Governments all over the world, especially during the current financial crisis, are constantly talking about how they are going to tighten their financial belts and cutback on spending.
In many cases this kind of talk is just that: talk.
It is therefore notable that the United Democratic Party is following up its talk of cutting expenses with action, specifically the decision to cancel the Miss Cayman pageant this year because it cannot afford to pay the $100,000 to subsidise the event.
This action contrasts interestingly with that of the previous People’s Progressive Movement government. The PPM also promised spending cuts and then went ahead with a National Heroes Day celebration earlier this year that cost the government some $636,000, including the $233,000 bronze monument called ‘Aspiration’.
Don’t get us wrong: We feel both the Miss Cayman pageant and the National Heroes Day celebrations are important, culturally significant events. However, in times of financial crisis, tough decisions have to be made and the government really has to decide what it can and cannot do without, at least now.
The UDP government has decided it cannot live with actively reducing civil servants jobs or cutting their pay. It has also indicated it cannot live with income or property taxation.
Instead, it is looking hard at cutting expenses and not just talking about them, but making them.
When the government’s coffers are flush, there is nothing wrong with holding important cultural events, or even building statues that honour important contributors to Cayman’s development. However, in times like these, cutbacks truly have to be made and not just talked about.
We’re sure there are people who will be disappointed the Miss Cayman pageant was cancelled this year, and the government will likely be criticised by some for doing so.
We, however, commend the government for making a prudent decision in a time of financial crisis.