government to ask for collateral, such as, her property! 

    Many of the commentators here are cold and Indifferent! 

    Be in her shoes and you will know how it is like!

    • Danger Mouse says:

      "Be in her shoes and you will know how it is like!"

      I always say that before you criticise anyone walk a mile in their shoes.  Then, if you criticise them, you will a) be a mile away and b) they will no be wearing any shoes.

    • Joe Bananas says:

      Most of the commentators here are responsible persons.

      That means they have always and will always take responsibility for their actions and their lives.

      Not exactly cultural trait here.

    • Anonymous says:

      When she is dead and gone the house will not be hers but her children’s. They are they ones who will inherit so they need to take care of her. If they were stepping up the plate and doing the right and honourable thing of taking care of their mother then we would not be having this commentary. Why should my government take care of this aged woman so her children or estate can inherit a free house at the expense of hard working caymanians.

      • Anonymous says:

        Remember the average Caymanian ,especially the older folks are poor, their children are alittle better off, but just barely getting along. They do help but Politicians and the top Civil Servants can tell you how much it costs to live , if not they would not require such salarys.

    • Anonymous says:

      I THINK THAT IT IS ILLEGAL AND MOST DISGRACEFUL TO EMBARASS THE POOR WOMAN AND HER FAMILY BY PUTTING THE INFORMATION IN THE PRESS. Her family who is as poor as she will need this property to live on. I JUST WANT TO SAY PLEASE STOP GIVING OUR MONEY AWAY TO ALL THOSE EXPATS  AND THEN YOU WONT HAVE TO TAKE AWAY THE CAYMANIAN PROPERTY. We need good caymanians working in social services who know the caymanian public.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Don’t worry about the lil poor old lady…roll out the red carpet for the expats

  17. Anonymous says:

    I can justify it as theft!

    Look at it this way:
     
    Suppose a mother receiving the benefit, suddenly gets sick and die, leaving her young children behind. Here is the loop-hole that amounts to more poverty: 
     
    Is it ethical for the government take from the children their mother’s house and land??? 
    • Anonymous says:

      Yes because the mother raised the children and took care of them and now it is the children’s responsibility to take care of the parent no the governments. If the government is going to do it with MY money when the children fail to do the honourable thing then YES again they government should take the house – sell it and use the funds to help those that really need it.

  18. conch soup says:

    mckeeva status holders getting help from him and mike so why our natives cant get it?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Are any of you people actually thinking straight!?

    Why should any elderly person be given $500 a month for the duration of their life, in her case; God spears, another 10 years. And then goverment walks away with property they practically payed nothing for to sell off and make a bigger profit with. 

    For any of you self righteous people who come here and have the nerve to blame our elderly people for not having the finances or still have the cockiness of youth, then maybe you have not been here long enough to know when the pension law cam into effect. Many of our elderly worked very hard for this country for many years and had no pension after 20 and 30 years of work. So if the government never had the foresight to implement pension when they should have, they should take care of the very people that helped keep some of them very comfortable in their now big political rolls.

    In these days what is $500 to an elderly person the needs food, medicine, special care and pay utilities. If they have to sign over their land to government they should get back the value of that land monthly for the duration of their life. That is fair. 

    For those Caymanians who neglect their elders, Family Services should post your names in public and shame you.

    How dare any of you to judge an elderly person who needs help and does not want to sign away their hard earned land for nothing. Some of you have obviously never worked hard enough to have attained property you have worked all your life for, and are selfishly blinded by its value… the real value is in our elders.

    • frank rizzo says:

      The government having a lien on property does not necessarily equate to the government being granted the property. A lien means they have a place in line when the estate is settled or the property is sold or transferred.

    • Anonymous says:

      Isn’t there something called a reverse mortgage she could qualify for.

      In other countries people can get a mortgage against a certain

      percentage of the value of the house.  They can stay in their home,

      have money to live and still have ownership of the house.  Whenever

      the house is sold or changes hands to another family member the

      only money the bank gets is the amount of the mortgage.

       

  20. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely.  People have this freeness mentality.  Why should your children inheret your assetts when yhey are not the ones helping you?  Govt. is not taking the property.  They are putting a lein against the property.  If the family wants the lein removed then pay back the money Government has spent on the family member and they get the property.  That is only fair.  People here want everything from the Government and politicians encourage this for votes.  Going downhill fast.

  21. Anonymous says:

    So you request for a lien on their property from the poor elderly people what happens then when they die before time where does the rest of the money goes. Its not fair I tell you

  22. Anonymous says:

    This is a terrible law.  Taking possibly the only possessions from the elderly after all the years of hard work they have put in.  Surely you can get a better system in place to look after Cayman’s elderly.  This seems so draconian.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I see nothing wrong with what the Director has said.

    If you went to a bank and you wanted to borrow money, the bank puts a lien on something (car, house, land) in exchange that you pay them back monthly and if you default they have the recourse of recouping their funds from the sale of the asset. Similarly in this case, the Government is not taking away the woman’s property, they are merely putting a lien on the property which effectively prevents her from selling the property without their knowledge. Hypothetical situation: The elderly lady is sitting on prime land, worthy half a million dollars, she applies for aid from the Government who then agrees to pay her $550 per month. A few months later, she sells this prime land and lets say she gets what it is worth, so then what? She puts her money in the bank and continues to collect $550 from the Government?

    You people get too emotional over these things without thinking things through, particularly the person who called it "legalized theft." Find out the facts before making such ludicrous statements!

    • Anonymous says:

      And by the way the hospital has the very same problem with people who can afford it not paying.

  24. Anonymous says:

    This poor woman’s family should be ashamed.

    It is not the governments responsibility. It is the families.

    She no doubt raised (and paid for) her children and now it is time for them to take care of her.

    Plain and simple.

    Disgraceful.

  25. Anonymous says:

    The obvious:  Why wouldn’t she first approach her relatives or heirs or perhaps a investigatea small reverse mortgage with one of the local banks?  Or she could sell the property outright and downsize.  This is what retired people in the real world do every day.  XXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman banks do not offer reverse mortgages to the best of my knowledge.

      • Anonymous says:

        Reply to Cayman Banks do not offer..

        That is really too bad, That would solve the problem for a lot of people

        who are in her situation.

    • Anonymous says:

      In essence, this is what the Government was doing> The offer was to give her $550 per month and take a lein on her property. Not take her property away. I think that was a reasonable offer.

    • Anonymous says:

      Most of our Caymanian know this lady and at her age please tell me what Bank she should go to.

  26. A Caymanian says:

    Please explain why this poor Lady can’t!!!!! get but an Alcoholic can get??? How fair is that!!!! I am sure if she could do better she would not have gone to the Govt!!!! Her age speaks for itself!!! The Govt was her last resort!!!!

  27. Anonymous says:

    video link dont work

    CNS: It’s fixed now

    • Home Boy says:

      What do you expect out of UDP! No doubt she was asked who she supported in the last elections and it was not a favourable answer to them, and she must have been wearing RED clothing when she went and made her request.

  28. Anonymous says:

    OMG this  is bull and stink one too. I dont have no clue who this poor lady is but the poor lady must have needed help why she would go and ask the Government and for them to help her she need to sign over her land OMG when is this going to end. Can some one from  the Department & Family services tell me how many of those that you see every Government pay day standing in front of the bank door waiting for it to open up to go in and get there 4 to 5  hundred dollars have sign any thing over to them  to hold half of them is living off of other family memebers that would allow them to. And the Government is wondering why they are broke lets start by looking at all of these people that they are giving this unnessary money to every month that is very capable of getting a job and helping them self. but why should they when they can walk up and down all day long and have a child every monday morning and have money coming to them . why should they work.

  29. This is sad for many reasons.

    If families can assist the elderly and do not.

    If government makes them sign over their land for a small amount of cash, what is 550.00 a month in todays world.

    That we have laws like this. First no one enforces them then when they do come to light they are just awful. Horrible. Cruel.

    Then we blame everything somewhere…audit or families. The rest of us sit back and watch these things and know about it.

    Why can we not do better as a society. Elderly and children should always come first and then the rest.

    Change the law.

     

  30. Anonymous says:

    Typical of the Caymanians, all of them expect something for nothing. Anywhere else in the world you have to sell off your house if you are poor or to pay for healthcare. If these people managed their finances better they would be in the mess. Whilst her and her family ride around in their SUV it’s the people alreadystarting to struggle that have to keep paying through the nose to keep them in the lap of luxury.

    Why should us taxpayers keep having to bail these people out. I can’t even afford a house in Cayman and still have to pay rent to line somebody elses pockets. I don’t complain as I don’t assume I am entitled to one just for being of a certain nationality.

    • Home Boy says:

      Excuse me! Where in the world gets more "handouts" than in Britain and the USA, especially if you are illegal immigrants, so give me a break. At leastwe are giving it to our own as it should be.

    • Common sense is not so common says:

      Anon 09:22 – you don’t know what youre talking about.

      Anywhere else in the world?  In the UK, you get free healthcare on the NHS, you can get paid jobseekers allowance,income support, disability living allowance, child benefit, child tax credit and a host of other ‘welfare’ type of assistance.  You can live in council property where you pay a minute portion of the rent and stick it out until you can own it or you can rent privately and apply for housing benefit and council tax benefit which pays most of your rent and council tax.  You have NO utilites to pay.  You can get an allowance for  furniture, a crisis loan, a budgeting loan and a host of other such loan assistance.  In fact, if you are so inclined you could sit your butt at home and not work and live a somewhat comfortable life.  Your children’s prescriptions are free, you even get vouchers for free milk, fruits and veg!

      This all courtesy of the tax payers.  That is what tax is for!  To BAIL people out who ‘need’ assistance.

      Now I agree that this lady’s family should be looking after her and if she accepts government assistance, she has to comply with her legal obligation because Cayman isnt the UK and we don’t have the same infrastructure.  I would never allow my mother to go without after she raised me and sacrificed.  Perhaps this media attention will force them to reflect on their selfishness. 

      • Anonymous says:

        You are correct that in most parts of the world there are many people getting free aid that do not deserve it, but I don’t know how you can compare it to this?

        In the UK many people live in council owned houses. But they are exactly that. Owned by the council. When they die the council has it back, the occupier never owns the property or cannot pass it on to the kids. Whereas this woman owns a house but still wants me to subsidise her so that her greedy children can inherit the property.

        The government only put a lien on the house meaning that when she dies and the family sell the property, the government will recoup the amount they have subsidised the family. They don’t automatically own the whole house. Get an education you bunch of fools.

      • Twyla Vargas says:

        I dont know if it will surprise you to know that many chidren is barely scraping the pot bottom  themselves, and cannot afford to look after the parents.  Ho do we decide on something like this.?

  31. She is not poor says:

    This woman is not poor.  She has valuable assets in her land.  Of course she should not get handouts for nothing.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Just wondering… if the director is correct in her statement?

    If so, tell me then, what does a poor person who doesn’t have any property sign over?  Their lives?

    Another question is this, how is a person poor if they have property?  Are they liquid poor?  If so then there are ways around that. 

    Of course, there are cases where young people get money without signing anything.  Poor people.

    Just some food for thought.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Well done Mrs Look Loy for what you are trying to do and ESPECIALLY for what you say in the last paragraph. It is sickening to see how these elderly people have to go cap in hand to the taxpayer (all of us) while their family members sit smugly by waiting for them to pass on so they can get their hands on their property. It’s been going on for years and years and should be stopped now. Many of us are struggling to help our old folk because it is the right thing to do but there has grown up in this society over the years an attitude among some people that these problems are government’s problems and government must find the funds to pay for everything. It’s a small society and we can see those who drive fancy cars or in one notorious case charter a jet to JA to celebrate a birthday while the mother is declared an indigent (actual example).

    Thank God Mrs Look Loy is as Caymanian as they come and rightly proud of it because can you imagine if a foreign Head of Department said such things?

  34. Anonymous says:

    “Officials said they can only give her the $550 per month poor persons allowance if she signs her property over.”

     
    That’s legalized THEFT!
    • Twyla Vargas says:

      I will go as far to say it is HIGHWAY ROBBERY. But I am not one bit surprised by the Heads of Children and family service enforcing this on poor Caymanian people.

      For numerous years they have been approving money for expariates and their families, and only now they want to thief poor Caymanian people property for 500.oo   I SAY HIGH WAY ROBBERY IT IS. 

      Why dont they take off some of those expatrites off the list, then they can help Caymanians.   I bet you they will not do that.

      Some times when life deals hard blow to others they never blink   They just start  a fire.

      For me to say I am dissapointed,  No, that is expected.!!!!!!!!!   Most Caymanians will definately not stop at anything to see another Caymanan fall of the cliff.   That is or sure.    I spit justice, and there is a name signed above so enjoy yourself., 

      • nonsense says:

        You are obviously upset about this but I cannot make out what your point is.

        CIG has laws

        Members of the community must follow these laws.

        If you don’t like the laws, elect someone who will change the laws.

        Seems you all chose unwisely in the past and repeated the mistake again recently.

         

         

      • Anonymous says:

        Sometimes in life, Ms Vargas, it’s better not to say anything—or at the very least to re-read what you write. This post is, shall we say, not your most profound.

    • Anonymous says:

      No one said the property was going to be taken away from her. A lean just prevents the property from being sold to someone else until the loaned amount is repaid. unless she lives long enough for the loaned amount reaches the value of the property.

  35. Anonymous says:

    great idea, why should you give welfare to someone sitting on a $1,000,000property… but this government won’t take action, they’ll still be talking about the same thing in 12 months…

     

    • Anonymous says:

      One million dollar property, yeah right!  It’s probably about $20,000. Most old Caymanians have falling down wooden houses.

      I had one little old house that I bought from the family and it was only worth about 10,000.  Hurricane peeled the roof off.

      As for people talking about the children, it’s very difficult to support your kids much less your father or mother.  If it’s a big family, they might be able to find someone to help.  I don’t think that law is fair about the kids taking care of the elderly.  What if the kids are dirt poor too and can’t pay their own bills.

      I wish that people would stop being judgemental and making assumptions.  That really annoys me.

  36. noname says:

    Excellent!  Does this spell the end of the free ride? The handout? Lets hope so! Do your damn jobs! No more excuses, I love it!