Premier Alden McLaughlin’s strategic policy statement last Friday (12 April) outlined government’s priorities for the upcoming 2020/2021 budget period.
Mr. McLaughlin says government’s total operating expenditure targets of$ 734.2 million in 2020, 741.7 million in 2021, and 746.8 million in 2022 will be put to good use in coming years to fund key priorities across a range of ministries.
Over that same three-year period, government has set a target of $383.4 million in capital expenditures for investment in education facilities, road infrastructure, and public safety facilities.
In his SPS address Friday, Mr. McLaughlin gave a progress update on one of these capital projects: the long-awaited completion of the new John Gray High School campus.
“The target of completing the project in time for the 2021/2022 academic year is ambitious but achievable provided there are no significant delays in the procurement or build-out of the new school,” said Mr. McLaughlin.
Other capital investments in education include three new classrooms at Red Bay primary, the construction of a hall at Bodden Town primary, new artificial turf football fields at Red Bay, Bodden Town, and Prospect primary schools, and artificial turf play-fields at Spot Bay and East End primary schools.
Mr. McLaughlin’s SPS also tackled the issues of health and aging.
“Most Caymanians are living far longer than they used to. Those welcome extra years of life are spent post-retirement and often without access to affordable insurance,” said Mr. McLaughlin.
The premier said government consulted on a new post-65 health insurance programme last year, and said proposals are in the works to take this idea forward.
He said a review of CINICO and the role it plays is in the works and will be a crucial step in addressing broader issues in the health insurance market.