If anyone thought that Premier Alden McLaughlin was winding down during his last two years in office, they would be mistaken.
In his delivery of his Strategic Policy Statement on Friday afternoon, the leader of the Unity Government made it clear that rather than winding down, he will be ramping-up delivery as the Government looks to push on further to achieve even more for the people.
Known for his aggressive nature towards the delivery and execution of Capital projects, we envision a leader who means what he says and says what he means.
“The new cruise and enhanced cargo port when built – and it will be built,” says the Premier, “Will secure our vital cruise industry for decades and create jobs and business opportunities for Caymanians. It will also enable the country to develop needed cargo handling capacity that means we can import the goods we need to serve an increasing population; potentially at lower prices”.
It is clear that the Premier and the Government are passionate about moving ahead with the Port Project and we expect to see the plans in the near future.
We encourage the Premier and Government to also stick by their promise to achieve full Caymanian employment. We remember, not so long ago in the 1980’s when there was zero Caymanian unemployment, even though a considerable number of expatriate workers arrived to fill the employment gaps in an evolving Financial Industry.
“The facts tell us that we are well on our way to delivering on that key pledge,” the Premier added. “As I stated earlier, Caymanian unemployment has better than halved from its peak and now stands at 4.6% and we will continue to work to create more opportunities.”
“Behind that headline statistic, Mr. Speaker,” he stated, “lies increased prosperity for a huge number of Caymanians and their families. Overall, some 3,300 more Caymanians are employed now than prior to my Government taking office in 2013. For those who persist in doubting whether this Government’s economic strategy is really benefitting Caymanians, I will just repeat that Mr. Speaker - 3,300 more Caymanians are in work now than when my Government took office in 2013.”
The 16,000-word presentation has painted a glowing picture for the Cayman Islands, and we wish the Premier well with his aspirations.
However, we will remind him to listen to the local community to ascertain whether they are sailing on the same ship which will experience rough seas in the next 2 years as the world navigates its many challenges.
The Cayman Islands do not exist in a vacuum and we are certain that our relationship with the United Kingdom and close financial ties to the United States of America will place cross winds in the sails of the good ship Cayman as we steam ahead.