Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush has based his parliamentary career upon serving the needs of his constituents in West Bay. He has added one more chapter to his political biography by requesting a substantial increase in funding for the Cayman Islands Meals on Wheels program.
The $150,000 to $200,000 that Mr. Bush is suggesting will help Meals on Wheels feed the 176 seniors on its client list and also expand its services throughout Grand Cayman, where the organization has identified an additional 160 people who need assistance in West Bay and North Side.
Meals on Wheels currently receives $52,000 per year from government. Last year, Meals on Wheels sought an additional $88,000 for its expansion — government responded with an insulting increase of $8,000.
This year, the group repeated its request for more funds — this time, government granted them nothing extra.
Some weeks ago, we wrote in an editorial, “When public sector budgets are being crafted, every dollar is a decision. Where money is allocated … is an indication of the value placed on that subject or cause.”
Mr. Bush’s intervention, if successful, will help to put our country’s priorities in proper order.
In a subsequent editorial on the same subject, we wrote that the opportunity to fund Meals on Wheels “is one of those moments — a moment that we must not let pass — that summons the conscience of our country.”
Mr. Bush has consulted his conscience and answered its call on behalf of Cayman’s neglected, but nevertheless beloved, elderly community.
To lawmakers’ credit, the Legislative Assembly unanimously supported Mr. Bush’s general motion, but the government has not committed to a specific dollar figure.
According to how much (or how little) actual additional funding that Meals on Wheels receives in the next budget, we — and our entire readership — shall see where our leaders’ priorities lie, and what their conscience has told them.