Premier says census will inform public policy

| 30/04/2010

(CNS): The forthcoming national census will be used to inform future government policy, the premier said this week. Mckeeva Bush said that given the present economic climate everyone must carefully plan where and how to concentrate their resources, and urged people to take part and cooperate with Census 2010 officials when they visit homes later this year. He pointed out that around the world governments were using the kind of objective evidence the national count will reveal to shape policy, and that as an international financial centre the Cayman Islands must also plan for the future on accurate data. The census is integral to the successful development of the country, Bush said.

Asking the whole community to play their part, the premier said government could not plan for people if it did not know they were there. “For everyone to count, each must let themselves be counted,” Bush said at the Grand Cayman launch this week and asked the public to cooperate with the Census team. “Please make sure when they call around to your house that they don’t have to deal with your dog nipping at their heels. Whether you are a visitor, a tenant or a home owner please give your full and courteous cooperation.”
The premier said the work of the Economics and Statistics Office (ESO) is vital to quantify what the Cayman Islands looks like.
“Ultimately, as a financial services centre that is aiming to become a world class business centre, it is an inescapable conclusion that we cannot continue to grow without thought to the consequences, or without properly weighing comparative benefits, as we have done in the past,” Bush explained.
The information will assist government and business, he added, with regards to jobs, income and housing in each district, as well as determining the trends and patterns and gauge the effectiveness and efficiency of government services such as health, education, employment and planning as well as demonstrate the degree to which residents are benefiting from the economy.
Bush noted that an issue likely to interest policy-makers was gender, as the 1999 census highlighted a gender wage gap in different industries.
“As we know, the National Association of Living Conditions (NALC) Report found women to be disproportionately represented among the unemployed and the under-insured. As we move towards becoming a human rights culture, it is essential for us to address this issue, but to do so in a manner based on evidence,” Bush said, adding that the 2010 census would be an essential tool in crafting policies that point the way towards wage equality for women in the Cayman Islands.
“Over the coming years I would like to see the Cayman Islands develop into a highly literate and numerate society where everyone, even the man on the street, is aware of information that is contained in the census and similar projects,” Bush added.
During his welcoming remarks at the event, Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson said the goal over the next few months was to educate the public on the need to take part. He said the message would be ringing out across the country until census day, which is on 10-10-10.
In the interim, he said, there was also a need for more business and NGOs, churches to get on board and help promote the count. The FS said Caribbean Utilities Company and Brac Power and Light had already offered their support for the census promotion.
“The ESO will need the assistance of a greater number of private sector offices and non-profit institutions such as churches and schools,” he added. “This inclusive approach to all facets of Census activities will be most critical in October when over 250 persons will be recruited as part of the Census team.”
He explained that recruitment for the censor takers would start in June but the ESO was interested in hearing from people who were interested in joining the team.
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  1. Bobby Anonymous says:

    I would think this Census is for Caymanians only. I don’t see why anyone else would be bothered or even care about it, afterall no one asks their oppinion on anything else!

    • Anonymous says:

      expats should boycott the census until they are given full human rights and are not discrimnated against like caymanians 

  2. Anonymous says:

    The information gathered will not be used for any purpose other than to allow this government to waste our money conducting the census and to allow the money wasters in government to figure out new ways of squeezing even more money out of us. Is it true that this farce is costing almost 5 million dollars that we don’t have?

  3. Uncivil Servant says:

    Another waste of time and resources. If Immigration have been keeping their records up to date and Births, Deaths and marriages people have their stuff together, combine the two and woola, census complete. In any case, if the Premier  and Ken Ken are getting involved, I am going to provide misinformation just out of spite.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t be stupid, the cencus is meant to gather correct information on our way of life.   Otherwise how will plans be put in place to accommodate our future plans.

      This information is not meant for Ken Ken and Premier, this is meant for me, you and our families and their families (you get the picture).

      Do your part and give accurate and correct information, that the only way that money will not be wasted.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey smart one a census is done every ten years everywhere in the world..dont be stupid 

  4. Anonymous says:

    The government has policy based on the analysis of information ? What is the evidence for that?

  5. Wake me when it's Over says:

    It’s all very well to talk about public policy but not when it doesn’t exist.  We the public mentioned in this nice speech have heard:

    – Selling the Government office building.  Then not selling it.

    – Reducing MLA’s salaries.  Then not reducing them.

    – Cuts to civil service benefits.  Then no cuts.

    – No new taxes.  Then a VAT tax.

    – No tax on on income.  Then a tax on income.

    – A balanced budget.  Then an unbalanced budget and more borrowing.

    – Reducing civil service expenses.  Then backing off.

    – Accountability.  Then no recent accounts.

    – Openness in government.  Then closed door meetings about our finances.

    – Don’t forget an oil refinery, dredging up the North Sound, etc. etc.

    I forget now how many reversals and cancellations we have heard of what was initially expressed as a policy.  So… will it really matter if they find out…. how many people are here…. and what genders they are?  What difference will it make on policy or any policy if they can’t make up their minds about a single thing?

    We don’t need a Census we need Sense.


    • A Theist says:

      Don’t forget the national prayer.  If in doubt let the Great Sky Fairy inspire policymaking.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wake you up when it is over?  No way, with your way of thinking you are better off asleep.