Non-exec civil servants to get 4.5% COLA by year-end

| 13/06/2022 | 71 Comments
Premier Wayne Panton in Parliament on Friday

(CNS): Civil servants on Grade E and below on the salary scale can look forward to three special payments of $150, which they will receive this month and in July and August, to help them navigate the increasing cost of living. This precedes a 2% increase in pay that will be rolled out across the board and another 2.5% for those on Grade E and below. Premier Wayne Panton announced the pay hike on Friday in Parliament, stating it would come from the existing budget.

The premier said that this, in addition to plans to reduce almost everyone’s fuel bills with a $5 million subsidy on the fuel factor, was one of several policies that PACT had already implemented or has announced to help families fight inflation.

After “months of work”, PACT is rolling out a number of new initiatives that Panton said would help people navigate the rising cost of living that is plaguing Cayman and most countries around the world. He told MPs and the public in a statement that, in addition to a long list of measures already taken to help those in need, a broad array of new policies would help ease the worst of the impact.

“We are working very hard to contain or lower costs for the people of this country,” Panton said in the address, following the shorter statement he made Thursday in response to criticisms by the opposition leader that PACT had not done anything to address inflation. The premier denied this and listed more than a dozen targeted and broader initiatives already rolled out that have helped those in need and families in general.

On Friday he gave more details about some of the new policies that have already been announced, including the expansion of CINICO services as well as the provision of mortgages with rates fixed for two years at 3.75%, well below the prime rate, through the Cayman Islands Development Bank.

He said the government is also in talks with the other local banks to improve lending terms and was close to finalising an initiative to improve the rights of homeowners in circumstances where they experience defaults on their mortgages.

In addition to the construction of at least 100 new affordable homes through the National Housing Development Trust, government intends to make affordable land lots available for sale, he said, adding that the CIG was working with local farmers to improve food production and lower the costs as well as shoring up food security with regional trade deals.

Panton said the acceleration of renewable energy by investing public money in utility-scale infrastructure would stabilise energy costs and address threats to the supply chain as well as the environment.

The two new initiatives are the Temporary Assistance Programme for Residential Electricity Costs and a cost of living increase for civil servants, the single largest employer in the Cayman Islands.

“The PACT government has been in discussions with the main utility providers and will be setting aside more than CI$5M to help families across the three islands with the increase in electricity costs resulting from the increase in fuel costs in the months of July, August and September, the hottest months of the year and when electricity consumption is at its highest,” he said.

The assistance will be for residential customers only and capped at the consumption of up to 2000 kwh per month. “We will be finalising the details with the two utility companies and rolling out a more detailed announcement the week of June 20th. This initiative will help some 22,000 households across our three islands,” the premier told his colleagues.

He also said that civil servants will see a 2% allowance, which would come from savings within the existing approved budget. Non-executive government employees, those on Grade E or below, will also get three payments of $150 per month to help with higher utility costs over the summer. “This honorarium will commence this month and continue through August. It will only be paid to non-executive staff, on Grades E and below,” he said.

Panton pointed out that governments the world over are confronting the same dilemma of how to safely navigate an uncertain future, provide relief to its citizens and alleviate the impact of inflation, particularly on the middle class and low-income families.

“While our government has limited levers at its disposal, given the existing drivers of inflation are global factors such as supply chain constraints, war and a pandemic, the PACT Government remains committed to doing what we can,” he said.

In September, as schools reopen, the civil service will receive the 2% sustained salary increase across the board. Then in December, qualifying employees on non-executive grades will, by way of pay progression, receive one increment, which is roughly valued at 2.5% of pay. So by the end of the year, public servants will get a 4.5% pay rise plus $450 in three monthly payments.

“These times are difficult due to driving forces outside of our control,” the premier said. “Yet, working together and within the approved budget, we will all get through this.” He said it was government employees that the country would rely on “to see us through the daunting challenges which lay ahead as they are called upon to execute the government’s policies.”

Panton said that 4,400 civil servants are the bedrock of the community. “The investment in this predominantly Caymanian institution has a high multiplier effect across our economy as they anchor their wider families and are equally critical to keeping small businesses and local retailers afloat,” he said, noting that all of the increases would be funded by savings from within the existing human resources budget.

“In addition to delivering this fiscal strategy, they must also continue to ensure the government’s policy priorities are also achieved. This civil service has done this before and I am confident that they will do so again,” the premier stated. Panton said he wished the government could do even more but it was doing what it could while remaining fiscally prudent and sustainable.

“We will closely monitor the performance of our budgets to see what may be possible in future years,” he said. “The local cost of living situation has been brewing for years and the recent spike is almost entirely due to factors outside this government’s control.”

Panton continued, “The reality is there is a limit to what political and financial leaders can do about rising inflation, especially given the varying causes, but we are going to continue to do everything in our power to help lower the cost of goods and services to the people of these islands where it is possible,” the premier concluded.

See the premier’s address to Parliament on CIGTV below:


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Category: Economy, Policy, Politics

Comments (71)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It all started with after the financial crisis, Politicians came up with a scheme to boost development and revenues on the back of low inflation and free money. First set of WP to buy PR came in about 2012/2013, WP’s started to buy and got $500,000 worth of properties, that doubled in value. Many of the first wave went out and bought 3rd, 4th and 5th properties and have become wealthy and sometimes highly levered and that drove up the property prices as the successive waves saw the opportunity and bought some now on their 3rd property. By 2020 it seemed like the increase had run its course but Covid and free money came flying in from the Fed and pension and let’s kick the can and the sky is the limit for CI property market. Now, here we are, debt, debts and more debts and inflated asset prices and elevated inflation and rising cost of living. The listing on CIREBA have grown from 600 to 1150ish. I expect the listings to go up to 1300 in the next two months, 1500 by years end and the modern upscale condos selling for $700k t o $1 million will be pricing at $500,000 to $700,000 in distress with weaker balance sheets on strata’s. I think we are in for a pretty strong recession followed by a decade of high taxes in source markets as the West deleverages.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is hilarious.
    There has been a salary-freeze on the larger civil service for many years. preventing anyone from ‘earning’ more via productivity. Same freeze has eliminated their performance pay, based on annual evaluation, which can be up to 5% of annual salary as lump sum payment.
    Why not just pay the people based on their past/current performance? Pay them the money you have denied them? Pay them their cumulative performance pay you have denied them? Remove the pay-freeze and the COLA would be unnecessary.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    How “wonderful” they have decided to give the peasants 4.5% … while they were in the LA and agreed to 13 to 16% for themselves.

    Note 1. The scales A to D were lengthened to allow them to earn more in 2019.
    Note 2. The entire CS got 5% in January 2020.
    Note 3. The LA/Parliament voted and agreed to new shorter scales which now started at point 4 instead of point 1 …
    Note 4. If you were at point C2 in Dec 2020 you earned $12.084 and in Feb 2021 you moved to $13,012 but is it ok for persons to get an increase of 50 or a whopping $132 two years later??

    Do the math yourself
    ,
    2020 salary scale http://www.pocs.gov.ky/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/13040508.PDF

    2021 salary increase A to D only
    http://gazettes.gov.ky/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/13040512.PDF

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    • Anonymous says:

      For years retired civil service workers got the same COLA as the workers, why PACT changed that?

    • N says:

      You’re absolutely correct! I’ve been thinking the same!
      I am so incensed / infuriated about this unfair situation. The only logical conclusion is corruption is rife across the highest echelons of CIG.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Please please dont forget us old folks

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  5. Anonymous says:

    The vote buying begins everybody. Expats, this is what you’re taxes go towards. And yes, they are taxes.

    But you never get a say in how it’s spent. Not at all, that would offend the actual voters. All 40% of the total population and probably 50% of that.

    CIG. the biggest welfare state in the world.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Expats are guests….guests don’t get votes or a say. If they disagree? They should leave.

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    • Anonymous says:

      As an expat I don’t mind that I don’t have a say. I’m a guest worker. When I become Caymanian, I’ll be able to vote.

      I hope that I’ll have someone to vote for who won’t waste as much money as the past few governments.

      That said, I far prefer money going toward higher salaries for civil servants than handouts and stipends to pay random people’s bills without any demonstrated need.

      As much as some people love to bash on civil servants, they do need to receive across the board raises now and then. Inflation affects us all.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the extra cash. I’ll take it.

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Please don’t forget the PENSIONERS, remember they were who made the Civil Service what it is today and many, many Ex-civil servants “PENSIONERS”after 40 yrs of hard labour cannot even buy toilet paper after paying CUC. It’s a shame!! Nothing that is done for Civil Servants should not include PENSIONERS,- they are the grand parents of the Civil Service and hence should be treated as so , however they are a very hurting bunch , who neither have health, feelings in most instances children to help them. Please don’t continue to break the legs of these poor worn out work horses- they served you well !!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      I fully agree. But the current CIG is not what it was 30 yrs ago. Currently they are heartless, greedy, unethical, care only for their pocketbooks, and whatever influence they can garner. The last 10-15 yrs of ministers has been disgraceful, and they do not care – they accept they are unethical and walk away with bills in their pockets. Cayman, we reap what we sow… We need better options for elections.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    You would be surprised to know how little some people in the Civil Service is making.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    “Panton said that 4,400 civil servants are the bedrock of the community” and the rest of us just lie on it then? We all keep this island economy afloat, don’t be picking sides!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Your Island economy is sinking! You better pick sides and work aggressively to insure the right side wins and saves your rock. Don’t be naive.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Bud, the entire world economy is sinking and tiny Cayman can’t slow it down.

        The real estate bubble is bound to burst soon.

  10. Anonymous says:

    What a slap in the face for those same Caymanians who work for the private sector and still face the same struggle as everyone else and most of the time make a lot less than those in the civil service.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yup, but they don’t care.

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    • Anonymous says:

      4:32 tell that to your employer. Tell your employer to give you a 2% raise and forget your 10k bonus.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Private sector was allowed to withdraw pension…. civil was NOT. if you blew through all your money do not be jealous od $150 for civil servants. you big baby

      everyone is hurting but some are hurting more.

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      • Anonymous says:

        In case you didn’t know, in private sector we contribute to our pension via deduction from our salary, we have the right to take back some of the money that for years were deducted from our pay.

        Unlike civil service that have never contributed a dime of their own salary (neither for health insurance) and wanted to then take from a pension they never put a cent in? who is the baby?

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        • Anonymous says:

          yes we do know this karen
          does that mean civil servants dont get insanely high bills and have issues too.
          I think the main point in OP post is that if you blew threw your money thats on yoou, you got your pension. leave the civil servants to get their payout or 150

          yall looking for ways to be angry

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      • Cheese Face says:

        Civil didn’t need their pension as they all remained on full pay. Sorry, but they will need a loan to secure that zimma they can’t afford 😉

        • Anonymous says:

          I stayed on full pay too and got my pension. whats your point?

          What youre saying has nothing to do with the fact that people are struggling and its $150 for that soooooooooooooo

          • Cheese Face says:

            My point is they didn’t need their pension. If civil servants are complaining that they didn’t get access to their pensions, its most likely because they wanted to blow it on a shiny new toy. They had full pay and they are now getting assistance.

            A lot in the private sector lost 50% 0r 100% of their pay, therefore need access to additional funds.

            I’m all for everyone getting assistance when needed 😉

    • Anonymous says:

      The PPM and now PACT have ignored the regulations developed over decades to provide Caymanians with priority opportunities in their own country……started with Alden and Marco, continued with Roy and now Panton and Saunders….now the short term permit/PR fee driven budgets have resulted in total welfare state….well done you weak and greedy idiots.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    free money making solutions:
    allow sunday trading
    bring in weed tourism(to protect the fine caymanian christian ‘heritage’, only tourists and expats are allowed purchase)
    bring in casinos at top hotels (to protect the fine caymanian christian ‘heritage’. only tourists and expats are allowed)
    treble all traffic fines
    treble duty on cigarettes
    implement any recommendation of miller-shaw or e&y reports.
    sell loss making cayman airways
    sell loss making turtle farm
    sell goab
    double stamp duty for non-resident property purchasers

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Does this salary or cola for the public sector/Servants, or Government owned Companies/ only civil servants. there are a lot of hard working public servant out there that are not been paid good salaries like Civil Servants ?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Some of those stat. Authority bosses make more than you want to know….then say boy it rough…let me see if we can afford it. True dat

  13. Anonymous says:

    Where is all of these government expenditures coming from? If this is deficit spending then it is just kicking the can down the road and creating a bigger problem for the country at a later date.

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    • Anonymous says:

      3:22 read the article

      he said, noting that all of the increases would be funded by savings from within the existing human resources budget.

      SAGC’S need to find the money within their budgets.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    What will you do for the non gov pensioners on their fixed annual pension payment?!? Our health & property insurance rates are increasing 10-20% per annum

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Please give us all this money. No bosses want give raise. Say owner no want to pay more money for the job. If we don’t like can leave.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Inflation is at 20 plus percent. If the Financial industry is being replaced by Tourism we also need a replacement income for Customs import duty. Customs taxes has to be removed completely. As most things nowadays it just don’t add up.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    I’m a Caymanian that works in the private sector… my money is going towards the $150 allowance to civil servants. Aside from the $5M that is going towards everyone’s utility cost (including the civil servants that have additionally received money to pay for these cost) what other benefits am I getting to help reduce my cost of living.. i purchase the same gas, food and water that the civil servants do… however I don’t get additional funds to pay for these costs even if they will be reduced.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Who did you vote for in the last election??? Who will you vote for next time??? This is where the difference will be made. If corrupt officials are NOT re-elected, that will be a welcomed wakeup call.

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    • Anonymous says:

      private sector was able to remove pension tho… like… if you blew through all that thats on you. Civil servants did not get to do that and now youre panties in a bunch for $150???? get a GRIP

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      • Anonymous says:

        exactly!!!! ^^
        People just want want want! When the civil servants were screaming about pension withdrawls because they couldnt get any people just laughed and said… oh well!! I remember the comments VERY well. and now its effecting you and its a different story.

        Man at this rate NO ONE is gunna be happy unless the gov gives everyone 50k or some bs. and im sure even then people will have BS to say about fairness

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  18. Anonymous says:

    What about the old retired and old seamen, why they not getting the 150 dollars for 3 months Mr Panton they have bills to pay and need to eat too. Remember they work hard in their days to make this Country what it is today.

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  19. Beaumont Zodecloun says:

    Good news. I hope. This is what a good leader puts money into — their people. ALL their people.

    We might soon transition into more long-term assistance, such as low cost business loans, duty concessions for Caymanian-owned construction, etc.

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  20. Interesting that grades A,B,C, and D got 15 percent increase in January 2021 when we could not afford it but the rest of civil servants are receiving less now that we have a surplus! It is simply unfair and discriminatory and goes against the our laws and constitution regardless if you feel civil service deserves it or not.

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    • Anonymous says:

      12:03 wrong again. This is the first of a series of raises for staff below D.

      Suck it up!

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    • Anonymous says:

      I was thinking the same thing. Executive staff grade A to D got a big salary increase some time in 2021. I was told by someone in finance that some of these Executive staff got some where between $1500 to $2500 increase on their already high salary in one go. Yet everyone below grade D that ‘qualifies’ will get 4.5% by December 2022 and their taking about being prudent with spending etc but that consideration was given when hiking up grade A to D salaries even higher…..sounds interesting.

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  21. Fuzzy Maths says:

    $150 dollars $150 Dollars ?? What the Fluff $7 dollars roughly for gallon of gas my car has 12 gallon tank so that’s 1 full and 3/4 tank of gas mann these people not easy . average Member of Parliament and senior civil servant making 15- 25 K per month at 15 % pay rise they awarded themselves at 15 K = $2250 $17250 per month at 20k =$3000 $23000 at 25K =3750 $ 28750 it ain’t no way on God’s green earth this $#@% is right Wayne Panton 150 = I can of corn beef I loaf bread one gallon milk and a case of water.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    incredible….they are already over paid but I guess you got to pay to play……way to purchase votes

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  23. Anonymous says:

    I’m a civil servant, and while I’m elated for this, I stop to wonder why the funds weren’t injected to subsidize utilities for all – inclusive of Caymanians in private sector.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    CIG doesn’t seem to be paying attention to what is going on in Europe and US.

    Britain’s hospitality sector is facing “as big a crisis, if not bigger” than during the Covid pandemic, the chief executive of trade body UKHospitality, Kate Nicholls, has said.

    She warned that 10,000 pubs and restaurants could soon be out of business thanks to a “perfect storm” of inflation, with soaring energy and rental costs.

    “We’re already seeing a lot of independent operators handing in the keys and walking away” she said in Sunday.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    Government needs more revenue, here are 3 options that would raise funds MAINLY from non-residents and/or the wealthier among us:

    Stamp tax on Assigning Real Estate contracts. Currently the developments you see up and down SMB and elsewhere are comprised of yet-to-be-built ‘units’. Yet hundreds of them will already been sold and re-sold, often multiple times. government does NOT collect stamp tax on these sales. It’s insane that Government misses this opportunity.

    The 2nd/3rd home ownership annual fee. This is completely normal all over the world, it should be brought in here. If you own multiple properties, you can afford annual fees on them.

    A 3rd option is to increase Stamp tax on on any property higher than 3 floors. Why not? They’re blighting our country, let them pay for the privilege of sitting up above us all. You could stagger it, the Penthouse pays 15% and all the way down to standard rates for 3rd floor and lower. Again, if you’re buying high floor units, you can afford this.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Tax recreational cannabis and charge licenses to grow as we do with alcohol sales and imports.

      We already medically prescribe cannabis, and you can’t overdose on it.

      We do not prescribe alcohol, and you can overdose on it.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed, but the incredible ‘moral’ Caymanians will not abide to logic and current reality.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The assignment thing is a blight. The realtors themselves are doing this as well in blatant conflicts of interest.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Don’t worry about the less fortunate Wayne, the non-profits funded by the private sector will continue to keep them alive.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    This is after the LA “honorables” self-dealt themselves each a 15% bump, district office reno budgets, and 2 fully-paid admin staff. Let’s compare apples to apples on additive total LA comp burden, versus <grade E COLA and print those numbers for voters to reflect on.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly! Alot of talk about this 4.5% cola/salary increase yet grade A – D / MPs got 15% increase in 2021. Now they have to be ‘smart’ about spending moving forward so all everyone else geta is 4.5%🤔

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  28. Anonymous says:

    The trough is open, dive right in.

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    • McBeater Jr. says:

      Munch, munch, yum, yum, yum… chrunch, munch, all is good at the Cayman Trough. All are welcomed, all paid for, your ballots will be collected at the door, thank you for coming. Drinks ava on the way out – cameras rolling as before with me!

  29. Anonymous says:

    This is OUR money, not THEIR money. 23,000+ reg’d voters, only 4000-odd Caymanian Civil Servants included in that number. Certainly not a group that comprises the majority of voters. PACT need to answer to the other 80% of the voter base when they start directing our money impulsively to special interest. This is precisely the UDP/PPM vote-buying and self-dealing PACT were supposed to stand against. Gov’t breaks and subsidy, must be carefully metered out in a logical, affordable, and fair way, and across the full resident population. Not knowing or caring who he reports to is a big strike against Panton.

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  30. Anonymous says:

    tax and spend…its the do-nothing-no-plan-pact way.

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