SPS passes easily as opposition MIA for vote

| 27/04/2023 | 13 Comments
Speaker Kathy Ebanks-Wilks checks vote on SPS, Cayman News Service
Speaker Kathy Ebanks-Wilks checks vote on SPS

(CNS): In the early hours of Thursday morning, Premier Wayne Panton defended both the figures and the policies in PACT’s Strategic Policy Statement, as he wrapped up the debate on the government motion supporting the SPS. All opposition MPs except for Joey Hew had left the chamber before the vote, which meant that the SPS passed easily, with all eleven government members voting in favour and Hew abstaining.

At around 1:00am on 27 April, Panton responded to criticisms from opposition MPs, calling them hypocrites. He particularly hit back against assertions made by former premier Sir Alden McLaughlin that the figures did not add up and would shake the confidence of the business community.

Panton said such accusations were “an injustice” to all the government’s technocrats who had compiled the projections for the SPS and maintained that it was a sound forecast. He said that while the government does not have a crystal ball to predict geo-political events, the figures were reasonable, and people could have confidence in the SPS.

“I do not accept for one second that comments from the other side should be viewed… as being fair or accurate at all,” he said. “This country and our people and the business community have every reason to have the usual confidence in this Strategic Policy Statement.”

Panton explained that the SPS process had been revised to better reflect the goals of the Public Management and Finance Act (2020 Revision) for the development of a budget, saying it was clearer and easier to follow and understand than in the past.

The debate was at times contentious, such as when criticisms were levelled that the government had failed to meet any of its promises to date. However, Panton rejected the “doom and gloom” coming from the opposition benches, as well as allegations that he had failed to deliver. He pointed to the growing economy, the lowest ever Caymanian unemployment rate and significant surpluses, even after facing the challenge since coming into office of managing the reopening of the borders and rebuilding tourism.

Panton admitted that “governing is hard”, and it was not always easy to navigate the challenges. He said that, despite the disagreements any government has, PACT had held together over the last two years, regardless of continuous suggestions that it would fall apart. He said the government was taking steps to deliver policy properly to get things right the first time.

The premier said that PACT could not be expected to fix all of the problems caused by past administrations that had kicked the can down the road when it came to policies. He noted that the PPM had been in office for most of the previous twelve years but had failed to address many of the challenges they were now complaining about, expecting PACT to do it all in two years.

When he presented the motion on the SPS at the start of the day, Panton had described it as the foundation for the rest of this administration to build on the growing economy.

“This document shows that it is incumbent upon us to manage our growth,” he said. “We are called to be responsible with the people’s money. We are called to reject imprudence. But we are also called to deliver real results that improve transportation in our society, address the cost of living challenges, improve education, take care of our seniors, provide better and more affordable healthcare and build the necessary infrastructure that will build a healthier, more sustainable country.”

He outlined the five main policy goals and said that the people were the epicentre of them all.

“It’s not sufficient to say that we have put people ‘first’. Instead, all that we do and all that we strive for emanates from the needs and wishes of our people. They are at the heart of every broad outcome, every specific outcome and every project. If what we are doing doesn’t benefit, support, encourage, enrich, educate and empower our people, there is not any point or purpose in it.”

In an address that was less specific on commitments and missed a number of key issues, especially relating to the environment and runaway development, there were no new policy announcements and few details on which of the hundreds of projects and promises the government will be working on over the next two years and how and when they will be delivered.

See the premier’s full address about the SPS here.

See the bulk of the debate and Panton’s winding up on CIGTV below:

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Category: Politics

Comments (13)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    no-plan-pact’s performance since coming to power speaks for itself. they have delivered nothing on the major challenges facing cayman…traffic/housing/cost of living….
    do-nothing-ppm are no better and their record over the last 12 years is abysmal.

    • Anonymous says:

      What!!! Are you kidding? They never got around to beating up women, did they?

      P.S. What 12 years are you referring to?

  2. Reg says:

    Ok apart from growing the economy, lowering the Caymanian unemployment rate, increasing surpluses, reopening borders and rebuilding tourism.
    What have PACT ever done for us?

  3. Anonymous says:

    PACT version of SPS= Shit Pure Shit.

    One of the most lacking, no substance and inadequate policy statements that I have heard in a long time.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Should have delivered that address from a lectern outside Waffle Monkey.

  5. Anonymous says:

    If the Opposition didn’t like the SPS, they might have come to class, as they are paid to do, and make their point with nays. Now their supporters are left wondering why they voted for petulant no show children…again.

    • Anonymous says:

      PPM are, once again, missing in action when required to vote.

      Complete dereliction of parliamentary duties. Probably went to Country & Western.

  6. Anonymous says:

    “Panton responded to criticisms from opposition MPs, calling them hypocrites.”

    This statement is not disagreed with, but it’s that the pot calling the kettle…?

    Both sides of the aisle are hypocrites by and large. Maybe there might be a few persons that are so intellectually challenged that they cannot be held accountable for their actions (and maybe one or two good ones), whether hypocrites or not.

  7. I know you says:

    Sir Alden’s ebullient number crunching delivery was all a pain in de rr and defensive to say the least. If after 12 years of experience he couldn’t or wouldn’t tackle the issues which have now become almost insurmountable how in hell can he expect correction of his errors in 2 years. Sir Alden go water fa on ants on the farm you can handle that better.

  8. Saddened says:

    Truly one of the least effective premiers in our history.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you forget that Mac and Julie were also Premiers? Even if Wayne doesn’t get it all done…there is value in the Hippocratic Oath’s “first do no harm”!


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