Â iNews CaymanâsÂ publisher, Joan (Watler) Wilson and I have always been against the Rollover Policy. Joan spoke out against it with a letter to the Caymanian Compass when the PPM under its then leader Kurt Tibbetts implemented it after it was introduced by the UDP as one of their last acts when they were in power.
For Joanâs pains she was immediately castigated by the PPM and was never invited to their meetings nor allowed to speak on their behalf. And Joan was always (still is) very interested in politics. Her letter was the subject of hateful comments from the Radio Cayman Talk Today show with even the then host (I will not name him) also having a go at her. She was even told she was not a âreal Caymanianâ.
It is therefore no surprise then to hear Independent North Side MLA, Ezzard Miller, say that the seven year rollover policy actually worked for the good of the Cayman Islands.
He even points to the findings of the Term Limit Review Committee (TLRC) and says the report shows the policy worked. This is despite the TLRC recommending the rollover policy as it stands now should be dropped.
Mr. Miller says the TLRC has not driven businesses away. It has worked and limited the number of people who are now eligible for Caymanian status. I can agree with the second part of his statement but the first part is flawed.
He points to the âgovernmentâs imposition of high fees and policies, which were crippling existing small business and preventing new entrepreneurs from launching start-ups.â
In an interview he gave CNS, Mr. Miller said the cost of borrowing was too high and the cost of fees even higher.
âGovernment has been addressing the wrong problem all along,â he added, pointing to endless amendments to the immigration law since the UDP administration took office. âBut there have been no amendments to legislation to help small businesses. With the exception of bending laws and policies to meet the wants of his favoured major developers, who are lauded as economic saviours, the premier has done nothing to help the backbone of the economy.â
âGiven the current economic circumstances and the number of Caymanians out of work, the government should be turning its attention to reducing the number of permits.â
He said new jobs are no longer being created, which means young Caymanians need to be given the work that is currently held by migrant workers.
He also said it was not true people have left en-masse. He gave confirmation of this by citing Grand Caymanâs electric power supplier, CUC, claiming they have not lost thousands of customers.
So CUC is an indicator is it? Has Miller not seen all the empty office spaces, the large numbers of Cayman companies being struck off, and the housing rental pool where tenants can virtually name their own price because landlords are so eager to fill their properties and at least get some income. This is borne out by the latest figures we published in Thursdayâs iNews from the Consumer Price Index. The imputed rental figures (where the value of the goods is more a matter what the buyer is willing to pay than the cost the seller incurs to create it) is down by a staggering 9.6% from the same period last year.
That is a much better indicator than CUC where landlords often keep the power supply still connected. A lot of rental accommodations are rooms where the power is shared. And this is the example he bases his theory on?
Yes, the cost of doing business in the Cayman Islands is too high and to implement it at the same time as a strict rollover policy with the then already approaching signs of a downturn in the world economy was a recipe for disaster. ALL were contributory and people are NOT objects that look exactly the same. You do not get the same amount of work and expertise from people. People are different. The rollover policy sent away a LOT of people who were essential to the good of this country and Mr. Miller you must be blind not to have seen and still do not recognise that.
Mr. Miller is almost a lone voice crying out in the wilderness. Not that I am against that. At the moment even the opposition has joined the government to support the TLRCâs recommendations and large and influential community groups and leaders have also voiced their support for them.
I hope the current rollover gets rolled over itself by the heaviest and largest roller our Islands have. I believe there is one available on Cayman Brac.
And then we have our website:
It has been drawn to my attention by a number of persons who have not realised that we actually produce every weekday, at least 20 items of fresh articles and news (mostly with pictures) and four new puzzles on the iNews Cayman website. Just because it doesnât show up on the front page doesnât mean theyâre not there.
There are ten green tabs under the iNews header situated in a bar with white writing. If you click on the tab immediately a number of headings appear which are menus of the categories the articles/news are placed. In fact if you hit the tab âNEWSâ and then âlocalâ you will find nearly all of them placed there as well as the other categories. Puzzles are found by clicking âentertainmentâ and then on âpuzzlesââ. Itâs as simple as that.
And on Fridayâs/Weekend edition the puzzles are found along with Classifieds and Community Events in our âWeekend Supplementâ which is a PDF file you can download and print. Just click on the picture of the supplement under the EYE logo where it also says âviewâ and âshareâ. Do NOT click the green tab âWeekend Supplementâ on the right under the header. Unfortunately there is a glitch and it will not update. We are working on correcting it.
And please do give us your opinions. Whilst I do not like blogs I love to read your opinions and 98% are published.
Please continue to send us your community announcements and classifieds for the Supplement. It opens on the website just as our original iNews pdf file did.