The Caymanian population has been let down by the Government when it comes to education, healthcare and basic infrastructure, according to Opposition Leader Arden McLean, who said in his New Year’s address that over the last ten years, successive Cabinets had proven that they could not manage the basic functions expected of a government with regards to health and education.
He pointed to the recent report by the Auditor General on the state of Cayman’s education system, the findings of which he said they already knew.
“There is no grand plan to deliver this vital service to our children and our country,” the Member for East End said.
Mr McLean continued: “On the subject of healthcare, the Premier has admitted the failing of his administration to adequately address this issue. While I welcome the Premier’s admission of the failure of his government, it still does not address the problem that many Caymanians are still without adequate health insurance and many Caymanians are retiring with inadequate health insurance at the time in their lives when they need it the most.”
The Government had also failed to deal with the collection of rubbish and the growing traffic issues that faced the jurisdiction, he said.
Looking at the economy as a whole, Mr McLean attributed the GDP increase from $3.6 billion to $4.6 billion over the last ten years largely to inflation. He also said that the growth that had taken place in Cayman had done so unmanaged and came at a great sacrifice to the Caymanian way and quality of life.
“Truth be told, we continue to see the reduction of what our dollars can purchase, continued erosion of our middle class, and the challenges of the working class,” he stated.
Mr McLean said that the Opposition rejected the belief of trickledown economics and instead believed the success of the country was driven by expanding opportunities for working men and women. He worried about how much ordinary people were becoming indebted and wanted to look for ways to reduce the cost of borrowing and increase the disposable income of Caymanians.
“We believe that for our islands to be successful we will need a healthy and educated population – two areas that this Cabinet has failed to adequately address,” he stated.
Mr Mclean said the Opposition wanted Government to prioritise the development and implementation of a National Strategic Plan to prepare the Cayman Islands for any potential changes in the global economy, the education system, the healthcare system and infrastructure. He said they were prepared to work with the Government on the development of such a plan.