September 19, 2020

Rollover rolls away

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As we reported some weeks ago, and therefore it was no surprise to iNews, premier Hon. McKeeva Bush announced in the L.A. last Wednesday (14) that the controversial rollover policy will be suspended. The real news in his statement to the House is that it is only to be suspended for two years. This is to give time for the Government to review the policy and appoint a committee to examine the whole policy.

There is no question in my mind that the rollover policy should never have been brought in in the first place. A similar policy has been tried in other Caribbean countries and none has been successful. The one implemented here was even more Draconian.

As the leader of the opposition, Hon. Alden McLaughlin, has publically changed his stance on the Rollover Policy his party, the PPM, vigorously enforced when they were in power, can I hope for some more welcome unity in the House…??

Our publisher, Joan Wilson, went on record back in 2004 stating her objections to it and how bad it was going to be for this Country. She met with angry retorts in the press and on the radio to what she said from all corners of our Islands, three people even accusing her of not being a true Caymanian! Some of these people may now concede that she was right.

Way back in June 26 2007 in “The Cayman Juice” a blog on their website said, “There is no doubt that the seven-year Rollover Immigration Policy is the most unpopular policy that any Cayman Islands Government Administration has ever had to defend. From the Cayman Contractors Association, and the Cayman Islands Tourist Association to Human Resource professionals and businesses, from every sector in general, as well as from Caymanians this derided policy has been criticised every which way.”

It is shocking to me, that even when history has proved the policy has been a disaster for us, there is still opposition both in the House and on the streets, for this dreadful piece of legislation to be changed. How can people be so blind?

I applaud the Premier when he said, “The goal, is to try and prevent jobs being lost when senior managers were rolled over. When their jobs were relocated, Caymanian secretaries and administrators
lost their jobs.

“When this happens rental apartment revenues are lost, plumbers, electricians, shopkeeper, supermarkets, construction companies, heavy equipment operators, truck owners and every other business feels the economic impact in these Islands. I believe there are some 2,200 rental apartments currently empty, which were owned by Caymanians who were now unable to meet their costs. We need the right people to remain on island to ensure that our people have the ability to benefit within their own economy.”

The big dilemma facing any Government here is how to facilitate recruitment and talent whilst creating career opportunities for Caymanians, plus controlling the number of people who can apply to be Caymanian. Whatever is proposed will not satisfy anyone completely.

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