Obviously there is need to scrap
the poor Relief Law, as it is not serving simply because it is in unwarranted
and incompatible with the very fabric of our society. It is clear that the rest
of government is asking DCF to do something no other arm of government has the
heart to pursue. DCF is right this time.
I do not think that fingers pointed
at the Department of Children and Families is appropriate at all. We all can
agree that it is indeed a very sensitive issue and that DCF has been confronted
throughout the years with the reality they face. DCF discussions revealed that
“there is a deeply rooted cultural aversion to property liens in order to
preserve the family land for future inheritance.”
I don’t think that government has
the right to take away a poor person’s property from them or have it signed
over to them just because they have become too old to work, are disabled or
visited in the long or short term by some unforeseen misfortune. Government
should think of something else that makes more sense and works better for the
people. This system of government liens on poor person’s property is a very
poor and sorry excuse for the appropriate social insurance systems not being
put in place. I don’t know who’s idea this was or who is responsible for
drafting such a law of “extreme social injustice”, but they took the short cut
and went to Burger King instead. Not good enough!
There is the social security
programme that should be implemented here in the Cayman Islands. Each person employed
or not, should have a social security number. It is also an ID card. Caymanian
citizens would have a valid social security card with a number and those on
guest worker permit programmes would have a social security card indicating
their legal status. The system must be able to identify a citizen from a
non-citizen to avoid confusion, fraud and misappropriation of services. Working
individuals can contribute a minimal amount monthly. It’s your own money that
will help you later on in life when you need it most. And you should challenge
government not to dare put their hands on it to use for any other purpose than
your retirement. It looks tough to manage, but this is the way out and it will
in the long run pay off.
There’s pension fund that the elderly
or the retired can benefit from; there’s 401K that the big corporations can
offer their employees. Some are already enjoying this opportunity.
Individuals have a life time to
build and invest in these programmes once government implements them.
There is a radical difference
between a pension and social security, even though they resemble each other.
Social security is not managed the same as a pension plan.
Pension is the working person’s
retirement benefits, which are provided to people who paid into a pension plan
or have been granted pension benefits by an employer. This is already being
done in the Cayman Islands. The question remains; is everyone participating and
benefiting from this programme that is already in place.
All citizens and resident’s lives
can be affected because of the lack of service systems. This includes the poor
persons problem that they face with having government put a lien on their
property. This should not be necessary and should have never been implemented.
Social security is a social
insurance programme already working well in countries like the United States.
It provides a wide number of services, which include taxpayer-funded benefits
to the elderly. This is what social security means. It will help the poor
people so that government does not have to put a lien on their property for
receiving DCF or other government social related services.
It is a more comprehensive system
of approach to serve the needs of the elderly and poor people’s dilemma.
Government’s neglect to pick up
health insurance reform is another important matter that has been ignored. It
is a travesty that other less important matters have been given more attention
than health insurance reform for the people of the Cayman Islands. Modern day
elected politicians seemed to have either lost the true vision for this country
or they have no idea what truly serving the people is all about.
If insurance companies will be
allowed to continue to refuse insurance coverage to those with pre-existing
conditions and also drop those already covered just when they really need it in
a health crisis then our government is not doing its job. If an individual becomes
terminally ill, insurance reform needs to have taken place in order to protect
the lives of the patient and also ensure policy payout to such individuals as
the time seems medically fit to do so. Instead of government carrying the burden
the insurance company is responsible for compensating such terminally ill
individuals with the expected face amount paid out to them and this would help
them take care of themselves from then on.
Even if government is asked to give
some assistance, it should not cost the family their inheritance. This is
ridiculous and inappropriate for our society.
These are the kind of circumstances
that places an individual who has worked hard all his or her life and is
suddenly faced with sickness or some other form of hardship. Their situation is
worsened if there are no government support systems in place to protect them
from insurance predators.
The DCF should continue to help
those in need. The Bible says you will always have the poor in the midst and
they should be taken care of. It says nothing about putting a lien on their
property. That seems very socialist to me. The United States has a social
security system in place for the disabled and the retired or elderly. Why can’t
the Cayman Islands do the same for its people?
I suggest that the government
discontinue all this reckless spending and redirect their attention to the real
needs of the people. I think it is time to scrap the government lien against
poor people’s property all together as it is inappropriate for a small society
such as ours. Its time to be innovative and prove to the people that you can
make a difference and that it’s not just the ole boys and their same ole tricks
deja vu over and over again.