As you make your way across Grand Cayman, there seems to be a construction boom, with development taking place across the island.
Whenever ground is broken on one of these projects, there’s often the talk about the stimulus to the economy and how many jobs will be created.
There’s no denying that there is benefit to the economy. But the question begs: who are those who feel the real benefits?
Often times, developers get concessions that include government waiving fees that they would have collected, as an incentive to those financing the project to ensure shovels go into the ground.
“X number of jobs will be created over x years” is often the proclamation by developer and politician. Are these new jobs of just providing continuity of work for those in the construction sector? There’s nothing wrong with that but is it fair to say that jobs are being “created”?
Also, despite the warning signs about threats to Cayman’s top economic sector, tonnes of cement are being poured as projects across the island continue to move in sync with government’s desire for population growth.
Who will occupy these places? Many of the units in some of these residential properties carry price tags of seven figures, leaving the average Caymanian knowing that they’re unlikely ever to set foot inside unless as a guest or a service provider.
Development is a plus in any economy, but many are left to wonder if with this boom that’s underway, if they’ll ever feel the real benefits or be priced out of their own paradise.