When discussing cuts to the civil service,
Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush’s government has noted a number of areas
where either; a) civil servants will have to pay for items they previously
received for free or b) where specific budget reductions would be undertaken to
Two of these areas mentioned previously have
been the Hurricane Ivan housing allowance for police officers and the Royal
Cayman Islands Police Service helicopter operations. Mr. Bush has since said it
would be up to the governor to decide whether the police chopper would have to
go. We are uncertain as of this writing about the housing allowance. Whatever the truth of the matter, the
question raised by Mr. Bush’s proposals to cut funding from the police service
is a simple one: Why?
There are around about 90 government
departments, statutory authorities and government-owned companies in Cayman,
all of which spend some amount of money. Granted, the RCIPS budget is one of
the larger departmental stipends on a yearly basis, but surely the $3 or $4
million sought to be saved from cuts to the police service could be found
somewhere else within government’s roughly $500 to $600 million spending plan?
During this time of economic downturn, with many residents pinching pennies,
worried about the future and potential foreign investors expressing concerns as
well; the proposal “let’s cut the police” strikes us as shocking folly.
Moreover, if anyone bothered to notice, the
RCIPS has in recent months made encouraging progress in both its arrest and
conviction rates. So again, chopping the organisation off at the knees just as
it has started to run doesn’t seem to make much sense.
We have to wonder why, now, anyone in
government would propose cutting back on police services. Just last year there
was an audible cry from the populace that the police weren’t doing enough. They
have answered that call, and admirably.
Leave them alone and let them do their job.
Again, we say, if government is looking to
make cuts, it should look in its own backyard and tell every man and woman who
pays duty (taxes) to support government in this territory the necessity of each
and every civil servant.