50 Years ago: Questions on government spending

In the Feb. 2, 1966 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, Bodden Town correspondent Arthur Hunter wrote:

“Each morning for over a week now a group of men from this Town travel to a point almost opposite the Beach Club, off the West Bay Road, where they are engaged in clearing the property of Mr. O. W. Foster.

“It is encouraging to note that some of the men of this town have begun to benefit from what promises to be a boom year for these islands. With the airport resurfacing soon to get under way, the numerous developments planned for the West Bay Beach area and other parts of the island and the continued erection of new homes and office buildings, the labour force of this island should look forward to a heyday. With the labour force fully employed, it follows that there will be more money in circulation, a fact that should [be] to the benefit of many. The more money there is in the hands of the labourers the greater will be their purchasing power.

“The merchants will sell more and likewise will be forced to import more. An increase to importation will mean increased revenues for government in the form of customs duties.

“One wonders what the financial brains of the islands plan to do with any increase in revenues. Surely they should consider utilizing it on our roads, now that the heavy equipment brought here for the airport resurfacing is available. If this opportunity is lost, the job will still have to be done in a short time at a far greater cost. It should not be forgotten that the heavy equipment that will ply our roads during the airport resurfacing period is going to hasten their deterioration, so the powers that be had better start planning that now.

“Let’s hope when next the roads are being resurfaced there will be enough asphalt left for the eastern districts after the roads of the ‘city’ of George Town and its suburbs have been surfaced.”