Gov’t secures extra $1.6M cash for home repairs

| 10/06/2019 | 19 Comments
Cayman News Service

Premier Alden McLaughlin in the Legislative Assembly (file photo)

(CNS): Government voted another CI$1.66 million for spending largely on home repairs for the most vulnerable. But given the significant surplus the public purse is expected to have at the end the year, there should be no negative impacts, Finance Minister Roy McTaggart told his colleagues at the relevant committee hearing Friday. The money was for the Ministry of Community Affairs, part of the premier’s portfolio, for repairs and assistance for those in need, particularly the elderly, disabled or families with young children, where their safety and well-being is at risk.

Premier Alden McLaughlin explained that there were still 22 priority projects for this year. Seven are underway or have been completed so far this year, but there was no funding for them in this year’s budget, despite the real and immediate need for these projects. He noted concerns that dealing with deteriorating homes in a piecemeal manner or leaving them unaddressed would make things worse and more costly to deal with in future.

McLaughlin had asked for CI$1.2 million to get the repairs to identified properties done as soon as possible, but later added another CI$460,000 based on the emergence of additional need.

He revealed that since the introduction of the housing repairs programme, which was started in 2015, around 36 homes across Grand Cayman had been repaired while similar work on the Sister Islands was done under a different budget item. These 22 projects covered homes in all districts on Grand Cayman, he added.

The premier told the committee that the programme is supposed to limit spending for each project to $25,000 but most were well in excess of that. As the community affairs minister, he had approved the necessary additional spending on each one, which is why the original budget had already been spent before the year was halfway through, he said.

He said government had to be careful that the money allocated to this programme was not being abused and that there were criteria to access the money. He said the ministry would not go down the road of repairing homes that landlords are renting out to the poor and vulnerable except in very specific circumstances.

The premier also noted the difficulty, especially politically, of taking money from Caymanian homeowners who have been helped in some way by government, even from the families after their elderly relatives who have died, as government has been embroiled in awkward fights in the court.

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Category: Government Finance, Politics

Comments (19)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Dumb them down and buy their votes. Caymanian politics 101.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    How do you qualify to get your house fixed? I would like my house repaired for free. I could really use that $25k to fix my plumbing, roof, electrical. I can tell whoever it is whatever they need to hear.

    At this rate, it seems all I need to do is be a registered voter. How do I get my house on the list?

  3. Ron Ebanks says:

    This Government handout , supposedly for house repairs are just like food stamps in the USA , I see people driving around in Cadillac Escalade and buying their groceries with food stamps .

    As someone said that a healthy lazy man on the West End
    got $20,000.00 to fix his house . What is the criteria for people to qualify for these handouts ? Who is it that qualify these people?
    Shouldn’t the Taxpayers demand more transparency into these programs? Who knows that this isn’t vote buying with Taxpayers money ?

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  4. THE QUEEN says:

    If member serve me correctly, I few months ago dart cooperation offer two proposals to government 1) A small portion of land to build the new HospicCare or 2) 1.6 million dollars towards a new development else where on the island.

    Conspiracy theary.. Could it be this very same money government is now saying they have budgeted for home repairs.. Mmmmmm!

    I wonder!!!!!!

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  5. Anonymous says:

    wote buying slush fund. end of story.
    auditor general should investigate asap…

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  6. Anonymous says:

    What is the total disclosed annual vote-buying budget now for this regime (ahead of a referendum and a new election cycle)?

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  7. Ron Ebanks says:

    Getting the other one ready to take over the seat and from washing machine to house repairs, God help us .

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Probably less than payCHEC.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    So why is the threshold $25,000 in Grand Cayman and only $10,000 in Cayman Brac?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Because Cayman Brac is already heavily subsidized through many unnecessary government positions and free private road pavings.

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    • Anonymous says:

      8:54 pm. That’s not true about the Brac a few weeks one healthy lazy man in West End got $20,000 to fix up his house
      And that’s the 3rd. time Govt. gave him money for his house. He does nothing to up keep his house. That’s happening to other lazy people Island wide and i am not talking about old people that can”t help themselves.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    #JOEYWHO

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    • Anonymous says:

      One Govt. Officer and his wife whom has a good job too, yet Govt. buys his children lunch, in the Brac. The Brac gets more than their share.

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  11. ppm Distress Signal says:

    Not very subtle by the PPM. They are putting plans in place for vote buying stage called home repairs to aid Minister of Planning Joey Hew in his attempt at re-election.
    Look at the list of repairs done to date the majority of those are in GT North and go beyond basic repairs and the approved $25,000 per property. Take a look at the repairs done in Rock Hole and Watler rd of how tax dollars are funding the 2021 re-election campaign.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Lets hope that the Brac repairs are done more fairly. SOOOON VOTING TIME …..

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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree. Not only that, the way some of these “indigents” act towards their workers is disgraceful. Don’t want that one in the house cause he’s black; I don’t like the replacement toilet, wrong colour. C’mon…show some gratitude.

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