One-size policy no good

I would like to salute Mr. Alden McLaughlin for sticking to his conviction that implementing the seven-year rollover policy will work, especially since it appears that ‘at least 90 per cent of Caymanians’ he believes support it.

I support this plan to a certain extent, however, I believe that it does not necessarily mean that because it ‘appears’ that the majority of Caymanians support this that it means that it is what is right for all Caymanians.

1. There are expatriates in positions or white collar jobs that should be here only temporarily to give up-coming Caymanians an opportunity.

2. There are the indentured workers/expatriates in positions that Caymanians cannot afford to fill and will never fill because of the obvious economic reasons.

This second group is my main concern here who will have an effect on the majority of Caymanians who employ them, and I do not see any young Caymanian or any adult Caymanian clambering to fill these humble but highly important positions, for many reasons, affordability or lack of being the crux. There is no exchange rate on our side here.

Having a helper plays a large role in this society, as many Caymanian women do not have the luxury of staying home and looking after their children or their aged parents/relatives.

For me it is important that when I find an honest, trustworthy person I should be allowed to have the choice to keep this person in my employ for more than seven years if it becomes necessary: the person who lives intimately with our family.

My point is that I believe that the seven-year rollover policy should not be taken as a one-size-fits-all solution; it should and must be tailored to leave room for special situations with exceptions to the rule.

A one-rule solution is no solution because it does not take all concerned into consideration, whatever the appearances may be. The history of this policy speaks for itself.

I believe it is time that we take a deep breath, stop the expat hysteria and not make the kind of decision that somewhere again down the road we are faced with this problem the third time around. Have we forgotten the mid 1990s?

Cherry Smith

Support local journalism. Subscribe to the all-access pass for the Cayman Compass.

Subscribe now