Leader of the Opposition McKeeva Bush has asked the Government to say how many people have already reached the seven-year term limit of the rollover policy and how many more will reach the seven-year limit in the next two years.
Mr. Bush also submitted several other Parliamentary Questions in advance of next week’s opening of the November Meeting of the Legislative Assembly
In addition to the question on those affected by the rollover policy, Mr. Bush also asked the Government to say what the current population is of the Cayman Islands and what the projected population will be in two years.
‘It’s important to ask these questions,’ Mr. Bush said. ‘It’s important for the people to know where this country is heading, and it’s important for the Government to know these figures as well.
‘People need to plan for their businesses.’
Mr. Bush is of the opinion that the rollover policy will effect the population.
‘At the rate they’re going in turning [expatriates] down, I expect the population to do down,’ he said. ‘If you have a smaller population, it will make a serious dent in the economy.’
Mr. Bush said he is already seeing small businesses shutting their doors.
‘It’s across the board,’ he said. ‘It’s small contractors, landscapers, boutiques and corner mom and pot stores.’
The Government has said in the past that it does not expect the population number to drop as a result of the rollover policy because it envisions new expatriates taking the place of the ones that have to leave.
Work Permit Board Chairman David Ritch has also said he is seeing no let up in the number of submitted work permit applications.
However, the Economics and Statistics Office announced recently that there was a 0.9 per cent decrease in the estimated population of the Cayman Islands. It estimated the population to be 52,465 in the fall of 2005 and 51,992 in second quarter of this year.
The ESO’s population estimates are based on a survey of the labour force.
Mr. Bush also asked several other Parliamentary Questions, including one of Minister of Tourism Charles Clifford regarding whether the Lufthansa Consultancy report on Cayman Airways would be made public or given to the Members of the Legislative Assembly in confidence.
Mr. Clifford has already said in the past the report would not be made public because it contained information that competitors should not know.
Mr. Bush, however, thinks the report should be given in confidence to the legislators.
‘We got other reports on Cayman Airways when consultants did them in the past,’ he said.
On another point, Mr. Bush asked Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts to identify the intended site east of George Town where it intends to have the second Government Administration project build, and what the cost of the land is.
‘I want to find out why Government has chosen this site. They had one already that they were getting for free, and I need to know what the cost of the land is going to be.’
The Camana Bay developers have offered the Government a parcel of land off the Esterley Tibbetts Highway at no cost for project two.
The 4.3 acre parcel of land is worth at least $4 million.
Mr. Tibbetts said recently, however, that it is the government’s intention to build the second project east of George Town.