Today’s Editorial for June16: Getting out of a financial quandary

Premier McKeeva Bush queried the
country during his budget speech Tuesday about the need for everyone to have a
car.

If you think your car is a
necessity, you may be singing a different tune come 1 July.

That’s when the import duty on
gasoline and diesel will go up 25 cents per gallon. It’s a sure bet that the
wholesalers bringing the petrol in will pass the extra burden onto the retailers
who in turn will pass along the increased cost of doing business to customers.

Only those of us who buy petrol on
Grand Cayman and Little Cayman will have to pay the extra duty. Our brothers
and sisters on Cayman Brac are being spared. We can only assume that is because
many businesses and indeed individuals are still reeling from the damage Paloma
did to their lives in 2008.

By keeping your vehicle gassed up
on Little Cayman and Grand Cayman, you’ll be helping the government raise $10.3
million within the next year.

Another way to boost our coffers
will come when members of the Civil Service and of the legislature take on a
3.2 per cent pay cut. Even Mr. Bush and Opposition Leader Kurt Tibbetts will be
taking a 10 per cent cut in salary.

Mr. Bush also touched on the fact
that many expatriate workers have left the Cayman Islands and with them they
took their spending capacity.

Fewer people working in the country
means a smaller pool of disposable income with which to buy goods and services
– and if people aren’t buying, businesses will be hurt or even close down.

Our population, he said, has fallen
from 57,009 people in 2008 to 52,830 in 2009.

It would appear that Mr. Bush and
his government have a strategy to get the Cayman Islands out of its financial
mire. Now it is up to us and members of the public sector to help the plan work
for the betterment of our country.

We have to prove to the UK
Government – and ourselves – that we can work together to get out of this
economic quandary.

There seems to be a better
relationship between us and the UK, but we’ve got to do our part to maintain
it.

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