UPM issues policy priority document up to 2026

| 08/04/2024 | 52 Comments
Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly at the 2024 Chamber of Commerce Economic Forum

(CNS): With a year to go before Cayman Islands voters go to the polls, the United People’s Movement Government has released a new document to cover its strategic priorities between now and 2026, which appears to be based on the broad outcome in the budget and strategic policy statement delivered by Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly last year. However, she has said on a number of occasions that she will not be running for office in 2025.

The document is said to represent the focus of the UPM in its last year, though the administration is a coalition of independents not necessarily aligned on policy direction.

Even after the ousting of former premier Wayne Panton and the subsequent Cabinet reshuffle, it is understood that ministers remain divided on a number of issues, such as over-development and minimum wage, and that consensus remains elusive for the group of MPs who ran on different political platforms during the 2021 General Election.

According to the new document published on the government website on Friday, the priorities are broad and ambiguous enough for the Cabinet and caucus to support. However, they don’t point to any specific actions or legislative amendments that would lead to concrete change to address the cost of living, immigration challenges, runaway development or access to affordable homes and healthcare.

“The United People’s Movement (UPM) Government’s foremost commitment is to being people-centric,” the document states under the first priority to improve the quality of life for everyone here.

“We believe that our policies, initiatives and priorities should be crafted with the sole purpose of uplifting our people and enhancing their quality of life, both as individuals and as a collective. The concept of quality of life, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a multifaceted one that encompasses an individual’s perception of their position in life, taking into account their cultural context, value systems, goals, expectations, standards and concerns.”

The document says these include nation-building projects, sustainability discussions and socio-economic policies that positively impact physical and mental health, access to housing, education, transport and mobility, employment opportunities, the natural and built environment, sports, recreation and leisure, social belonging, individual and community assets, safety, security and freedom.

Citing rush hour traffic congestion as an example of the sort of problems the government wants to solve, it said the quality of life demands a holistic approach, one that takes into account all facets of living and strategically deploys government resources to effect meaningful change.

Under the fifth priority, “Protect and Promote Caymanian Culture, Heritage and Identity”, the government said this was a shared goal transcending all ministries and portfolios to ensure that the unique culture, rich heritage and distinct identity of the Caymanian people are preserved and passed on to future generations.

“We acknowledge the rapid transformation of our society and the challenges it has posed for many Caymanians,” the document states. “The scale and pace of societal and demographic changes have left many Caymanians grappling with the fear of being left behind or excluded.

“To address this concern, the UPM Government recognizes the need for tangible, intentional, and transformative actions to be taken by the Government, the private sector, civil society, and the community. support for cultural activities, preservation of built history, and the arts is crucial, we must also clearly define and present the Cayman Islands brand, weaving it into our economic drivers.”

The government said the education system plays a central role in facilitating positive change, and as the country hosts over 130 nationalities as part of its transient workforce, the need to “unequivocally define our identity” becomes more pressing.

But with just about twelve months to go before the general election, it is unlikely that the current administration will be able to do much to bring about any meaningful change in relation to the goals as many of the issues are deep-seated and systemic problems caused by historic policies relating to numerous issues from immigration to planning.

Furthermore, it appears that the fundamental policy changes required are unlikely to be implemented in their last year due to continued reports of disagreements in the caucus and Cabinet, policies that seem to conflict with each other, and a government dependence on work permit fees that undermines the incentive to address the importation of cheap labour.

There is no indication yet that the UPM will be campaigning on a united platform when the election campaign starts in around ten months’ time.

Nevertheless, the government is asking the general public to read the document and send feedback to communications@gov.ky.


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Category: Policy, Politics

Comments (52)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Zero public consultation.
    Zero credibility.
    Zero Content.
    zippp

  2. Anon says:

    Meaningless words having probably taken months to prepare. What a waste of time and resource.
    No mention of global connectivity and how to improve or even sustain.
    No mention of alternative and sustainable power sources.
    No mention of managing global warming impacts.
    These and other seriously impactful events over the coming 20-30 years are the ones that will shape our future.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    I agree with many of the comments re environmental concerns. What about strategically dealing with the darn crime situation?

    Why amend the “objectives” at this stage, with end dates in 2026?

    Also, the fact that there is limited dialogue with the general public speaks volumes. Utterly disrespectful, they do not regard our input.

    Please, anyone with integrity, competency, and capacity, run in the next election in all constituencies.

  4. SSM345 says:

    Should be mandatory that any 2025 woter’s sign affidavits declaring they have read and understood their “parties” or “constituent representatives” policy’s prior to casting their wote in the booth or receiving the obligatory plate of turtle stew.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Juliana got just 266 votes in Cayman Brac East. That’s it, and yet somehow, she’s the Premier. Go figure.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Bring back Wayne!!!

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Priority number one must be to remove the eyesores that are the illegal billboards ruining our once beautiful island.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Has Julianna even interacted with the public since becoming Premier? She should be ashamed of herself. Working for the public yet not willing to answer any of our questions or give any meaningful updates on anything and now they publish this gibberish.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Words, just meaningless words knowing that those who vote for them can hardly read , write , or think.
      Their refusal to meet the press cements their re-election, as nobody is allowed to question their decisions.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    The public has no idea how bad it is to work with these fools. Parliament dissolves in Feb 2025. Wait for the foolishness and the thinly veiled corruption.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Wait. Everyone please. Please just read the document as linked by CNS above. You will fully understand what is wrong with this whole process.

    spoiler: I’ve never seen so many bluebirds and daisies in my life. Nothing whatsoever measurable. Just musings about a utopian life. Really nice words, poetic at times. Really gave me a warm glow.

    I’m sure many people spent a lot of time on it. I guess I hoped for something with benchmarks and finance and commitment. I guess I hoped for a roadmap to a better future for all residents that we could follow and measure.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    All I hear is blah, blah, blah.

    Anyone smell an election around the corner?

    Juliana Connolly-O’Connor, that is how she appeared on the ballot sheet, will only give up her seat if the MLA salaries were halved or people were asked to represent constituents for free.

    It is so outrageous how none of our politicians actual fulfill one much less all of their promises on their Manifesto.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Why bother issue a policy priority document when everyone can see what your priorities are?

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  12. Anonymous says:

    So were the government schools just pushing people through when our Ministers were attending?

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  13. Anonymous says:

    What a sad state of affairs – our government does not even realize that their policy statement is gibberish.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Still no mention of fixing the dump in their list of priorities. Are we now at the point where we stick our heads into the sand and hope that the dump somehow fixes itself?

    How can you talk about prioritizing quality of life when you have a massive mound of toxicity looming over the island that will run out of space before we know it?

    Come on for goodness sake!

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    • Anonymous says:

      CNS can you investigate?/?/

      XXXX

      CNS: I’ve forwarded this to Wendy. Can you contact her if you have more info? wendyledger@caymannewsservice.com or WhatsApp 926-6816. Thanks.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The landfill is being capped as is. We are 15 years past a credible remediation proposal. “Fix the dump” statements demonstrate that we really haven’t been paying attention.

      ReGen and WTE is a gambit where the public is made to pay three times. Once for a do nothing DEH budget under DART control, again for the new plant, machinery, training and upkeep, andante more on the back end when we buy the dirty power (from combustion processes) back from CUC.

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    • Anonymous says:

      “Ctrl F” on the 22 page strategic priority document and you will not find “dump” or “landfill” mentioned once.

      What the actual F?

    • Anonymous says:

      Radar down too!

  15. Anonymous says:

    This government is a waste of time. They can’t agree on anything so we may as well have elections now rather than waste another year.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Basically a homework assignment for these guys. Tick-box feel good that we got a document done, 2 hour lunch on government credit card then half day.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Nothing more than a word salad. Nothing will be accomplished 🤡🤡🤡

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  18. Anonymous says:

    A 20 page leaflet of buzzword garbage. Notably: zero priority given to missing transparency, honesty, accountability, and public-private corruption. Reap what you sow Cayman.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    2026 is the next regularly scheduled election interval, but voters have the power to call early elections whenever they like. Our MPs would do better to understand that.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    I thought in 25-30 years Cayman will become uninhabitable due to flooding. Is it being addressed?

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  21. Anonymous says:

    LOL is all I can say. Affordable housing should be priority but they are too focused pleasing the wealthy developers. I’ll die of old age before they do something about it.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Not the MP for Northside who is best able to balance wealthy developers in his right hand and voters in his left hand.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    CNS, can you please add a ROTFLMAO 🤣 voting button to the voting buttons above please? It seems like the only appropriate response.

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  23. The Constitutional Critic says:

    Read through the document – just a copied and pasted list of platitudes that are entirely meaningless and pointless

    “Utilising sports to enhance the lives of our people.” appears 5 times under 5 different topics some of which make absolutely no sense – how do sports help us ‘enhance competitiveness while meeting international standards’

    Its basically just a document saying the government is good and are going to do good things – what are those things you ask? Don’t worry they are good!

    Not something I say often but reading that document was a literal waste of time

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  24. Anonymous says:

    the upm reality:
    little will get done but we will spend the most than any government ever in cayman history.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    lots of empty words from a government without the backbone to hold a press conference.
    welcome to wonderland.

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  26. Anonymous says:

    pure waffle and the sound of many cans being kicked down the road.
    pact/ppm were not much better but this is by far the most inept government ever…all overseen by one of the most inept governors ever

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    • Anonymous says:

      UPM and PACT is the same players except for a change in Leader. The ineptness started with Wayne and continues under Julie as Premier.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    More blah, just in one package!

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  28. Anonymous says:

    @CNS can you please reach out to the premiers office and ask her to explain what she actually means by what she is saying? It’s just words thrown together.

    Someone needs to put her on the spot. Ju Ju, explain to us, the people, what you actually plan to do for the people of these islands or get lost and never come back.

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  29. Anonymous says:

    That’s a lot of words from Ju Ju No Clue.

    If she had any sense of honour she would resign right now and disappear with her ill gotten gains as the abject failure of a politician and leader that she is.

    Then again, so would the rest of parasites in that building in GT.

    Something has gone terribly wrong when Big Mac appears to be the only politician to actually have achieved anything for the people of this country (whether it’s right or wrong is not the point).

    That shows just how little the other pigs are able to do if Big Mac is the bar.

    Might we suggest less obese people in parliament for example? If they can’t take care of themselves, how can they take care of us?

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  30. Anonymous says:

    More UPM BS for the stinking pile. Words are meaningless, these rhetorical policy statements are just that. Who in their right mind except those won over by a quick handout, kitchen appliance, paved driveway or Christmas turkey thinks any of this policy will be acted upon by these master Muppets?

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  31. Anonymous says:

    Quick lets kill some turtles and eat them.
    That will define our identity

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  32. Anonymous says:

    Policy priority number one. Make as much money as possible by exploiting their position. Priority number 2. Get re-elected. Repeat. .

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  33. Anonymous says:

    This woman certainly can not be serious with this bunch of BS? What a government we have, they can’t find their backside using both there hands. By the way, where is the esteemed minister for Labor Mr Seymour at lately? Elections can not come soon enough.

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