Panton pushes for national discussion

| 15/06/2023 | 112 Comments
Premier Wayne Panton Chamber Legislative Lunch, 14 June 2023, Cayman News Service
Premier Wayne Panton Chamber Legislative Lunch

(CNS): As the population of the Cayman Islands continues to explode and the community attempts to tackle the legacy of past failures to plan, Premier Wayne Panton has said that Cayman urgently needs to have a conversation about what people want the future to look like. Panton told CNS he wants the government to facilitate this future discussion but for the people to lead it from the grassroots.

Following his speech at the Chamber of Commerce Annual Parliamentary Luncheon on Wednesday, the premier spoke with CNS about the goal of a national conversation about the future of the Cayman Islands. He said that the government should not lead this important conversation but let people tell the CIG what they want. He also wants people who don’t normally engage with such processes to do so this time.

While he accepted that groups of people have been vocal about an end to the runaway development for several years, he said it was time to broaden who is involved in the conversation and find out what everyone wants.

In his address to the Chamber members, Panton said the people of the Cayman Islands must do much more planning. “I want us to go beyond short-term politics and become part of a small but growing number of visionary nations who are actually planning for their countries’ future rather than leaving it to chance,” he said.

He spoke about the dreams and aspirations that could shape the country’s future. “I want to formulate a national dialogue not directed by but supported by the government and led by the people… I want to see a new kind of contract between citizens, stakeholders and government,” the premier told the audience.

He said that sustainability, anticipating risks, and future-proofing Cayman are major policy planks of the PACT administration as Cayman faces what has been described as the new VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world. The premier said he believes we now need a shared vision of this country’s future.

“In a proliferation of uncertainty, there are leaps of creativity, and we want to harness the creativity of citizens, business, NGOs and our younger generations to both set and deliver a shared vision for the future,” he added.

There has been significant population growth over the last two years, and Panton revealed that more than 8,000 people moved to the Cayman Islands in the twelve-month period between October 2021 and October 2022. This compares with an overall population increase in the last two years of 16,000.

He said that such an increase is already changing Cayman’s future, but we are not ready for or in control of these changes, which are creating “wicked problems”, from housing shortages to traffic congestion.

“That is a challenge for any country or any government to manage,” the premier said, adding that this level of population growth was a difficult thing for society “to be comfortable with”, and Cayman is not prepared to handle it.

But given the challenges, we cannot be a divided society but should be “united” as “we build a happier, healthier society”, the premier said.

“I want my government to be the one who gives the citizens of the Cayman Islands the chance to tell us what they want to see in the Cayman of tomorrow, tell us their hopes and dreams for themselves both in the short term and long term. We need to hear from individuals and communities across our three islands — understand their fears and concerns, not simply at a constituency level,” he said.

Government must be willing to use all the levers available to enable a future “made up of dreams, not nightmares”, he said.

To start the ball rolling, Panton recently invited Sophie Howe for a brief visit to the Cayman Islands. Howe was the first future generations commissioner for Wales, where she helped to create legislation that holds the government there to account on how their decisions affect the people, not just today but decades from now.

Watch Panton’s address below on CIGTV’s YouTube channel:

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Category: Politics

Comments (112)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The first thing I thought of was that the old saying
    “Money talks and bullshit walks” is still a FACT in the Caymans!

  2. Anon says:

    So – government which allows thousands of people to move to Cayman, complains about thousands of people moving to Cayman 🤷‍♀️

  3. Anonymous says:

    If the issue is one of too many people obtaining Caymanian Status, I say amend the law, so that when persons apply for and are granted PR, then become naturalised, then after 5 years of being naturalised, if you wish to become Caymanian, then you can apply, but if not, you can continue to work, except remove the fees that people have been paying for the past 15 years in order to work. Not everyone wants to be Caymanian and not everyone wishes to stay here. Many people who have been granted the Right to be Caymanian are no longer here. They have sold their homes and moved on to go back to their country of origin. Offer people a few different options to remain here. You would be surprised how many people just want to live and work and then go back home.

  4. Anonimous says:

    Add 5,000 to 10,000 New, Accounting and Administrative Jobs

    Britains Financial Clearings House employs over 80,000 employees and is Europe’s Financial Clearings Hub for clearing all of the United Kingdom and Europe’s $69trn financial payment instruments.

    It makes payment for all debit withdrawals presented to banks electronically or manually presentes for payment by checks, debit and credit cards and is a fundmental aspect of Britains triving financial economy

    So why are there no forward thinkers the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority trying to attract new and good business to the Cayman Islands like this? and why are no one trying to get our Monetary Authority to approach and partner with this London Financial Clearings House to set up shop in the Cayman Islands and provide this clearings service in the Cayman Islands for the Caribbean Region?

    As a leading financial center, the Cayman Islands could easily become the Regions Financial Clearings House Hub just like Britain is to Europe?

    This could easily add anywhere between 5,000 to 10,000, NEW and well paying finance, accounting and administrative jobs to our economy

    Its time for us to stop reacting to economic stimulation and for our leaders to start thinking in a forward mobile manner of expansion and growth

    With a local government charge of $0.50 for each financial clearings transaction, the Cayman Islands Government via the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority could significantly incresease the governments revenue while creating finance, accounting and administrative jobs

    Let us in leadership positions of government start attracting wealth and financial mature growth by approaching the London Financial Clearings House for a partnership to come to the Cayman Islands and provide the Caribbean Region with clearing financial instriments that would create new jobs

    How dominant is London?


    London is the world leader for the clearing of all types of currency-denominated derivatives including the euro.

    The London Clearing House (LCH), which is part of the London Stock Exchange, says it clears a whopping 927bn euros-worth of euro-denominated contracts a day, this is some three quarters of the global market.

    In contrast, Paris the second-biggest operator in the sector that clears only just 11% of the clearings transactions.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Stop the east west extension which is actually illegal without the mandatory EIA study.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Panton didn!t you know what the people wanted even before you were elected? isn’t that what you ran for elections on? To be a Government unlike the PPM who was just looking out for the interest of the businesses and not the people who put you where you are now? Didn’t you not say your Government was a Government for the people? Or when you said that didn’t you not mean the Caymanian people sir? Because it surely well doesn’t seem you meant that for us the Caymanian people.

    Well let me tell you what we poor struggling Caymanians want sir. We want to be the priority in our own country, we want to be protected and given the first choice here, we want you Governments to stop selling us out and giving away our birthright, we want the massive permit grants to stop, we want the massive grants of status and the naturalizations to stop being given away like hotcakes. All for the love of money. So that you all can get bigger and bigger salaries and the businesses can keep making bigger and bigger profits.

    We want you to change the Immigration law and stop allowing people to come here and getting married to Caymanians just to be able to stay here. I am sure you are aware that this is happening big time here now. All an expat has to do is to be married to a Caymanian for a year and they can apply for naturalization and they are all taking advantage of it. You need to put the Caymanian Protection law back into place and adhere to it.

    We are completely outnumbered here in our own country now even by just the Jamaicans alone and the majority of these people are here looking down us Caymanians with the the attitude that they are better than us and value more than us in our own country. It’s all this talking about preserving the ignaunas and the birds and that might be all good and proper. But what about us the Caymanian people? we are becoming extinct here now.

    We need to be getting a piece of the Caymanian pie too and we should the first to get it. You need to stop letting the businesses dictate to you and start dictating to them and you also need to get the cost of housing and properties down here too so that we as Caymanians can own them again.

    We also need a decent minimum wage here as well. This six dollars an hour is a staggering disgrace. It should be no less than CI 15.00 dollars an hour. You need to stop letting these businesses here get away with this highway robbery they are getting away with. You boast and brag about how the Government now has a surplus of one billion dollars. But did you stop to realize that came off the backs of your own suffering Caymanian people who gave you and your Government the job of looking out for our welware and where you are there making your big bucks but clearly not doing the job we put you there to do.

    Stop coming up with all these excuses and just do your job. You all should not have even taken that raise in salary you gave yourselves when you were first elected because you clearly didn’t deserve it and your salary was already too high. You all should give it back because you still do not deserve it. Give it back to help the people who gave you a job to begin with and who deserve it.


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