Today’s Editorial for February 08: Hard decisions made

At last! People in government have
made difficult decisions for what they feel are the best long-term interests of
the Cayman Islands, even though the decisions
are not going to be very popular with some voters.

On Friday, we learned of two such
decisions.  The first we were told was coming,
namely the immigration concessions made by Cabinet to foreign workers in the financial
services sector.

The other decision, made by the
Cayman Islands Turtle Farm Board of Directors, was a surprise.  That decision will triple the cost of turtle
meat sold on Grand Cayman, effectively taking
it off most of the restaurant menus and relegating it to a special occasion
treat for individuals who cook it at home.

Agree or not, there were compelling
arguments for both decisions.  

Anyone who has been keeping up with
the local financial services industry knows that Cayman is no longer the only
choice for offshore business, nor is it the best choice in some instances.  High operation costs, a damaged international
image and uncertainties with immigration practices have driven business way
from Cayman. The government promised the financial sector it would address the
immigration issue, and it has now done so.

As for the hefty increase in the
cost of turtle meat, this decision really should be considered obvious.  Firstly, the Boatswain’s Beach/Turtle Farm
attraction is losing enormous amounts of money at a time when the government is
in severe financial difficulties.  Selling
turtle meat for less than it costs to produce simply makes no sense.  Plus, the amount being sold was dwindling supplies
to where turtle meat was going to run out anyway. This decision just might have
saved turtle as a culinary option for future generations, even if it is more
expensive.

Too often, politicians want to
avoid alienating voters, so all we get is talk and no action when it comes to
hard decisions by government.

We applaud Cabinet and the Turtle
Farm Board of Directors for making the hard decisions they felt they needed to
make.  We hope this is the start of a new
trend when it comes to government operations.

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