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The Editor speaks: Far from complacent

Colin Wilson

“Far from complacent” was the message from our Premier, Alden McLaughlin, when he said the fall 2018 Labour Force Survey results, when released by the Economics and Statistics Office (ESO), they will show unemployment has dropped to its lowest rate in more than decade.

The premier said this at the Chamber of Commerce Legislative Lunch last week.

The most recent figures from the ESO was in Spring last year and they were encouraging showing an overall increase in employment, with the jobless rate among Caymanians falling to 5.3%. Mclaughlin said the new figures will be even better.

He congratulated the business sector, pointing out that following his appeal back in 2017 “to redouble efforts to employ suitably qualified and experienced Caymanians”, they have played their part in the fall in unemployment.

“The figures represent a significant step towards fulfillment of this government’s key pledge to a strong economy where every Caymanian who is willing and able to work can find a suitable job”, he said.

I’m glad he added the words “who is willing and able to work” because some politicians believe just because you are a Caymanian that gives you the unholy right to be employed no matter how lazy you are, how incompetent you are, and how many days you don’t turn up because you claim you are sick when you aren’t.

When one of our largest media houses dared to try an put one of these politicians to task when he claimed government was wrong for placing an advert for experienced airport flight controllers because we don’t have any Caymanians, he wrote a letter on them. I am not saying what I thought of his letter but I give the media house a pat on the back for publishing it prominently. Even I saw it.

However, the Chamber President, Chris Kirkconnell, was not giving the premier any pats on the back. He said a chamber survey had seen the cost of living emerge as a major concern because of rising inflation. He didn’t mention that some of that was due to an ever increasing number of his members who had joined the “get rich express at all costs”!

In particular, the insane prices we are paying for fuel! And that affects nearly all of us. Also look at the jump in electricity prices. This is despite the fact that the government had kept the fuel duty reductions, and cuts also remained in place on other import duties for licensed retailers to help lower prices. As McLaughlin asked, how much of that duty cut has ever been passed to the consumer?

Perhaps Chris Kirkconnell can do another chamber survey that also asks that question…?

It is incredible to me that the Chamber can try and put 100 per cent of the blame on the government when it is largely their members that have caused inflation here to rise.

The Chamber president is the one being complacent. His self-satisfaction in his members poses me to wonder if he is completely unaware of their deficiencies.

At least our premier has not done that. Ye, he most certainly should take a closer look at the living standards of the most vulnerable in our society. It should not be the case of rewarding the ones that shout the loudest and have the biggest hands.

I sincerely hope he isn’t being complacent on the increases he has outlined in the social services benefits. They were long overdue.


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