Today marks one year since the
United Democratic Party came to power with an impressive election victory.
One of the party’s mandates was
that it would get things done that needed to be done. So far, it hasn’t had a lot of success.
After getting the Cayman Islands
off the OECD gray list and onto the white list, a state of inertia has gripped
the government, and the country.
Despite lots of talk, many of the
same old problems remain. There is still a budget crisis, which has brought almost
every capital project to a halt.
It is true that the current
government inherited a bad financial situation, but it was elected to steer the
country through these tough times. As far as we can see, the tough times are
still steering the Cayman Islands.
The lack of funding is the major
reason most capital development has stopped, but plans to partner with private
sector entities to build major infrastructure projects have also failed to
Plans to build a cruise berthing
facility haven’t progressed any farther than where the People’s Progressive
Movement left them – with a Memorandum of Understanding between government and
a private sector entity.
But perhaps most disappointing is
the government’s failure to make things easier for businesses here. Reports
from the private sector indicate that it is taking just as long, if not longer,
to get work permits through than a year ago.
With all the talk of concessions to businesses, all they’ve really seen
is increased fees.
In the meantime, businesses and
valuable expatriate talent are departing the Cayman Islands by the day, leaving
the people left here to carry an increased burden of supporting government’s excessive
A lot of people aren’t happy with
the current state of affairs. Early results
of a caycompass.com online poll this week that asks respondents to rate the
government’s performance in its first year in office are generally unfavourable.
If the government is going to turn
around the dismal state of affairs, and its own approval ratings, it needs less
talk and more action.