Opposition Leader Roy McTaggart has slammed the government as being confused and incapable of effective action as he shed further light on the filing of a motion of ‘Lack of Confidence in the Government’ in Parliament on Wednesday.
“We have, in the Cayman Islands today, a government beset by controversies of its own making; mired in confusion and internal division, and incapable of effective action,” explained McTaggart.
“Our islands are facing significant challenges, and we cannot afford a government asleep at the wheel. There are those in government whom we believe wish to see the country progress and are very capable if given the opportunity and the right environment,” said McTaggart, who noted that the motion was seconded by Deputy Opposition Leader Joseph Hew.
McTaggart said that “several of them have spoken to us about their frustrations with the current leadership, or lack of leadership, and the general unease in their Caucus”.
The opposition leader said he is urging those who have expressed their frustration to join the Opposition and vote in favour of the motion when it comes to Parliament.
He said that by voting in the affirmative, they will be voting for a “fresh start” and will have “taken a patriotic step” in helping rescue “our Islands from a state of malaise”.
According to McTaggart, the Opposition had from the outset, “tried to be constructive” and to “offer our ideas to a government that lacked experience and had no coherent programme”.
He added: “I offered to work with the premier on the national COVID response and the re-opening of our economy. I gave him a range of suggestions to help families facing the cost-of-living crisis. I warned the Finance Minister during the budget session that his budget plans ignored the looming dark clouds of increasing inflation.
“He ignored those warnings, and the country is suffering because of it. We have also brought motions to Parliament seeking to drive forward action that will benefit our people. These have been ignored or, at best, taken up grudgingly and after needless delay. But ultimately, with no real action.”
McTaggart said that the business of effective government is proving impossible due to what he described as a lack of leadership from the current premier and the apparent divisions within the Cabinet and Government Caucus, while the cost-of-living crisis is escalating.
“Families face considerable hardship while many local businesses grapple with rocketing costs and a squeeze on profits. The government forecasts that Cayman’s economy will still not have recovered to its pre-pandemic level by the end of this year, 20 months after the PACT government took office. It is clear where the accountability for failure needs to lie,” McTaggart noted.
For his part, Hew said these “failures to deliver results” for Caymanian are further compounded by ineffective governance.
Hew said: “We have seen ministers breaking the Code of Conduct that they themselves devised. We have seen ministers making policy announcements that they have to walk back due to a lack of support from their colleagues and the public.
“In recent days, we have seen the divisions in the PACT government revealed again, with both the premier and a minister claiming credit for supposedly getting Speaker Bush to agree to step down as Speaker; and with the premier publicly reprimanding his minister for not showing restraint.”
Dr McKeeva Bush walked away from the post following a widely publicised incident at an official function recently. The matter was being probed by the police.
Hew added: “Members of the public are also concerned about the lack of implementation of many common-sense measures suggested by the Opposition to address the cost-of-living crisis affecting families. The Premier and his Government have done little to assist our people. And then only after being prodded by the Opposition to act.”
Hew also lamented the lack of sittings of Parliament to tackle the various problems being confronted by the country and consequently any remedies while noting that the country deserves better.
McTaggart took up that theme: “Yes, the country deserves better, and we need an alternative government that is ready to step in and take the action our country needs.
Our people need action from the government to support them through the challenges ahead. The country needs action that only an experienced Progressives-led government can deliver.
“We hope responsible members of the government will be persuaded by the debate that we will put to Parliament and that they will support our motion of no confidence. The Progressives, along with a coalition of the capable, can then look to form a government to take the country forward over the two and a half years that remain before the next general election.
“Given the challenges facing the country, new experienced leadership offers the best route to putting in place the government and the programme of action that the Cayman Islands need.
“Cayman is crying out for strong, capable leadership. Our people need action from the government to support them through the challenges ahead. The country needs action that only an experienced Progressives-led government can deliver.”
In closing, Mr McTaggart said, the convention in the Westminster system of government demands that a motion on a lack of confidence in the government is a matter, which ought to be dealt with expeditiously.
He said such a motion places the government in an untenable position and a position of uncertainty.
“So, we expect this motion to be dealt with when the Parliament next meets on October 5th, 2022,” he said.