Caymanians urged to have more kids

| 10/07/2020 | 177 Comments
MLA Chris Saunders in the LA, 2 July 2020

(CNS): MLA Chris Saunders (BTW) has said that Caymanians need to “make more children” to prevent the country from getting into future trouble as a result of a declining birth rate. The opposition MLA made the plea to the country during a debate about amending the Labour Law to make maternity leave provisions for private sector workers equal to those offered in the civil service.

Presenting his private member’s motion asking government to consider aligning maternity leave between the civil service and the private sector, Saunders explained that the Legislative Assembly had a responsibility to make laws for good government that should be equal and inclusive.

But mothers employed in the private sector, while having the same objectives, responsibilities and challenges as those in the civil service, were not equal and were getting far less maternity leave. While public sector mothers are getting two months paid and one month unpaid leave, those in the private sector get only one month of their time off paid.

He said the inconsistency needed to be corrected for several reasons, not least that government needed to take a leadership role in promoting family life because Caymanians were not replacing themselves. He said Cayman had poor parental rights, which would need to be improved in the long run as the jurisdiction developed. But in the meantime, this alignment would be a step in the right direction.

Despite Cayman’s strong support for family life, the birth rate is falling, with couples now having less than two children on average.

“We need to accept as our population is getting older and we don’t have enough people coming behind us to replace ourselves, this is going to be a problem,” he said, noting that the fertility rate here is 1.87%, which includes non-Caymanians.

Caymanians were not growing their own “indigenous population”, which would cause structural problems down the line if this issue was not addressed, Saunders said, as he implied that increasing maternity leave could help.

“I know some members have gone out and made multiple children… I’ve made three so I’m above the natural replacement rate,” he said, adding that he and his wife had done their job and pointed to other members who had contributed to growing the population.

While he accepted that consideration had to be given to small businesses, he suggested an incremental increase to the maternity benefit to give businesses time to plan. Saunders spoke about the need for more long-term planning in Cayman and to use the census, expected to take place in October, to inform that planning.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said that government was prepared to accept the motion and consider the proposal.

The original motion was amended to increase the time period for government to address the issue to the end of 2021.

See the motion in the CNS Library

See the motion debate on CIGTV below:

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Category: Laws, Politics

Comments (177)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Chris. But only for the Caymanians that hold themselves accountable for their childrens’ future. Rather than looking to the government to fix everything for them. Work on educating yourself and your children at home rather than watching Netflix evening for one example. Develope a ruling class mentally and come up with solutions rather than complaints. Not saying I agreed with all things government say or do. But I always ask the complainer why are you not sitting in an MLA seat? Maybe cus you didn’t have the foresight of where things are going or never wanted to put in the work to be in position to make changes. I always recommend working on yourself and your family to be an example of the changes you want to see in the community. If everyone can do that that energy will flow out of the homes and into the community. It starts with our culture, you and your household not only the government.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Maybe if the older generation didn’t spend so much time trying to conform the younger generation to be like them and except that times are different we will have more kids, but I’m much more open to having kids in Amsterdam

  3. Anonymous says:

    How about working on this broken education system and making houses affordable then maybe we would have confidence to have more kids. How about maternity and paternity changes. I had to 5 days off no pay when my child was born. How about community development. What about proper parks, and recreation facilities for kids, not just putting a slide on one piece of land that is owned by mosquitoes and saying it’s a park, you want me to have more kids so they can end up in the criminal system ? How about making this island conducive for kids then we can talk

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is a joke. Got to be….

  5. Anonymous says:

    He probably meant married couples. The scourge of unwed single mothers need to be discouraged.

  6. Anonymous says:

    If you want people to have more kids you need to change some things so it’s easier for people to bring another life into this world.
    You will need:
    *Better maternity leave
    *Lower cost of living
    *Make rentals child friendly
    *Affordable housing for families
    *Make education better and more affordable
    *Take better care of your environment-no body wants to bring kids into a world where the environment is crumbling around them. Heck according to your own government the island is going to be underwater in the next 50-60 years.
    *create growth that will benefit the people not the top dollar investors.
    *stop shrinking the middle class

    This is some of the stuff that needs to be addressed first. It’s not fair to ask people to bring another life into this world when they are having to struggle just by themselves.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I absolutely adore Chris, have tremendous respect for him, and agree with him on most things but….

    This is a HUGE NO for me! Cayman’s cost of living alone is a turn off to have more children. Hell no! Burning tubes is a better agenda to push. Kids are not only a financial responsibility. If I’ve learned one thing from this pandemic, is that kids also take a toll on your mental health when you aren’t able to take a breather. Sorry bobo but I nah having no more. I hope ppl will not interpret my comment as me being a bad mother who can’t cope with my two kids, as we all need a break every now and again.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Shouldn’t you base your decision to have a child on your ability to care for it and give it a good life?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Seriously? Have more kids while Aldart the Destroyer sells the futures of Caymanians through short sited policies and financial self interest?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Globally, where education and standard of living rise, people have less children with longer life expectancies. WHY would an “educated” government official encourage the opposite? Ffs.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The world’s population needs to reduce not increase, otherwise Mother nature will do it for us, with pandemics, earthquakes, forest fires or other natural disasters.

    • Missing part of a Rib says:

      Or CORONAVIRUS’ carrying diseases like COVID-19.

      • Soothsayer says:

        @ 1:33 pm…… Don’t worry about earthquakes or forest fires or whatever comes along. We cannot survive the pollution we are creating. In a few years the garbage and plastics will destroy the creatures in the seas…….. and that will be the beginning of the end for all of us.

  12. Missing part of a Rib says:

    I don’t think so, Chris. My Loins die with me!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I know that Sophia is having a child, will that help out? Every time I switch on the TV there she is telling me she’s pregnant and having a c-section in 5 weeks.

    Btw – the above is tongue in cheek and I do wish Sophia and her family the very best.

  14. Responsible Caymanian who only has kids they can afford to support says:

    Here is our savior! Let’s have more uneducated, unprepared, unable to conjugate a verb persons procreate! Awesome plan.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let me guess, you hail from the U.K.?
      If so, you should be utterly ashamed of your racist self.
      Would you go to Nigeria, get a job there, be granted status and turn on your adoptive country.
      I think not.
      Do you even know how to apologise?

      • Anon says:

        You need to drop the “racist” scolding whenever someone makes a legitimate point. I spent many evenings listening to my wife’s Caymanian native grandfather talk while sitting on his front porch in the 1980s. Not only could he conjugate English verbs properly, but he also displayed an impressive vocabulary that went right up to my comprehension horizon. My wife’s Caymanian uncle (unrelated to the grandfather) also spoke precise English.
        He was educated at Wolmers Academy in Kingston where a number, if not most, of the pupils are black. The present problem is cultural slackness, and laziness, not racism. Stop making excuses!

        • Anonymous says:

          Da wah yuh geh!

        • PhenomAnon says:

          @2:58PM It’s clear that your intentions are good, and I agree that “cultural slackness” is a problem, but it is not the only problem. Most Caymanian children attend government run public schools. Most Caymanians work for the government. Can you see the correlation? Caymanians have become dependent on government for EVERYTHING! We have become a welfare state. The government gives us free education, but that education is not sufficient to earn us employment in high-paying private sector jobs, so we have no choice but to take lower-paying government jobs, where the government can control us. Remember how government employees were basically threatened to stay out of the cruise port debate? Caymanians need to wake up and see that the current dependence on government keeps us under control, locked out of higher education and locked out of higher-paying jobs, all of which would put Caymanians in a better position to control our own country and think and act for ourselves. We need to get off of the government “bubbie”.

  15. Anonymous says:

    hey chris…i have 3…2 of them visits your house all the time…as they friends of family..bottom line..cant afford to raise kids here…heck can barely live here without kids…ha ha ha

  16. Anonymous says:

    what a turtle!

  17. Anonymous says:

    You really want people to reproduce more? Maybe focus on making Cayman a society where their people can and want to reproduce more! Or, and I would have thought obvious, let more of the overpopulated world in..

  18. Anonymous says:

    CNS, all the juicy comments are on the other page..

    Question if I may, why do you (what appears to be) arbitrarily archive comments to another page at random points? Your comment section is why I visit and unsure why you’d hide part of the content away.

    CNS: You seem to think we do this manually! There’s absolutely nothing arbitrary or random about it and no comments are archived; they’re just on the next page or pages. The comment section is set to show 50 top level comments per page, with newer comments at the top and the last page on the front. Threads are up to 10 comments deep. It’s the same system we’ve always used.

  19. Frank says:

    Most developed countries are in the same situation and only in Africa do we find countries that produce enough offsprings to maintain or increase their population level – so why Cayman should be any different?
    Earth is over populated and running out of resources, so population attrition is actually good news, since Cayman could also do with fewer people sharing its few square miles…
    But, if you really want more Caymanians, there is an easy solution: grant more Permanent Residencies and more Cayman Status, if only to diversify the local gene pool…

  20. Anonymous says:

    I did not think it was possible but I think this comment from Chris Saunders might just about rival John John’s donkey story in irrelevance and stupidity. I guess Saunders just couldn’t let John John hold the title of dumbest sounding cayman elected official of 2020. He just had to go there to try to compete. Who’s next?

  21. Anonymous says:

    My suggestion Sir is that all babies born on this Island should be Caymanians, whether born to expat or PR resident. Problem solve.

    • Old school says:

      It was that way in the 70s.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually that is as unsustainable and ill-advised as Mr. Saunders’ suggestion. In both cases we would have a population explosion that the Government (i.e. we the people) will have to support. That is the reason it was stopped back in the 1970s. Also we are not the only place in the world that has this policy that birth does not automatically give citizenship. More places have such a policy than you would at first suspect.

  22. Anonymous says:

    What an idiotic idea

  23. BeaumontZodecloun says:

    25 years ago, almost all hospitality and dive industries were filled by Caymanians. What changed? The minimum wage. Once we established it, that set course for expat labor to fill those positions at that rate. The minimum wage may be useful for some, but it is not a living wage for most Caymanians who live here.

    I think if we raised the minimum wage to $12, we would see more Caymanians and less expats employed, especially in clerk, hospitality, and dive positions, and likely bar and restaurant.

    Yes, it’s going to cost us all a lot. This is the way in which we foster generational support. We create jobs in which a person can live, grow and plan with it. The offspring of those who are stable will naturally create more productive offspring themselves.

    We have to fund the things that make us better.

    • Cayman Mom says:

      But, of course it is us who created this problem. We were greedy. We wanted employees who were beholden to us, employees that we could control, pay low wages to and boss around.

    • Anonymous says:

      The minimum wage law came in to effect in March 2016. Caymanians had been long out of the hospitality industries by that time.

    • Anonymous says:

      I learned how to dive 35 years ago from Bob Soto’s. My dive instructor was from the U.S. and nearly everyone at Soto’s was an expat. I dove with several other companies. Same story – almost entirely expats, except for Dave Miller’s company. I’m not sure you’re remembering things correctly.

  24. Anonymous says:

    what an asinine thing to say.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Lower foreign investment, expats (population) and enterprise, then have more fatherless babies to make sure they have no opportunity here.

    Worked out well for Haiti.

    • Anonymous says:

      As it is for Jamaica which is headed that way.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just couldn’t help yourself could you?

      • Anonymous says:

        Uhh I’m not even jamaican and I know a lack of FDI has nothing to do with the current issues facing that country. You people gotta get your facts straight instead of looking for likes. In case you didn’t know a lot of the multinational firms in Jamaica today are ran by expatriates, so of whom go on to gain citizenship.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Two answers to ensuring the “Caymanizing of Cayman” (perhaps one of Mr. Saunders) considerations are:

    A better, well-rounded education system (the root issue) – stop talking about it and changing curricula every year, experimenting with children’s future. It must include good vocational programs;

    In the work-place require, enforce and monitor apprentice programs where appropriate – the scope is vast!

    Both will eventually lead to the need for less imported labour, but it would take at least 2 school generations to show effects. So Mr. Saunders, start down a path like that, including more options as needed, instead of proposing irresponsible over-populating! START NOW and leave some kind of positive legacy!!!!

    But, I had a family member in who was an MLA some Governments ago and that person used to tell me “I don’t read any of the blogs, people criticize too much and don’t appreciate how hard we work”. So perhaps the peoples’ views fall on the deaf ears of our representatives – by and large.

    Ezzard for Premier!!

  27. Anonymous says:

    I do not mean all Caymanians, but the Caymanians this idiot is talking about are 15-30 year olds and already a burden on everyone.

    The future parents of these “extra” children are already unemployable, uneducated detriments to society.

    Why would these people be encouraged to produce offspring?

    Who is going to pay for these children? The parents don’t and won’t have the ability to.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed. More children bred by Caymanian teenagers who cannot take care of themselves. Great idea!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah and everyone who gains PR or status, or comes here on a work permit can take care of themselves ? Did you miss the cayman compass interview during the lockdown, with a lady who clearly originated from a Spanish speaking country, Who is living in austere conditions with the soiled clothes to match, explaining that she was living off of the wild chickens because she had no money or food ? This ain’t just a “caymanian” problem….

        • John says:

          And it is a stain on our country that we abandon our fellow human beings like that. People who lost their jobs through no fault of their own and can’t even get back to their own country.

        • Anonymous says:

          We have charities giving out food to everyone. If I could kill a chicken, I would’ve ate a few myself. It’s better than those expensive chemical ones from overseas. There’s no shame in eating chickens. That’s what they were intended for. I’m a Caymanian and that was a common meal every Sunday when my father was a boy. Unfortunately, Caymanians think they too good for this and that these days so no need to complain about work permits if you think you’re too good for the job.

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