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Mervin Smith details $500 tourism subsidy proposal

West Bay North candidate Mervin Smith told Cayman 27 he has the solution for stagnant wages; a $500 subsidy for Caymanians in the tourism sector.

He said tourism workers have been hit especially hard by wage stagnation. He told Cayman 27 wages in the industry have increased by just 46 cents an hour – pennies – since the 1990’s.

He said the subsidy would provide immediate relief for those already in the industry, and encourage unemployed Caymanians to get involved in tourism.

“If we can encourage individuals to go back to work, give them $500, then they are earning some of the money that they’ll need to live in these islands, then they’re on a path, a path to becoming sustaining citizens in the country, that’s the whole reason for this initiative,” said Mr. Smith.

So how does he plan to pay for it?

Mr. Smith told Cayman 27 the plan would pay for itself once enough unemployed Caymanians return to work, removing them from social service rolls.

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to

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