Government reworking legislative priorities

The revamped Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly will meet in January to vote on at least one more additional government revenue bill, according to Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly.  

However, no new taxation will be proposed. “It’s anticipated in January we’ll have to bring that to the House so that our budget will be on target,” Ms O’Connor-Connolly said.  

“There will be no new surprises coming forth. We just want to ensure that we keep our commitment for the three-year plan to the [United Kingdom’s] Foreign and Commonwealth Office.” 

Prior to the removal of former Premier McKeeva Bush by a majority vote of no confidence in government last week, a number of key legislative priorities of the United Democratic Party government had not been passed.  

Among the measures are a draft bill seeking wholesale reform of the National Pensions Law. That plan seeks to increase the retirement age from 60 to 65 for private sector workers and eliminate mandatory pension contributions for non-Caymanian workers, among 
other things.  

A second major reform proposal was examined in a report by the Term Limit Review Committee on the Cayman Islands’ immigration system. Although legislation never reached the draft bill stage, the plan to eliminate Cayman’s current seven-year term-limit for foreign workers and allow everyone who stays in Cayman for between seven and eight consecutive years to apply for permanent residence was presented to Cabinet.  

Neither proposal was discussed last Wednesday during the first media briefing held by the new government.  

“Today’s our first day in,” Ms O’Connor-Connolly said on Wednesday. “We have an extreme amount of housekeeping to do. At a minimum, we would have to go back to parliament one time.”  

Deputy Premier Rolston Anglin hinted that government’s legislative priorities may not be as ambitious as they once had been.  

“We will see Cayman through 100 days or so that this Legislative Assembly lives,” Mr. Anglin said, referring to the dissolution of the House set to occur in late March ahead of the regularly scheduled 22 May general election.  

 

ForCayman Alliance 

One key agenda item of the United Democratic Party government that will apparently be carried forward by the new five-member “minority government” is the ForCayman Investment Alliance proposal.  

The massive land-swap deal includes controversial plans to relocate a section of West Bay Road in the Seven Mile Beach area and build a new landfill facility in Midland Acres, in the district of Bodden Town. Health Minister Mark Scotland, who represents Bodden Town in the assembly, said it was the new government’s intention to push ahead with the ForCayman plans, even if they didn’t finish it off.  

“In terms of the timing of that arrangement, some of those things may not come into being prior to the dissolution of the House in March anyway,” Mr. Scotland said. “But as far as from a government perspective, I would expect that we are going to be continuing on with negotiations as a government … as we continue to develop that agreement, the ForCayman alliance, because we still consider it to be a very beneficial arrangement for the country.”  

Minister Anglin said he believed any government taking power after the May 2013 election would likely take the same stance.  

“I don’t think any candidate in the upcoming election is going to be anti-development or anti-growth in the economy,” he said. “The key is that the system of procurement we use is one that all parties will agree to.” 

12 COMMENTS

  1. However, no new taxation will be proposed.

    Person spending budget money for luxury does not have moral right even to use words new taxation.

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  2. Speaker – don’t limit your analysis to the article. Sometimes the Media doesn’t fill in the blanks – like the Public still hasn’t been told what their questions were to the Commissioner on the missing Police Van that he refused to answer. In fact out of fear perhaps the story has gone dead.

    That stated, the Legislative Assembly cannot do business unless it has a quorum of at least 8 members.

    Therefore the 5 exUDP member are only able to call a meeting of the Legislative Assembly to proceed with the massive land swap if they can get either 3 member of the PPM, or Ezzard and Arden one member of the PPM. The 4 UDP members have stated that they will not support the Government at all – so getting them to assist in making Quorum is not going to happen.

    Ezzard and PPM have both said they support the 5 exUDP members – so unless they say otherwise, they must now support the land swap.

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  3. I’m certainly not against Expats but Government needs to tread carefully when it comes to changes to the Term Limit determining when / how people can apply for permanent residence.

    I agree that people should be able to be resident in the island for as long as they want to be, but citizenship, the right to vote should strictly be a privilege obtained by marriage or a birthright. It is far too easy to endure these islands for 8 or more years until you are awarded citizenship or given an opportunity to your path to it.

    Each year non-citizen residents should need to meet the same requirements they needed to when they first entered the country. Be able to fiscally take or yourself and your dependents, be filling a vacancy that otherwise could not be satisfied by the local labour force. After you reach a certain threshold (8 years, 12 years etc.) then the last requirement is more relaxed. Considering roll over was never meant to be anything about work, then I don’t see a problem with the giving someone enough job security to make them feel comfortable with a long term investment in the island (i.e. buying a house).

    This country needs to slow down. Its throwing way to many nationalities with different viewpoints and cultures into the pot too quickly. The voting population is changing at a faster rate than the country leaders can adapt to.

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  4. Oooiii !

    Understand that if these Caymanian so-called politicians are going to survive and grow into the political leaders that their country now needs…

    They wiil have to understand and graduate to the level of COALITION government.

    Were I living in Cayman now…could any of this lot come to me for a vote…we who grew up together, competed against each other in our early careers…and as important…

    Our physical fitness and sporting careers ?

    Please…give me a break !!

    This lot of so-called LA members are the next generation of Cayman’s political leaders…

    And the British Govt. has given them a golden chance to prove themselves…I only hope, for Cayman’s sake…

    That they don’t mess it up.

    As far as knocking on my door for a vote, were I to be still living in Cayman now…

    The less said about that…

    The better.

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  5. Merry Christmas a Happy New Years to everyone at the Compass and all my fellow posters.

    I enjoy being part of this community; people with wit, humour and with opinions that do make an impact on our community.

    Best Wishes to All for the Following Year.

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  6. Atticus..you say that Following these politicians can make you dizzy.It seems as if you were indeed dizzy when you read the article in question because you missed a very important point.The fact is that PPM and the Independents agreed to assist the Julie Alliance by having enough members show up to allow a legal meeting of the LA to take place ,as you described in one of your posts.With regard to legislation being proposed by Cabinet ,PPM and the Independents stated that this will be dealt with on a case by case basis.In other words they will only support legislation if they believe it is in the best interest of the Caymanian people.This is not the total support that your comments imply.If you were in a court of law ,you would be accused of failing to tell the whole truth.So please remember to tell the truth,the whole truth ,and nothing but the truth,and you should be ok.

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  7. Sorry to the Post UDP 5, but will they need 8 members – that’s 3 more plus themselves in order to pass one of their key legislative priorities. Nothing will get done if they don’t have the support of 3, and lets review Opposition for a moment.

    1. It looks like the Bush UDP 4 is at complete variance with the Post UDP 5, and will not be rendering their support.

    2. Ezzard and Arden both Independence have expressed their misgivings about deals that were made and projects like the ForCayman Investment Alliance deal. So I don’t think they will support these swap arrangements.

    3. The Alden PPM 4 have a hate for the Post UDP 5 because they supported Bush whenever he always attacked them for their financial mismanagement of the countrys funds in 2005-2008. More than ever the PPM leaders desire control and set the record straight. So they wont be working with the Post UDP 5, viewed to them as defeated enemies. They would rather be a party of NO until the General Elections. Besides they believe they have nothing to lose because not one UDP or Post UDP member will be getting back in… they are certain about it.

    So out of 15 MLAs, I think the Post UDP 5 stand alone on passing key legislations. HOWEVER THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS:

    1. They may get the National Pensions Law reformed. They may get support from Ezzard and some PPM members in raising the age 60 to 65.

    2. They may get come changes to the Immigration Laws like the Term Limit. Alden McLaughlin indicated two years ago that the Term Limit is not working and made the public announcment that he is no more supporting the policy. However Alden has been indecisive so much, we have to see if the Post UDP 5 get the PPM support.

    However, I think it is a high probability that the Post UDP 5 will not be getting any support for the ForCayman Investment Alliance. The PPM 4 may support it since Dart has already cleared out land and bush. But they may decide to support it after the General Elections with the view of them returning back into power.

    The problem with being the Party of NO, is that they will have C4C to contend with. So they will have to ponder whether or not they want to be known as a party of NO or against development; or take the chance. C4C is a force that appears to be against both UDP and PPM party.

    Time will tell

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  8. Atticus – it is obviously a leap to say that because the Opposition and the independent members have indicated that they will help form a quorum (and determine whether or not to support the matters brought on a case by case basis) that they are now supporting the closure of the WB road.

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