Editorial for February 24: No more Turtle Farm subsidies

We have editorialised on this subject a number of times in the past three or four years.

But since it seems no one’s truly listening we are going to write it again and see if the umpteenth time is the charm.

The massive, continuous expenditure of public funds on the Cayman Turtle Farm is an outrage.

The fact – revealed by auditors in a recent report to the Legislative Assembly – that some $28 million in what are euphemistically termed “equity injections” have been paid to the facility since mid-2007 is a shock to the conscience in a country that, until recently it seems, was looking at its third straight budget deficit.

Even if the government is able to end the 2010/11 fiscal year on the correct side of the ledger, are there not more pressing issues that require attention and urgent funding in this country than an amusement park?

Folks often complain about how much is being spent on the RCIPS helicopter (about $1.4 million according to this year’s budget).

We have often heard the message that not enough is being spent on education, mental health and seniors care here; and some politicians and civil servants have grumbled about how much money is spent on Freedom of Information (the budget for the Information Commissioner’s Office is less than $700,000).

It’s as if everyone is looking everywhere they can to avoid their glance falling on the black hole in the centre of the room that’s sucking Cayman’s collective resources into the Caribbean.

We believe Turtle Farm chief Tim Adam is doing his best to make cuts here and earn revenue there, but there’s only so much to be done.

The old Boatswain’s Beach business model is flawed, it’s not making money and it is probably having a negative overall effect on the main work of the Turtle Farm, which is breeding.

Time to turn off the lights and get back to basics. Anything less is an insult to the taxpayers of this country.

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