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Balancing long-term vision with immediate needs

Opinions & Editorial 27 Dec, 2019 Follow News

Balancing long-term vision with immediate needs

All signs are pointing upward for the Cayman Islands. At least, that’s what the latest government statistics show. The economy is doing well, tourist arrivals are up, and government’s balance sheet gives those responsible for government’s finances something to smile about.

Infrastructure works continue by both the public and private sectors that show there is a boom of sorts happening, though no one in the Government Admin Building dare use the words “sweet spot” to describe the situation again.

Amidst that, unemployment numbers have trended downwards in recent years. However, although the percentage of those among us without a job has shrunk, that is not the only indicator of how comfortable those with jobs are right now, much less those without a pay cheque.

While the economy looks good, it’s noteworthy that the cost of living continues to spiral. Just ask anyone tasked with filling their grocery cart each week or paying their bills. If they find it hard, consider the scores of people dependent on the Needs Assessment Unit to put food on their table.

Having restored economic growth, the focus needs to continue being on human development. There are many good initiatives that have Cayman poised to seize more opportunities for its people in the years ahead. But our leaders should not be busy looking that far forward that immediate needs are overlooked.

There will always be need for social assistance in any society but anyone in a position of influence on government spending should put themselves in the shoes of those struggling amongst us, who while they fight to survive see considerable sums being spent on their behalf while they fail to see any immediate benefits. So, a word of advice to policy makers and decision makers “don’t let the cow die while the grass is growing”.

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