PPM accuses Bryan of ‘cruel hoax’

| 01/09/2021 | 69 Comments
Cayman News Service
Opposition Leader Roy McTaggart (file photo)

(CNS): Opposition Leader Roy McTaggart has said that Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan should apologise for committing “a cruel hoax on Caymanians who found themselves needing assistance during a global pandemic through no fault of their own”, following Bryan’s suggestion that the threat to cut the stipend to tourism workers was a “scare tactic”.

McTaggart accused the PACT Government of “playing games with the public” and that both the minister and the wider government seemingly misled the public about plans to reduce the stipend for what was believed to be economic reasons. However, Bryan claimed it was “tactic” to get the unemployed to register with WORC.

In the wake of the opposition leader’s comments, Premier Wayne Panton released a statement about the tourism minister’s comments and to clarify that government’s plan is to retain the stipend for as long as it is needed but to taper the payments once the tourism sector is up and running again. The premier said his minister was caught up in the moment on the radio fielding questions from callers.

“Our minister of tourism is doing a great job and taking care of our people within the industry,” Panton said. “His indication that the stipend was to be reduced to incentivize people to get jobs was a mis-step. He was seeking to express his desire to both support tourism workers and motivate them to seek ways to help themselves. He is a human being who, like all of us, will occasionally be a little less than perfect.”

Panton said the aim was to continue aid until it is no longer needed, as some people will be working again by the end of the year while others, such as workers heavily dependent on cruise tourism, will still need support. But as the industry re-grows, the stipends will be tapered or phased out.

But the opposition seized on Bryan’s comments, with McTaggart describing them as an “incredulous admission”.

“The minister and his government have seemingly committed a cruel hoax on Caymanians who found themselves needing assistance during a global pandemic through no fault of their own,” McTaggart said. “No different to the many hundreds of Caymanians who received other forms of COVID-19 related assistance from the government, including access to free quarantine facilities.”

Speaking on Radio Cayman’s For the Record on Monday, Bryan had suggested that government was always intending to pay workers until the end of the year but the indication that the stipend could be reduced was to make people aware that the money would not last for ever and that they needed to find work.

McTaggart queried whether or not this “scare tactic”, as Bryan had called it, which had caused considerable stress to those receiving the money, was just a way to cover up a bad decision to cut the funding, as he had also confessed that there had been political negativity about the proposal that had forced his hand to withdraw plans to cut the stipend.

“The minister is attempting to make us believe that his government never really intended to cut the stipend,” the opposition leader said. “It was a mere ‘trick’ to get stipend recipients, who he thought would refuse to work once tourism returned, to find work.”

McTaggart said plans to cut the stipend were first raised in May at a press briefing, followed by reports in the media that the money would be reduced by half to incentivize people to find work, before Panton confirmed plans to taper the stipend payment in November.

“The government’s stated intention to reduce the tourism stipend to $750 starting in November was mentioned on several occasions and reported in the press,” he said. “It would therefore appear, given Minister Bryan’s admission, that the government went very far in deceiving the public.”

McTaggart said Bryan and PACT “should be ashamed for carrying out their cruel hoax on the Caymanian public and that hoaxes and scare tactics are not the way a responsible government behaves.

But Panton said the PACT Government had done more to promote and protect the interests of the people in four months than the previous administration did in the last four years. “Just as we are monitoring the uptake of the COVID vaccine, we are also monitoring the hiring and placement of tourism workers in other jobs. At some point the stipend will no longer be needed. Until then, those in the tourism sector who are without work can depend on the government to continue providing support.”

But with the COVID pandemic showing no signs of being under any kind of control, the question remains as to when tourism will return in any meaningful way. McTaggart said he did not think this would be anytime soon and that rather than tapering off payments, government needed to increase the stipend to $2,000 per month and to use today’s Finance Committee meeting to do it.

Listen to McTaggart’s audio message below:


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Category: Politics

Comments (69)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It’s interesting how you were part of two successive PPM-dominant administrations, who did not listen to (nor look out for the best interests of) the Caymanian people.

    Moreover, you did not give the Opposition much relevance or consider their perspectives that were aimed at helping the Caymanian people.

    Worst of all, when it came to making decisions and taking action, PPM (Unity Government) did whatever it wants and looked at the Opposition as a joke and irrelevant, because your Government had the numbers.

    Now, all of a sudden, it’s difficult believe that you care about the Caymanian people and this situation genuinely, other than to attempt to regain more spotlight and attention, demonstrates (as we all know) PPM MPs narcissism and arrogance (especially Alden and Joey, but now you).

    On this issue, admittedly, you do have a point and Mr. Bryan should have handled it differently. However, in the same way that your Governments treated the Opposition, it is humorous to observe your efforts to look like a man of the people.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately Roy thinks he is still relevant to cayman’s political debate. He isn’t. No one cares about his views, especially since his team came 2nd (or last) in the election.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Roy, XXXXX You were part of a government that totally ignored the needs of the average Caymanian. Now you want to try and be a superhero for the people??!!! Please.

  4. Anonymous says:

    LMAO

  5. Anonymous says:

    Rate past 4 CI governments:
    Terrible, Poor, Mediocre, Average, Fair, Good, Great, Superb, Fantastic, Epic, Legendary.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Which adjective would you apply to the current Government: Abysmal, Awful, Bad, Poor, Mediocre, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent, Amazing, Phenomenal.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Agree that this “hoax” was akin to some sort of vile threat and should be treated as such.

    In the meantime can we get some English lessons for the Minister of Agriculture. I was truly embarrassed last night while watching the rerun of the Finance Committee to hear Jay Ebanks respond to a question like this “I took a drove around….” rather than “I took a drive around….”, in addition, the Opposition asked a question, and his response was “to answer the members answer”. Is this what we are paying $15K per month for.

    With no disrespect to the Premier as I know, he is an intelligent and educated man, but this has got to be the worse set of Ministers (not all included) this country has EVER seen and 2 teats on a boar hog is more useful than some of them. Be better to put Slocum, Bud-Bud, or Curwell in those positions.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your comment was great up until you referred to WP as intelligent. Educated he may be from UWE but intelligent he is not. They are all a bunch of fools

      • Anonymous says:

        12:40 agreed, sad to see the kool-aid so many have been drinking thinking that he is somebody

    • Anonymous says:

      worst not worse.. 😉

    • Anonymous says:

      “Worse” set of ministers. Normally wouldn’t pick on a typo like this since it’s not substantive but it’s basically exactly what you’re doing to these guys. And it’s far from the only error in your post. Save your criticism for their actual decisions not this nonsense. It also makes you look pretty foolish.

    • Anonymous says:

      Again, Slocum has passed on – please display some humanity and respect – he also does have living Family.

      The same should be afforded the other 2 gentlemen.

      You are disparaging human beings to make YOUR point.

      Maybe you should question your own abilities.

      Too sick…

  8. Anonymous says:

    …. as workers heavily dependent on cruise tourism, will still need support…But what about retraining? Every challenge creates opportunities. Cruise tourism isn’t coming back anytime soon…
    What is the plan B for these workers? Strategic thinking anyone?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Why do people continue to assume all tourism stipend recipients are like those that don’t want to find work and just sit down to receive “free money”? Do NOT do that as you have no idea of their situation.

    Many caymanians are still employed in the tourism sector (condos, restaurants etc) holding on to their massively reduced hours/pay and I see no issue with those persons receiving the stipend as they are still in the sector.

    Yes, I agree they should sign up with WORC if that is a requirement and yes they should seek to get the vaccine (kudos to those that have) but it would be the decision of their employer to keep them on if they do not wish to get vaccinated. In no way should anyone with hold much needed help because a person has chosen to use their constititional right for freedom of choice.

    Again none of us have any right to judge any of them or anyone for that matter under these circumstances and right now if you’re not helping the situation then please kindly shut up and take your negative bullshit elsewhere.

    • Anonymous says:

      Totally agree with just about everything that you have said, and I do not work in the tourism sector. I have been fully vaccinated since March, believe in the efficacy of vaccines, and don’t subscribe to any of the crazy conspiracy theories. However, I have family and friends who have no intention of ever taking the vaccine and I respect their choice without entering into any arguments about it.

      People should have their stipend suspended until they sign up with WORC if that is a condition of receiving the stipend, but it is wrong to force them to get vaccinated in order to receive the stipend. On the other hand, I have no problem with employers who demand that either their workers get vaccinated or be subjected to rigorous and frequent testing as a condition for entering the workplace and to mix with the other workers.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s not crazy that they wake and then people who think they are immune will arrive to spread it

  10. Anonymous says:

    Roy is a puppet for his fallen leader Alden who is pulling all the strings in his efforts to destabilize the PACT government

  11. Anonymous says:

    Just pay any Caymanain who isn’t working, regardless of their industry, $2,000 per month, add free HSA medical care and stop all other forms of financial assistance (including seaman’s benefits) except for education. Then close down WORC, which is utterly useless. Let employers hire who they think is the best fit for their business and if that’s an expat, then they pay the work permit fee. In the long run, it’s a better solution because Cayman businesses won’t have to hire people who really don’t want to work and would rather stay home and play video games while collecting their $2k a month.

  12. Anonymous says:

    “But Panton said the PACT Government had done more to promote and protect the interests of the people in four months than the previous administration did in the last four years.”

    This was such a weird note in Panton’s statement. Why take unnecessary shots that invite comparisons that may not end up favouring your government?

    • Anonymous says:

      Because he is clueless, you can’t see that ?

      • Anonymous says:

        Premier your team is completely under qualified for the job at hand. The fact that your tourism minister can’t travel because of his past and your planning minister can barely read and that department is as messed up as it’s ever been is enough to tell us all that your judgment is flawed if not non existent . Unfortunately this looks like it will be Caymans worst 4 years ever and no I am not a troll, just a truth teller.

        • Anonymous says:

          9:48 I agree with you completely. This new government actually makes me kind of miss ppm and I was no ppm supporter.

        • Anonymous says:

          That is IF they make it 4 years. But whatever period they make, yes it will be the worst. Just look at who Jay has put on certain boards, in particular the planning board. XXXX This particular Minister is incapable and quite frankly uneducated to be holding such a important and delicate Ministry as the one he has. When you do not know when to use the word “drive” instead “drove” that is a fair summation of being incompetent.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Those wascally wabbits!

  14. Anonymous says:

    I hate seeing our politicians getting all caught up the US way of trying to win by running down the opposition. It is tearing the US apart and we should not follow their lead. To be honest all it does it turn me off to the individual doing the criticizing, no matter which side they are on.
    We have over-development like the US. We have an expensive for profit health care system like the US. Let’s not embrace the divisive political mentality of the US! Or is it too late?

    • Anonymous says:

      If the motherland wasn’t still so concerned about The Empire, she would sell this place off to the US. It’s more American than British now anyway. The Cayman Islands mean nothing to the UK. Most Brits don’t have a clue where it is either. Let’s punt them to the highest bidder.

  15. Anonymous says:

    For once I agree with you Roy but this only proves that NO politician should be trusted.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Wow! Roy has really bought into the ghetto political style of keeping everyone on handouts forever.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hearing more from PPM post election than ever before. Seems like they wish to criticise everything the new government does. Not saying the poor choice of words by the new Tourism Minister was correct, but come on…

    PPM should look inward at their many transgressions/faults and do their best to support the new government (while offering their differing SOLUTIONS). Note the use of the word solutions and not criticism…

  18. Anonymous says:

    I thought for a moment he was talking about the isolationist lockdown policy. Instead, it’s about scaring people into making them dependent on government money.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I have said it before and I will say it again, this is what happens when you somehow unbelievably elect uneducated , rehearsed, narcissistic chancers.
    That’s all he is and some others in there also. You can only read , listen and rehearse so much but when the real decisions are to be made and the right things are to be said and done, it’s exposed for what it really is. This is nothing compared to what’s going to happen over the next few years. KB is good at this verbal bs , give him an IQ test , love to see the results.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is what the people of this Country elected to represent us. I agree with your comments. This PACT Goverment is nothing but a bunch of narcissistic bullies. Unqualified and uneducated.

      They are appointing persons to Boards who are completely unprofessional, uneducated only because those persons are “friends”

      Appointing supporters to job positions again only because of being supporters. A complete Mafia is what they seem to be.

      • Anonymous says:

        Board appointments directed by Jay,Mac,Saunders and Bryan….if it looks like UDP, walks like UDP, acts like UDP, it is a UDP controlled country uncontrollable by Panton.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Remember a tiger can’t change his stripes. What one did before they will do again. If the bushes could talk and be lawyers plenty would be in prison right now.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Before any further Stipend is paid CIG needs to check if the recipients are still on Island. Some of them have been overseas and yet they receive the stipend.

  22. Campaign2025 says:

    I agree with the PPM that the stipend needed to be $2,000. The USA was doing $1600 and our cost of living is higher. Many of these displaced workers through no fault of their own have small businesses and are at risk of facing foreclosure. $1500 cannot pay mortgage, utilities etc. The grants provided a temporary relief and many are facing financial difficulties. Some of the jobs we are hoping they pivot to pay $6 per hour and often times less as they can get away with a lower minimum wage and share the gratuities to bring them to minimum wage. Do the math these workers earn about $1000 per month. Is that a living wage? When the low season comes their hours of work are reduced and so their pay gets reduced. We want to secure employment for our people but they need to earn a living wage.
    Problem is government needs permit revenues and the tourism sector needs cheap labour. I know what I would recommend but since we elected people that have no experience, education and bought votes to get in then I will share my ideas with aspiring candidates that seek office through merit and not money. Stay tuned. One day the worthy candidates will prevail and the self serving and corrupt will fall.
    We are watching you.

    • Anonymous says:

      What about the old Seamen that getting less than 1000 p m and old retired civil servants that worked hard. Yes really worked hard in they days,, that getting less than, 1200 per month , what about them getting to 1500 p m ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Hey better yet why can’t we all just get a $2,000.00 per month? Your my kind of guy Old Roy!

  23. Anonymous says:

    For all you that are saying for tourism workers to go out and get another job:

    1. We are in a pandemic, worldwide, without an end in sight. It’s not just hospitality that is suffering, many other sectors are in trouble, too. This vaccine is not a silver bullet.

    2. How would you feel if your passion in life was taken from you on the turn of a dime? Heart broken. Your life’s work, just gone. Not sure if and when it is coming back? But you have HOPE.

    3. You opened a successful business, as a Caymanian, to welcome people to our shores. Blood, sweat, tears, long hours. To have it ripped away and do what? Where does a dive master go? Where does a successful waiter go? These are REAL jobs, by the way.

    4. There have been possible opening dates since day dot. So, tourism workers don’t know up from down at this juncture in time. Should they get another job when we could be open in 6 weeks?

    All I have to say is, be careful what you wish for because one day there may not be any caymanians left to be in hospitality.

    The stingrays have already LEFT.

    It’s not fun making $1500 a month in Cayman. Especially, when you own a business with the debt load associated with it – in fact, it is terrifying. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

    These people have families FFS.

    Take to the streets and demand that politicians like Kenneth give back their raise.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Bryan made a mistake, his credibility is gone. He needs to apologize and possibly step down, but that decision is for PACT to make.

    But all the PPM are doing at every chance they get is to divide the country with their shaming and blaming. They are quick to criticize when they are not in the hot seat, but when they are, what do they get done. Unity is what is needed. PPM need to get over their election loss and work towards the greater good for everyone, no matter their political stance.

    • Chris Johnson says:

      He never had any credibility in the first place. Two more brain cells he would be a tree.

    • Anonymous says:

      At least ppm is calling them out on their BS. To have a government official admit to using fear mongering and scare tactics is tasteless and disgusting. Especially in times like these. Ppm has every right to call them out .

      • Anonymous says:

        A bit late calling him out AFTER his own admission. Like OP said, PPM just love to blame and shame when they aren’t in power.

  25. Anonymous says:

    That’s rich. The last 8-12 years have been a series of hoaxes, shams, and back room deals. Sit down Roy.

    • #CAYMANKIND says:

      Follow the concessions that leads to follow the money to those that have abused their positions while selling out Caymanians

  26. Anonymous says:

    What little credibility Bryan had is shot. How can you believe anything that comes out of this jokers mouth going forward?

  27. Anonymous says:

    Heard more from PPM since the election than I did all the years they were in office.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Ah, the voice of reason from Sleepy Woy, representative of the PPM, that shining light of truth, honesty and non-corruptible wonders of society that ran the country for so long in the interests of so few

  29. Anonymous says:

    These stipend recipients have a lot of balls complaining about that! Oh boo hoo! Suck it up, get off your ass and get a job!! Don’t get used to sitting on your ass collecting money – it soon be over!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Yes it was distasteful but Roy sit down. PPM none of unna can criticize anyone. Your parties actions for the last two terms were a “cruel hoax”.

  31. ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

    Here’s all they need to say.

    No registration with WORC & No vaccination = No stipend

    There’s no reason any able bodied person should be getting a stipend if they can’t do these 2 simple things.

  32. Anonymous says:

    very cruel- only person playing is him

  33. Anonymous says:

    Does PPM know the election is over or that they lost?

    Alden, using RoyToy as your puppet does not age well.

    Politics has a season for a reason. All talk.

    Now is the time for all action to benefit ALL Caymanians without discrimination, stop favouring the business community, and take the overcooked pot of poli-tricks off the stovetop.

    • Anonymous says:

      By the way where is old Alden at anyway? Never see him in our Red Bay district or arranging help for any of us after the storm. Prospect has a representative who is helping the people (organizing a health screening)while we in Red Bay have nothing but a very angry former Premier who still can not get over that his gang is no longer the power! Please Alden just resign and go sulk somewhere else – maybe down in Dart land.

      • Anonymous says:

        Where is the Red Bay elected representative’s district office located at?

      • Anonymous says:

        11:41, I am no fan of Alden’s but I saw him out helping constituents of Red Bay immediately after the storm and beyond. What you should look at is the many constituents who try to get in contact with PACT representatives under Wayne, only to find that they no longer answer phone calls or WhatsApp messages. Why?

        • Anonymous says:

          2:25 yess, you can’t get ahold of pact officials anymore. They seem to believe they are somebody now and want nothing to do with the people to elected them. I will give Sabrina her dues though because she had people assisting out prospect community after the storm and she herself was there.

        • Anonymous says:

          Please let me know where Alden is at so he can come help us. You always say he is hear helping but he must be invisible (has the Harry Potter cloak) or is it only his mouthpiece supporters that get help from him.

      • Anonymous says:

        This is just not true. While I was never a big fan of Alden I must say that he was very active helping out his constituency. Alden even took persons into his own home during the storm. He was in touch with his community via whatsapp messages checking on everyone and give updates. He was out there cleaning up after the storm and still doing so. Give credit where credit due.

  34. Da Real Hoax says:

    The only hoax around here is those handed titles that they did not earn or deserve !What a friggin disgrace? What a real mess this little island is in ?

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