Miller urges CIG to address social ills

| 08/04/2019 | 43 Comments
Cayman News Service

Opposition Leader Ezzard Miller in the LA

(CNS): The opposition leader has identified eight priority areas that he wants government to address in the upcoming Strategic Policy Statement that will set out the goals for the final two years of the current PPM-led coalition. At a press briefing last week Ezzard Miller accused the government of not funding welfare, education and other much-needed services in order to balance the budget, and he urged the premier to address the double challenge for ordinary people of runaway inflation and private sector pay stagnation. The people are becoming increasingly frustrated because they do not feel they are benefitting from the economic growth, he said.

Speaking ahead of the current Legislative Assembly session, the opposition leader called for government to consider single-payer health insurance and to create a national pension plan, because the “smorgasbord of private pension plans” was not providing anything close to enough to live on for many retirees, even after a lifetime in work.

The premier is scheduled to deliver his final SPS statement in this session. However, it is now unclear when it will be presented to the parliament for debate since the business of the Legislative Assembly meeting was thrown upside down after members dedicated two days to debating the chief justice’s ruling on same-sex marriage.

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Members are expected to return to the LA on Monday to continue the deliberations in Finance Committee to deal with government’s additional spending during 2018.

Miller has said that government is bragging about the economic growth, even though ordinary Caymanians are not benefiting, but it is stressing the local infrastructure, which is stressing the quality of life. He said the Caymanians he has spoken to all believe that their quality of life and standard of living has declined over the last 20 years.

The opposition leader said while he wanted to see growth, he had concerns about it being driven by external investors and not encouraging local people to drive that growth. He asked why officials were allowing developers “to cornswaggle the government” by deferring or waiving planning, infrastructure and other fees, which means the country does not benefit from that investment.

Miller said it was now time for government to seriously address the issue of the ever-increasing work permit numbers, which is fuelling the problem of low-paid workers. The best way was to dramatically increase the fees, which would have the dual effect of reducing the numbers and encouraging bosses to employ more local workers without reducing the money collected for the public purse.

He urged government to make some bold decisions regarding the crisis in healthcare. Miller is calling for a single health insurance provider as well as consolidating the pension regime into one national plan.

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Category: Health, Health Insurance, Politics

Comments (43)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Monorail smh

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  2. Anonymous says:

    I agree with EM that the economic growth and wealth generated in the last 20 years has mostly been enjoyed by non Caymanians. What he fails to say is that they also created most of it it. What is sad is that they are buying up the best of the island which makes it nigh on impossible for a non professional hard working Caymanain to ever attain.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Cayman would be better place if every work permit was cancel and all the caymanians status Grant’s revoked . Many of you bicthing about our goverment but where you come from is not better than here. The best life many of you ever had is when you arrived on the little rock.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    The idea about the monorail to resolve the traffic problems doesn’t work for me. Part of the problem is that government has a life of it own and itself keeps growing and demands more and more revenue, government is insatiable and afraid of hurting any revenue sources.

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    • Lo-Cal says:

      I agree,

      What they can do for a minimal cost is to make a lot of these roads one way. Shamrock Rd from Newlands to Fairbanks, one way to town. Newlands bypass one way all lanes to Newlands going up. Add exit lanes on both sides and cut roads between the two for turning around. Every road does not need two way access especially in town.

  5. Fiona Foster says:

    Cornswaggle? What the blazes is that??

    CNS: I have to admit that I had to look it up. According to the Urban Dictionary, it means “to scam someone with little or no thought into the scam”.
    “I tried to cornswaggle my mom into letting me have some money she told me to get a job.”

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Here was me thinking Miller was starting to make sense, particularly regarding the port, then he blows it with this drivel. Run away inflation! Numpty.

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    • Anonymous says:

      What is Miller going to do about the friggin DUMP?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Same thing he done about it during his 18 years as an elected member. Not a damn thing.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Where you been hiding when Ezzard left Government in 1992 he left a plan to deal with the dump had his plan been followed we would not have “mount trashmore” today. He started recycling in 1990 bought 24 acres next to the dump for the waste to energy plant and recycling compound, he put the thermoplastic liner in Little Cayman in 1991.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Some work permit fees tripled under McKeeva, but the issues Mr Miller speaks of continue to escalate. Perhaps If trying to dissuade the whole low paid workers on permits debacle, it is only permits for unskilled jobs that should be increased.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Legalize abortion (and in some instances, mandate) and your social ills all go away.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Miller uses terms like runaway inflation, single-payer healthcare and national pension plan with such lack of substance that it is shocking. Mr. Miller, Sir, it is so easy for you to use your fancy terms and expect others to find answers, while forgetting that you have been a career politician for decades, with very little ‘material effort’ to show. How about taking your talking points and ACTUALLY penning an action plan that addresses each and telling us HOW such plans could work and be afforded by our country and its income streams? We, your constituents are waiting ….

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  10. Anonymous says:

    “Miller has said that government is bragging about the economic growth, even though ordinary Caymanians are not benefiting” … Classic political drivel. Sure there are those that aren’t benefiting but if by ‘ordinary’ he means the many thousands of Caymanians that are educated, employed living the Cayman dream …myself being one of them, then I can say he surely is out of touch. There are far more Caymanians benefiting from all this economic progress than those that are not and it is up to us as a ‘whole’ to come up with solutions to parent better, educate better, pass on work-ethic values and then hire our own people. Plenty easy for him to always blame government or expats, but it’s we the Caymanians that for the most part aren’t hiring our own and that own the majority of businesses that then fail to pay wages that Caymanians can live adequately on. Mr. Miller needs to look around and ask the hard questions, but just the ‘get a vote’ questions.

    Stop it Mr. Miller; you are out of touch with your fear mongering and sour viewpoints.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You are out of touch if you can’t see all the Caymanians who are not benefiting and are in fact suffering.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Fund FREE CONDOMS so we do not get unwanted offspring who are not encouraged towards education, etc.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Our troglodyte MLAs don’t realize that preaching state-sponsored civil inequality against the Constitution and Judiciary is not just a local social ill, but also potentially an international incident that will bring unwelcome boycott and sanctions on these islands. We are just one strategic media post away from a reversal of all of the tourism gains of the last decade.

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    • Just sayin says:

      How is gay rights equal to the rights of everyone if you are going to have to enforce it on everyone undemocratically???

      CNS: No one is forcing gay rights on you or anyone, in the same way that having the right to worship in the religion of your choice does not mean you have to go to church.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Unlikely. The LA embarrassed us this week, yes, but international boycotts rarely work.

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      • jed says:

        ask the Sultan of Brunei?

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        • Anonymous says:

          Not working with him. Some leaders are untouchable. Look how over 30 years we had MB in government. Some are destined to rule …

          Of course, I am assuming you don’t believe in God, and believe He decides who is in power 😏

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      • Anonymous says:

        Oh yeh 1:08? George Clooney gave Brunei a billion dollars worth of bad publicity and the boycott of Brunei owned hotels in London, NYC, etc is underway. Boycotts can be effective. Christians in Cayman should pray Richard Branson says nothing about what is happening here in terms of gay rights.

  13. Anonymous says:

    This man sounds like Hugo Chavez

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    • Anonymous says:

      Nah, more like Maduro!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Hugo Chavez stood up for his country and people. He fought against American dictators that still trying to take Venezuela oil. It’s the American government that has the Venezuelan people suffering. They did the same to Cuba.

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      • Anonymous says:

        8:29 ,pm you are one big fool to blame U S for Venezuela, when they had a good Government they were doing excellent and selling their oil
        If you had any sense you would know Countries own bad Government ruin their country

      • Anonymous says:

        Now it is the Russians who are taking Venezuelan oil.

  14. Anonymous says:

    As backwards as he may be sometimes, thank God for Ezzard Miller. He must be the only one listening to the hardworking concerned citizens of this country. Keep pushing Mr. Ezzard, we thank you.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Are gay Caymanians entitled to access social welfare? Should they be?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, of course they are. (Except, up until now, ‘spouse of’ benefits. Much like other ‘common law’ spouses were not. But in their own right of course they are.)

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Yes, all this seems much more important than trying to overturn same sex marriage. Hopefully the members of the LA will choose to do the right thing, stop being on the side of discrimination and start doing something for your people.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Hey, why are LA session timetables so few and far between? Do our MLAs have some other full time occupations or interests they need to rush off to? Aren’t we paying them full time salaries (and pensions)? Those that bother to show up, aren’t reading the assigned material, or arriving prepared to recommend solutions. They wasted 6 hours of LA time last week because none of them had completed the 20 minute read of the full Chief Justice ruling.

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    • The Constitutional Critic says:

      They claim the legislative drafting process is tedious so the house only sits infrequently
      But in actuality they generally just let bills pile up until the last session then pass dozens without debate or oversight
      The only way the PPM government under Alden McLaughlin operates is by stuffing bills through without anyone looking then coming back and amending them at a later date

      Just two examples of the stuffed types of sessions the Premier likes having
      when it would be the simplest of changes to have a biweekly rolling agenda with monthly PAC meetings

      https://caymannewsservice.com/2018/11/legislative-assembly-tight-agenda/

      https://caymannewsservice.com/2017/01/premier-calls-last-la-meeting-for-february/

      The elected members of the CIG can get away with it because they know that those sessions can be well past 6-10 hours per day, with 3-4 day sittings it would be days after before anyone could reasonably listen to all of the proceedings ( not that many people do in the first place)
      Even the media sources that do try to cover LA proceedings (The Compass and CNS) are hard pressed to dig through all of the pontificating and inept politicking that goes on, half of what the legislators say is with mics off or across the chamber so as to not be recorded in the hansards.
      Speaking of the Hansards good luck getting your hands on those, the LA website is barely updated the hansards haven’t been posted properly in years and neither have records of votes or attendance.
      They cant even get publishing the order paper right, 9 times out of 10 you have to end up looking at the drafts that have been put in the gazettes to figure out what they are even doing in there for 6 hours a day.

      The questions from the opposition to the government are usually heard months after they are submitted because the house sits so infrequently
      The real power in Cayman has always laid with the Cabinet, and the various boards and authorities they make all the day to day decisions
      The LA is nothing but a fancy hall where they keep the 12 rubber-stamps

      PPM lead governments have always been anti-transparency despite Alden’s rhetoric in the campaign

      The cloudier and the murkier the better for a creature of the swamp like him

      The LA needs serious reform, the likes of which these islands will not see with an uneducated and morally dubious at best Speaker and a Premier whose one true mandate seems to be to conceal as much as possible from as many as possible

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    • Anonymous says:

      @11:13 Didn’t you know being an MLA was a part-time job for these fools?

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