Minister: People in need not ignored

Health and Human Services Minister Anthony Eden denied that Caymanians in need are being ignored as stated in another newspaper last week.

Speaking at the Cabinet Press briefing, Mr. Eden took exception to a headline article that appeared in last Friday’s Cayman Net News. That article reported on what was said when Mr. Eden spoke at the Chamber of Commerce luncheon last Wednesday.

‘I have no intention of bashing the press,’ he said. ‘I strongly believe is a free press.

‘But what I abhor is some style of poor reporting where the facts are reported wrongly.’

Mr. Eden denied the entire premise of the article.

‘The needy in the Cayman Islands are not being ignored,’ he said.

Mr. Eden also took exception to the body of the story.

‘The reporter recorded our declared efforts to update the basket of goods used as a basis for calculating the Consumer Price Index, as though what we are doing is updating some imaginary food basket that forms the basis of poor relief,’ he said. ‘There’s no such thing as a basket of goods.’

Mr. Eden said he wanted to reassure the public that Government was making every effort to ensure relief for poor people is kept current and comprehensive.

‘What we now seek to do through the National Assessment of Living Conditions is to craft a sound basis for sustainable poor relief, but even more, to prevent as far as possible our people falling into poverty.’

At the Cabinet press briefing the week before, Mr. Eden said Cabinet had agreed to earmark $2 million to implement the recommendations of the National Assessment of Living Conditions to help alleviate poverty in the Cayman Islands.

Mr. Eden said people could read his Chamber of Commerce speech and compare it to what was reported.

‘Not only is [what was reported in Cayman Net News] not what I said, it entirely missed the point of the National Assessment of Living Conditions in the Caymans Islands that we’re going through,’ he said.