Parties and coalitions: what do you stand for?

| 25/11/2012

We want change. But the new political group, Coalition for Cayman, must tell us what they are going to do to effect that change — and we don't want vague generalities as often spewed by Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin or Premier McKeeva Bush. We want to hear exactly what your plans are. If you do not understand what we mean, here are examples:

Unemployment:

Our approach to solving unemployment will be a three-pronged approach:

1) We will work with immigration and labour to get Caymanians into jobs by ensuring businesses hire Caymanians who are capable over foreign workers. We will have a dedicated staff member in the labour department who will take applications for people who are applying to local companies for jobs they have advertised and have him/her coordinate with immigration to ensure that these companies are not getting work permits to fill these positions. Companies found to be abusing the system will be penalized by restrictions on staffing levels up to and including possible refusal of any new permits and if the matter persist refusal of renewals. Caymanians who are honest, hardworking, experienced andeducated need to be placed first.

2) From an educational standpoint we will take a deep look at the Cayman market to see where Caymanians can penetrate the market deeper and focus our efforts to ensure we have education plans in place to bring Caymanians along in these sectors. Things such as banking, trust management, insurance, law and other sectors need to have educational paths set up to ensure we can, in time, have Caymanians filling these positions.

3) From a business standpoint we will work harder to help Caymanians own their own business by cutting a lot of the red tape that stands in their way. We will set up a true business ownership system that involves:

Training — Teaching these potential business owners business skills like accounting, administration, marketing, contracts and more.
Financial — We will get with all banks the way we have with other programmes and offer backing to Caymanians who want to start their own business. These people will be selected during the programme based on abilities, business concept and the way they excel during the programme. We will employ a mentor programme where savvy business professionals can lend their services to mentoring your business-minded Caymanians succeed.

Other — Caymanians who are granted assistance will also get the following assistance so long as they maintain an 80% or higher proportion of Caymanians under their employment. These are: first three years business license free and 50% off the next 2 years, up to 60% off duties for first 2 years and dropping by 20% the next 3 years; assistance in annual financials from our staff for first 2 years.

Existing businesses can also gain advantages by hiring Caymanians and demonstrating their support for helping Caymanians progress in their businesses. We will offer discounts to duties or licensing fees to businesses who demonstrate an effort to help. This will be done on a case by case basis based on submissions and interviews.

Businesses who demonstrate excellence in staffing Caymanians, with 90% or more, and proof of progressing Caymanians can gain waivers of customs duties for up to three months or even free licensing, depending on which is more advantageous to the business.

Finances:

Tourism — We will rebrand the Cayman product to align more closely with the middle class family. We will lower the cost of flying to the Cayman Islands in an effort to increase seat sales. We will work with local businesses to lower the cost of hotels and activities to create a real attractive package for tourists considering where to vacation.

We will create a tourism coalition for promotion of the Cayman Islands.

We support and intend on implementing gambling in the Cayman Islands with limitations. Our view is that we will support Casinos as we believe it will increase Cayman tourism and also can help to bridge gaps in Cayman tourism product by having tournaments during the low season. Casinos will pay a premium plus percentage of winnings.

We do not support locals gambling in the casinos because we do not want local issues. Caymanians who wish to gamble could apply for a license to gamble that would cost some exorbitant amount that would demonstrate their ability to afford to gamble, perhaps a fee of CI$25,000 for a 5 years license.

We would license numbers sellers and collect 1% of winnings.

Banking –  We would reverse all increases in business fees over the past 4 years and offer discounts to all new business licenses for first two years. We will consult with the business sector to see what other efforts could be made to attract new business.

Expenses:

As we are creating new jobs, our goal will be to create a more lean and mean government. We will work with Immigration to move capable Caymanians from the civil service to the private sector. Our goal is for a 30% decrease in staff over the four year span.

First phase willbe to review the Public Management and Finance Law and its decentralisation of certain sectors and reverse this process. These staff would then be transitioned to private sector by working with private sector companies. We will create a plan that offers 50% off the employees' wages over the first three months, picked up by the Cayman government.

Second phase will be a department by department evaluation of people and processes to see where new technology or cuts in processes can create redundancies. These staff redundancies will go into the CS to PS systems. This process is partially explained in our unemployment section but later expanded on.

Final Phases will be a look at what services we are doing that could be outsourced or privatised completely. This could tie into starting of Caymanian businesses also.

The final thing is that we aim to have no serious capital expenditure during our first two years, which will be spent on revamping the Cayman Islands. After which, we will be very careful and see what is necessary.

How will this be paid for?

It will be paid for by several ways:

1) Lowering of cost of government by thinning of CS staff and other cost cutting measures.

2) Addition of other revenue measures such as gambling; increases to government coffers due to more ticket taxes due to higher levels of visitors; taxes at hotels, duties from food and beverage duties.

We will also be open to other methods of making money that does not impact the cost of living. Our focus will be on lowering the cost of living here in the Cayman Islands while creating employment for Caymanians and foreign help.

We feel that if we can attain this we will reduce the stress on social services, lower crime levels, create local prosperity, stabilize the business atmosphere and place the Cayman Islands as a preferential place to do business, not only in the Caribbean but on a global level.

I would also say this: while I am not pro-PPM or pro-UDP. I would say that I would attempt to circumvent all processes put in place by UDP to restart them in a more transparent manner. This would include the Bodden Town Dump, the West Bay Road closure and the cruise berthing project.

I believe there needs to be complete transparency in these processes.

The government will work with any business, but always in the best interest of the people of the Cayman Islands. No major asset will be sold unless 90% of the Legislative Assembly votes 'yes' on matters that affect country owned assets.

———————————————————————————————————————-

Now this is where I stand and what I hoped we would see from these people looking at representing the Cayman Islands in its Legislative Assembly.

I have hope for this "group" that their interests truly are for people of the Cayman Islands. I have said before thatI would like to see some sort of "grouping" of like-minded independents formed to counter the UDP/PPM machinery, but I must say we have to take a 'wait and see' approach to this version to see if it is more a veil of intentions than a truly neutral coalition.

What we need to know from them is where they stand on issues, not just a whole bunch of generalities attacking parties, because while I understand that parties give power to people they would not normally have, it's the people that are truly the problem.

This same thing goes for PPM. It's one thing to say we are not UDP but it's a next thing to say, "Here is what we will do should we be elected …"

As for the UDP, I'm not sure what you are going to do. You are in a ship with so many holes and not nearly enough things to clog them. You are going down so fast and the sad part is, you do not even see it.

I have stated, I believe emphatically, my opposition to the UDP party and its way of running a country. I believe their tax to spend approach has taken a recession and blown it into a much larger problem, which it will take years for us to reverse. How do you reduce CIG spending by 200 million a year? This is what needs to be done.

The tax to spend approach has created two main problems:

1) Direct cost of living to the people of the Cayman Islands, which leads to less money to spend at local businesses.

2) Local businesses increased cost combined with lesser income has caused many to close or cut staff, which has increased unemployment. This has also lowered CIG revenues.

My knowledge of economics has told me that the worst thing you can do in a recession is to increase cost to businesses or people in the way of taxes. You need to stimulate business activity by lowering business cost and/or creating incentives for businesses to offer specials.

Taxing does far more damage than it does good. The only thing it does that is good is to increase government coffers, but if this is not used to stimulate growth and only used to fund travel or other things of this nature, it will lead to a downturn in the economy.

So I challenge all parties to start telling the people where they are on many issues and what plans they have to make Cayman better for the people and businesses of the Cayman Islands.

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Category: Viewpoint

Comments (33)

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  1. Dred says:

    At least I can say this. I wrote my own piece.

    I believe a lot of the naysayers completely missed the point and went God knows where with it.

    I wrote the response that was placed as an article in error to say this.

     

    For far too long we have been glamored by politicians who say all the words we want to hear, such as CHANGE and FOR CAYMAN and THE WAY FORWARD…These are cheap parlor tricks used to make us lean away from what we want most. RESULTS.

    I believe we should be tired of these cheap words by now and if you are not then you are pathetic. We need results not promises.

    So now we have three factions – UDP, PPM and C4C. The only party I want something specific with is UDP and I want them out. In my 40 plus years on this planet I have never seen a more dysfunctional pile of dog poo.

    There is no sense to anything they have done none. They have created the worst possible atmosphere for development and economic growth causing tons of business closures and layoffs.

    But what I am seeing is that both PPM and C4C are doing the same things. They continue to speak in generalities without telling the people exactly what they plan to attack, why and how.

    I could care less for the statements of change and all that crap. I want to hear what you are going to do. PERIOD.

    My write up was to give example of my thoughts about SAYING WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO. Not say we are for change. Hell I would hope so because it's obvious that if the current government was doing a bang up job we would not need change and hence you would be pointless. BUT WHAT ARE YOU PLANNING ON CHANGING???

    This is all my writeup is about. If you have time to deal with grammar then maybe I wasted my time writing it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Dear Bingo….I cannot agree with much of what you have written – and no particular offense is meant by the following comments I make.

    A truly huge part of the problem when interviewing Caymanians for a position is simply that they cannot write a comprehensible piece when asked to.  They cannot spell; they have no concept of grammer, and indeed in most cases I personally know of, even their CVs and the cover letters sent with their app[lications are full of dreadful errors.  When a job is advertised, the company concerned will list the skills needed for a particular position.  It is usual that a certain amount of experienced is required -sometimes also listed as essential. 

    So if, for instance, I advertised a position requiring 5 years minimum experience in a particular field, why do I get recent high school graduates applying?  And just because they are Caymanian, I MUST interview them, knowing full well his or her application is going to be rejected – usually an embarrassing situation for both of us!

    I do not doubt there are many Caymanians actively seeking employment – I know there are!  But applicants need to reach for something attainable and work their way up.  That's what we had to do too, you know.  We didn't land our first job at management level, which these very nice young people seem to expect – because that's what they are told they deserve.  

    I strongly beieve that a much greater focus on both primary and secondary education will be a key factor in the future regarding employment for Caymanians, and I sadly don't see that as something either of the existing parties pays anything other than lip service to. 

    Regarding Dred's Unemployment Point 2 above, any party needs to truly understand just how appalling the primary and secondary education system in Cayman is and make serious efforts to rectify it before they can expect young Caymanians to cope with training in the financial sectors mentioned – or anywhere else for that matter.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s funny that you misspelt words while criticizing Caymanians for poor presentation.

      It’s “grammar” not “grammer”

      And your grammar in the post, is poor: your second sentence for example…

      In sum, you really have no room to criticize anyone’s grammar or writing or presentation.

      M McLaughlin

      • Anonymous says:

        In your heart of hearts you know that the previous poster spoke honestly from his heart and your picking apart his contribution is simply a red herring of denial that keeps the problem alive and well.There was no racism to his post or put downs there and now I expect you will ignore my message and check my spelling and grammar instead while young people continue to graduate with substandard education and unrealiatic job paths.

        • Anonymous says:

          I believe that you are responbing to was simply reminding poster Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 11/27/2012 – 17:58.that when criticising someone for poor grammar or for making spelling mistakes that one would be well advised to not make these same mistakes.After all "if you live in a glass house ,then don't throw stones".

  3. Anonymous says:

    The real problem is Cayman (at least this website) is full of so many naysayers who tear down everything!

    I hope there is positive Caymanians out there who are ready willing and able to look to the future and make the changes these islands so desperately need…and actually get some positive support from everyone out there!

    • Anonymous says:

      All the posters in this little thread have valid points. The question is: Can Caymanians write grammatically correct pieces? Yes, they can. In some cases, you may need to give the applicant an opportunity to prove himself. Some people are not born good writers – I know many Americans, Canadians, Jamaicans, and various other nationalities, who have very poor writing skills.
      Why do non-writers apply for entry-level jobs? They apply because those who can write are in college, or university furthering their educations.
      Incidentally, the second poster, M McLaughlin, used the best syntax, spelling and conventions of the three posters. Perhaps, the others may want to brush up on the use of commas, and proof reading skills.
      R McField

  4. Anonymous says:

    USA! USA ! USA!

    Too soon?

  5. 49'r says:

    Dred, stop the talk and do something already!  Why are you hiding behind the net?  For God sake, if you are so zealous for what you stand for, stop the language-art and do something about it !!!

  6. Anonymous says:

    To paraphrase Jaws, you're going to need a bigger island.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Bring on the divisive expat / Caymanian comments!

    Lets all blame each other rather than working together towards real solutions.

    Suck it up and let’s all support one another and work together!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Dred you dreaming. This is unachievable how do you check Caymanians employed by a company? There is no ID number like work permit holders. C4C backers are some of the greatest abusers of the system. How many Caymanians work in the fast food restaurants? They will be just like the UDP promise the world to get your vote deliver nothing.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Once again, someone is proposing change, positive change, and you all drag the conversation down to the same old crap, expat against non-expat.

    No wonder it is all falling apart, half the local population is stupid enough to keep “wotin” the wrong way, the other half are so caught up in being anti everything that they are missing the opportunities in their faces.

    We Caymanians sold out our birthright to get TV, a Benz, a few trips to Miami and A/C. Time to stop blaming the people who took advantage of our lack of fore sight and start trying to understand things from their perspective, maybe if we could stop for one second this tired old blame game and band together as a people we too could live in Million Dollar condos and drive a Benz, if that is so important.

    Oh and by the way, I am Caymanian, born and bred and NOT the biggest fan of Dred.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Dred – please clarify on who you represent. You keep referring to "we" and what "we" stand for for.

    It was not clear whether or not you speak for C4C.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The secret of local people who have poor work ethos needs to be placed upon the table and not hidden. When this is acknowledged and dealt with then there will be no excuse for not hiring Caymanians.

    The idea of people who disappear after payday to party and come back to work when the money runs out is a reality among a part of the local work force. Ask any employer and hear the horrow stories.

    Of course this is a small percentage of local workers but denial of a problem does not make it go away. It is like the former politician who said there were no gangs, just groups. 

    • Anonymous says:

      The real problem for employers is that when you hire one of these bad apples it is so hard to get rid of them.

      • Middle Management says:

        Yep.  Those types are also the most likely to threaten to complain to their cousin in immigration.  After a few bad experiences of such hires, it really made me much much more cautious about local hires as taking a chance was just too big a risk.

    • Anonymous says:

      The secret of expats who were nobodies and not great at their job come here and think they are some bodies and all the sudden the greatest thing ever… Give me a break. So many ignorant know it all expats on this island.

      There are hard working Caymanians and yes the discrimination goes both ways. There are lots of expats who go to work and fake it all day and do a half ass job and cant wait to run to their local beach bar. Thats why the majority of expats come here – for an easier life! Just as there is lots of lazy Caymanians. But on the flip side there is lots of hard working Caymanians who hit the glass ceiling because the expat bosses are disciriminatory and nepotistic. This also happens with expats. So it goes both ways.

      Please drop the notion that ALL expats and so hard working and ALL Caymanians are lazy. It speaks volumes of your character and the others who spew the same crap.

      Now turning to C4C I agree that the mystical man behind the curtains show needs to end and real solutions be put forward by the parties who are running in the next election. It is amazing how much it said and how little is done.

      Dred thank you for some solutions. Lets hope more keep coming.

      • Anonymous says:

        Please reread my post as the word, "All" was never used. By the way I never mentioned expats.

        • Anonymous says:

          The word “some” was also not used and of course you didn’t mention expats…keep your discriminatory comments to yourself if cant accept the whole picture here.

          • Anonymous says:

            How do you define the term "small percentage". Until this issue is faced things will stay the same.

    • Anonymous says:

      Very comprehensive article, congrats.

      I do have some different opinions that you however.

      I want Caymanians to get the jobs I agree but I want them to really deserve them. Dont think for a second that I am againt my own people. Our education system including our colleges have got to perform in terms of making sure the people that graduate from them really know what was taught.

      I believe that there are lazy Caymanians but I also know that there are hardworking ones. The same can be said about expats coming to this country. The problem is that some of the private sector in particular are using large brooms and calling us all lazy Caymanians.

      In terms of immigration they need teeth. They need to make it a part of their jobs to go and check what is really going on.

      But it is not just the Caymanians. I want them to start enforcing that the private sector, if you cant find Caymanians then use expats that are already opn the island. Lets not further complicate our unemployment problem.

      Politicians one of the best things you can bring to the table for the next election is a new source of revenue for the country and no UDP not new taxes. And please stop bending over backwards to get some of these projects. We should not be waiving allfess for these projects.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are right, there are no (political) parties in Cayman, only gangs.

      Or was it the other way around. Oh well, I still have not worked out the difference.

      And most gangs are better organized then our parties.

    • Anonymous says:

      Every country has lazy people and the majority of Caymanians are not lazy!  YOU PEOPLE should say 'some Caymanians' when you are making negative comments about Caymanians.  Should I say Brits are illmannered or Canadians are hostile?

      • Anonymous says:

        Which bit  of "Of course this is a small percentage" did you not understand? 

      • Anonymous says:

        Well I think when it comes to lazy people and Cayman a few things should be pointed out.

        First this is home and lazy people you would think would not stray far from home afterall it is hard work to move to another country and search out a job etc.

        Second you would expect that expats who leave their home to find a career and new start elsewhere would be hard working. Plus it is more likely for higher educated people to move to a career away from home. Is it the lazy educated people that move from the US or UK. I think not I think they are hardworking educated people.

        But somehow you expect us to take the section of our people that is lazy and uneducated and hide them. You expect to move to a country and run the show. Does not work that way.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Dred.seh di truth. Cayman need well thought out concrete solutions rather tan the hail Mary’s dis government keep doin.

  13. Anonymous says:

    If a Caymanian cannot get a job they are unemployable.

    • Bingo says:

      Wrong. Not just wrong but dead wrong.

      I am not saying we do not have plenty who love to sit on their touches but we have people actively seeking employement who are turned away by local businesses for preferred candidates who were already basically given the job and only going thru the motions by advertising.

      How do I know this? Cause it's happened to me by a local utility company.

      And the problems we have extend into our immigration department who aid these businesses. I filed numerous letters with labour and immigration only to have them ignored. Why? Because friend of friend has board connections.

      So our issue is not only locals or local businesses but the underlying corruption within government departments.

      I know that we have Caymanians who are lazy but we have that work hard. Local businesses know that with a permit they CONTROL the staff member. And in some cases they can get them at a lower price. How can locals win against this?

      • Anonymous says:

        The enemy of the Caymanian working class is the Caymanian ruling class.

        • Anonymous says:

          That's right – divide and conquer. Get those Caymanians fighting against each other. lol.

        • Anonymous says:

          You are wrong and I will paraphrase.The enemy of the Caymanian working class is the class ruling the Caymanian.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are right, with work permits owned by the employer they can control their staf. Now if the permit was for the person and not the company it would level the playing field.