September 20, 2020

The Editor Speaks: When people can’t be helped

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Colin Wilsonweb“You can’t help people who can’t help themselves” is a popular saying. And it is to a certain extent true.

If statistics are proof then the saying is true.

Cayman Islands Finance Minister, , gave us some statistics last week in the Legislative Assembly when he took part in the debate to McKeeva Bush’s motion asking government to help people who were in danger of losing their homes.

Archer said 82% of over 150 persons who were helped by the Bush administration’s ‘save the mortgage’ plan defaulted in their loan with the bank. Even worse they obtained an interest free loan to be paid back over 50 years requiring them to pay just over $33 a month and they didn’t even do that!

The Finance Minister also revealed that a woman who had received cash from the ‘save the mortgage’ plan was convicted earlier this year of stealing $430,000 from an offshore trust!! So much for any checks being done on her when she applied for the loan!

So what can be done for people who want a handout but lack the will, the inclination or in dire cases cannot find a job to pay their debts?

In the United Kingdom there is welfare and assistant programmes that the people who actually work for a living pay into. It’s called and it is high. Can you imagine the howls of protest if that was introduced here?

Archer quite correctly said government had to be careful about any kind of fund for mortgages as it had to come from the cash reserves. The Bush initiated plan came from a $2.7 million waiver given back to on affordable housing fees.

With the looming targets set by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, the government is not in a position to allocate the monies.

Despite the minister saying he would look at alternative options and the government would consider Bush’s motion to help those in the worst situation, this did not stop the Opposition Leader of playing to the television cameras and accusing the government of not only doing nothing to help those in need but having created people’s financial problems. His answer was to find the money anyway and tell the FCO “No!”

Another of his solutions was to build an oil refinery here against the background of plummeting oil prices.

So how do we help people who won’t or can’t help themselves?

Before handing out money perhaps counseling should be executed first by trained personnel. Show them some kindness and discussing the situation they are in. Often their own intuition finds a solution. And there must be support. Did Bush offer any of this when he gave out the money?

No he didn’t. His solution is ‘puff and blow’ and blame everyone else. As for being a role model he has proved he most certainly is not.

If he really wants to help and not just play politics I have given him a few pointers.

I agree no one must turn their backs on people who can’t or won’t help themselves but berating the government solves nothing.

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