Minister puts ‘rush’ on cash for tourism workers

| 23/10/2020 | 41 Comments
Cayman News Service
Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell in the LA on Friday

(CNS): The more than 2,600 people cleared to receive government’s tourism stipend, which is designed to see workers through the closure of their sector, can expect to see payments for the last three months of the year by the middle of next week. Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell has said that the members of Finance Committee have agreed that when they meet on Monday, they will clear the $9 million needed to make the payments.

In a statement delivered in the Legislative Assembly on Friday, Kirkconnell said the extra funding his ministry needed to pay for the stipends, which was obviously not budgeted for, had to be approved in accordance with the law before it could be given out.

“Once approval has been granted… we will do everything possible to process the payments and release the stipends on Wednesday of next week,” the deputy premier said. “While we are mindful of the needs of those who are reliant on these funds as their only source of income, and we regret the delay in effecting the payments, we also have a duty to ensure that the ministry remains in compliance with the Public Management and Finance Law.”

The money will fund $1,000 per month until the end of the year for up to 2,627 individuals who were verified to receive payments this summer after losing their tourism related jobs or livelihoods as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic .

Kirkconnell said government was taking a balanced approach with respect to reviewing the needs of the tourism industry, in tandem with maintaining the economy and keeping the Cayman Islands safe.

“It is fair to say that the goal between now and the first quarter of 2021 and beyond is to protect the industry, and protect the people and businesses that service the industry, till tourism can safely resume and is in a position to stand on its own,” he said. “The tourism industry typically contributes 25 to 30% to the country’s GDP, so the impact from its sudden unexpected demise cannot be understated.”

He added that tourism businesses are being supported in other ways, as they will be part of the driving force behind the economic recovery.

“When that time comes, businesses will need skilled employees to operate effectively,” he said, as he pointed to programmes that are being developed in partnership with WORC, UCCI and the School of Hospitality Studies to upskill local workers to give them the best possible chance to join the tourism industry and flourish when it reopens.

The minister said businesses can also access the government’s loan guarantee scheme with the banks as well as programmes under the commerce ministry to assist small, medium and micro businesses.

“At the start of this year no one could have predicted how life would change on a global scale or how deeply our tourism industry and economy would become affected, virtually overnight,” he said, adding that government cared and the programmes were ongoing because the situation is changing on a daily basis.

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Category: Business, Government Finance, Politics, Tourism

Comments (41)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    soo… just to be clear… 2600 persons, at $1,000 per month, for 3 months is 7.8 Million dollars. that’s a lot of money.

  2. Anonymous says:

    What happened to his plan to retrain people?

  3. CBC inaction is Crime Itself! says:

    I concur 12:33pm the recent advertisement by a local freight forwarder is tantamount to aiding and promoting this type of crime here in Cayman. In fact this has been going on for sometime now, the pandemic has exacerbated the problem.CBC needs to get off their proverbial asses and start doing their friggin jobs by going to these freight companies warehouses and containers and check these boxes and crates leaving this island instead of harassing and hassling people about some overnight package how about a TAX ID number for these “EXporters” which could raise revenue for our economy.Some people need to stop getting free rides and passes on this island by our customs and immigration authorities.

  4. Da Real thieves of Cayman says:

    It’s time for them to go home! Why are they hanging around here like a certain nationality who are stealing people shit and packing it up in containers and sending it home .Yes and our great CBC is doing little or nothing to stop this terrible situation from happening.

  5. Anonymous says:

    No functional plans on a “recovery”. We get it. Your doing the best you can. Good luck to all.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Why just tourism workers?

  7. Say it like it is says:

    I thought Alden stated early on that non-Caymanians would also receive assistance if they were laid off. All they have recd in the last 6 months is a $150 food voucher.

    • Troy says:

      This is an amazing decision by the unity Government. Many Caymanians are very grateful for this assistance.

      I wonder if any of millionaires in the private sector would be willing to match the Government grant.

      In any event I am most grateful to CIG.

      • Anonymous says:

        They match everyday by employing you when you work at half the speed and don’t go beyond the minimum requirements.

        • Anonymous says:

          Not always true. Once again, entitlement and intimidation by foreigners at work, while locals must be eternally Caymankind and not even be allowed to eat at the thanksgiving dinner table, just because the popular kids say no.

          Generational Caymanians have worked nothing less than hard and have sown what foreigners have only been truly allowed to reap, thanks to our “brilliant politicians” which most are only in it for themselves and their friends and will listen to anything developers and real estate companies tell them, all in the name of tourism. It is disgustingly disrespectful and incoherently degenerative to be that condescending to locals and the assimilated and not even recognize the sacrifices they and their ancestors have made to make Cayman what it is today.

          Please read any comprehensive history book on the Cayman Islands before you collect your next six-figure paycheck. Don’t post anything that ignorant on CNS until you have done so or learned your lesson, whichever takes longer.

          • anon says:

            7.33pm “Generational Caymanian” I’m afraid that you typify your origin by hurling insults at the whole expatriate community. I feel sorry for you.

      • Anonymous says:

        The government grant – where do you think you think the money comes from? You think it’s Moses personal money lol? He’s using your money and mine you fool – it’s easy to be generous with the taxpayers cash. Want to see some action of government’s to be grateful for, maybe the MLAs could volunteer a pay cut.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Question and a sincere one:

    Are all the people receiving this stipend Caymanian? I am HEARING of work permit people who have chosen to stay here versus go home to wherever and who are receiving? CNS or anyone, is this correct? Was anyone in tourism eligible, not limted to only Caymanian/PR etc?

  9. Anonymous says:

    What about all Tourism workers that applied before the September 30th deadline?

    I hope that they will receive payment as well.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hope it goes to the actual workers and not owners of business.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Maybe the DoT and Ministers should have been doing the up-skilling while on paid leave? They did nothing to seduce the displaced loyalty of moneyed, educated, seasonal migratory “snowbirds” in 2020-21. They weren’t even on their radar. There are an estimated 300-375,000 per year that spend at least 180days of winter in the southern USA. Those number estimates are just from Canada, with more seasonal migration from northern USA states, and Europe. DoT blew it, and we’ll never get the same opportunity to woo this sophisticated market again. It was an important opportunity. CITA members should think about this come May 2021.

    • Lomart says:

      Please explain your comment. How many days are there in winter anyway?

      • Explanaton says:

        I think that the number of days is variable – 6:58 used 180 days, but that is the “cold” months for the folks up north. I am in an area that has the snow birds visit each year. Typically, it runs from November to approximately March – more or less. The crowds we have here usually bring a motor home, large trailer, or simply rent a place while they wait out the bad weather at home. But, it would have taken a large amount of work to advertise for that crowd. Regardless, it would not work without regular flights and not until the 16 quarantine is gone.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Time for some more Franzies!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Suggestion for an employment opportunity for some unemployed person/s. Invest in a tractor and industrial grass cutter and post a big advertisement! I’ll be first customer! I have property needing cutting and some joker (the only one I can find) has been giving me the run-around for almost 2 months and still hasn’t shown up to do the job!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Yes hurry them drunks are getting pissed off. They money late along with they NAU rent not paid yet.

    • Anonymous says:

      To Why be so disrespectful to Caymanians? Is that how you get your kicks? Bigot.

  15. Anonymous says:

    When can we put a rush on retraining and diversification? Tourism ain’t coming back any time soon, and it will never again be what it was. Good public transport and driverless vehicles are almost imminent. Taxi drivers need to find something else to do anyway. When are we actually going to start helping them to achieve that?

    • Anonymous says:

      Driving a Taxi is the goal of every caymanian child.

      No need to learn to read, no requirement for basic arithmetic and government subsidies its perfect for cayman.

      Where else can you be rude and disrespectful but also get away with massively over charging?

  16. Anonymous says:

    All of us got to eat etc.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Tourism was never the core pillar of the Cayman Islands economy. It will not be the driver engine of a “recovery”, since most of the economy is virtually unchanged (pardon the pun). We are just paying stipends, right before an election, to those that couldn’t or refused to adapt. Generally poor adaptability, and being slow to adjust to the world, seem to be recurring handicaps for a lot of Caymanians, who then expect to be rescued by their MLA or Minister.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you think tourism isn’t a main pillar of the economy, then you need to learn how to count to 10 dummy.

      • Anonymous says:

        8% of GDP. That makes it a relatively minor component. Tiny compared to financial services.

        • Anonymous says:

          “Tourism is also a mainstay, accounting for about 70% of GDP and 75% of foreign currency earnings. The tourist industry is aimed at the luxury market and caters mainly to visitors from North America. Total tourist arrivals exceeded 2.1 million in 2016, with more than three-quarters from the US.”

          • Anonymous says:

            Your source is wrong. Look outside. We have 0 tourists and 80% of the working population are fully employed, at least for now.

          • Jazzy says:

            When are we planning to open Tourism? The Government is very hush hush!!

          • anon says:

            4.50pm This is nonsense derived from some tinpot outfit with “1-10 employees”. Try checking with the CIG statistics office.

        • Anonymous says:

          8%? What’s your source?

          • Anonymous says:

            Check the statistics from the statistics office. Alden himself said it on press briefing. The stipend people will never work if government keep giving them handouts. I know a restaurant that had to bring in people from overseas. Not one person in the Cayman Islands applied for the jobs.

          • Anonymous says:

            Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce.

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