Bryan admits misleading threat over stipend

| 31/08/2021 | 118 Comments
Minister Kenneth Bryan on “For the Record

(CNS): Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan has admitted using a “scare tactic” to reduce by half or even withhold stipend payments from tourism workers who lost their jobs last year as a result of the national lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have remained unable to earn a living because of the ensuing collapse of the tourism sector. The minister has said this tactic didn’t go down very well and that it was a political misstep to threaten to pull the support later in the year. He said it was intended to encourage workers to register with WORC and find new jobs, as he was worried the payments might make people reluctant to do so even as the borders reopen.

Speaking on Radio Cayman’s “For The Record” show on Monday morning, Bryan said the CI$1,500 stipend was to provide financial help to people who were left without work when the borders closed.

But as the phased reopening plan begins and the tourism industry is recruiting to fill thousands of vacancies, government is trying to get everyone to register with the government job portal so they can match people with jobs and reduce the number of permit holders across the industry. Bryan said he was in “a battle” with some of the larger tourism employers who do not want to hire locals and it was his goal to change that.

Bryan told Orrett Connor, the show’s host, it was on this basis that he had first implied the stipend could be stopped for those who failed to sign up and then, as the borders begin opening later in the year and tourism returns, the stipends would be reduced for everyone by half.

“I did it as a scare tactic, so they would sign up,” he said, but the “political negativity” following the threat had forced him to pull his hand, as the intention was always to continue paying the full stipend until the end of the year.

“My strategy for forcing them to go out and find work has been depleted [sic] now,” Bryan stated, adding that he was trying to make people realise that eventually this money is going to stop and they would need to find work, and that the industry needed to know exactly how many Caymanians wanted to and are available to work if the aim of re-Caymanianizing the sector is to succeed.

He said that the CITA members were not going to get permits until local workers have been given a chance to get work but the sector has argued that Caymanians do not want the jobs. As a result, Bryan said, he was trying to do everything he could to make sure that local tourism workers would apply for and fill these jobs to prevent the return to importing labour to fill jobs that could and should be filled by local people.

See Bryan’s appearance on For the Record below:

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Category: Business, Tourism

Comments (118)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    1:06 pm, sad and very bad, but its true, lots of foolish stupid voters out there

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is just an example of things that happen when a moron is in a position and it’s clearly over his head. He’s always been a “know it all” and doesn’t know anything.

    It’s also really sad that Moses didn’t see it necessary, (for the ppl of this country), to join this Government and continue as Tourism Minister. Kenneth doesn’t have a clue and it’s not looking good for us. Lord help us!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      We had a Tourism minister that was voted one of the best in the region and replaced him with a novice!
      God help US! And this government!

  3. Big Up! says:

    What happens when you elect illiterate clowns to high office…

  4. Kenneth "the Clown" Bryan says:


  5. Anonymous says:

    See what kind of service he gets the next time he walks into a hospitality business and is “waited on” by a Caymanian.

  6. Anonymous says:

    So I guess then we need to treat absolutely everything he says as a ‘poor choice of words’ and act accordingly.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think it’s worse than that. We need to treat everything he says as a bold-faced lie. He has lost all credibility.

      • Anonymous says:

        It most unusual to hear any politician admit to lying so give him credit for telling the truth about creating a hoax. A political adviser could have armed him with a response along these lines. “.During the pandemic it would not have been prudent to try to audit the applicants, the previous Government was right to simply pay everyone who applied. It was not my intention to deny the stipend to anyone, it was reasonable renew the call for applicants and to believe that anyone who didn’t apply had found alternative employment. This is about spending the public’s money, the public have a right to know that we are taking adequate measures to ensure it goes to those in need. The application process would also,provide useful information to WORC and let us know which sectors of the tourism workforce had been impacted the greatest.” And so on and so forth.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Wayne is proving that the Code of Conduct he made a fuss about is meaningless.

  8. Anonymous says:

    really adding to the saying politrics

  9. Anonymous says:

    Give the guy credit – this is the first apparent breach of the PACT Ministerial Code of Conduct in almost 8 weeks.

    Somebody should remind both Kenny and Wayne of what he signed – for ease of reference in the PACT Code of Conduct it is Nolan Principle – “Honesty – Holders of public office should be truthful.”

    What is Wayne going to do – probably nothing – it was all not worth the paper it was written on.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Wayne dragging himself in to it now trying to defend the indefensible. Relieve him of his duties Wayne or step aside yourself.

  11. Anonymous says:

    This guy loves the sound of his own voice and is so patronizing its extraordinary. He’s convinced he’s a genius. Listen to his slow, deliberate elaborations on the radio shows he’s obsessed with being on. And watch how he changes his inflection depending on whether he’s talking to a ‘true Caymanian’ or a newer arrival on Island. Last week on the press conference, watch how he changed his demeanor and speech style when the Cayman Compass reporter asked him a question

    KB is as false as they come

    • Anonymous says:

      Haven’t seen the clip in question, but toning down one’s local accent when talking to a non-local is pretty common across all nations/regions. Most times it’s not even conscious. Completely changing one’s demeanor is a different story however.

  12. Anonymous says:


    You got a freaking RAISE THIS Year!!!!!!! Way more than $1500 a moth.

    You want the money, by way of the horrific taxes that you charge tourists, in your coffers?

    You better make bloody good and sure those “tourism workers” who you think are beneath you to lie to, still are around, and care to work for your tax free economy/lifestyle.

    Look at all of the livelihoods lost! What the f*88 is wrong with you?

    I heard you on the radio talking about how there should be more Caymanians in the sector! And then you do THIS? You want Caymanians in the industry?

    Good luck now Bobo.

    No more dive companies. Some have already perished in the COVID storm!

    No more taxis from the airports…

    You get the idea.

    Tourism is one of the main industries in the Cayman Islands. It is also one of the hardest, longest hours, and rocky on and off jobs here. But we NEED tourism for the revenue in generates for the islands.

    Obviously, you are too high up on your throne to get it.

    Call a re-election in your GT riding. You have proven, in spades, you are not a man of your people.

    You are robbing Peter, Paul, and Mary… FOR KENNETH AND HIS RAISE

  13. Truth says:

    Lying to the liars. Balance.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Should have taken Honest Abe’s advice.

  15. Anonymous says:

    It’s nit the stipend for me it’s the smug manipulation and deceit from someone who doesn’t even have the credentials to make sensible decisions or how to act!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone see the broader picture of what has occurred here besides ‘stipend this, lazy worker that ?’ Mr Bryon has admittedly attempted to manipulate/intimidate a percentage of the population due to pressure from certain employers within his industry portfolio.

    This is an ‘elected official’ who has breached the Ministerial Code of Conduct and therefore also likely the oath prescribed by the Constitution by using the population for certain gains, – that’s the serious fundamental issue here and should be investigated further.

    The below from the Ministerial Code of Conduct, – my guess is Mr Bryan came clean once the repercussions were laid out in front of him.

    ‘If there is an allegation that a Minister other than the Premier has breached the Code, and
    the Premier, having consulted the Attorney General and the Cabinet Secretary, feels that it
    warrants further investigation, he or she will inform the Governor of the matter. 2.8 The Attorney General will, as soon as practicable, refer any allegation that the Premier has breached the Code to the Governor. 2.9 If
    a Minister is the subject of an official investigation into a matter or case of serious
    impropriety or alleged illegal behaviour of a serious nature, the Premier may require that
    Minister go on leave and the Governor acting in accordance with the advice of the Premier may appoint a person who is an elected Member of the Parliament to be a temporary Minister or assign responsibility for the performance of the functions of that Minister to another
    Minister (including the Premier).’

  17. Anonymous says:

    Way to kill your credibility in your first shot at cabinet. What a muppet

  18. Anonymous says:

    Cheap shot is all I have to say!!

    • Anon says:

      The man needs a booster,,, in politics

      • Anonymous says:

        Our tourism.minister can’t even go promote cayman in the states. How did a person be voted in who cant get a visa due to a non clean police record and be in charge of our tourism industry.

        • Anonymous says:

          9:46 pm my. My, he can’t go Miami, what a shame, can’t get a Visa, only in Cayman that could happen that a Tourism minister can’t travel to support tourism , what happened to good old Cayman ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe people should understand that the government doesn’t have endless money to hand out for nothing and you all should get off your as*es and get to work!. There are tons of companies looking for hard working people, note I said hard working!

      • Anonymous says:

        Sadly we need to bring work permits in as the stipend takers are not hard working

      • Anonymous says:

        Your point is very valid and that message needs to be kept front and centre. However, to perpetuate a bold-faced lie really damages the frail facade he has managed to erect between his current position society and his past. Additionally, I am a insulted that Kenneth thought lies and threats were the best way to motivate us. Don’t lie Kenneth, you can change your mind, but treat me/us with a little more respect. KMT!

  19. Anonymous says:

    The little boy who cried wolf… treating the populace that VOTED FOR HIM like his little minions.


  20. Anonymous says:

    Never assume a politician is ever really your friend.

    That is why I now laugh at people complaining about candidate vote buying. It is called earning their keep!

    The same way you use them is the same way they use you for votes, folks. GTC will have one less incumbent vote in 2025.

    It is up to each individual politician to prove to each person they govern how much that individual’s value extends beyond a mark on a ballot every four years.

    Just as they are appointed, they also can be replaced, regardless of party affiliation.

    Time for everyone to come back to earth and stop stroking egos. Get back to work, there are some serious problems to solve in the Cayman Islands.

  21. Anonymous says:

    disgusting behavior, he MUST resign!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah thats the worst thing any of out politicians has ever done. NOT.Trying to get people back too work is not a bad thing.

      • Anonymous says:

        You seem to be glossing over the fact that a sitting member of the cabinet just admitted lying to unemployed/underemployed people as a way of manipulating them. Furthermore, his story is full of crap, because the Premier said in the SPS that they were reducing the stipend. This is a crazy scheme he has hatched to pull back the stipend reduction instead of simply saying he changed his mind … if that thought process doesnt scare you I dont know what will…

        • Anonymous says:

          Kenneth knows and has proved that it is never too early to campaign for re-election. Everything he says or does is designed to seduce his hapless undereducated voters , with handouts.
          Those that are not in his district can only shake their heads.

        • Anonymous says:

          Are they really unemployed though?

    • Anonymous says:

      Well he did support Mac, so what were his voters expecting? Birds of a feather.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Again why you all blaming tourisim workers for the border been closed,again it wasn’t tourisim workers closed the border it was our government who is trying to protect each and everyone,I worked in tourisim and I took my two jab before either government members took theirs,stop blame us

  23. Anonymous says:

    Oh please. If the PPM government didn’t put the government in a state of bankruptcy in the last two terms then I doubt PACT government will.

  24. Anonymous says:

    The stipend needs to stop and there needs to be a minimum living wage.

    There are plenty of jobs around which are taken by those on work permits. Maybe there are too many who feel it beneath themselves to take the jobs and are too happy to sit at home and collect the stipend or are working and still collecting the stipend.

    • Anon says:

      Exactly. So much anti expat rhetoric on here. Fact is caymanians refuse to do the jobs. No different to the post covid huge shortfall in the UK currently of hospitality workers and long distance Lordy drivers… uk nationals don’t want to do the jobs that immigrants do and keep the economy running. Difference is when furlough ends in September in the UK they will have to… we should do the same here to balance the books.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed 3.11
      Spoon feeding the entitled reluctant -to -work, will do nothing but make jobs available to foreigners.

    • Anonymous says:

      Too many people getting stipends.

      Many are either sitting pretty on expired work permits or are receiving unreported incomes but claiming destitution to use it on new phones and fund vacation spending.

      Heard straight from a horse’s bragging mouth.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do pray tell us what that new minimum wage should be?

      • Anonymous says:

        @ 9.15 Let’s look at $10ph. That’s pretty fair when you consider some people here are on upwards of $30k a month and more.

  25. Anonymous says:

    People should not receive the stipend if they are not vaccinated or provide a justifiable medical reason on not getting vaccinated.
    The number of unvaccinated are directly responsible for the border being closed, which is why the stipend exists.

  26. Anonymous says:

    The real story here isn’t that Mr. Bryan tried this tactic to encourage people to register. It is that the government is happy to still pay people despite the fact that they are not actually trying to get work.

    The reality is the government is paying some of these people for no reason. They won’t register because they don’t want a job or they already have one.

    All those people commenting on the other article about school lunches arguing that paying for school lunches for kids is the wrong lesson to teach them and we shouldn’t be encouraging handouts and this will bankrupt the government blah blah blah… where are you now?? What do you have to say about this? This the ultimate handout without even having to show you’re seeking work. Why don’t you condemn this?

    • Anonymous says:

      Or people who have work – he openly admitted that it doesn’t matter if you have even a full time job, you still get the stipend.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I’d rather trust a man who openly fesses up to his wrongdoings and learns from them, than a man who hides them and continues – especially when feeding from the people’s trough. The fact that he admitted it is a refreshing plus so far as I’m concerned. Hopefully lesson learned.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps instead of using misleading scare tactics ministers will learn to just say it as it is. Full stipend to the end of the year but it will be coming to an end and if you want to be prioritised for new job openings as the borders open, sign up now. Perhaps add a deadline for the end of the year when stipends will be reduced.

    Blunt transparency trumps scare tactics anytime, even when used with the best intentions.

  29. Anonymous says:

    May have been extreme, but I agree they need to find née careers! Sitting waiting on the borders to open is crazy! We do not owe anyone a living, you earn it – preferably legally! You are the excuse for opening the borders and compromising the entire Cayman. Without our poor can’t do anything else tourists workers government and the rich world not have an excuse to invite Covid in! Well I guess we are about to see the magic of the PAC!

    • Anonymous says:

      Covid is being invited in every time someone travels in or out whether that person is a resident, expat or soon the tourist. There has been 680 cases of covid on the island. The island has been closed to tourists. Hmmmmmm……..
      Covid is not going anywhere.

    • Anonymous says:

      However, you are forgetting the fact that the government shut down these persons livelihood. It was not competition or dwindling demand from travelers, it was the government. So it’s correct that government then compensates them until they open the borders. This is morally and politically correct.

      • Anonymous says:

        FFS..Government didn’t shut down their livelihood..Covid did..They had no choice in the matter.

        So should the Government should have just kept tourism running as normal?

        “Some” of you are so damn ungrateful! Both the PPM and PACT Governments have done more than their share to help you and you always complain. There are many people in other industries that lost their jobs and would be happy collecting $1500 but they didn’t get that opportunity.

        Everyone of you that are not working need to get up off your ass and go find a job. Sitting around waiting on something like cruise tourism to come back is stupid. You know the government has no control over that..

        We wonder why Caymanians get their bad name about being lazy. “Some” of you are prime examples of that..Sucking the Government’s tit dry and not understanding that it isn’t more to come.

        As far as Kenneth goes, he needs to be very conscious with the context and words that he uses. He means well but sometimes he needs to be more diplomatic in what he says..Nothing he said was wrong in my opinion, more like the context was wrong. To be honest, had he not said that, the Compost probably wouldn’t have even published anything about it. Their Talk Show, Cayman Crosstalk has become so bland and mundane that I have given up and been listening to O.C on MWF.

        • Anonymous says:

          BS, with what we know now the island could have been opened a minium of 6-9 month ago, with treatment!! NOT vaccines…

  30. Anon says:

    Why are they even laying a stipend when unemployed local refuse numerous construction, cleaning, landscaping, server jobs so companies have to bring in work permit holders? Surely some of these jobs that wp holders take, and caymanians refuse, pay at least the 1500 a month stipend?

    • Positive Banon says:

      Anon. No one is laying a stipend. Hens lay.

      Are you okay. We are really worried about you.

      • Anon says:

        Thank you for your entirely pointless comment related to my accidental typos of an ‘l’ instead of a ‘p’. No doubt you have time in your hands feeding off our taxes taking the stipend whilst doing no work.

      • Anonymous says:

        I wonder if it hurts to lay a stipend?

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, those jobs would easily pay that but the $1,500 will come either from sitting at home or going out to work won’t it?

    • Anonymous says:

      Because many of those receiving the stipend already have jobs.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m one- and I’m still not making ends meet. You think $1,500 is anymore than a drop in the bucket for somebody living in Cayman with rent, children and all other expenses?

        • Anonymous says:

          So it’s governments job now to guarantee a minimum level of earnings irrespective of your job? At twice the minimum wage? Got it.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Can you imagine the impact of this? Essentially, anything out of that Ministry (at minimum) will now be questioned as to whether government really means it or if it’s just the Minister posturing.
    Kenneth has managed in just a few months to undermine the position of his government more than the Opposition could if they were so minded. One would weep for Wayne, but for the fact that you reap what you sow.

  32. Anonymous says:

    What a moron

  33. Anonymous says:

    It was a good tactic. Why should an out of work tourism worker be paid for doing nothing for 2 years when there are literally thousands of work-permit holders working in the hospitality, landscaping and construction sectors? One wonders if the stipend and a bit of moonlighting is a better offer.

    Well said Kenneth. You have the guts and honesty to do what most politicians would fear

    • Anonymous says:

      It would have ben a good tactic if he had the balls to follow through with it. Instead of which, he has basically told everyone that he doesn’t have the political will to withdraw the stipend – so good luck getting people to register for WORC, give up taking the money even though they are fully employed, or – god forbid – getting vaccinated as a condition of the stipend. By saying he was bluffing and swayed by political pressure he has thrown any any credibility he will have on nay sensitive issues – ever.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Surely his job is now untenable? I mean all politicians lie, but the key if to never admit it!

  35. Anonymous says:

    Bryan’s greenhorn tactics equates to shooting himself in the foot….and guess what, he’s amongst the “experienced” MPs in this Cabinet!!

    How can the public and mainly, the tourism sector he represents, ever trust him again?!

    God help us!!

  36. Anonymous says:

    Alden and Company must be dying of laughter watching Panton and his goonies fumbling all of this up.

    • Anonymous says:

      They are also observers of the consequences of idiots voting for Mac, Kenneth , Saunders , and Jay who will reduce us to a broken mini Jamaica and all that goes with it.

    • Anonymous says:

      The PPM is no longer relevant. The PACT Government could screw up royally but the people of this country will always remember the way they were treated by the PPM. I think they would vote in broomsticks before the PPM ever again.

      At least this government is trying to share the wealth with the people instead of the PPM XXXXX.

  37. Anonymous says:

    yawn,,,been here 20 years and still here the same foolishness everyday about caymanians not being given job opportunities……zzzzzzzzzzzz

  38. Anonymous says:

    Enjoy your OMOV you idiots that voted for it. This is what you get

  39. Anonymous says:

    Whoa… A Cayman Minister who lies! Who would have suspected. (Yes, many politicians everywhere also lie – but they shouldn’t).

    However, the fact that Bryan admits to lying indicates he is not only a lier, but an ineffective politician – his credibility is shot and he needs to resign.

  40. Anonymous says:

    What an Idiot.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Nothing new. Panton gets everyone’s hopes up with a reopening date and then changes that too. Guess you can lie and be transparent at the same time.

    • Anonymous says:

      The reopening date was changed? I must have missed that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately the well intentioned Panton is no match for these ambitious unprincipled power hungry unemployables.
      They are mentored by their leader Mac who is pulling their strings, and teaching them the tricks self enrichment , regardless of the cost to Cayman.

    • Chris Johnson says:

      Before we blame our Premier just look at the tools he has to work with. The people voted them in.

      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed, but we can’t overlook the fact that he knew what they were before he selected them.

        • Chris Johnson says:

          I agree but were the tools not selected any better than those that were selected.
          I doubt it but can this get any worse.
          We have a lunatic running tourism.

          • Anonymous says:

            The “lunatic” is actually a scheming and ambitious power hungry rabble rouser with an eye on the top job, supported by Mac and his illiterate woters.
            Be afraid Cayman, be very afraid.

      • Anonymous says:

        Chose to work with*

  42. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever come across any politician in any democracy who has deliberately lied as a “scare tactic” and then happily admitted doing so. It shows a deep misunderstanding by Bryan of his role. Rather than simply being a representative of his people, he seems to have got it into his head that he’s so important, and so powerful, that normal rules of behavior just don’t apply to him. And that if he tells a bare-faced lie, well hell, that’s a perfectly valid way to conduct himself because of the position he holds.

    In any other civilized place, this man would be held to account by parliament and kicked out of office.

    • ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

      If this was a “civilized place” McBeater would have been permanently banned from holding any elected office a long, long time ago.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Typical politician BS. People are too stupid so they have to be lied to, to do the “right thing”

  44. Anonymous says:

    LOL. And in saying he was bluffing, no one will now ever believe him when he says registration with WORC is required, or that CIG is actually going to open. The best bit is when he said it wasn’t politically expedient – that may be transparent, but its a recipe for disaster as everyone now realises that government policy is driven by political expediency and not science or economics. Wayne must be banging his head against a wall.

    • Anonymous says:

      A lie is a lie. You can sugar coat it as “political expediency” but it is still a lie.
      He has to learn that his street way of dealing is not appropriate when messing with peoples lives.
      Kenneth, get a dictionary and look up the meaning of Integrity.

  45. Anonymous says:

    it makes sense for the stipend to go away once the border reopens and tourists return.

    it shouldn’t be a threat, it should be fact.

  46. Anonymous says:

    People would want these jobs if they paid more than the stipend… What Caymanian is going to work for $6 an hour plus tips?

  47. Anonymous says:

    No plan PACT really screwing up. We wouldn’t get this foolishness from Moses.
    All he cares about is money. He wants to hold on to that salary.
    No wonder everybody leaving Department of Tourism.

  48. Anonymous says:

    He must now resign.

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL – Cayman’s politicians don’t resign even if they’re charged with crimes and many get reelected anyway. Kenny B’s seat is safe for at least another 30 year.

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