Locals need to lead recovery

| 04/01/2012

(CNS): The increase in government revenues over the last year is down to the investment of Cayman based firms in local development and not external investors, the independent member for North Side suggested this week as he reflected on the premier’s New Year message. Ezzard Miller said any advancements or recent success in the local economy were not down to foreign investors or the major projects that he said the premier has been pushing over the last two years but to local construction companies and developers who are taking the chance and going ahead with commercial and residential projects.

As he looked forward to the next twelve months, Miller said it was all about the economy and that Cayman’s economic recovery would depend on local developers and local businesses, which government should be encouraging. He said that whatever gains the treasury made in the last few months were down to Caymanians.

“These developers are going ahead with different projects across Grand Cayman, despite the tough times, and they are doing it with very few incentives and concessions which the premier is offering to other projects led by external investors that have not yet started the work,” Miller told CNS Tuesday, adding that government needed to incentivise local people to invest collectively in the islands' recovery.

In the premier’s New Year message on Sunday he said that government would be extending the reduction on construction materials as it had produced an increase in the level of goods being imported and had been “an effective economic stimulus initiative.”

In his own New Year’s message to the people of Cayman, the country’s only independent member said he believed that the major task for 2012 was getting “Caymanians who are unemployed to work and not creating more jobs for imported labour through the approval and selective solicitation of huge projects that will by their very nature provide limited job opportunities for Caymanians even if it provides great profit to the foreign investors.”

Miller told CNS that he firmly believed government must begin to focus on Caymanian businessesto fuel the economic turnaround. The independent member said he was glad to see that McKeeva Bush was at least still thinking about the economy of the country in his most recent message to the people, However, Miller said the projects that Bush is depending on so heavily would not provide much relief for most local people. “With the exception of those players directly involved, very few Caymanians will derive much benefit from any of this projects being heralded by the premier,” he said.

Cayman cannot rely on foreign investors for an economic turnaround, Miller said, because in most cases where the major projects were concerned the investment coming in would leave when it became profit, rarely benefitting the local people.

“We need to encourage Caymanian entrepreneurship and local ownership with the sorts of concessions currently onlyreserved for foreign investors and stop depending on or hoping external conglomerates will create jobs and wealth for us,” Miller said.

With more than 19,000 people on work permits, Miller pointed out that Cayman did not have a shortage of jobs; the problem, he said, was that Caymanians are not considered capable of holding these jobs by the boards, which continue to grant work permits in the face of rising unemployment among Caymanians.

See Miller’s New Year Message below.

Category: Politics

Comments (1)

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  1. Cayguy says:

    Mr Miller said (With more than 19,000 people on work permits, he pointed out that Cayman did not have a shortage of jobs; the problem, he said, was that Caymanians are not considered capable of holding these jobs by the boards, which continue to grant work permits in the face of rising unemployment among Caymanians.)

    Maybe Mr. Miller should ask all the Caymanian business owners why they do not hire Caymanians and hence hire foreign workers on work permits as an extra expence to doing business.