CIG marches towards basic wage and daylight saving

| 19/05/2015 | 39 Comments
Cayman News Service

Alden McLaughlin, Cayman Islands Premier, in the Legislative Assembly

(CNS): Government will introduce the $6 national minimum age and daylight savings next March, the premier has confirmed, giving the country around ten months to plan for both changes. In his policy statement Friday at the opening of the Budget Meeting in the Legislative Assembly, Premier Alden McLaughlin revealed that government had agreed to implement the recommendations of the minimum wage and turn the clocks forward by one hour in March 2016.

He said that for many years the financial services and tourism sectors have asked for Daylight Savings Time. Following public consultation and a public survey, the Ministry of Financial Services, Commerce and Environment found the majority of people responding were in favour of implementing Daylight Savings Time and believed the benefits would outweigh any inconveniences. McLaughlin said that after careful consideration government was moving forward with the change.

“We believe, as does the business community and those who support the implementation, that the benefits are clear,” he said, noting that it would eliminate confusion over travel times, put the financial industry in sync with New York, and end to early arrivals and departures of cruise ships, benefitting stores, restaurants, taxis, tour operators and many more small businesses.

“Not only could businesses better cater to customers, but hopefully they will be able to make more sales and get more taxi fares. It also means those living on our islands will enjoy an extra hour of daylight in the evenings. All of this could mean millions more in our coffers and the added hour of sunlight after a hard day at work will also be a blessing,” the premier said.

That month will also see the $6 national minimum wage come into effect after ten months of awareness and education and allowing employers time to address salaries that fall below what will be the lawful basic pay. He said government was introducing the minimum wage after “years of prevarication by many administrations” and he was “incredibly proud of the fact that ours is the first government to address what the law has allowed for 50 years” after taking sound advice and an educated decision.

“This government has taken steps to implement a national minimum wage, delivering not only on a key manifesto promise but also addressing a vital plank for economic and social justice,” he said, adding that the employment minister would outline more details about the implementation during her contribution to the budget debate.

During his policy statement the premier announced a further 25 cents duty reduction on a gallon of fuel purchase by CUC, returning the duty level to where it was before the UDP added the 50 cents in the 2010 budget to balance the books. McLaughlin also revealed plans to improve current waste management with the introduction of more recycling and a composting initiative.

However, the premier’s address focused largely on what he described as the successes so far and the broader goals and ambitions of his government rather than any major new policy announcements.

In his 45 page speech the premier said that, as well there being no new revenue-raising measures in the 2015/16 budget, his government would not increase taxes or introduce any new revenue-raising measures during the remainder of the current administration.

Bragging of growth in the local economy and the importance of both government and private sector projects to maintaining that growth and creating local jobs, as well as the significant success in tourism, McLaughlin confirmed the budget was back in line with all of the requirements of the law

“It is a budget that continues government’s firm control over expenditures and delivers strong revenues and surpluses,” he said, “a budget that, under this administration, operates from a position of cash rather than an overdraft and one that has and will continue to reduce government debt.”

He added, “It is the determination of the Progressives-led government to deliver on the tough plans we set ourselves two years ago to bring government finances back under control. It is that same determination that is driving economic growth.”

Aside from reviewing the move to implement the minimum wage, the consultation on Sunday trading, beginning the process towards one man one vote, and the work on the much-anticipated ‘government projects’, the premier also spoke of the laws and legislative amendments coming over the next year.

He committed to bringing the still contentious legal practitioners bill, the builders bill, amendments to the Sunday trading law to regularize the opening of some, but not all, businesses, plus a revision of what he said was the antiquated Liquor Licensing Law to level the playing field and “remove the ability to treat liquor licenses as a commodity for trade”.

He also said that new labour and pension legislation would be brought to the LA in September.

Toward a Better Tommorrow 2015-16 policy statement 15-5-15

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Category: Economy, Laws, Politics

Comments (39)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    If they can make a law to change the daylight hours then why can’t they change the immigration laws to protect Caymanians in the workforce?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Personally I welcome the daylight saving hour, not sure how it necessarily has to impact a business one way or another. Just the thought of actually being able to get to the beach after work for an hour or so, to be able to walk my dogs prior to dusk or to potter around my yard would make a nice change.

  3. Anonymous says:

    “Marches” sounds a bit too energetic for the CIG. “Inches” might have been better, or “staggers”.

  4. roberto says:

    Daylight savings will confuse the chickens

    • Anonymous says:

      Newsflash! CAYMANIANS NEED JOBS NOT THIS DAYLIGHT SAVINGS GARBAGE! Cayman has functioned just fine without it always. Exactly why is this Govt so interested in implementing this? To please whom and for what benefit? Which minister or ministers are pushing for this?

      • Anonymous says:

        If Cayman has functioned just fine, why is there an unemployment problem?

      • Anonymous says:

        It pleases the people who create jobs. I benefits the people who create jobs. Go back to your dominoes game. And guess what!!!! You can play an extra hour next year!

      • Anonymous says:

        They have jobs and the ones that don’t are usually those who do not want them, cannot hold on to them, the disabled and elderly.

    • Anonymous says:

      …………and disturb the sleeping pattern of the cows!

  5. Anonymous says:

    These are two insignificant and silly issues. Not important to the wider population. Daylight savings time of one hour will not achieve anything. If shops want the extra cash they can choose to open later or earlier. Same with the financial sector. They can choose to have staff come in early or stay late on shifts or whatever arrangement they wish. The minimum wage. What a joke. That is going to drive up costs for grocery goods, has stations, bar tabs, restaurants and all the typically low end positions which were never filled by a Caymanian anyway.

    Fix real issues such as the dump -sell it or pay some other country to remove it. Stay over tourism – constantly improve the current product. Fix the airport. Have cheaper flights and packages at key times of the year. Encourage more universities to have satellite branches. Hold annual lion fish culling competitions. Lower govt fees not increase them.

  6. SKEPTICAL says:

    Have The Parliamentarian and Bluff Patrol given any thought to the fact that as we stand, the financial industry loses an hour of trading in NewYork, and cruise ship passengers have to leave early because the ships are on US DST . Both very important industries and revenue earners. This is not voodoo politics – it is practical common sense.

  7. Pinot says:

    Here we go again trading our uniqueness to be like the rest of the world! Why can’t our government understand people come here because of what we have to offer. we keep changing the way of life to be like the rest of the world – why?

    • Anonymous says:

      uniqueness? over half the countries in the world don’t follow it, so your point is totally mute. A shame ignorance is also not unique

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you seriously believe that people come here so they can adjust their watch in six months of the year? Daylight savings will assist with the two major industries of the Island and allow people like myself who do not get home until around 6 p.m. the chance to enjoy a period of light outside to exercise/gardening/playing with the kids. To me this seems like a great benefit all round. Just because the practice is common in many countries does not mean it is a bad thing to do or will have a negative influence on local culture: the opportunity to be active in the evening hours without artificial light should encourage greater participation in many events by the local populous rather than just turning on the (US) TV.

      • Anonymous says:

        But you’ll all be leaving for school/work in the dark…….

        • Anonymous says:

          Depends what time you leave. At the end of the day there are only so many daylight hours. As things stand currently they are nearly all used at work or travelling with insufficient before and after to fit in any meaningful activity. Currently it will be light after 7 a.m. which will be fine for most people I think.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry but your point is invalid because Cayman has been successful without daylight savings! Please focus on topics Caymanians need like jobs please!!!

        • Anonymous says:

          Government is not there to create jobs but to create the conditions that allow for the private sector to flourish and create jobs. Given that the two main pillars of the economy have been requesting this change for years it is reasonable to assume that this will aid business and lead to a more efficient economy that is better able to create jobs. At the end of the day the success of the Cayman Islands has not been helped by the lack of daylight savings, this is mere coincidence. How do you think that this one thing has helped?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully in addition to minimum wage you also look at maternity leave at full pay. I wonder if when some are paid at 50% if this will not fall under the minimum wage level?

    • Anonymous says:

      Why don’t we ask the greedy companies to pay for maternity leave until the kid hits college as well? Do you know that the company needs to make a profit in order to EXIST and provide jobs to OTHER PEOPLE?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Daylight Savings Time will fail to achieve its goals. I challenge the Government to set a few metrics, based on what they think DST will achieve, and measure them every year for five years. Two things will happen. They will fail to achieve their goals but they will not change back.

  10. E. Stenna says:

    Curious, in relation to adopting daylight savings time, how extensive was this survey supposedly conducted by the Ministry of FSCE? No one I know was contacted either as a “private citizen” or a house-holder. Perhaps the same financial and tourism institutions were surveyed. In that case no wonder that the survey called for the change.

  11. Bluff Patrol says:

    Daylight savings time when we are located this close to the equator is not necessary. In fact, the consultation paper put together by the committee was a joke. No major decision should have been based on that document.

    The only reasons to do this are to sync up business times with NY for the financial sector and the tourism section with most cruise ship passengers originating in Miami.

  12. Anonymous says:

    How about Sunday trade? Isn’t it a bit ridiculous that I can sit at a bar and drink until I fall off my stool on a Sunday, but I can’t buy groceries?? Pull your heads out of your @$$es and fix this!

    • Anonymous says:

      Ah, well actually the Government has addressed the issue of buying groceries on Sunday. Just have a look at the new schedule to the Sunday Trading Law.

    • Anonymous says:

      Come on now. You can buy groceries 6 days a week between 7:00 a.m. and 11 p.m. If you don’t manage to buy groceries during those hours, chances are that you won’t be able to get it done on Sunday either. Businesses have to be feasible and can’t be up and operating just because a handful of people feel that have 24/7 availability may be more convenient.

  13. The Parliamentarian says:

    Our Premier has some good ideas and some bad ideas. “He said that for many years the financial services and tourism sectors have asked for Daylight Savings Time.” I wonder how many there are like me, who think that fooling yourself by running the clock ahead and back really makes the day longer? We’ve done very well WITHOUT daylight saving time for many years. Leave it be.

    And he promised, “government would not increase taxes or introduce any new revenue-raising measures”. Now that part I like. It’s beneficial for all of us. The same goes for the recent decision to reduce the duty on imports that we really need. Thanks for the cuts on the fuel duty!

    What isn’t beneficial to all of us is a government mandated wage that must be paid in order to get someone to work. If a business or person can get a good worker who is willing to work for the offered wage, let him have the job. If he can’t find any one who will work for that amount, he will have to offer more…. until he finds a good worker for the job. A minimum wage law is just another kind of “price fixing”, which we don’t need, and I certainly don’t want because it drives up the cost of doing business, thus raising consumer prices!

    • Anonymous says:

      The problem is it isn’t fine as it is. Just try to do an online course at a US University and watch what happens to your ability to keep to the schedule when the clocks change. See what it is like to come ashore at 9am from a cruise ship only to discover it is 8am here and all the stores are closed.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah let’s switch right now! After all, all the other ‘offshore students’ and ports of call are in line with ‘Florida’. That must be the weakest argument ever.
        Ugh. You do understand the US on its own has multiple time zones right?
        I don’t think it’s even worth getting into the other point again.

        • Anonymous says:

          Ugh. And all those time zones change the time at the same moment, so the time difference between them and Cayman would by the same all year.

        • Anonymous says:

          It would benefit all businesses who deal with either the cruise ships or financial industries to participare in DST. It is just common sense to be aligned with our primary trade partners. If you dislike the idea, fine, but at least have a valid reason to do so.

  14. C.Carter says:

    Alden McLaughlin sounds exactly like his nemesis McKeeva Bush. Here’s the newsflash for the PPM there is no surplus!

    You only get a surplus after government pays all of its bills ask Marco Archer to tell the people the truth. Stop lying to the people the Cayman Islands this country has not had a surplus for nearly three decades. Read the many Auditor General reports since the early 1990’s for what has really happened to government finances and debts.

    The cash balance position may look good to politicians but if I do not pay my mortgage, utilities, credit card bills and school fees my cash position would look good as well at the end of the quarter but that doesn’t make it a surplus. C’Mon Maaaaaan!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      The real newsflash Mr. Carter is that the government is paying all of it’s bills and, believe it or not, without the benefit of an overdraft. You do need to read the whole story, not just the bits that you wish to use to support your thesis.

      • Anonymous says:

        Bull! Mr. Cater is correct, they have not paid all their bills hence the so call surplus! These lies really need to stop!. Mr Archer is doing a good job in his position within the role he holds but he and others with any sense have to knows that there is no surplus and to imply otherwise is nothing short of dishonest.

        The great MLK Jr reminds us…. that there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right. Mr. Archer need to stop worrying about the PPM party and what they would want him to say, this is why many voted for him.

        A friend once told me that the difference between Government and Private Sector is that Government is a political environment where politics drives decisions. Private Sector is a productive work environment where productivity drives decisions.

        Surplus…we really wish…different government same bull….very sad.

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