Worst behind us, says Alden

| 01/01/2014

(CNS): Pointing to a feeling of optimism for 2014, Premier Alden McLaughlin said there was “a feeling that worst is behind us and that 2014 will be a good year” in his New Year message. “There is a new spirit of unity, a sense that all of us – Caymanians and residents, visitors and investors, government and private sector, government and opposition – can and will work together in pursuit of what is best for Cayman,” he said after reflecting on the recent events since the May General election when the PPM won the majority of seats and formed an inclusive government. McLaughlin also pointed to the historic vote just before Christmas when all members of the Legislative Assembly came together, despite differences of opinion, to vote unanimously for the National Conservation Law.

“This was indeed a triumph for our democratic process and a testament to what I hope is a new spirit of cooperation and compromise among the elected members of the House,” he said. “There is much to be done in this New Year and I am fully cognizant that the government will have significant challenges to meet. But meet them we will, just as we have done these past seven months, with courage, conviction and a willingness to listen and compromise.”

Rejecting recent talk of independence, the premier spoke of the renewed relationship with the UK and the country’s acceptance of the government’s long term plan to return public finances to the black and develop the economy.

See full message below.

Category: Politics

Comments (77)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Alden has lost what's important. Reducing the Budget shouldn't be the primary goal here. Well in all fairness he did say what nobody has said so far, "We can and will work together in pursuit of what is best for Cayman,” I just hope he puts it to action. However, reducing government spending should not be a primary goal, it should be the secondary goal. Honestly what the primary goal should be, is imporving Cayman's education system.  Imagine a Cayman that has a  large working force with an exceptional analytical and technical skills. I mean thats what improves the economy, having an exceptional workforce will attract various investors of various different industries.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Alden come down from Fantasy Land my friend. European economies recovering ? The worst is behind us ?? What planet are you on Alden? Perhaps you should read George Osbourne's (UK's equivalent of Minister of Finance) New Years Message to the people of the UK and then tell us what you think about Europe and in particular the Mother Country's economic recovery. Pehaps you could take a page out of Mr. Osbourne's "Book of frankness".

    • Anonymous says:

      Idiot. Yeah, you prefer premiers who go around saying "we'z broke" and then expect to attract investors not looking to exploit you. 

    • The Seeker says:

      This side vision thing seems to be endemic with the OPM now Progressives.nyou all will recall the previous leader said that we would not be affected that much by the recession, and that's why we could go and build all of the schools. Well I am sure he regrets the day he looked into his economist crystal ball. Now we have dejavu, guys please read, I say read, don't be making these bold statements without some concrete research. Don't let the speech writers make you look fool fool. Cone on now seek the facts before you try to speak ya self out of a job.

  3. Anonymous says:

    alden has just shown how out of touch he is with the people on the island and the business community……..

     

  4. Anonymous says:

    What country is he living in because it cannot be Cayman he talking about

  5. Truth says:

    Next he is going to say in just 90 days he will turn water into wine.  Andthen add 100% duty to help pay for the turtle farm.  A Caymanian politician is what it is. Plan accordingly.  If you want to live here you must be able to pay your share of the governments never ending and unauditable paychecks  and nation building funds.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow. What a lot you read into a simple, optimistic statement obviously intended to inspire confidence in investors. smh.  

  6. Agree swift & harsh says:

    These politicians needs to grow some balls to be respected and re-elected!!  The people WANT better prison (maybe outsourced maybe regional) but have to stand up to the voter fillies who want cushy time for bad boy cousins.

    we need to act swiftly with a solid plan to save our youth!!! Name & shame parents with truants, fine teachers who pass those just to pass the lemon.  Demand this cycle of illiteracy ends and vocation/ tech IT begins. We only have a small group of students and if made a priority (through concerned reform and Immigration) ALL school leavers and returning college graduates should have jobs.

    Fine families who promote underage pregnancies not reward them with social services.

    make sure every eligible Caymanian has a job and yes force by reduction in pay more to join the private sector (there would be a demand for white collar permit rejections if former civil service locals were denied while expats hired?)

    tackle the crime wave in Prospect! Take on and fine (jail time) any slum lord who rents to low life drug dealers.  this answer is simple… Just like your boat or car, your property will be taken away if found to be used in the process of drug trafficking – done, neighborhoods cleaned up and low life's have no where to live so leave.  Too many locals turn a blind eye to their tenants and just a landlord law would sniff out then unemployed and undesirable.

     

     

  7. anonymous says:

    Did Alden really say whats stated in the headline????  He must be living on cloud 9. The economy is dead.

    Two options to revive…1) government spends and brings us out of situation or 2) Inward investment. Obviously 1 is not an option and unfortunately I do not see this government being supportive of inward investment which needs concessions to occur…..so…..Alden needs to wake up and lead us….he took the job! Now do something other than silly comments like this!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously the govt. is interested in inward investment. Confidence in your own future tends to help attract that. The key is giving concessions but NOT to the point where Cayman gets very little benefit which is pocketed by the investor – you know, McKeeva style. What is stupid are comments like yours.   

    • Anonymous says:

      Cayman people pleas stop being negative. No matter who you ellect to run this country there is always going to be lots of negativity. It is a new year and it is time that we all change our broken ways and try to mend them by trying to get along with each other and stop bringing each other down. This man deserves a.chance to do his job. He knows what’s best for the country and I myself feel like he’s doing an excellent job so far. Stop contradicting instead start appreciating and embrace love instead of hate! Happy new year!

      • anonymous says:

        just because he is Premier does not mean he knows whats best for country…it only means he leads the party that won the most votes….thats all. plain and simple.

  8. Anonymous says:

    alden….how can you lie to the people and say the worst is behind us when you have tackled none of the serious problems dragging this place down????

    nobody with a brain or any business owner would agree with what you have said…..

    this is one of the most fraudulent and dishonest things i have ever heard from an elected politician….

  9. Anonymous says:

    What about your promise about tackling omov & unemployment, crime, introducing the finger printing system in immigration? GT Voter

  10. Otherview says:

    In reality…….it is, and has been, for some years getting worse.  To continue living with a state of  denile is absurd.  Realise, admit to, and fix the problems. This is a very small island, with a very small population, and these issues can be addressed swiftly with a strong hand.

    Forget  "human rights", for those who choose to live outside the "humane laws of these iles."

    Swift,severe,humiliating punishment is what this country needs.

    Set an example for the rest of the world……..do not try to be "the rest of the world,"

    Be the BEST IN THE WORLD !

  11. Anonymous says:

    The worst is yet to come.

    It just shows how little your leaders know reality.  Propaganda is a wonderful tool to keep the masses at ease.

    1.Banking is dead

    2. Interest rates will rise soon and people wont be able to afford there homes

    3.Crime is rising

    4. Health problems are rising

    5. Vacancys are rising.

    6. Risk is rising

    7. Property values are falling

    Real professionals need to be brought in to run cayman like a business that is failing.

     I give it about 6-8 years until total collasp.

    There are solutions but most will not like them. and its hard to be reelected and unpopular at the same time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe your post would bear more weight if you could spell properly and use the right homophones.

      • Anonymous says:

        We don't want no homophones in Cayman and they sure are not getting to marry each other.

    • Anonymous says:

      You didn't mention the education system, but given your spelling and grammar you should offer yourself as a consultant.

      • Anonymous says:

        Perhaps I should be a consultant.  They would suck up my ideas and then change the contract

        So I will just give it away instead and I will give you the first few free

        1. health care …almost free set up care with a local country that offers inexpensive care instead of going to tampa

        2.education should be manditory tech school, military, college, your choice but your talent must be found everyone has one

        3. a little more duty on Vices

        4. a casino for tourists

        5. new airport in east end paid for by redeveloping current disaster and the new terminals should be pole buildings  with disney style details

        6. Airburners and Mulching for your waste management and put back garbage fees add them to water bill.

        7. outsource prison system crooks wont like that

        8. manditory 14% pension 7% and 7% unless you have a net worth in excess of 600k then do as you wish.

        9. all elected officials are unpaid. Only made people should hold office If they are made then they are qualified

        10. Pay cuts for all CIG employees  anyone making over 60k needs to be cut by 20% over 3 years

        11. fixed rate 20-30-40 year home loans not the 2 year adjustable product they are selling it will fail

        12 any equipment purchased for Govt should be used and old for that matter

        13. Property taxes based upon square footage of homes $1 per sqft  not raw land 

        14. 7 food kitchens that are free for all 

        15. No cash welfare only vouchers for food utility etc

        16. increase population by 5%-8% per year  for 3-5 years

        17. legalise marijuana and tax it

        18. get rid of work permits but do charge workers something  lets say visitors over 30 days $100 per month

        I could keep going …but that will cost and realise i did not give you all the pieces of the puzzel

        How was my spelling this time ? 

         

        • Anonymous says:

          This is why Cayman will fail: People are much more interested in your spelling rather than your message. I wonder if any of those posters understand the concept of a red herring?

        • Anonymous says:

          My mama told me never argue with an idiot, they will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. Discussion over.

          • Anonymous says:

            so you are sayingt he discussion is over, as one should not argue with you, because as you put it "you cannot argue with an idiot"

            maybe your mummy should monitor you more when you're online.

          • Anonymous says:

            Note the absence of replies to this…

        • Anonymous says:

          I'm puzzelled by your spelling, but you've got some good ideas there Chief.

          • Anonymous says:
             
             
            • Anonymous says:

              Irony is apparently lost on you.

              • Anonymous says:

                I got some irony on me once, you could see it a mile away and it took forever to wash off.  No chance of it getting lost on me.

          • Anonymous says:

            If you think mine is bad you should see my youngest childs

            Unna battry tyre bobo

              I took me a long time to figure out whom this UNNA person is.

            all her friends were going to eat at UNNAS house

            Its a good thing her overseas english teachers realise that she lives in cayman

        • Anonymous says:

          Your spelling is ‘Atrocious’ :)… However, some (not all) of your ideas warrant consideration (particularly 4,and 5).

        • Anonymous says:

          Your spelling is improving but still requires work. 

          Some of those ideas are arbitrary and ridiculous. For example, taxing on a per sq. ft. basis. Obviously a 4,000 SF house in EE might be valued at $250,000, while a 4,000 SF condo on SMB might be valued at $3,000,000. Why on earth should they pay the same tax?

          • Anonymous says:

            If you live in a 4000sqft house vs. a 1200 sqft house you are living large on any part of the island

            no matter what the value is just because I live on 7MB why should my milk or utilities be higher ?

            The cost to build a house is about the same  on any part of the island. Its the land value that changes.

            and as you say some things are arbitrary I disagree a value must be paced as a starting point and then the math is looked at.

            Please tell me the other ideas that are ridiclous. So i may check myself . 

             

            • Anonymous says:

              I can't believe you are trying to defend that ridiculous proposal. If you have a large family, say 4 children, and have added to your house over the years so that it is now 4,000 SF obviously that does not of itself mean you are living large. In addition to location the quality of the structure and the finish of houses vary widely. One may be a basic wooden structure with a zinc roof. Other houses may cost $300 per SF to build. You obviuously know nothing about the cost of building. But of course it should not be just about the cost of building but the value of what you have built if we are to go down that road at all, which I don't recommend. It would also stick it to Caymanians since many expats rent their accommodations and landlords would be unable to pass this on to their tenants given the state of the property market.  

              Who said anything about your milk or utilities being higher?  

              I'll come back on some others.

               

              • Anonymous says:

                I see your point about the kids living athome to save money but lets be real my old home that was 2300 sqft was very big and I have 3 kids I know what 4000 sqft is

                 I am building a new home in cayman at this time in addition to my old old in cayman  The building material and labor costs are the same in cayman anywhere i build. Yes the land prices change.

                 If i want Crown molding and travertine floors in my home it will cost much more. 

                When you say expats rent and your worried about the landlord maintaining the margins I find that funny being a good portion are overcharging to begin with.

                And expats from  europe and the US are mostly owners not renters and we think its really cool not to pay property taxes Just the same as garbage collection is free. Its just not normal.

                I mentioned milk and utilities costing the same for all and you just couldnt understand that concept

                So i will gladly go down any road with you

                Its not about sticking it to cayman its about improving all  on the island I see how you think

                I bet you believe Caymanians should have it easier than others. Entitlementmentality?

                That said i wrote last year about a removable floating dock in cayman.. Its front page today like its sometihing new.

                 

                • Anonymous says:

                  You're not making much sense. I've already made the point that the costs of construction will  greatly depend on the quality of construction and finishes. There are houses on this Island with entry foyers of 24 feet, marble floors, clay tile roofs etc..

                  Landlords cannot overcharge even if they wanted to since there are many vacancies. Rent is down about 30% from its peak in 2007. Rental accommodation costs are one of the few items which trended downward in the latest ESO report on CPI.  

                  Your sweeping statement about expats from Europe and the U.S. is quite simply incorrect. The vast majority rent because of immigration uncertainties. In any event they don't comprise the majority of expats.

                  No, it wasn't the concept I couldn't understand, it was the relevance of utilities and milk to this issue. They are totally irrelevant.

                  I certainly don't believe Caymanians should have it tougher than others which would be the result of your proposals. But then you knew that.       

        • Anonymous says:

          Another ridiculous proposal: "all elected officials are unpaid. Only made people should hold office If they are made then they are qualified".

          What is "made people"? Do you mean a fully initiated member of the Mafia?  Having unpaid elected officials would only heighten the incentive for corruption. People need to put food on the table for their families and pay their bills. If you are suggesting that only rich people should be politicians then that is ignorant and shortsighted since they will not be able to identify with the plight of the little man. 

          "increase population by 5%-8% per year  for 3-5 years". You can't just arbitrarily increase the population. That should be the result of economic growth and increase in jobs available plus natural increase. If it is by natural increase you tend to find those who can least afford it having the most children and that will not help the economy. You are putting the cart before the horse. 

          Getting rid of work permits would further disadvantage the Caymanian worker and result in a major loss of revenue for the govt.

          "almost free set up care with a local country that offers inexpensive care instead of going to tampa".

          What is a "local country"? Do you mean we should pay hospitals in Jamaica so that Caymanians can go there free? Do you know the state of healthcare in Ja.?

          It is rare to find so much nonsense in one post. 

        • And Another Ting says:

          Only made people should hold office what's that? I hop ya not talking that mystical thing. And Another Ting.

    • Anonymous says:

      Before you start spelling doom for Cayman,you should learn to spell.Simple words as"'thier'' and ''collapse'' and ''vacancies'' seems to trouble you.I find it so amazing that you people always have the answer,but not the solution.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry no spell check ..here, hear, heir, ici, her

        and perhaps its my canadian english american cayman german edumacation

        I read perhaps 5 langauges maybe 7 they all look the same to me

        but you clearly understand what I am saying

        And I do have solutions, you just wouldn't like them.

        The truth will hurt.

        Also I love Cayman, have 2 homes on island.

        I also have investments in more than one local operation.

        and many friends.  I even have a cayman cousin and for that matter I am a Hunter perhaps you know the name?

         

         

    • bow n arrow says:

      Your spelling needs brushing up. Try go to night school and take a course in English Language and your ability to criticise and employability will improve

      • Anonymous says:

        There are idiot savants whose gifts are being able to spell, to bad spell-check on word makes their gift an obsolete annoyance . If you cant respond comprehensively, don't pretend with hideous-straw men-trite.

      • Anonymous says:

        O that hurt let you about me and my bad spelling I retired at 35 years old after making plenty of money I dont need a job.  I Ranked  in the top 7% of all law students in 2001

        I own everything I have and owe no one .

        I am fat and I smoke

        I study all day

        Live on the beach but dont go in the water.

        I dont criticise I turn things into math formulas and that is my opinion.

        So stop being so Mean.

        I have a spelling problem not a reading or math problem

        When I went to school they taught ebonics communication was the key not spelling.

         

         

  12. Anonymous says:

    "Immigration law amendment made the country more attractive and competitive"?  

    Is he on crack?  There was not one change in that law that was even designed to be positive for the business environment.  How did making it way harder and way more expensive to get PR make us more attractive or competitive?

    • Anonymous says:

      So right you are.  Very few will ever get PR now and people see right through Alden's ruse that his new system is more fair for everyone. If you're not rich, don't even bother to get on the playing field because the goal posts are much too far away. Between the qualified people who are leaving because they realise there's no hope to stay and the people being denied permits because supposedly there are Caymanians whoare qualified and willing to do their jobs, expats are leaving in droves. New ones that come find a super expensive, crime-infested country full of locals who hate them and some are staying only a couple of months before they realise they made a mistake coming here. If Alden thinks the worst is behind Cayman, he's either completely delusional or simply blowing smoke up our arses.

  13. And AnotherTing says:

    Mr. Premier (CNN please take note)the worst is not behind us, let's wake up from the illusion you are trying to create. Aren't you taking note people are still unemployed sah, the banks ate taking proactive steps to stop an arrears break down, read the news.. The Civil service is still bloated, the tourism product is not Caymanized, external remittances are down; people will be laid off, and you sah tell us the worse is what? Behind us!!!.

    Indeed there is a lot of major work to be done and if your colleagues have not told you yet, it is indeed a monumental task. Instead you should be asking your people to find ways and means of  finding work for Caymanians, increasing the minimum wage , working with the financial institutions to find the means for solving arrears, to provide means of financing projects that are going to add value , profit and jobs. Look at Enterprise City and see what Govt can do more of to make this work(forget that Mckeeva initiated it). Find ways to encourage Inward investment, maintain and improve efficiency of critical services, stop the criminal element in their tracks NOW.These are the things that the people elected you you and your team to do, stop the illusion BS and get on with the job. Well  And Another Ting next time.

    • Anonymous says:

      When you say the Civil Service is bloated you need to elaborate.

      Are we saying we have too many Civil Servants or that the Civil Servicehas too much dead weight?

      The Civil Service is asked  to do a lot. No  wonder it is so large. Portions need to be  privatised.

      So you see we can have a lot of Civil Servants if the coun try still asks Government to do a lot.

      • Anonymous says:

        The answer is we have too many civil servants, too much dead weight, too much weight, and pay too much.  Cut the civil service by 20% and cut the wages by 20% across the board.  That would cut costs by 36% and there would be no appreciable service difference.

        • Anonymous says:

          So you are saying that the Civil service is overpaid by 20% or you just feel it is your right to underpay them by that much?

          Some of you just talk and  you have no idea of what  you are saying.

          • Anonymous says:

            A 20% reduction in wages would naturally reduce numbers.  If the market can bear a 20% reduction it would not be underpaying.  It would be a correction of past errors.

            • Anonymous says:

              Your  problem  is that most of the civil service are underpaid.

              The problem that most have is that they look at upper levels of management.

              The countries problem is that yes too much is  spent on the Civil Service but that is because too much is being asked of them. Privatisation is the only  answer.

              And I would dare to suggest that the Civil Service is the foundation of  your country. I  mean just think about the jobs that they do. They are just about all essential. And yet we want to dropped there salaries such that the best minds  will leave for the private sector.

              N o wonder the  country is failing. 

            • Anonymous says:

              Smh. It is amazing how stupid some people can be. When you make thousands of civil servants unable to pay their mortgage and the bank forecloses on them, and they are unable to spend how exactly will that help the economy? When they line up for social services assistance how will that help the govt.'s budget?

              • Anonymous says:

                It would make no fiscal difference because the state is paying either way. 

              • Anonymous says:

                So you are accepting that the civil service is, for many employed by it, a form of social welfare?  If you can't pay your mortgage, you can rent.  Ownership is a privilege not a right.  Since implicit in your statement is the notion that civil servants could not obtain private sector jobs at their current salaries then you are also making the point that the state is subsidising the property acquistion by civil servants as a form of welfare because the state is overpaying for their services.  Your post really helps make the earlier point, that civil servants are overpaid.

                • Anonymous says:

                  You are exceptionally dense as well as callous. The state is the employer of last resort in many countries and often employd persons who would not be employed in the private sector. Saying that they can rent completely misses the point of the damage of having thousands of persons default on their mortgage would cause not simply to them but to the property market and the economy as a whole.     

  14. Anonymous says:

    I work for what is good for my bank balance. Don't expect me to do your job.

  15. Anonymous says:

    No mention of OMOV in 2014???? 

    • Anonymous says:

      Is there an election this year? What's the rush? There are higher priorities right now. So long as it is in place before 2017 that's fine. 

  16. Anonymous says:

    Blah Blah Blah, where's OMOV…

  17. A.R.M. Robber says:

    Not true. Your worst days are still to come.

    Cyan touch dis. Da da da da.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, robber. YOUR worst days are yet to come!

      Disgusting that you and some others think that was funny.

  18. Anonymous says:

    wonderland stuf from alden….. here is the reality…..

    nothing done on port

    nothing done on airport

    nothing done on the dump

    nothing done on dart agreement

    nothing done on cost of living…

    nothing done on cost of doing business

    nothing done with turtle farm

    nothing done with cayman airways

    nothing done on gaming legislation

     

    • Anonymous says:

      give CAL to shetty…

    • SSM345 says:

      Dear 15:52,

      Thankyou for pointing out all the ings we, the PPM, have yet to fulfill as promised during the last election campain, however we would like to point out that it has taken us 6 months to get the couintries affairs in some sort of order after the last Governement Administration. We shall endeavour to have these completed along with a litany of other projects within the next four years.

      We would however like to point out that you missed two items that we have infact finished, (i) all of our Christmas Beef and (ii) Tutle and Conch Stew. We would also like to point out to all you naysayers out there about the ill effects of consuming an endangered species, there is merit in eating this delicious animal on a regular basis, just look at Bainzey,without tutrtle stew in his diet, none of the New Years Day action could have been possible and we Caymanians know for a fact that it was only this that enabled him to catch dem robbers and pick up that OBE.

      Mek way,

      Badman Alden.

    • Anonymous says:

      …and you can't [put list here] on this Island without having to watch for when someone is going to stick a gun in your face…

      The list includes: have a beer, go to a jewelery store, walk home, get out of your car in front of your house, walk down the beach, and so on and so on… 

      Yup, it's all roses from here (NOT).

    • Anonymous says:

      and so much left from the UDP.

       

      Hey at least you can say they dealt  with the immigration matter that the UDP did not want  to touch and they got the conservation bill passed. these might not be what we want but they were dealt  with.

    • Anonymous says:

      And I for one am happy with that last line. they can leave that right where it is and get on with the rest of it.

    • Anonymous says:

      It takes time, Brainiac. Have you been paying attention at all? Here, let me throw you a bone:

       

      Something done to pass the National Conservation Law.

      Something done to set priorities and get the cruise ship port project back on the correct footing with a real business case and terms of reference document.

      Something done to get the national budget passed on the first try.

      Something done to tackle the CI Govt's expenditure; 4% reduction sought by Minister of Finance.

      Something done to continue to stimulate the economy; duty cuts extended through 2014.

      Something done to bring harsher penalties for sex offenders and related crimes.

      Something done to tackle the roll-over and TLEP issues.

      Something done to expose the underhanded and mal-administered scholarships awarded under the Nation Building "slush fund".

      Something done to repair the relationship with the UK Government and stop us sliding down the UDP slime riddled highway to third-world governance.

      • Anonymous says:

        To rebut one of your points.  A 4% reduction in spending should not see the head of a statutory authority riding around in a new 4×4 truck paid for with public money!

      • Anonymous says:

        How is that putting food on my table Dr.Brains?

        • Anonymous says:

          What he is saying is that you have a Government of action.

          They promised the people and they are delivering.

          • Anonymous says:

            Delivering? And I can't  even get paid from them for two months now. And I work darn hard for my money! 

             

             

    • Anonymous says:

      DOE should be doing something about the infestation of miillepedes that are taking over the island and nothing is being done about them.  When Agricultue Department is contacted, they say they are not a threat to crops, check with DOE.  When DOE is contacted, they say check with Agriculture Dept.  Who then is responsible for these pests that are taking over people's yards, houses and are everywhere?   This is the problem with government departments, no one, no one, has the wherewithall to deal with a problem.  Sit back, enjoy A/C and collect a salary.

      • Anonymous says:

        Absolutely right DOE should employ a team of guys to go around bug spraying everyone's homes and businesses. Or would that 'bloat' the civil service too much? Ya'know, dealings with bugs you can step on yourself. Or maybe we should nationalize the pest control companies?