November 28, 2020

Problems with funding for seamen

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SEAMANSMEMORIALSTATUEAt the Thursday (21) Government Weekly Press Briefing, Dwayne Seymour, Minister of Community Affairs, Gender & Housing, said there were problems with funding of seaman’s benefits.

Also, because of an increased number of ex seamen or their spouses applying for assistance there has been a delay in applications.

The minister said officials were updating the records for new and old recipients to ensure the money wasn’t being paid to people who were now deceased.

Seymour admitted there had been past cases where government was paying seamen’s assistance into the bank account of former seaman long after their deaths!

Moneys that had been incorrectly paid had been returned to government, the minister acknowledged.

The Minister said the government programme had been designed to assist the Cayman Islands sea veterans if they were unemployed or of low incomes. It, however, was never meant to be given to so many people.

Ex-seaman and veteran mariners are entitled to the benefit of $500 per calendar month as an acknowledgement of their services to the country and to keep those who contributed so much to the Cayman Islands out of poverty.

With the financial restraints due to economic downturn and other self made factors including unemployment, the government coffers are almost bare.

It is therefore not unsurprising our seamen and their spouses are at poverty level.

Perhaps the ministers will note this before embarking on unnecessary trips abroad with their full conclave of “servants”.

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