(CNS): Kenneth Bryan, the new opposition MLA for George Town Central, and his colleague, the deputy opposition leader and member for Newlands, Alva Suckoo, have filed a private member’s motion in the Legislative Assembly calling on the government to increase seamen’s benefits to $1,000 per month. Bryan said that he is concerned that these elderly members of the community, who were instrumental in shaping the country’s modern-day success, are struggling to meet even their basic needs given the current cost of living and, in particular, the costs of healthcare.
Following on from his first motion calling on government to invest in secure housing for the homeless, Bryan is making it clear from his first motions that he intends to be a champion for the vulnerable during his first term serving as an MLA.
Backed by Suckoo, the motion is simple and calls on government to meet what Bryan said is a campaign promise made by several members of the National Unity administration when they were on the campaign trail. Bryan told CNS that he wants to make sure that these campaign promises to help the vulnerable are not forgotten, especially as government is in the process of setting its next budget which is expected to cover a two-year period.
Bryan said that he believes the increase from the current $550 to $1,000 is not unrealistic as trying to survive on an income of less than $1,000 given the cost of living in Cayman is challenging at best. He added he will argue the case for the increase during the debate which he hopes will take place at the upcoming meeting.
Government has not yet confirmed when it will have its first parliamentary meeting as it is understood that the new ministries have taken some time to organise. A tentative date has been set for 21 August for delivery of the Strategic Policy Statement, which will set out this coalition government’s intentions over the coming administration. While Premier Alden McLaughlin has said that he intends to focus on community and social issues during this administration, it remains to be seen what policies on which the Progressives campaigned will be addressed and which ones will be adopted from those put forward during the campaign by the CDP and the two independents on the government benches.
Category: Local News