The Strategic Policy Statement (SPS), delivered before Parliament on July 14th 2021, offers a broad overview of the Government’s long-term policy plans. This document is used to hold the standing Cayman Islands Government accountable for the delivery of campaign promises and the responsible management of public finances.
Some of the objectives introduced in the SPS by the PACT Government include economic recovery for the Cayman Islands’ and the continued safety of its people, a more concerted emphasis on sustainable development, enhanced education programmes, expansion of the Island’s healthcare sector, additional support for vulnerable youth, incentivisation for Caymanian hire and even the decriminalisation of marijuana.
SPS Outcomes and Objectives
The PACT Government introduced ten main strategic outcomes in the SPS that involve a range of key community areas, summarised below. These will be actioned through the delivery of Government funded programmes, Cabinet policy actions and legislative changes. Further details regarding budget allocations and timelines are expected at a later date.
Improving education to promote lifelong learning and greater economic mobility. Some of the means for achieving this include increased funding for early education programmes and homework centres, reintroduction of A-Levels into the public schools and the introduction of Technical and Vocational training into school curriculums.
Ensuring an equitable, sustainable, and successful healthcare system by offering free healthcare to children and the elderly, improving youth mental-health support, promoting healthcare as a viable career for Caymanians.
Provide the solutions to improve the well-being of Caymanians so that they can achieve their full potential – with financial assistance for daycare, additional support for vulnerable young people, rehabilitation for young offenders, decriminalisation of marijuana and improving links between the Needs Assessment Unit, Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman and the Department of Children and Family Services.
Strengthening good governance for more effective government – proposals include a code of conduct for Parliament and Cabinet, more frequent press briefings, increased public access to information.
Supporting climate change resilience and sustainable development with enforced governance for land use, updates to Cayman’s Climate Change Policy and full realisation of the National Energy Policy, including capital spending for solar farms.
Increasing social justice in the workforce and enhancing job opportunities through implementation of a system to match work permit applications with eligible unemployed Caymanians, stricter enforcement of labour laws, introduction of a whistle-blower programme over illegal practices, accreditation system for hiring and training Caymanians etc.
Utilising sports to enhance the lives of Caymanians by encouraging a culture of fitness, increased funding for sports development and tourism, improved access to facilities for people with disabilities, increased sports facilities for public use.
Building a modern infrastructure to ensure a successful future for the Cayman Islands – this will include revising Cayman’s National Development Plan, flood management, the establishment of a national infrastructure fund and funding for an underwater communications cable.
Improving our financial services as an industry product and economic driver for Cayman by engaging proactively with regulatory bodies, networking with key stakeholders, continuing to refute tax haven myths and educating on the positive economic impact of financial services in the Cayman Islands.
Improving our tourism industry as a product and economic driver by diversifying Cayman’s tourism markets, expanding Cayman Airways routes, improving public transport and improving the national tourism education strategy.
For a complete summary of action items for each outcome, and to read the Strategic Policy Statement 2022-2024 in full, click here.
Economic Forecasts and Projections 2022-2024
Another key component of the policy statements are the economic forecasts. In a bid to reduce the economic fallout Cayman is still experiencing from the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government intends to utilise the $330.5 million line of credit established in 2020. The exact amount accessed, and the allocation of funds are still to be specified.
That said, Cayman’s economic forecast is trending upwards, with an expected recovery of the Tourism sector, and continued strong performances from the construction and financial industries. Government predicts the increased demand for goods and services and additional revenue generated from import duties will see the Island’s total operating revenue reach $2.7 billion during the 3-year SPS period (2022-2024), an average increase of 28% from the $1.5 billion yielded during 2019 and 2020 combined. The Government has also provided a framework for reducing outstanding debt from $499.1 million at the end of 2022 to $398.8 million by 2024 year end.
See below an overview of the economic forecasts and projections for the 2022-2024 SPS period. For a detailed summary of the economic forecasts and projections, read the Strategic Policy Statement 2022-2024 report in full.
- Government is taking definitive steps to maintain a sustainable level of Operating Expenditure, which is forecast to be $2.6 billion for SPS period.
- Reduction in Finance Costs over SPS period, primarily due to repayment of Core Government’s debt.
- Outputs from Statutory Authorities & Government (SAGs) will marginally increase, primarily due to support of the HSA, the Cayman Islands National Insurance Company and Cayman Airways Limited.
- Additional funds being made available for Scholarships, Bursaries and Financial Assistance will marginally increase Transfer Payments.
- Core Government’s Net Worth is expected to improve from $1.3 billion in 2022 to $1.4 billion in 2023 and subsequently increasing to the higher end of $1.4 billion in 2024.
- Outstanding debt to be reduced to $398.8 million by the end of 2024.
- Planned capital investments into Ministries, Portfolios and Offices over the SPS period will total $330.8 million.