Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin laid out governments list of priorities for the 2020/2021 budget Friday (12 April) in his final strategic policy statement as leader of the country’s political directorate.
Mr. McLaughlin reflected on his administrations’ achievements and pledged not to rest on his laurels in his final two years as Premier.
Mr. McLaughlin said while he believes the nation is in a better place than when he first took office back in 2013, his Government of National Unity still has work to do.
“These next two years will not be a gentle-wind down, but rather a ramping-up of delivery,” said Mr. McLaughlin.
While boasting the lowest Caymanian unemployment rate in more than a decade at 4.6%, Mr. McLaughlin stressed that more can be done to help curb unfair employment practices.
He said the house will debate legislation to create a long-awaited fair employment opportunities commission in its next meeting.
“I believe it’s a crucial piece in the overall approach this government is creating to secure the fair treatment of Caymanians. Its key purpose is to penalise unfair practices,” said Mr. McLaughlin.
The Premier said his administration is stepping on the gas to ease traffic congestion, commissioning a mass transit study, and accelerating the timeline for extension of the East/West arterial by more than two years.
“We will take the route first through to Northward and then on to Bodden town, the cost of this work is likely to be some $18 million,” said Mr. McLaughlin.
Mr. McLaughlin also touched on education, saying the 20-20/20-21 budget will provide the needed funding to bring teacher salaries to at least $5,000 per month.
“The next step is to change the curriculum, and from this September a new curriculum will be introduced to our primary schools based on the latest British schools curriculum,” said Mr. McLaughlin.
Additionally, he announced new governing bodies for Cayman Public Schools will be established in the next two years, which will take on responsibility for raising student levels of achievement.
Cayman’s 27 Joe Avary and Kafara Augustine sat down on Friday (12 April) to breakdown the contents of the Premier’s SPS.