DP: Safety net needed to improve national happiness

| 05/08/2022 | 188 Comments
Cayman News Service
Deputy Premier Chris Saunders at the 2021 Census of Population and Housing Report press briefing

(CNS): The Cayman Islands needs to invest in a social safety net and policies to improve its “gross national happiness”, Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Chris Saunders has said. Of the six metrics that drive a county’s happiness levels used by the United Nations for its World Happiness Report, the one that counts most is social support, “someone to count on in case of an emergency”, he said at a recent press briefing. But he estimated that 95% of families are “just one medical emergency away from bankruptcy”.

During the press briefing to launch the 2021 Population and Housing Census Report last week, Saunders said it was not a positive thing for even the nicest country if people worry as they lie in bed at night about their health and how they would feed their family if something happened to them.

“So the question is, how do we put the social support in place?” he said, noting that the data from the census had given the government the type of metrics it needs to work on new initiatives. The minister pointed out that the infrastructure needed to support Cayman’s growing population was only part of the picture.

The mental health and social well-being of its people were more important, but these have been historically neglected, he said, which means that people are not equipped to help themselves and, in turn, benefit from the country’s economic success.

“It is the social and mental and well-being that we have for a long time basically abandoned and not focused on,” he said, adding that government plans to look at the overall health of all civil servants in partnership with CINICO.

“We are looking at launching a programme right now where… we want to do an executive medical check on just about every single public servant,” the minister revealed. “Is it going to cost us a lot of money? Yes, it will. But… when you look at where we spend money on healthcare, 80% of it is on emergencies.”

Saunders added that it was important to help people be healthier and get regular checks before they get really sick, pre-empting those potentially serious health problems, which will save the government money in the long run.

See the country rankings in the UN World Happiness Report.

See the full press briefing on CIGTV below:


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Category: Policy, Politics

Comments (188)

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  1. Jerumme says:

    Happy?
    A NATIONAL VOTE for leaders.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Does this mean no more free turkey or ham dinners in exchange for votes?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Looks like they don’t want you to rely on yourself but rely on the government.

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  4. Tom McCallum says:

    Gross National Happiness is an area I’ve studied a lot, including with leaders in this space.

    It will mean a decoupling from the constant race for more and more economic growth, something that very clearly serves only some in Cayman.

    As to social and medical care it is important we recognise the need now for a formal welfare state to serve those who need it. The current system has developed ad hoc.

    As for a bold idea, let us move to universal health care like the NHS. How to fund it ? The U.K. call is National Insurance, a deduction from pay checks to fund healthcare for all. Against that people would stop paying deductions for private insurance. Oh, and this would cover medical emergencies.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Mr Deputy Premier and ALL MPs stop inflating an already over inflated salary that you all get would really make some, if not all, of us happier.

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  6. Unhappy Caymanian says:

    I thought Caymanians found happiness by selling their souls for the love of the greenback.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That’s the non-Caymanians that come to the Cayman Islands with 💲 in their eyes.

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    • Anonymous says:

      No. It’s non Caymanians selling their soul and other things for the love of the greenback. No map, get lost!

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  7. Anonymous says:

    The entitled scrounger vote is a key demographic.

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  8. anonymous says:

    This guy is blowing a lot of hot air! All this talk of happiness is a smokescreen for the fact that this government is accomplishing nothing. All they do is squabble and scheme about a coup. Seeing him dance around at all the Jamaican celebrations while people are facing hardships and stressed about their future makes me sick. Hear him on the radio this morning with his newest excuse ‘we will only make changes that are for the long term benefit of this country” which translates to we will continue to do nothing because they take time. The dump, the national development plan, education, and the list goes on. The people of this country are screwed!

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    • Anonymous says:

      1:11pm, I have to agree. We the people will be no better off. When I saw him and Kenneth on that stage, dancing up a storm like they were at some session, all I could do was shake my head. BUYERS remorse.

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      • Anonymous says:

        We’ll be really happy with at least 15,000 less of those who call themselves “Yardies”

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  9. Anonymous says:

    “Safely Net” needed? But we can’t even fish any more.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    This government’s socialistic mentality is getting really scary!

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  11. Anonymous says:

    As Caymanians we can’t expect to find happiness if we haven’t first found our confidence as a people. I call BS. Fake news.

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  12. Anon says:

    Chris,
    Did you ever consider persons employed in the private sector? Or do you only care about civil servants? Do I have to remind you that most persons employed in the private sector have to pay a portion of their insurance and most times the insurance companies do not cover what they claim they will? Its nice to be a civil servant and have Cinico where you don’t have to worry about paying for one single thing. Oh and let me remind you also that if you can’t get the help you need at HSA you can always get a referral.

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  13. Chet Oswald Ebanks says:

    I just watched a video of our so calles Premier and DP and others dancing to Jamaica 60th Inpendence Day celebration. We have a Government who says its for its people heck no. Caymanians the time is right now to start to protest and I mean lets get a big protest going. We need to bring down this so calles PACT Government. We the voters have had enough of your lies and promises. I say We start by protesting at every Government building, where there is a Government office. Lets algo start to protest at the airports, port in GT, police stations in every distrit and islands anywhere Government has offices. Enough is enough, Cayman is no longer for Caymanians. Lets come together and protest at all the hotels, restaurants, bars. How much longer can we tolerate this so called PACT Government. It’s time to bring them down. While you all 19 MP’s live off of your over inflated salaries. Your Caymanians are going to bed hungry, homeless and nothing is being done to protest us. I say enough is enough. We have to bring down this Government.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Vote differently in 2025, when the next election is expected to be, but peaceful protesting is the most that you can do right now.

      Make sure not to cross the line, which, if done, could be viewed as something above protesting or exercising freedom expression.

      If you’re aware of something that might “bring down” this government, then keep a copy and provide news media with it.

      Just don’t do anything violent, which can happen when large numbers of all people protest get carried away.

      Remember East End post-election got a bit carried away. Thankfully it was not any worse.

      All that being said, I understand where your coming from and really agree that this PACT Government needs to go, but PPM was worse.

      So it’s up the brave and intelligent men and women to stand for election to get the Government out democratically (and non-violently).

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    • Anonymous says:

      And replace it with what? This is the replacement of the previous gang of thieves……..

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    • Anonymous says:

      And replace it with what? The only way this place could turn around now would be via UK rule, and that ain’t gonna happen.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The very fact that they celebrate that day here tells much about how much they care about the island and its destiny as an independent entity.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Hospital is now Kingston General quality.
      Police too

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    • Anonymous says:

      They were only dancing to secure more votes. Pretty sure they know they’re not favored by the Jamaicans or people of Jamaican descent. Remember these PACT guys ran on “Caymanians First” now they want to trick everyone by pretending to be inclusive.

      They should not have been invited to the Jamaica 60th to begin with.

      The only people coming first is PACT and PACT associates.

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      • Anonymous says:

        1.48pm You are so wrong. Jamaicans with Status put MacKeeva, Jay, Kenneth, Chris and John John in. They were the ones they were running around signing up to vote.

        • Anonymous says:

          …they’ll have to put Wayne Panton & Heather Bodde in also. “Big-Up Savannah-Newlands!”

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  14. Hancock says:

    I agree with the executive medical check. Many of these civil servants will then be sent to the gym to lose weight and get into shape. This will reduce considerably the time they take to get to the counters at the post office or customs. If sufficiently successful we can lay off the surplus fat. So,to speak. The medical check should include ears because of deafness on the phone but more importantly it should include brain scans for all and starting at the top. Perhaps counting exercises could be incorporated.
    In conclusion I am ecstatic about this and it should culminate into a new Minster of Happiness rather like the Minister of Silly Walks in England.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Simple test: impose a Single passport/nationality law.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Can we just save some money and settle on a national comfortable safety net? Some people will never be happy, regardless of how much you do for them they still want more.

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    • Anon says:

      Very old saying “you cant buy happiness”
      Cayman still cannot understand that…probably never wiil

  17. Anonymous says:

    Chris.

    Most Caymanians are not going to like what I have to say, however, I think it is time to call it as it is, like me or hate me, it doesn’t matter to me. Chris, I feel for you if you believe you can make us Caymanians happy. I am 57 years old now and from the time I could remember, we Caymanians weren’t happy if we didn’t have something to complain or someone to gossip about. It is inherent in our nature. It doesn’t matter if we are young or old, rich or poor.

    When I was growing up the things that made us happy are no longer. We didn’t need money, fancy cars, big houses or the best clothes. We all got along and like most families and I mean that in a broad sense, we complained and gossiped about people just like we do today..What changed? Well, not the gossiping and complaining. In fact, that has compounded and there is not a politician in the world that can cure it. The difference now is the entitlement stance of the majority of our people. We are now a land of broken homes, single parent families, uneducated children and adults for that matter, who see a world of wealth all around them and feel that they should all have a part of it but don’t feel like they should have to strike a lick to work for their piece of the pie..

    False promises of politicians over the years, fueled this predicament we are in now. Vote for me and I will make sure that I take care of you. Politics is a world of promises and promises are a comfort to a fool. Even those politicians with good intentions fell prey to the trappings of the office, the power and the money as seen recently in our last election where for the first time in our history, a government that didn’t want to relinquish its power, chose to call a snap election instead. Luckily for us the power of the people intervened and democracy prevailed.

    Many of our people, thought that selling their land and homes to the highest bidder, usually a foreign person or entity, would make them rich. In fact, just the opposite happened, they became poorer and why? When you sell your land at a high price what happens? It pushes the prices of all the homes and land around it to higher prices based of the previous sale. Good for your neighbor and everyone around you, right? Well, yes and no. What has happened is that the average person in your neighborhood can now sell his at a higher price too but guess what now the average Caymanian comes along and if he doesn’t have the cash, he is out bid by another foreign entity or person and slowly the entire neighborhood becomes to expensive for the average person to live in..

    Now let’s go back to the few Caymanians that took the big sums of money for their land/homes. Did they reinvest it and buy more land, homes etc? No they decided to rent a place, buy an expensive car and live like there was no tomorrow. No financial planning leads to no success. Soon they were poor as a church mouse, complaining that foreigners were coming in and taking everything they had and turning to NAU to support them…This scenario has not happened in just one neighborhood but all over Cayman.

    In my humble opinion, what Cayman needs is a complete reset of its educational system and a new focus on the success of its citizens. The old saying of teaching a man to fish rather than giving him a fish comes to mind.

    We are graduating hundreds of children every year that can barely read and write, have no social skills, no ambition to reach or even strive for success. This is a combination of the entitlement nature of the family and the poor educational system that does not focus on the holistic upbringing and success of these children.

    In a country that depends on two pillars of the economy for its success, how many of our people are involved or entrenched in these money making industries? The percentage is small and appalling. Why are we not gearing at least a portion of our education system towards these industries? Is it because we have been told by our parents that these jobs are beneath us? Is it because we are told that these jobs don’t pay well? These are all myths. Has anyone every wondered why someone can come here as a server in a hotel and less than ten years later has their own home and on there way to owning their own business? They worked hard, gave good service to their employers and our visitors, were disciplined and saved their money and are now reaping the benefits that we could have. It is not rocket science.

    Government here should not be in the business of education. They have failed year after year and there is no clear path for this to turnaaround. Instead of Government being involved and with no focus on success of the education system, in my opinion, Government should put this out to tender to the private sector and impose certain restrictions, ie curriculum, low teacher to student ratio, latest technology, focus on financial planning, family planning, social skills, high student success rates and scores so that they are able to attend university or be prepared for their career of choice. The present system of providing babysitting and a wild wild west environment for our kids is completely useless and continues to deprive Caymanians of the ability to succeed in their own country.

    I look at the success of the private schools such as the Cayman International School, it makes me realize that if our Caymanians were given the opportunity to learn and grow in this type of environment how successful we could be. When we segregated our schools and forced Caymanians to send their children to overcrowded ill equipped schools with no chance of interacting with the more than 100 different nationalities that live here, we bred and continue to breed an environment of dissension and disparity. The few Caymanians that can actually afford to send their children to these types of school can feel almost 100% sure that they will graduate with high scores, get a university scholarship and degree and simply be successful in life..while in the public school system that percentage is minuscule.

    Okay, lets come back to happiness of our people, it has to be a complete if not significant change in our peoples minds that we cannot depend on Government for everything from providing housing to feeding us. Yes, there will always be a role for government to play but it should not be the majority of the people dependent on the government. Parents need to play a greater role in the upbringing of their children, teach them simple social skills like saying good morning, thank you, shaking someone’s hand, let them know that they need to work for a living and that they not only need to show up on time but that they must show interest and put in the work, lead by example and find ways of reinventing yourselves so that you can be good role models for your children.

    Empower, support and yes chastise where necessary your government. Government needs to focus more on the next generation and not the next election, maybe it’s is time to set term limits so that we have fresh blood after every couple of terms so that no politician gets comfortable and makes it a career. It needs to focus not only changing the education system, but getting out of the business altogether and leaving it to private companies who are knowledgeable and can be replaced if they don’t meet the goals set out in their contracts. Get away from the social welfare systems and wean the people of the entitlement and hand out mentality. It won’t be easy but many of these people that live off the Government (us) don’t even bother working. If you want to get free stuff from the government you need to work for it as long as you are able even if it means the most menial of jobs. no more lining up at NAU when you are fit enough to work..Nothing in life is free and hard work never hurt anyone. In fact, it gives you a sense of pride. Many of these people don’t realize how much happier and contented they would be if they were working and for that matter working their way up the ladder and being role models for their children. This is the pathway to making people happy.

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    • Anonymous says:

      3:35 you are absolutely correct!

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    • D. Truth says:

      This article is the best, most accurate article I have ever read concerning the Cayman Islands ! If I had the power to do so, I would make the writer the leader of everything in the Cayman Islands for the next ten years!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for your honesty and absolutely accurate assessment of the situation. If I knew who you were I’d buy you a drink and shake you by the hand.

      There needs to more honesty in Cayman. More honest recognition of the problems that face the county, more honesty from our leaders in how this will be fixed (hard work and not empty promises) and more honesty from the population when deciding what we have to do to get there.

      We can make Cayman better, we just have to be honest about what it takes to get there.

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    • Anonymous says:

      OK, until you stated that “Gov’t should not be in the business of better education”! How sad. I believe this is the FIRST mandate for any Gov’t.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Big government does a terrible job of education. Local school boards controlled by parents and interested voters do better up to a point. Charter schools in the US are private but taxpayer supported. They do better than the huge city school systems that they replaced.

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      • Anonymous says:

        @8:11pm..I think you should go back and read what was said..

        “Government here should not be in the business of education.”

        Truer words have never been spoken..He/she did not say what you just wrote which was “Gov’t should not be in the business of better education”

        Doing something the same way year after year and expecting better results is the definition of insanity and in this case…failure of our children and by extension our adults and our future.

        There is nothing wrong with admitting failure. We all learn by mistakes. Let’s face it, Education is key to getting Caymanians happy and in their right places in society. The current education system has failed us and will continue to do so. Until there is a Government with balls enough to say that a new direction has to be taken it will continue to be a filing system.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Anonymous 6 @ 3:35pm – Agree except for totally privatising education. There are two (of a few perhaps) fundamentals of society which any “government” (city, island, state, country) should provide and prioritise; these being education and health care. In my humble opinion, education should be the primary because a well educated society will naturally tend to lead itself to all the others.

      We clearly have failed in that regard in the past half century, having never reached any “pinnacles” primarily because of our own relatively young society and young education system. By the late 1980s/mid 90s the curricula and exam system had been watered down just to get passes. Even with that practise over decades, kids are still “ejected” without being academically functional.

      The “zenith” of Cayman’s education system (if it could be called that) was perhaps experienced in the relatively short 4 decades from the fifties to the eighties…exactly when we were referred to as the Islands That Time Forgot. Take that into perspective for a bit. Generally, we were better educated in the mid 20th Century! Not ignoring stalwarts like Teacher Hill and his contemporaries from the 1920s who taught the educators of the aforementioned “zenith” period.

      ..And the churchs’ influence in early education and current forceful presence in two of our best private schools cannot be overlooked.

      However, the various political education balls have been dropped, rolled off the court and left the building. It will take a very well managed education system to get right ball back on the court. We haven’t had that in decades but it’s our Government’s duty to give us a good system.

      More support for teachers, accountability & good results in the education department’s administration and the schools and accountability at the polls!! We can’t keep electing a majority of people who aren’t educated enough to put improved education standards first!!

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  18. Anonymous says:

    They all complained about PPM policies but so far they haven’t changed anything. They haven’t yet stumbled on the means and ways to fix it. You all still bad mouthing PPM but they were miles ahead of this bunch and with the exception of one or two PPMers looked healthier and Happier!! DP needs to go to the gym himself, he has excess pounds on.

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    • Anonymous says:

      @2:24pm Fat shaming is not the way to make someone happy neither is blaming PPM, PACT,UDP or any government for your happiness for that matter.

      Happiness comes from within. there is no government in the world that makes people, happy. There are always those that will disagree.

      Our people need to understand that we need to take stock of our own lives and stop depending on handouts from Government after Government to supposedly make us happy. I get so sick and tired of hearing what can Government do for me or they are not giving me enough..As long as you are able and willing to work do so. Take some pride in yourself and stop looking to others or to Government to find your happiness.

  19. Medatis says:

    Sort out the drunks and addicts, that will deal with a lot of the problem. The convicted criminals can be left hungry, they chose their immoral path. That would free up plenty of cash for the very very few who need it.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    National Happiness?! That would be if the Civil Service delivered value for money in its services and performance!

    No more excuses from the Cheshire Franz; real accountability; stop wastage of public funds; deliver real work from 8:30am to 5:00pm (working late is too much to expect from the CS); answers phones/emails and return calls/emails; stop paying persons on “required leave” for years; shame and fire where required!

    I believe a large portion of the population would be happy with such changes.

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  21. Nobegger says:

    Does the Minister know that there are pensioners whose pension is less than $500 CI a month? Does the minister care that most of them are retired civil servants who are ashamed to beg? Don’t worry be happy!

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    • Anonymous says:

      My pension is $0 per month. My husband also. I had contributed into the pension but the fees were so high and the rates of return were so terrible that it was all gone in a couple of years. My husbands pension lasted 3.5 years and now his is gone too.
      We are living off what little savings we had but when that is gone…we will have no income at all. With inflation like it is, I am truly scared for what the future holds.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Sounds like BritCay (now registered as, Coralisle/(Massy Insurance). When I requested my 2006 Pension Statement my pension value was literally pittance; just enough to buy groceries & settle a mortgage payment for a month. BritCay had been making deductions on my vested dormant pension account balance, after I changed jobs. Almost 6yrs if deductions that left me with near nothing.

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    • Anonymous says:

      He knows, he just prefers to bring forward feel good nonsense ideas

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    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps the DP could explain why the DG has not been fired for continuing to pay Civil Servants (including foreign Civil Servants) for extended periods after they are determined to be criminals. THEY ARE NOT ACTING IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CAYMANIAN PEOPLE!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Same resson no ome was prosecuted for cheating stipend program….the thieves are relatives

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      • Anonymous says:

        DP can’t fire the DG. Only the Governor can do that..

        • Anonymous says:

          The elected politicians should be raising a stink about the waste, corruption and ineptitude inherent in key aspects of our civil service. The Governor won’t do shit without the support of our elected representatives.

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    • And says:

      As most do not have housing costs or dependants, and has a lifetime of work to save, what is your point?

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  22. Anonymous says:

    The UN Happiness Report. What a crock and waste of money written by and bunch of do as I say globalist. . How about people taking personal responsibility for their lives and not count on the womb to the tomb mentality of the CIG.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Alex Jones! Pizzagate! False Flags! Frogs!

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    • Anonymous says:

      He need to shut up. During his previous four years as an elected representative I could not get in touch with him while I was going through some serious issues in my family. He wouldn’t return phone calls nor did he come by to offer any kind of assistance. As my grandfather used to say , since mouth learn to talk it will say anything.

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      • Anon says:

        You are not alone. I had the same issue with him and so have many others.
        All I can say is hope these four yeàrs go by fast and hope he saves some of his salary as a “safety net”.
        Because Chris is all talk and not a man of his word. We would be much happier if he wasn’t an MP and our DP.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly. The PACT instead of coming up with smart ideas they are turning Cayman into a welfare state. I realise that some persons are really having a hard time but most of their Quick fixes are hardly well thought out. Teach a person to fish !

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    • Anonymous says:

      I would just ask you: How’s that working out?

  23. Diss Pair says:

    The safety net is “you vote for me” and I will give you what you want.

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    • Anonymous says:

      More accurately..”I will tell you what you want to hear to keep my overpaid seat”.

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      • Anonymous says:

        He and the entire bunch with him are the most careless and hateful elected persons you can find anywhere. The are wallowing in their deep gravy dishes and at the same time will watch others starve to death. I don’t expect them to give me their salaries but if they think that a particular person didn’t vote for them they will do everything in their power to stomp on you. Cannot wait for the next election!

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        • Anonymous says:

          @2:05pm..you hit the nail on the head..but I see it a little differently..Everybody needs to eat but the problem didn’t start with this government and probably not with the last one either.

          Most Caymanians now believe that the government needs to provide for them and the amount of handouts is how we measure the success of each Government. This is so wrong on all fronts! We need to stop this entitlement environment that seems to continue to blossom.

          Many Caymanians now don’t care if they get a good education or job. They are more concerned about how little they can work or do and how much the Government will top them up. It sickens me to see people who I know can work, can up skill themselves, can teach their children from a young age the value of getting a good education and preparing themselves financially for the future. Most don’t even plan financially for their future or tomorrow for that matter. Many complain about not earning enough money to pay bills but some of these same ones you see out every weekend at the bars dressed to the nineties and running up expensive bar bills or on facebook posting about their shopping trip to Miami. No priorities whatsoever.

          When are we going to focus on bettering ourselves more so than blaming each Government for our shortcomings and failures that only us can change. Government should be setting policy not telling people how to live their lives or supporting them financially except in those situations where it is absolutely necessary. This should not be the norm but the exception.

          Caymanians, lets pull up our bootstraps and start a wave of change in this country. Over half of this country is populated by expats who come here to work because we refuse to take our place at the table and believe that many of these jobs are beneath us. We cannot blame the government for approving permits for these jobs if we are not prepared to take them. Stop complaining about how much pay you are getting and be grateful that you are getting paid. Most people start at the bottom, not at the top of the food chain, get your feet wet and work for success and yes that means showing up on time and having a good attitude.

          Let’s stop sucking off the Government tit and start taking control of ourselves and have a talk with our inner self about we each can do either individually or as a group to better ourselves. I am tired of hearing that in this economy people can’t find work..There are plenty of jobs out there. Get the right attitude, education, up skill yourselves, take advantage of a financial course given by the government or ask a friend in the business for help. Teach your children that nothing is free and that they need to work for everything they get. Teach them manners, teach them the social skills they need for success or ask someone to help you if you were never taught those skills.

          We need a complete wave change Cayman. Until then, we will never be happy..just frustrated and disillusioned and continuing to elect people based on what freeness they can give us..

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Is this some kind of sick joke?! Do you really believe that using public funds to pay for Civil Servants’ executive medicals will create a sense of national happiness? Civil Servants are paid well and can afford executive medical checkups. Examples of the most obese and unhealthy in our society are right there with you in PACT; from the top to the bottom and in between. You have all the examples of the unhealthy and/or glutinous right there around you, Chris. In fact I was pleased to see one in particular displaying himself very happily during our local gay parade. Maybe you can start with having a quiet word with him and a few others. Then see about changing the diet selections to more healthy ones during Cabinet meetings and other government gatherings.

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    • Anonymous says:

      So true. It seems like nowadays no Government Board can meet without having a gorge of food to feast on. And on occasions two doses depending on how long they drag out the meetings.

      Boards in the private sector hold their meetings in a minimum amount of time making much bigger decisions that the Government ones will ever do. Bot no, our Government Boards have to get into the micro management of things and personalities rather than letting Management manage and holding them responsible.

      And the band plays on!

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    • Anonymous says:

      He need to shut up. During his previous four years as an elected representative I could not get in touch with him while I was going through some serious issues in my family. He wouldn’t return phone calls nor did he come by to offer any kind of assistance. As my grandfather used to say , since mouth learn to talk it will say anything.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    Make us happy by properly revamping CiNICO to be a properly functioning national insurance! One that allows us our choice of doctor and health care facility, and having reasonable payment rates as opposed to the overinflated rates being charged by private companies.That, Chris, will make us happy and more secure.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Amen to your comment anonymous @7:28. He seems ro think that all of us are swallowing his rubbish. He is such an idiot. Bad part about it he thinks he being smart..

      22
    • Mumbichi says:

      Agree. I think this is the single most pressing “safety net” we are facing. When everyone has the same insurance as CIG employees, then we stand a fighting chance of surviving and….. perhaps….. being happy.

      19
  26. Truth says:

    No one who is living on welfare can be happy. They have given up responsibility for their lives to the Government they voted for and now must live off handouts or perish as they can no longer work for themselves. Expats are free here. Welfare Caymanians are the true slaves. Making them work for a living like an expat would make their lives better but then what would their Masters do for a living? Only an act of God can fix this.

    29
    8
  27. Anonymous says:

    Looks like spending our money and mortgaging our future is what makes Chris happy 😊

    38
    2
  28. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps stop the rampant destruction of the island? That’d cheer me up. We’re a Caribbean island not Miami or Dubai.

    55
    2
    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t worry. The way crime, driving, drugs and uneducated youth are going we are well on our way to becoming just another Caribbean Island. Not something to aspire to.

      38
      3
      • Anonymous says:

        Rather than going through the trouble of becoming another Caribbean Island we are just importing one.

        18
        1
    • Anonymous says:

      6.13am Nor Jamaica

      10
  29. Sustainable Cayman says:

    Another key element is how environmental quality affects our happiness. The importance of the natural environment for Caymanian’s was confirmed in the 2021 Environmental Survey https://worldhappiness.report/ed/2020/how-environmental-quality-affects-our-happiness/

    20
    2
  30. Anonymous says:

    What is the government trying to achieve? Throw away money just because there is a surplus? So you have a civil service employee who weighs 300 pounds, morbidly obese and have multiple chronic health issues. Lets say the Doctors says the patient needs to go on a strict diet and exercise 5 times a week. What protocols will the government implement to ensure they are getting value for money? Will reward the employee financially for loosing the weight or will you punish them for not loosing the weight? DP you realize the poorer people of this country cannot afford fresh fruits or the leaner meats? Most of us can only afford can foods and fast foods. Therefore, creating more fat people with chronic health issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes. As a proactive government, you should encourage lower duties on imports, national lottery, a proper transport to minimize vehicles and less asphalt on island, lower stamp duty for Caymanians no matter if it’s first or second property. Just a couple of ideas that would benefit all instead of the selective few and to avoid this scheme that is to go nowhere.

    39
    2
  31. Anonymous says:

    Free turtle meat on Friday’s for Caymanians.

    23
    21
  32. Frustrated Caymanian says:

    If Saunders wants to improve my happiness he will remove stamp duties for Caymanians as he said he would do on the ReSharper hour.

    48
    3
  33. Anonymous says:

    CNS: the main thing the top 10 have in common is they are frozen wastelands inhabited by blond people. I think it’s their wintertime course of antidepressants that keeps them happy.

    8
    30
  34. Anonymous says:

    His resignation would go a long way…

    78
    13
    • Anonymous says:

      Proven Bank (Cayman) & McKeeva/(or DART Enterprise) will have to secure employment for him. So, looking forward to him being ousted on next General Election, along with his pal, Dwayne “John-John” Seymour.

      17
  35. Anonymous says:

    All Civil Servants have CINICO; why not add a wellness benefit to their CINICO coverage and send the civil servants to HSA for an executive check? It sounds like the Gov intends to schedule $1200 exec checks at Health City for each Civil servant…

    You can also look online for FREE wellness webinars and courses on Udemy, coursera, etc and make it mandatory for civil servants to sit the courses to learn about mental and physical wellness – they can do it right at their desks and the confirmation of completion can be emailed to their managers.

    There are also many local dieticians, personal trainers, doctors etc who would gladly share their expertise at workshops which the Government could host…

    This quest for social happiness does not have to bankrupt the country – nothing stresses residents of a country more than a Government with no budget left to maintain infrastructure, pay staff, service vital public departments, maintain its welfare commitments and provide educational advancements because it squandered money when it should have been investing in areas where returns could be realized or saving for emergencies.

    I appreciate this Government’s efforts and their concern for the people – but we must stay focused on the fact that the world economy and environment is shifting and our Gov has to keep a fat cushion in case of disasters, wars, sanctions and other force majeure that can strike without warning….

    I am happy and proud of many of PACT’s initiatives but I am also becoming gravely concerned about some of the areas it is throwing away money (often in the millions) – for example the failed seaweed pumping that any blind man could see was not going to work!

    55
    3
    • Anonymous says:

      You are assuming that they are throwing the money away because they are careless or incompetent. Have you considered it might be more to do with who receives the money than what it is spent on, or how it could be spent more effectively. Like you, I would feel far more reassured if the supplier of these “executive” healthcare checks was the non profit making HSA rather than a private provider – but what makes me suspect its the latter.

      36
      2
    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanians don’t really want to be happy. Doesn’t feel natural. Look at the comments on this site.

      30
      23
    • Anonymous says:

      So the government is going to pay for executive health checks for civil servants ( who get free health insurance), while some seniors are paying $4000.00 a month for health insurance and other seniors can’t afford it at all. That’s just obscene.

      33
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    • Anonymous says:

      This “wellness” thing is just a scam. Just like all “wellness” initiatives. Eat veggies, lower your cholesterol is a scam. Clean your environment first.

      14
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    • Anonymous says:

      Well said, I couldn’t agree more

    • Just curious says:

      Just curious. What are the ‘many pact initiatives’ that you are proud of? What have they done other than the meals for all students?

      I don’t see any.
      Jay smartly continued the PPMs road works etc. Wayne stopped the waste to energy plant and the development plan that was underway. And he admits he will get neither done by the next election. No leadership.
      Kenneth is just Kenneth. All talk and a show.
      The rest are all over the place. Including Chris.

      Anyway, looking forward to hearing what initiatives they have underway that make us proud. Thanks

  36. Anonymous says:

    4 day work week.

    42
    10
    • Anon says:

      I honestly would prefer 4x 10 day days than 5x 8 hour days. It would be so nice to have an extra day to do groceries or other errands and then have the weekend to enjoy and relax. Instead of having to run around on Saturday and then spend all Sunday boozing on the beach.

      46
      7
      • Anonymous says:

        Me too, even though I don’t booze on the beach or get brunched more than a couple of times a year.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, might as well make it official – lols. Are we sure it’s 4 honest days work?

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve never seen anyone here work five days straight. They should already be happy.

      4
      2
  37. Anonymous says:

    15% income tax on all foreign workers making more than 40k per annum!

    18
    75
    • Anonymous says:

      Why would it be fair on just foreign workers? Any tax should be more on caymanians as they use the public services the tax revenue pays for.

      57
      21
      • Anonymous says:

        You mean like native Americans?

        8
        3
      • Anonymous says:

        A 15% tax on foreign workers because, the vast majority of foreign workers are pumping HUNDREDS of MILLIONS OUT of Cayman’s Economy annually by sending 40-60% of their salaries back to home countries on a continuous basis effectively keeping the growth of our economy at a slower pace.

        5
        11
    • Wewantitnow says:

      What to we want? Foreigners to pay for our stuff. When do we want it? Now, we are very entitled.

      46
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      • Anonymous says:

        And I’d like it to be a law that a Caymanian is chosen by lottery to be made partner at a law firm regardless of education and aptitude for no reason other than entitlement and shits and giggles.

        17
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    • Anonymous says:

      There wouldn’t be many foreign workers at that rate. Even 5% and this place clears out permanently. They are already paying 20+% consumption duty plus various inefficiency and quality taxes. Margins are tighter than you think.

      42
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      • Anonymous says:

        I call BS on that, the threat of mass exodus has never materialised

        14
        28
        • Anonymous says:

          If Cayman imposes new significant business costs, we’ll pull the trigger ourselves. There are endless daily examples all around the world. Eg. Headline business news for over a year that major US companies and entire production factories are decamping from California to Texas for that very reason. That’s happening despite the asinine legislative decisions also happening in that destination state.

          14
          1
    • Anonymous says:

      LOL

    • Anonymous says:

      Because despite the glaring lack of intelligence in the ‘parliament’, none of them are that daft as to introduce an income tax. The place would be empty in a month.

      15
    • Anonymous says:

      That is already in place dumb-dumb. It’s the work permit fees structure that is basically a payroll tax that employers have to pay for high-earning expats.

      13
      4
    • Anonymous says:

      You want to give these idiots another source of income to increase and expand as they wish? Last time that was suggested they gave away forever financial service opportunities. Thanks Mac Aldart Roy

      3
      1
  38. Anonymous says:

    This is the most ignorant proposal I have ever seen! Another stupid idea to spend from the public purse, that money that should go to the poor, not top tier civil servants who already receive overstuffed paychecks. Yes? I said poor people! We have poor people and children who are starving, people who don’t know if they will have a roof over their heads tomorrow. These are not lazy people but people who are genuinely struggling in these islands with the astronomically high cost of living. I expected better of Chris Saunders but very glad that he has clearly showing that he is not fit to become the Premier, as I understand he so desires.

    65
  39. Anonymous says:

    Turtles All The Way Down

    13
    3
  40. Anonymous says:

    Legalize weed.
    That will make me happy and put a smile on the dial:-)

    35
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    • Anonymous says:

      It will also provide the government with more revenue to fund these social programmes!

      27
      7
    • Anonymous says:

      There’s a gateway in our minds
      That leads somewhere out there, far beyond this plane
      Where reptile aliens made of light
      Cut you open and pull out all your pain
      Tell me how you make illegal
      Something that we all make in our brain
      Some say you might go crazy
      But then again, it might make you go sane
      Every time I take a look
      Inside that old and fabled book
      I’m blinded and reminded of
      The pain caused by some old man in the sky
      Marijuana, LSD
      Psilocybin, and DMT
      They all changed the way I see
      But love’s the only thing that ever saved my life
      So don’t waste your mind on nursery rhymes
      Or fairy tales of blood and wine
      It’s turtles all the way down the line
      So to each their own ’til we go home
      To other realms our souls must roam
      To and through the myth that we all call space and time

      8
      4
    • Anonymous says:

      Any Expat VS Caymanian issues to be resolved very quickly through music and smiles.

      5
      1
  41. Anonymous says:

    They aren’t even trying to hide it. They dont care at all anout the future of caymanians….just buying enough votes with welfare gifts for next election. Kind of sad in the last dozen years PPM and PACT have destroyed for selfish gain the national system that sincerely caring and intelligent Caymanians built over decades.

    49
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  42. Anonymous says:

    DP – there is a safety net. It is called the Caymanian Protection Law. Just enforce that and almost all would be remedied!

    37
    2
    • Anonymous says:

      Yes while they’re in the looking back to fix mistakes mood (e.g. reinstating the Emancipation public holiday) why don’t they reinstate the Caymanian Protection Law. Changing that was a huge mistake.

      31
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    • Anonymous says:

      The Caymanian Protection Law no longer exists dear. It was replaced by The Immigration Law of the Cayman Islands.

      18
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      • Anonymous says:

        Ummm, no it wasn’t. They just changed the name and stopped following it. Dear.

        24
        1
        • Anonymous says:

          No dear, it was replaced by a new law with no protection for Caymanians. Fact.

          7
          10
          • Anonymous says:

            The fact that there has been no protection of Caymanians is a fact. The fact that the law still requires the protection of Cayman and of Caymanians is fact. The fact that certain key civil servants are responsible, and enjoy absolute immunity and no accountability for the harm they have done is also fact.

            20
    • Diss Pair says:

      The safety net is “you vote for me” and I will give you what you want.

  43. Anonymous says:

    If you can find a way to lower the cost of food/fuel many people would be a lot happier. I know to an extent the cost is fueled by the countries we import from but they could reduce the amount of duty that is put on it. Particularly as CIG said not long ago that there was a surplus in the government purse.

    45
    1
  44. Anonymous says:

    Diagnosing visible obesity, and confronting rampant unexplored emotional eating, will not endear a workforce, or contribute to self-esteem and general happiness. Patients weighting over 300lbs will be shamed and turned away in the lobby for they are ineligible for executive medical stress tests as they exceed load rating for the treadmill and heart sensors can’t detect the heartbeat through the layers of girth. Why not try a donut eating contest if you just want to hit those happy buttons? Let’s try to find a positive social idea that benefits all of society (not just select civil servants) and that doesn’t cost KYD$10,000,000 every few months. eg. Health Minister/CMO could suggest our population “Eat More Plants”, for free, and skip the medical diagnosis/recurring costs that in many cases will instruct the very same prescription.

    34
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  45. Anonymous says:

    OMG….this round of MLAs isn’t even trying to hide their stupidity…it’s like they are proudly rejoicing while they destroy our futures.

    50
    4
  46. Anonymous says:

    Eats less and move more is the key to happiness!

    55
    1
  47. Anonymous says:

    Healthcare clearly needs to be nationalized.

    What I am seeing in Cayman is private insurance providers making profit from health insurance premiums when people are younger and more healthy only to increase the cost of insurance premiums on people that are older to such an extent that it is not affordable and is forcing the cost of caring for the elderly on the government.

    58
    3
  48. Anonymous says:

    i would be happy if if cig stopped wasting peoples money.
    tax and spend is all pact know how to do

    36
    5
    • Anonymous says:

      PACT talk is different but they have done nothing to address or resolve the real problems caused by 8 years of PPM

      19
      8
  49. Anonymous says:

    i keep saying it….
    cayman is becoming a welfare state.
    you will have 3 classes in the future:
    super rich expats
    low cost imported labour
    caymanians living on state handouts.

    63
    3
    • Anonymous says:

      At some point the super rich expats leave. They don’t have to stay here, and few do happily, knowing how their life looks and operates back in the real world. Cayman is slowly getting better/more tolerable than it used to be.

      26
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    • Anonymous says:

      PACT seems to be a Socialist government which has never worked in other countries. They also now seem to be jumping on the Black Power bandwagon which is even worse

      CNS: If you look at the list of the “happiest” countries (link at the bottom of the article), they are all very successful social democracies with a strong safety net. Emphasis on “democracy”. Venezuela, which is often cited as a prime example of why socialism doesn’t work, is ranked ‘Authoritarian’ by the Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index.

      17
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      • Anonymous says:

        Well said, CNS. Europe has many successful socialist countries, where citizens are very much happy and content. The scaremongers never include them in their nonsensical diatribes.

        7
        7
      • Anonymous says:

        What a moronic comment from an uneducated simpleton.

        The “Black Power bandwagon”?

        Really?

        Are you referring to the Black Panthers? If so, let us do some reading on them shall we?

        The Ten Point Plan.

        https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/primary-documents-african-american-history/black-panther-party-ten-point-program-1966/

        Free school breakfasts.

        https://www.history.com/.amp/news/free-school-breakfast-black-panther-party

        7
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      • Anonymous says:

        Hey now CNS we don’t have time for your “facts” and “sources”… We are too busy regurgitating what ever fox news or OAN say on tv (honestly why on earth is OAN available here at all)

        9
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      • WhaYaSay says:

        12;45 appears to have drank the Republican party juice. Socialism is evil!!

        8
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      • Anonymous says:

        CNS has its point of view: socialism must b defended. That’s all fine, but noticeable.

        CNS: What should be defended is knowledge and facts, the basis of any intelligent discussion. If you believe that the social safety nets enjoyed in most countries in Europe and Canada are undesirable or unaffordable, or you are against socialist policies like free education, publicly funded fire and police services and publicly maintained roads, etc, and that Medicare and Medicaid in the US should be curtailed or scrapped, that big business should be allowed to do what it wants and charge what it wants without any restrictions, then let’s debate that, but without convoluting communism, socialism and social democracy.

        People who say they are totally against social democracy (emphasis on democracy) because….. Venezuela just don’t have a clue. The truth is that most people believe in a degree of socialism, it’s just the degree that Western democracies debate.

      • To Which Direction is Cayman Headed? says:

        As British prime minister Margaret Thatcher observed, “the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

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