Government delays motion debates

The ruling government delayed debates initially set for Thursday on proposals to create a minimum wage in the Cayman Islands and to implement “one man, one vote” ahead of the 2017 general election.

The issues came to the Legislative Assembly via private members motions filed by independent Members of the Legislative Assembly Arden McLean and Ezzard Miller. Private members motions, if they pass, are advisory in nature to the government and not legally binding.

Premier Alden McLaughlin said his government planned to address both motions comprehensively, but that members simply needed more time in political caucus to review the measures.

The premier, who is traveling to London on Friday, proposed resuming the Legislative Assembly to consider both issues in mid-February.

Mr. McLaughlin said he would rather begin debate on the motions on either Feb. 17 or Feb. 19 because he “would really want the leader of the opposition to be present.”

“He’s so gracious,” Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush joked.

Mr. McLean questioned why the opposition leader had to be present for the debate and asked if the motions could be dealt with during the week prior.

“Certainly, we would like to have the premier here to accept [the motions] or reject [them],” Mr. McLean said. “We can’t forever be waiting on these other opposition.”

Mr. Miller has offered a private members motion supporting a $5 per hour minimum wage several times since he was re-elected to the house in 2009. Both he and Mr. McLean have also pushed for the creation of single member voting districts and attempted to enact those provisions via a referendum in 2012 that was ultimately unsuccessful.

Mr. McLaughlin has supported the creation of a minimum wage in the past and has also voiced support for ‘one man, one vote’.

However, his political opponents, including Mr. Bush, have claimed that he is actually in favor of neither and is merely paying lip service to what he views as popular political positions.

The premier has previously denied all such claims.

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