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The Editor Speaks: When stats don’t tell the whole story

Being trained as a Quantity Surveyor I know all there is to know about statistics. Our Appraisals and valuations are based to a large extent on stats.

I also know how to weight stats one way or another without lying or manipulating.

The Press Releases we are receiving every week giving us the latest on another PR (not Public Relations) but Permanent Residency would seem some progress is being made.

It is if you regard putting two steps forward and nearly as many back is progress. It’s the distance in the strides that count.

The problem with this latest PR stats is the number of referrals that are increasing and then there are the ones that have run out of time – after the nine year cut off period.

By doing what seems fair by adhering to strict chronological order of applications the board are making it even more difficult to rid themselves of the backlog of over 1,000 applications. This is because the older these applications are the more likely the information needs updating and they are referred.

The stats will look like the PR Board have dealt with over 100 applications since May. Not exactly true because 39 of them have been deferred and most will be resubmitted along with the new applications.

Therefore, in three months only 69 have been dealt with.

It is fair to assume that the more the board delve down into the pile of applications (bottom up) the deferrals will decline but to assume the backlog will be dealt with in the next 3 ½ years of government is looking very unlikely.

However, the politicians clamoring for persons on work permits to leave could get their wish. These permit holders only have until the end of this year to cash in their pensions, and it is not as if the pension fund companies have placed their workers funds in over performing companies. The reverse is true. I well remember cashing in my pension some years ago to find I received less than what was paid in! With interest at1% I would have been better off. Actually, hiding it under the bed would have yielded me even more plus the mattress’ bugs.

There is little incentive for these workers to carry on working into the years ahead available to them on their work permits and waiting for the 65/70 year retirement age when their pension monies due will be sent to them wherever they are then.

Not all of our elected MLA’s have worked in the real world and/or positions where they know it is impossible to fill all vacancies with Caymanians.

With little or no training schools here to cater for many of the “blue collar” jobs MLA’s are shouting out Caymanians should be doing, a true and rude awakening is waiting just around the corner.

This is because the stats do not tell the whole story and nothing but the story. Like a picture, what goes on behind it is often what is true. It is not the surface.

I can provide the stats on that if asked. And depending on what side of the fence you are sitting you get a different set.


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