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Caymanian dream not so attainable now

Government 26 Nov, 2021 1 Comments Follow News

Caymanian dream not so attainable now

In his Throne speech on Friday, Premier Wayne Panton said it had always been the average Caymanian’s expectation to leave their children some kind of legacy through land or cash, but this dream was not so attainable now.

The idyllic image of Cayman was people enjoying their own economic miracle, while having access to one of the best beaches in the world, and it being the ideal location for the ultra-wealthy; however, a closer exam of what lay beneath sadly told a different story. Maintaining a close connection to the growing numbers of those suffering in silence was necessary to hear that story, he said.

As a result, Premier Panton said he was compelled to discuss some uncomfortable truths. One did not have to be engaged in conversation with a Caymanian for a long time before it turned to a list of concerns. People often speak to a growing fear for children and grandchildren, wondering how they could afford to live in Cayman and wondered if their children could afford to live here at all, he said.

“What would Cayman look like for them in the future? We talk about all this prosperity but who is it for? Cayman gone!” were some of the comments regularly heard nowadays, among Caymanians and long-term residents, even among those doing well.

Mr Panton talked about a growing list of heartbreaking stories, including disconnections by CUC and the Water Authority.

“This growing trend is cause for concern. The warning signs were there, but we chose to balm over them,” he stated. “Too many are facing a growing crisis; too many cannot adapt; too many are being left behind.”

Equal access to high quality of life was how many people grew up, he said. Cayman was no an easy place to live but ancestors made it and there was enough for all.

But nowadays, quality of life was declining for many, with unhappiness and discontent setting in. Traffic made commuting a daily gridlock both mornings and evenings. Hard working people found themselves one pay cheque away from financial ruin. Even well-educated professionals could not get on the housing ladder. Even Seven Mile Beach has changed for the worse, he said. Caymanians could not afford to live in Cayman any longer, especially once retired, and so were moving overseas. Even Caymanians educated overseas could not find work.

Despite prosperity all around, a growing number of Caymanians felt marginalised in their own homeland.

“Our beloved Isles Cayman did not feel like home anymore,” he stated, adding that against this backdrop, Covid-19 hit like a category 5 hurricane and exposed these issues even more.

The pandemic exposed just how fragile and ill-equipped Cayman’s social systems were at looking after its own people, with NGOs having to deal with the want.

With the issue, a very clear but sad picture was emerging: too many Caymanians had been left behind. With the lockdown, countless Caymanians were locked out of prosperity, with things like huge waivers to developers taking opportunity away from Caymanians.

For too long, we’ve been satisfied with the measures that inflate the success of the few while narrowing opportunities for the many, he said.

Disparity in wealth had to be tackled head on.

“We must find solutions because that is the way to build stronger communities and a stronger country,” he stated.

Policies need to be put in place to protect the middle classes, in particular. The PACT government would deliver meaningful and measurable difference by 2030. They would work together with the private sector and offer a fairer Cayman for all.

“The growing inequality is an existential threat to all us who call Cayman home,” he said. “Our middle class is under assault,” he said.

Comments (1)

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Blake Hurlston

28 Nov, 2021

The Premier has the right focus.
Lets support him..