Miller says CS overpaid

| 16/03/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman headline news(CNS): The release of the Miller–Shaw report into the public domain on Monday will make tough reading this week for the Cayman Islands’ public sector workers. Although the report made a number of observations and recommendations about the causes and resolutions for the country’s fiscal management problems, the civil service (CS) has emerged as its main target. The report described civil service pay and benefits as “extraordinarily generous by standards of other developed nations” and said that government workers were receiving far more than those in the jurisdictions with which Cayman has to compete for business in financial services and tourism.

The report raises concerns regarding the unfunded liabilities of the civil service health benefits and pension funds, and states that personnel costs are crippling the Cayman government.  As a result, it recommends that government undertake major cuts and privatizes some of the services currently provided by the public sector.

Speaking about the Miller report on Monday morning at a specially convened press briefing, the premier said his government would be implementing may of the measures recommended in the report. McKeeva Bush said that during his visit to the UK, the report formed the basis of the talks with the FCO on how government would set about dealing with Cayman’s future financial problems. Bush admitted that, while the UK was supportive of the recommended cuts in the report, the FCO had expressed its disappointment that the authors had not offered any new revenue raising measure such as direct taxation. The report was commissioned by the UDP government as part of the conditions set by the UK to offer approval for borrowing over the government’s own legal limit. The UK had asked the CIG to study not just how to bring down government expenditure but how to raise more revenue in a more direct, equitable and sustainable way.

In the report, the authors, James Miller III, a former aide to the Ronald Regan administration, from the US and David Shaw, a former Conservative MP from the UK’s parliament, both on the right of the political spectrum when it comes to economics and monetarist policies, said that Cayman was already taxed to, if not beyond, its limit and recommended that it did not introduce any more taxes or fees.

“Government’s current levies on the financial services and tourism industries are very close, if not beyond, the point of maximizing revenue,” Miller and Shaw wrote. “Further increases would drive away business to such an extent that even with higher levies revenue to Government would fall.”

The report suggests that if Cayman was to choose a widening of its tax base instead of cutting expenditure, it would have to include all Caymanians including the poorest but that it would still not necessarily produce the desired effect of raising enough money to fund the current levels of public spending.

“In order to provide anywhere near sufficient revenues, the tax -rates would need to be at international developed-country levels, and the tax base widened to include all Caymanians, including possibly some of the poorest,” the report states. “Even that might not work, since with its island geography, an increase in taxes would place Cayman at a significant competitive disadvantage for financial services, tourism, and other potential enterprises, and may residents could depart the Islands.”

The authors conclude that the course of action for the CIG should be to sell assets, privatize some elements of the public sector, but above all to reduce the size of the public sector and engage in a major overhaul of how it is managed and paid. The report is heavily weighted in favour of reducing spending rather than raising revenue, so much so that it recommended reducing some of the existing taxation with the removal of tax on fund transfers as well as a reduction of work permit fees.

Echoing the sentiments recently expressed by the UDP administration, Miller suggests that the CIG needs to increase the number of work-permits and make the country’s guest worker programme more flexible.

The report offers no new revenue raising measures other than the utilization or sale of existing assets and the privatization of services therefore reducing the burden on core government. Although it recommends that government study ways of raising the same revenue but minimizing the adverse effects on economic activity of various levies, it does not say what those revenue raising measures might be. The report agrees with the principle of using private sector partnerships to develop the outstanding infrastructure needs of the country and therefore broaden its income base through a growth in private sector.

Among the numerous observations that Miller makes, he also criticises government for its poor record when it comes to statistics and says the budget process need to be far more transparent and calls for more accountability from government.

Check back to CNS throughout this week for more from the Miller report and its comments on the CIG’s lack of financial transparency as well as accountability when it comes to the budget management.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    My Favourite sections of the Miller Report:

    "We also carried out some informal comparisons of senior grades in Cayman with similar grades in Ireland and the U.K. Allowing for the fact there is no income tax in Cayman, the net-of-tax salaries are superior. Indeed from our informal calculation, taking benefits into account the top five grades in Cayman all have higher net-of-tax annual incomes than the U.K. Prime Minister! We stress that these were informal comparisons, but they do appear to justify an investigation into the precise position of what appears to be an unjustified anomaly in salary scales…"

    Comparisons of Benefits

    "We have researched widely and cannot find a government with better benefit terms especially as both the pension benefit and the healthcare benefit are effectively noncontributory.  These benefits may be among the best, and most expensive, in the world.  We also consider that their true costs are unaffordable, as they risk making Government‘s debt burden unsustainable…"

    "On a number of cost and numerical measurement criteria, Cayman‘s public sector employment comes out at the higher end of the range by international standards. The measures are: the proportion of personnel costs to GDP; the number of government employees relative to the population and to total employment; and cost compared with total Government expenditure.  Cayman‘s total Government personnel cost base is on a par with the most expensive advanced economies in the world, although those countries’ civil servants have both wider and more responsibilities..."

    "The pension benefit is effectively non-contributory, as the Government is paying the employees’ contribution as an addition to salary, which is a more generous basis than the U.K. and U.S. civil service…"

    "The civil service salary scale in use in Cayman is among the most generous of any country in the world."

    "With better planning and restraint with respect to personnel costs, the two new schools could have been funded from the Government‘s own resources, without recourse to borrowing."

    And to those less fortunate in the CS here’s your ammunition:

    "There is an enormous unfairness in the current pension policy of the Government. It is very much a two-tier structure, with one group of civil servants benefiting at the cost of another. Civil servants on the defined benefit program are privileged with a top quality, but unaffordable, non-contributory program, whereas those doing the same or similar work but on the defined contribution plan are having to pay more…"

    And after reading Miller’s comments on the importance of bringing the audits up to date before spending any more (in keeping with what the Auditor General has been pressing for), I am not as convinced as others that this report was produced merely to Bushes order as suggested by others.  If that were the case the report would encourage him to continue his reckless spending and ditch any auditing for a few more years!

     

     

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    Did we need a special report to tell us that the CS is overpaid? It would be nice if we could all stay home and still get paid. Unbelievable!

  3. t Kidd says:

    Gov’t created this mess, now they have to clean it up. You can’t blame the rank-and-file worker to want to work for the CS when it was so attractive to do so.Good pay, great benefits and many did little but yap on the phone all day

    When gov’t revenues were fat, Gov’t could afford to hire excessive amounts of locals without the concept of efficiency; there was always lots of surplus cash. Times have changed, Cayman is not wealthy enough anymore to carry that much employee dead-weight , especially since  the rollover has chased thousands of ex-pats away.

    Cayman’s problem has always been that the locals pay very little of their own salaries in taxation, yet their expectations are similar to highly taxed first world countries The tried-and-true solution always has been to stick it to everyone BUT themselves. I saw my work permit triple in 9 years, I saw fees of every kind get jacked up, it was always the ex-pat and business paying  for the excesses of a dimwitted, short-sighted government.

    Its about time that CAYMANIANS finally get their house in order and start paying THEIR fair share.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  4. Anonymous says:

    The Government must revert to the time when the Treasury controlled the spending of the country. Every department has their own check book and can spend money as they chose. Thisis ridiculous; Treasury Department must regain control of the spending in order to control it.

    I can recall the former Chief Immigration Officer having catered lunches for his staff on a regular basis (and i don’t mean two or three times a year, I mean regular), as well as giving them raises that they surely did not deserve, this foolishness must stop!!!

  5. Kenny Rogers says:

    I’ll bet my last dollar that we overpaid for this report.

  6. De Wiz says:

    Coming from People like Miller and Shaw who come from Financial systems who have enriched the wealthy few by raping and unscrupulous and down right criminal conduct in the financial markets. Republican and conservatives are the last people on this planet to get financial advice from.Their trickle down polices set the path to the eventual Global melt down in the world markets and financial crisis. Using conflict and wars to influence and offset the financial markets around the world. How is increasing work permits on this island along with the population, how is that going to resolved the situation. Putting too many people in a very small area with a small infrastructure is inevitably going to bring strife and conflict. We are now seeing certain symptoms of this situation in the form of crime. Lessen the demands on our fragile environment infrastructure and or services that should be our new policy. The build and they shall come solution is a recipe for disaster. Report says cut Civil service but you increase population simply make no sense. Fire away greedy dissenters oh Yeah, the truth may be offensive to many but it is not a sin.

  7. Anonymous says:

    While this isn’t true throughout the report, why do figures 2-8 and 2-9 focus on only the years 2005-2009?

    This report is good (yes I have read it!), but appears to be skewed across it to discredit the prevoius government.  Some of the items go back to 1988 and that is where the real truth lies, this government (both parties) have spent as much or more each year than they should have done.  I guess they never thought this rainy day would come.

  8. Anonymous says:

    No Taxes, hip, hip horray.. oh wait a minute salary cuts!! so what’s in it for me, income tax soon come for the middle class or is it the working poor?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Oh Dear,

    I cant stand it. Why dont Mackeeva do something or just shut up.

    Today he will make cuts to the civil service. Tomorrow the Governor or his aides will say no you cant do it.

    I bet Mac must presently hold the record of the Worlds greatest flip flopper.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Miller’s report has said everything that the Government has been saying for the past few months -and he didn’t offer any suggestions for broadening our revenue base!!. So much for a financial expert, now we know who’s finances he’s an expert with – no wonder he’s a millionaire!

    This means either, we just paid money we couldn’t afford for nothing or that he was paid to reinforce a position that the Government has already established. Either way it seems unnecessary. Wonder if he reduced his fee by 25%? Fat chance!

      

    • Anonymous says:

      Tue, 03/16/2010 – 19:46 thank you.  The following excerpt from you post above stands out and seems very clear to me:  "he was paid to reinforce a position that the Government has already established". Nuff said!

    • CS says:

      yep, blame the messenger for the message.

      He might have said "Government has been saying for the past few months", but Gov still hasn’t acted on their own advice now have they

      As for broadening revenue, direct tax will destroy Cayman, you don’t want to to sell any Gov assets.

      This is a smallisland there are only a limited number of revenue avenues.

      Hey maybe we should offer the states to house all the Gitmo prisoners in Northward for cash

  11. Anonymous says:

    It makes me sick.

    Private business is underpaying their staff. Government is paying a reasonable salary, still not enough to support a family. Therefor compared to private companies it looks like overpaying.

    It makes me sick hearing about cut this and cut that. Don’t you people realize we are talking here about real people and families. Most people have to support their older parent also, since there is no pension for these folks.

    Take it from the rich. . . . . and we all know who they are.

    Put a heavy tax on churches. They rent out land, apartments, parkings etc. Has nothing to do with running a church.

    It is disgusting how people talk about each other here.

    I am leaving.

     

  12. Boston Tea Party says:

    PS.  This report should finally debunk the myth that tourism is an important sector of this country’s economy.  Tourism generates (dirrectly) only 5% of the government revenue and not that much more of GDP.  It should be disregarded for all intents and purposes.  The operators that are successful can and will survive without the (useless) subsidy of a hugh port development, and the rest should go to the wall, where they belong.   Tourism is a service industry; the people who make the profit are few in number, the work is all done by expats as the pay is insufficient to appeal to citizens.  Where is the overall good in that?  Apart from the "few"?

    • Anonymous says:

      Tourism is not a contributor ? Tell me you got an education ? Tourists come here on? Cayman Airways (employs Caymanians), they get a Taxi (Driven by a Caymanian) or rent a car (from a Caymanian Business Owner), they rent a villa or Hotel, they go to stingray city (With a Caymanian Operator), they buy goods in shops (Owned by Caymanians), they take a trip to Rum Point (Owned by a Caymanian), they rent the water sports facilities (from a Caymanian), they have lunch (Owned by a Caymanian), they have dinner at restaurants…Government receives a 10% room tax on all the room revenues , Government takes work permit fees for all those expats you are talking about….Those same expat workers are renting accommodation (from a Caymanian) A Hotel imports everything – All consumables making it one of the largest contributors of Import Duties on the Island…Hotels MEP equipment are maintained and supplied by Caymanian Business’s…

      Now if the Tourist likes it he buys a property here and pays a 6% stamp duty to the Government the house is built by a (a Caymanian) and the second largest employer on the island is  the construction industry – construction industry is led by the Tourism Industry…

      Tourism employs directly and indirectly more people on this island than Financial Services …

      I would suggest you use your head before making such a foolish statement really….

      • Anonymous says:

        You have clearly displayed that if there is anyone on here who has lost a head and the ability to understand who is gaining in Caymanian society it is you Tue, 03/16/2010 – 23:54. Check out most of the businesses that you claim are run by or employs Caymanians and you will find yourself to be wrong. Furthermore, nowadays "Caymanian" means a great many things other than the true meaning of the work. No, dear poster, you are so wrong, Caymanians benefit little from such businesses.

        • Anonymous says:

          Ok lets verify that…

          Client flies on Cayman Airways – owned by the people of Grand Cayman

          Client Rents a Car – from budget rent a car – owned by a prominent Caymanian Businessman

          or

          Client takes a Taxi – impossible to get a LCCL license from Business Licensing Board to run a taxi operation unless you are Caymanian

          Client stays at Grand Caymanian Resort (Ramada) – Owned by prominent Caymanian family.

          Client goes to Stingray city with Captain Marvin – Caymanian owned business

          Client has lunch at Rum Point – owned jointly by a prominent Caymanian in partnership with a foreign investor .

          Client hires water sports craft from Red Sail Sports – owned jointly by a Caymanian businessman and foreign Investor

          I personally know each one of these business owners and do business with them, the comments on this post are  by people who have no experience in the Tourism Industry

          Client goes to the Botanical Gardens or Boatswains beach or Kirks to buy Jewelry – you will find these are owned by good Caymanian businessmen…

          I know many wealthy Caymanians who made their money from the Tourism Industry…Check with DOT you will find almost 50% of Hotel Licenses owned by Caymanians…

          Don’t speculate deal in fact, since I am a 20 year Hospitality veteran I deal with these Caymanians every day…

          My post was to chastise the Boston Tea Part y post about the dangers of encouraging us to Ignore Tourism, we are partly in this mess because we ignored Tourism and it’s revenue generating potential…We did not encourage the right type of development and we are years behind the competition in the Caribbean…Cayman needs 7000 dedicated hotel rooms, not 2200 rooms (the true figure)…It needs diversification of product, Caibbean Inns Guest Houses Luxury retreats, Spa retreats and Branded Mass Tourism Hotels , Golf Courses etc…

          If we invest in Tourism we will generate a sustainable revenue base and not be subject to the rise and fall of the financial services industry…

          You will find the Tourism industry is the largest payer of Import duties on the island, everything in a hotel is imported…Now if that does not convince you that Caymanians don’t benefit from these revenues building your schools paving your roads and paying your civil servants salaries then by all means get your head checked…

          People need to stop playing the victim…a good days work for a small wage is far better than arrogantly sitting on ones but saying I am beneath that wage…This recession is a wake up call…

          Ignore Tourism at your peril, I have done the numbers 7000 rooms 10% hotel rooms tax and import duties work permit fees and associated economic impact covers about 90% of total Government revenue needs.

           

           

           

           

          • noname says:

            Build it and they will come, hey?  What rubbish.  There are two major hotels lying empty and dark, and the rest operating at well below full occupancy.  The Beach Club has closed or is closing down.  The ground has not been broken on the two (alleged) major hotel projects out east, and there are half finished 5* resorts abandoned in our competitor jurisdictions.

            The point of the OP is that, whilst tourism might generateincome for a few wealthy Caymanians and their foreign investors, it does not generate jobs for locals; every hotel room requires an input of foreign low skilled low paid workers.  An extra 5,500 rooms would probably require 5-10,000 additional such workers, at no real benefit to the local population, apart from the few wealthy ones (doubtless the same ones who are already making the profits) and indirectly from duties and fees.  However, the main problem is that there is not, and never will be, the demand for these rooms. 

            Cayman Airways is a loss making drain on the public purse.  Ditto Boatswain’s Beach, Pedro Castle, Royal Watler…  Import duty on jewellery and watches is absurdly low (10% and 5% respectively) and there is no duty at all on cameras.   Yes, tourists eat, and pay for other services, but their contribution to government (which is what matters, if we’re talking about paying for huge capital development to subsidise them) is small.  Their contribution to the pockets of Caymanians generally and directly by way of employment is small. Captain Marvin is a nice guy, but I bet he doesn’t employ many Caymanians.

             

            • Anonymous says:

              Actually both of those Hotels are sitting empty because the owners got themselves into a financial bind and do not have the resources to complete what they planned…I know both ofthese developers positions intimately.

              I personally know four major brands that would come in to Cayman tomorrow if the right development was on the cards…

              Caymans occupancy for the last two years has been very high and the need for more and better quality rooms has been pointed out to me by two to three independently commissioned studies that show we are below par for the region on number of rooms and establishments.Also for a Hotel to break even in this market 50% -55% is the norm and we are operating way above this, a few months of the year you cannot find a room on the Island…Build it right and Brand it right and indeed they will come…As evident by every luxury private island in the world today…Right Brand generates it’s own clients…

              I know for a fact that one of the Eastern projects is moving forward and have secured solid funding and will bring a major brand in to Cayman.

              Also on a side note both developments you referred to in T and C where stopped because of funding issues and not due to some crazy lack of tourism demand or lack of economic impact on the jurisdiction…I know this from the Developers themselves and am intimate with the regions developments.

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

          • Anonymous says:

            PS  Also, porcelain, bone china, statuettes and other ceramic ornaments, cutler and crystal glassware – no duty at all. 

      • Dick Shaughneary says:

        "Tell me you got an education ?" Even the sweet irony of this sentence could not stop these ghastly words causing me to shudder. 

         

      • Anonymous says:

        I think you will foind many of the restaurants are not "really" Caymanian owned, that a large number of the taxi drivers are not Caymanian, and that to the extent the landlords are Caymanian the figures get skewed with single individuals with recent status grants owning up to 100 units themselves.

        Does tourism contribute to Caymanians? Not nearly like it once did, and certainly not enough. It now seems the only way for some to benefit from a tourist dollar is to steal it, cos they sure as hell cannot get a fair job in the industry at many establishments.

  13. Boston Tea Party says:

    OK.  Who here has read the 135 pages of this report?  I did, and it scared the holy carp out of me. 

    Anyone who thinks this place can carry on without either (1) significant (really huge) spending cuts, and yes, on CS salaries, but most of all benefits, particularly health and/or (2) tax (although the report is compelling for the reduction of the tax burden, not its increase) is bonkers.

    This country has this problem :  it spends too much.

    • Anonymous says:

      This country is like every other country in the world, spending what it cannot afford. Go now and examine the budgets of foreign countries.

      • Bodden Towner says:

        …and then, in order to get a good comparison, look at the expensure per capita to ensure we get the right perspective.

        Please do post the outcome.  I suspect the original poster is correct.

  14. Alice says:

    What!!!!Overpaid did he really say that- let me see the CEO  of any big company in Cayman makes at least $350,000 the highest paid Civil Servant does not even earn half that.

    Civil Servants are not given fat bonuses each year or a house to live and cars to drive.

    Did someone fall in love with our rum punch?

     

  15. Anonymous says:

    "You would be hard pressed to find another jurisdiction that can offer all of these advantages to protect your wealth, grow your business, and raise your family.

    The American dream.  Now residing in Cayman."   as stated by Chairman Cayman Finance in his February blog

     

  16. Anonymous says:

    It is quite easy to attempt to cast the entire Civil Service in the same light. According to some bloggers the Civil Service is bloated and overpaid.

    One measure of whether the pay and benefits offered for a job is excessive is whether the offer is sufficient to attract a suitable pool of qualified applicants from which to hire. If an insufficient number of applications from qualified persons is received, then the pay and benefits may be too low. If an excessive number of applications from qualified persons is received, then the pay and benefits may be too high. Perhaps a retrospective analysis of salary offered versus applications received might give a more true picture of which positions offer an excess salary?

    Another measure of adequacy of compensation is whether exisiting staff leave the position due to issues of inadequate pay. There will always be some losses in this way, but an organization needs to balance that against the costs of recruitment and training of new staff. Again an analysis of retention rates and training costs may shed light on areas of improper compensation. An organization with high training costs and which suffers from high turnover may be financially better suited to adjust pay upward to reduce turnover and save on training costs. An organization with low training costs can better afford to manage a higher rate of turnover.

    Within my department the hiring cycle was suspended because only one qualified applicant applied. We were advised that personnel management policies dictate that at least two applicants be interviewed for a position, so even the qualified applicant could not be offered the vacant position at that time. Since that time additional hiring cycles have failed to garner sufficient numbers of qualified applicants for vacancies available.

    This issue of pay is a far more complex matter than can justly be handled with sweeping across-the-board changes.

    • Anonymous says:

      Interesting….

      I think we can all agree (I certainly hope so anyway) that the public sector should never attract an economy’s best talent, so I’m not too surprised by your comments. In every economy the best of the best should work for private companies. This in turn will benefit the public sector as successful private sector firms generate income thru related fees (license income and taxes). I think your point, which I’m inclined to agree with, is that not all Civil Servants are over paid. If this is true, then surely there are too many Civil Servants receiving fair or reasonable pay. 

      Quite simply if the CI Govt want to compete with private sector wages then there should be economies of scale and fewer employees needed in the CS. I think the report suggests we either have a well to reasonably paid, but very LARGE CS or a reasonable amount of over paid Civil Servants. We can’t have it both ways. Either trim the number of staff or reduce salaries across the board. I don’t think there are many other options.

      The fact that the CS have offered unpaid leave as an alternative option indicates that they believe they can perform the same duties (the work isn’t going to go away) with a reduced work force. And that is the case and point.

      • Anonymous says:

         they have paid leave every year and the work still needs to get done.  The only difference is that they won’t get paid for thier leave.

    • anonymous says:

      Maybe qualified persons just do not want to work for the Civil Service even though it seems to be a job for life. Professional development and advancement feature highly in career choice as well, both are difficult to achieve in the Civl Service.

      It is clear that two things are evident:

      1. The benefits-medical and pension and vacation are more than in the private sector. The salaries when adjusted therefore are far greater than in the private sector

      2. The number of higher bracket salaries in relation to the lower ones are higher than in the Private sector. In other words the Civil Service is top heavy. No organization in the Private sector could have the level of “average salary” that the CS does and survive.

      What I will agree with you on is that the solution is not something that can be dealt with easily. It is a 20 year problem in the making

    • Anonymous says:

      It is no wonder Mckeeva Bush did not want to release the Miller/Shaw report because it is almost a carbon copy of suggestions that the PPM have made publicly & to the government. Mckeeva Bush has had to back back on all he has been saying, doing an about turn on his previous position. Now we know why the report was delayed. I think Mckeeva Bush has egg on his face, AGAIN!

    • Anonymous says:

      Have to agree fully, the C-Servants have been riding the Gravy-train for far too long and at our (Tax payers) cost. 90% of them are overpaid and under-worked to begin with…just look at the size/weight of most of them( must be from the 2-3 hour lunch-breaks)!

      If it would be up to me the cuts would be more serious than the proposed (a drop in the Bucket) ones, permanent job cuts would follow, starting from the top ! What’s wrong with paying their part on Health and Pension, we do just that and a lot of us making a lot less than 3 and 4000.00 a month! Then adjust/cut the Salaries according to the private Sectors, that could save a few Mio’s right away!!!

      However, if you really want to make an impact to the Cash-flow etc. one has to review and cut the fat on the top, the 90’000.00 a Year and up kind a Job’s, keep the Deputies and their Assistants they mostly do all the work anyway, save more $ again! Last but not least; review all the many newly created Human resource positions; Directors, Managers and assistant Managers, mainly Canadians and a few Brits! Of course they are  good friends to the previous Administration more specifically to some of the defunct Chief Officers (still getting a paycheck too) which are part of the mess left behind! Just to clarify, I am not against Foreigners I am one myself, but Business is Business!

      Centralize the HR department one Office for all the various Ministries and Gov-Departments, similar to the Civil Service Commission in the old days, but as  an  full Time operation! Have you ever seen a large Company-Factory-Hotel Shipping line etc. employing 3-4000 having more than 1 HR office, providing they are all in the same Country? I bet you, Government would save a few Millions with this move alone!

      My Statement may seem a bit harsh but facts are facts! Not all Civil Servants are “bad” and lazy as other may state, however there are many and it has been tolerated for too long! It is unfortunate that the hard working, trustworthy and hard working ones are usually the ones with the small pay and the sh…. End of the stick!

      Last but not least: Do no longer negotiate with the “Civil Service Union”, who is calling the Shots here them you or us!!!? Are you telling me that they want to take the whole Island hostage

      The ultimatum to them: take the Cut or resign or we will resign for you, better yet make the Jobs redundant!

       

  17. Anonymous says:

    The difference between the CS Manager and the Private Sector Manager:

    Private Sector: Use less to do more. Less staff, less cost, grow margins and profits. So if you have 20 employees, cut to 15, apply training and accomplishing more with less.

    CS: If you have 20 employees grow to 40 so you can have a bigger budget and appear more important! Double the number of staff you manage and make excuses when you cant locate them!

    Typical CS Department meeting: “We have excess money in the budget. We all need to come up with items to purchase before we loose it!” All staff then run around the island looking for new stuff to buy!!!

  18. anonymous says:

    Our CS is overpaid compared to other regional Countries.  Our Currency is also higher than those other countries and our Cost of living is the tops too.  So How can we compare?  For Miller to make these comparison we will have to reduce our currency to match theirs.  Is that what’s coming next?

    • CS says:

      If this is a CS it reallly speaks volumes!

      Ever heard of foreign exchange rates?

       as for cost of living you should also remember other countries pay alot of tax out of their salaries, making their take home pay a lot lot less than Cayman.

      • Anonymous says:

        What a curious consideration (exchange rates). Surely levels of remuneration can only ever be based on the cost of living in the country in which they are made. You can’t figure someones remuneration factoring in what the amount is worth in other currencies for obvious reasons. It’s just not, er, normal.

         

         
    • Anonymous says:

      Mr.Miller must surely have factored in earnings-to-cost-of-living to meaningfully compare ourselves to other countries in terms of levels of CS remuneration.

      CS salaries at the top end – and the sheer numbers of those in the CS who fall within this bracket – do seem extraordinarily generous. We should ponder these levels of payment and ask ourselves if these salaries are really justified. Certainly it is the case that the Caymanian taxpayers have long been funding a very wealthy group of individuals. New Bimmers/Mercs/Lexus seem very prevalent amongst this elitist group of public servants – so who’s the master and who’s the servant in this present day scenario? I say let’s leave the sub 6 grand a month CS alone and reduce the rest by up to a grand or so (at the really top end at least three grand) having given them a reasonable period to adjust their lavish lifestyles somewhat, by perhaps delaying that new luxury car or land investment financing? They’ll struggle on somehow, I’m sure, on CI$9,000.00 per month rather than CI$11,000.00 per month, or even CI$14,000.00 per month. Meanwhile we can use the money to hire more doctors, nurses, teachers, social workers instead of funding the lifestyles of the rich and "famous". This isn’t socialism, it’s more like common sense, surely.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Stevie Wonder could even see what is needed here.

    Overpaid, Incompetent and Not Needed.

    Societal baggage.

    Keep the good ones that are needed and get rid of the rest.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I hope we did not pay for this report!

    The same items mentioned in this report, is much the same as the late Haig Bodden mentioned in his numerous public meetings in the 1970’s and countless others have been repeating ever since that time.

    If the below quote from the report is accurate, then I am left to believe these two guys were not that smart. This is not a new thought or insight at all, we have been trying to avoid this for many, many years now.

    "The report suggests that if Cayman was to choose a widening of its tax base instead of cutting expenditure, it would have to include all Caymanians including the poorest but that it would still not necessarily produce the desired effect of raising enough money to fund the current levels of public spending".

    I am surprised that they did not mention the system of indirect taxes that now exists is a much larger  burden on the poorest, while it is not even a bother to the wealthy. For example the vehicle licensing fee on a Mercedez Benz is the same a Hyundai Getz, and how many wealthy people drive that Hyundai Getz..

    I hope the Premier is not looking for quick solutions to the financial position that government is facing but long term sustainable measures that will encourgae empowerment of the residents and foster private sector investments.

  21. Anonymous says:

    "The report described civil service pay and benefits as “extraordinarily generous by standards of other developed nations” and said that government workers were receiving far more than those in the jurisdictions with which Cayman has to compete for business in financial services and tourism."

     

    IT cannot be any clearer.

    FIRE THEM ALREADY!!!

    If they are actually willing and able they will go find another job. If they are too lazy and incompetent, problem solved!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes and if they not willing nor able but Caymanian (which is likely) you have an even bigger problem.

  22. big picture time says:

    civil service:  Take what you can!

    Cayman goverment: Give nothing back!

    Cayman people: don’t stop!

  23. Anonymous says:

    The Government can save MILLIONS if they would stop paying all these "so-called expert consultants" for reports that are a pile of hogwash and bear no credence. Get rid of XXXXX and all the other OVERPAID and UNDERACHIEVED consultants.

    How can a so called person advise the Government when that same person has not been able to hold down jobs in the past.

    What do you say Cayman????

     

  24. Anonymous says:

     

    Top level civil servant salaries and MLA salaries are much higher than they need to be.

    Yes, definitely cut the higher salaries by 20%  (but not those making less than 35K pa)

    Why do they need to make 3 times more than the GDP per capita ($43 K US in 2004 = 35K CI)? (ie over 90 K CI per annum)

  25. Sigh. says:

     Cutting salaries is daft. Plenty of civil servants don’t earn that much to begin with compared to the cost of living. We need to cut the NUMBER of civil servants, which goes way beyond what we need to run the country. Department after department is staffed by people sitting around conducting personal business while a junior staffer does all the work needed. 

    Get rid of 10% (you could easily lose more without hurting productivity) and retrain them to take some of the work permit jobs. 

    This country has to shake the insane and self-defeating notion that it is the job of government not merely to find jobs for everyone but to pay their salaries as well. Equip people to survive in the commercial world and stop subsidising hundreds to just sit around with plenty of time on their hands to campaign against  salary cuts.

  26. anonymous says:

    Takes someone who lives in England to come up with a report like this. The UK Government spends their money taking care of every refugee from every corner of the world.  People go there because of free health care, money if they don’t have a job and their children (the more the merrier) can go to school free.  They also get housing if they need it.

    Of course some of the civil service is overpaid and maybe they should just check out the salaries again and adjust as necessary.  Some of us poor devils are not only living from paycheck to paycheck but from day to day.

     

    WHATCHA SAY?

    • Anonymous says:

      Miller is American!

    • Joe Bananas says:

      You forgot to mention the many who are living off someone else’s paycheck to paycheck.  By any and all means make sure that the blame is spread far and wide of yourselves.  This will help aliviate any feelings of guilt on your part and in the end it really won’t matter who’s fault it was.  Right?

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you not realize we are doing the same? Go on, ask the National Housing Trust when their Caymanian clients became Caymanian. Ask Education what percentage of those receiving free education (at a cost to us all of CI$15,000 each per year) are not Caymanian. Ask the hospital what percentage of those unable to payb their bills are not Caymanian.

      We are worse than any liberal socialist country on earth.

         

      • Anonymous says:

        You are right about us being worse. Those liberal social countries embrace people. We are filled with hate and contempt for anyone we don’t consider native. Some Christians we are. Let me ask you this. How can a non-Caymanian get housing, education an medical for free? I’m warning you, the cost of our spendingso much of our energy hating is that countries and people we look down upon are actually progressing faster than us. We are worse off in 2010 than we were in 2004. At this rate we will soon be the laughing stock of the Caribbean. Caymanians need to get back to the inclusive Christian Society and Business Model that put us on the map in the first place. Or we will, once again, be the island time forgot. For those of you who thumbs down, try and remember this post when you are at social services within five years.

         

        • Anonymous says:

          I doubt that you are really Caymanian but it is must be wonderful to have such a simplistic view of the world.

          1.  You speak for yourself about "hate and contempt for anyone we don’t consider native". Social divide between expats and Caymanians are far more complex than that and there is blame that can be apportioned to both sides. Being pro-Caymanian does not mean that you have hate and contempt for anyone who is not "considered native".  However, you do have some Caymanians who are embittered because of the discriminatory treatment they have received at the hands of expats in the workplace. Their anger is understandable but at the same can be destructive.

          Contrary to what you believe, having lived in one these liberal societies, they are not as welcoming to expats as you might believe. In the UK for example there is a great deal of concern about the number of immigrants from Eastern Europe even though the do jobs that the Brits do not want .   

          2. "How can a non-Caymanian get housing, education an medical for free?".

          I understand that it is the case that non-Caymanians do seek and obtain assistance at the social services dept. It is also the case, that non-Caymanians have received emergency medical treatment overseas at the Cayman govt’s expense.  It is also the case that under the new Constitution non-Caymanian children will become entitled to free primary and secondary education.   

          Cayman is in a serious downturn for a wide variety of reasons. It is not about some "inclusive Christian Society and Business Model" that put us  on the map. Our model no longer works as there as been a paradigm shift and our leaders and the authors of the Miller Report do not seem to have appreicated this fact.

          We need to grapple with the real reasons so that we can avert disaster rather than making dire predictions about destitution in less than five years. Be careful what you speak.     

  27. Anonymous says:

    Says the millionaire Miller! 

  28. KWB says:

    Lets just hope that our Government can stomach the difficult task ahead. Cutting salaries is the quickest way but not necessarily the best. We really need our leaders to have a hard look at merging government departments, cutting staffing and ensuring we stop the crazy spending. ( Have you seen our fire trucks, our police boats, helicopters and every other car on the road that is a gov. vehicle?)  

    Lets not leave this mess for our children to clean up!

    • big picture time says:

      With a billion dollar debt already on the books your childrends children will also be paying their part of your debt.

  29. Anonymous says:

    We’re screwed! Idiots taking advice from idiots! Doesn’t it strike anyone else as absurd that we turn to Miller for economic advice when the only economic policy developed by the Reagan Era was the utter failure of trickle-down? That during the same time period the US went into one of its worst recessions since 1929? And yet we think this fellow is going to somehow lead us out of a recession? To put it plain and simple, no Conservative has ever helped a country progress. Ever.

    • Anonymous says:

      Tues 7:23! What truly idiotic last two statements! Even left wing socialists admit Margaret Thatcher’s reforms in the 80s (horribly painful as they were) were needed to break the UK away from the economic doldrums it was in and make its economy one of the strongest in the world. That’s why Tony Blair changed so little of what he inherited. But then of course along comes another old time left wing socialist Gordon Brown who pees it all away putting the UK back in the economic doldrums with no Thatcher in sight to save it when he is turfed out.

      • Xeno says:

        You are spot on.

         

        It is difficult to tell if Brown is mad or bad. Either way he has brought the UK to ruin. His government overspends at a rate of about $750 million per day. Yes, each and every day!

        Whenever there is an opinion poll that hints that he may remain in power, the pound crashes.

      • sotong says:

        Let us also remember that Thatcher believed in deregulating the financial and banking industries and helped develop the enormous banking bonus culture.

        And look where that has left us…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow, taking adivce from someone that is comparing us to the countries that has taxes…..  what ever Miller………

    • Anonymous says:

      How short sighted

    • Anonymous says:

      er Margaret Thatcher  

    • Anonymous says:

      You must have really embraced the party system here in Cayman.

      Closed mindedness is not attractive nor is it accurate.

      What worst recession were you talking about ? The 1970s with the fuel shortages and double digit inflation and interest charges on loans. You are speaking about Jimmy Carter not Reagan.

      Do you vote?

      • Anonymous says:

        Were you sleeping during 1987? Ever heard of Black Friday? You know, the day the stockmarket crashed much like a certain Tuesday in 1929? And I’m going to go ahead and blame the fuel shortage on a little consortium called OPEC and their decision to limit oil production to hike up prices in collusive monopolistic behavior. Perhaps you’ve read about that somewhere. But please, go ahead and tell me how the ex-President/actor who often took advice from his wife’s astrologer in national policy was somehow a great leader relative to a man who to this day continues to support such great endeavours as Habitat for Humanity.

         

  30. TennisAce says:

     Wow.  Well I hope everyone is reading this.  When I first came to Cayman in 2002 as a work permit holder the country was in a much better position than it is now.  Crime was not as rampant and everyone, Caymanians and expats lived together in harmony.  In the latter part of that year it was the start of the Centennial Celebrations and it was so wonderful to see expats celebrating with Caymanians.  It was then that I got my first taste of real Caymanian food andI enjoyed it very much.  Pirates Week was wonderful and everything was just fantastic.  I did not want to leave.  After Hurricane Ivan in 2004 it was so cool to see locals and expats alike working together to get the country cleaned up and running again.  Those who stayed remember the days of bathing with one bottle of water or going to work funky and smelly.  The last time I looked both locals and expats were really smelling each other’s body odour.  Mr.  Bush cleaned up George  Town and opened the country to tourists in November/December of that year.  People were cursing him out saying that we were not ready, but he got it ready and the tourists did come. In 2005 when he lost the election I have to say that that is when most of the bad stuff started happening in Cayman.  From the collective efforts of everyone in Cayman in 2004, then it became the song of them against us.  Expats like myself stayed but we went into hiding.  Some of us continued to do volunteer work but a lot of us just stopped as everyday you took up the paper all you could read was about the "others". Being a Jamaican it stung even more.  I still wanted to live here and so I bought my house, continued to volunteer, still hung out with my Caymanian friends and still lived. I have seen the exodus of good people, not only Jamaicans, but Germans, Americans, English, Hondurans etc and I have seen the chasm that was just a crack widening even more.  All of us together built Cayman.  The locals who lived through the mosquito years and the expats who saw the potential to come here during the mosquito years and make this place their home.  Now because of politicians and thugs we have seen the place deteriorate and no one is trusting the other.  This is not the Cayman that I know.  Let us all start living and working together.  We do not need any reports to tell us how to right this ship and how to get things back on track.  We all know what to do.  The question is, do you want to do it?

    • Anonymous says:

      "In 2005 *when he lost the election* I have to say that that is when most of the bad stuff started happening in Cayman.  From the collective efforts of everyone in Cayman in 2004, then it became the song of them against us".

      You have clearly bought into the lie that while Mr. Bush loves expats the PPM hates them. May I remind you that it was Mr. Bush’s govt. that introduced rollover into the Immigration Law and that it was that same govt. that passed regulations for a point system that would have deducted a large number of points if you were from a country with a large representation here, i.e. Jamaica. Incidentally it was the PPM govt. that refused to apply such a policy. It was Mr. Bush who said that expats were "cluttering up the infrastructure".

      It is also false to suggest that there all was hunky dory between expats and Caymanians before. Tensions have been evident at least since the early 1990s. Of course tensions heighten at a time of economic recession.

      It is ridiculous to state that bad things started to happen once Mr. Bush’s govt. was removed from office. Bad things were happening long before and in fact there was a crime spike immediately following Hurricane Ivan. It was the first time that anyone ever stolen from me. In many ways Hurricane Ivan was a watershed event. It was during that time that in desperation many workers were brought on to the Islands without the appropriate background checks.  

      The Govt. of 2001-2005 was rife with reasons to suspect corruption. People were afraid to sign their names to letters to the press because of govt. intimidation. By comparison there was unparalleled openness and transparency under the PPM. People openly criticised them without fear of victimisation and publicly demonstrated against what they disapproved such as road through the ironwood forest.  

      What is undeniable is that since Mr. Bush was elected to govt. in May, 2009 there was been an unprecedented exponential increase in serious crimes in this country. A spirit of lawlessness has been unleashed upon us, from the top to the bottom and from sunshine we are back to the dark days.     

      • Anonymous says:

        Hear hear!

        P.S. that thumbs down wasfrom me and was accidental. It should’ve been a thumbs up…too bad I can’t change it.

      • TennisAce says:

        Things may not have been all sunshine and honey but at least we did not have the amount of vitriol being spilled like when a certain individual labelled all Jamaicans as coming here to turn the Cayman Islands into a welfare system.  That one hurt so much because the same individual was educated in Jamaica and I am sure that if we had turned him away as someone who is contributing to a welfare system, he would have been hurt.  I am not trying to say that everything was hunky dory but it was so much better than it is even now.  Gone are the days when everyone respected each other, now from what I understand people are now  living in fear.  That is not good for anyone, whether local or expat.  Something has to be done to rekindle that spirit that Cayman has.  Yes there was a spike in criminality after Hurricane Ivan and a lot of it was due to some expats (and yes some of them were my countrymen) coming here and committing heinous offences.  Glad to see the back of those and hope they never come back.  However, not all crimes were committed by expats as you well know. Criminality is something that knows no borders and everyone has to work together to weed it out.  Just as how all of us have to work together to withstand this economic fall out.  If it means that we have to pay a small fee in property tax or something I say we do it and get on with the nation building. For truthfulness sake, the amendments to the Immigration Law in 2003 as well as the implementation of the points system was a joint effort by both parties. 

        • Anonymous says:

          "Things may not have been all sunshine and honey but at least we did not have the amount of vitriol being spilled like when a certain individual labelled all Jamaicans as coming here to turn the Cayman Islands into a welfare system".

          That is another distortion. The concern which the individual rightly expressed is that if we allow persons of little means to gain permanent rights in the country upon then upon their retirement they will not be able to support themselves and they will become a burden upon the govt. – a burden which we could not afford. Those are simply the facts and there is no reason for the individual to have been reviled for the statement. The individual did not single out Jamaicans nor was it suggested that it applied to all Jamaicans although it is obviously correct that many working class Jamaicans would fall into this category. It is clear to me that so much of this "vitriol" that is supposedly expressed by Caymanians is simply in your head.  On the other hand one of the high ranking UDP party members went around telling the white expats in the financial industry that rollover was not for them; it was just for the Jamaicans. Like it or not the PPM applied equally to all nationalities.  

           "For truthfulness sake, the amendments to the Immigration Law in 2003 as well as the implementation of the points system was a joint effort by both parties". 

          You cannot have it both ways. When the UDP is the govt. any criticism must be shared by the PPM, but not vice versa. FYI, the Immigration Regulations, 2004 which gave the original points system were passed by the UDP Cabinet. These regulations were amended by the PPM Govt. to remove provision to deduct points based on nationality. 

          I am by no means suggesting that all crimes were committed by expats. We have a very serious homegrown problem as well for which we as a society must accept responsibility.          

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m glad you mention that it was in fact McKeeva that introduced the roll over policy. Everyone thinks it is Kurt???? But once again McKeeva played his cards right hiding behind the screen and smiling in the background while people threw blades at Kurt for actually implementing the policy that McKeeva introduced  

        • Anonymous says:

          You all forgot to mention that it was also Bush and the UDP that engineered the massive status grants fiasco in 2003 that we are still reeling from! That alone has contributed more to the destruction of this country than many realise – strain on our schools, health care facilities, roads and other infrastructure not to mention the unemployment of true Caymanians and the resentment that it has caused.

      • Conundrums says:

        To poster 9:26

        I think you have your facts a bit mixed up sir…lets take this back a step further shall we? when Mr. Bush took over from Mr. Tibbets he found a situation similar to the one he is facing now, a broke Government. It took the proactive leadership of Mr. Bush return the Cayman Islands to a good financial footing but he lost the elections because of the status grants which he himself has conceded was political suicide.  Yes the rolover policy was the brain child of the UDP but its drastic retroactive implementation based on the xenophobic views of the PPM and its supporters proved to be detrimental to this country and has not helped one Caymanian gain upward mobility instead it has resulted in loss of jobs for Caymanians as frustrated employer have left and gone to more viable jurisdictions. Further, when Mr. Bush’s government lost the majority in 2005 the incomming government found the countries finances in very good shape dispite the undertaking of Boastswins beach and the Royal Watler Cruise terminal. However, it is an undeniable fact that the PPM administration recklesly increased government expenditure in the midst of a worldwide recession, defying logic and good sense and have brought this country to its knees. In the words of Alden Mclaughlin "Only God could stop us"…this kind of arrogance which has never been seen before in Caymanian politics was the reason why overwhelmingly the voters of this country rebuked the former administration…but yet it seems the Caymanian people are soon to forget…

        • Anonymous says:

          I am afraid I am at a loss as to what facts you think I have mixed up since your post did not reveal any.  

          "Yes the rolover policy was the brain child of the UDP but its drastic retroactive implementation based on the xenophobic views of the PPM and its supporters proved to be detrimental to this country…"

          That is either intentional political rhetoric or you simply do not know your subject. There was no retroactive implementation based on xenophobic views. That is pure nonsense. The Immigration Law, 2003 itself provided how it would be implemented.  The UDP did not simply think up the idea – the Law was passed by the UDP govt. You simply cannot escape that. If it has proved to be detrimental to this country – and I say IF – then Mr. Bush must accept primary responsibility for that. 

          Firms have a left for a variety of reasons including tax breaks in Canada, for example, and truth be told in few cases would the real cause have been the rollover provisions.  

          You are quite right that the PPM govt. did not exercise the fiscal prudence that it ought to have exercised in the face of a recession. However, this is part of a larger problem in there being inadequate long term planning and phased implementation by successive govts including Mr. Bush’s govt. 

          I  am by now means an apologist for the PPM generally but I felt obliged to correct the distortions of the poster.    

  31. che says:

    Yeah, our economic woes are all the fault of those civil servants making 30 or 40 thousand dollars per year. It’s certainly nothing to do with the unregulated industries such as CUC and the gas companies who charge outrageous prices.

    Here we go, squeeze the lower and middle classes while protecting the richest one percent. I’ve seen this play before and I know how it ends.

     

     

  32. Anonymous says:

    Dear Sirs

    I have read continually all the comments from these so called specialist on financial  matters and indeed the report has been concentrated on the cutting of expenditures in government to address the existing deficit.

    Yes there is  a need for government to look at its cost structure but surely it should not be mandatory that there is an attack on salaries of civil servants based on the reasons mentioned in the report.

    Although it may appear that the salaries and benefits granted to civil servants may be above those of other places in the world it is also extremely important to note that the cost of living , ie rentals , food, equipment , household items, healthcare , education and general items bought in the cayman islands are also expensive in relation to other jurisdictions

    Indeed many civil servants are living paycheck to paycheck and this aspect has not been considered in the report. You cannot provide an analysis which impacts the livelihood of people and provide recommendations on a one sided basis.

    To this end, it has also neglected suggestions to improve revenues which should be the main focus in creating sustainable revenues, that is , sustainable revenues which will assist in the addressing of the current and future deficit.

    There has been discussion over the non introduction of taxes within the cayman islands but this needs to be revisited. Taxes on the corporate sector and investment would change the model as encouraged by Cayman Islands over the years and indeed create a further deficit BUT a small % payroll tax (which I have not seen discussed) should be implemented across the entire public and private sector.

    This would create sustainable an additional revenues and would not hamper investment or change the revenue generating model of the cayman islands. The impact on the pockets of employees would be minimised with the burden spreaded across a wider sector and people.

    This will have no negative impact on workers coming to cayman , as many of these employees are taxed WAY heavier in other traditional jurisdictions. Moreover, we must allow the people to have a say in this process and I strongly believe their would confirm that a small payroll tax would be preferred . This would allow any reasonable benefits accrued to be continued for critical future sustainance 

    This will eliminate the negative economic multliplier effect which would result if massive pay reductions and cuts are given in the civil service. These negative impacts include the ability of workers to pay their mortgages, send their children to university, drive vehicles, sustain others would their have to support and massive unemployment which could result in a rising crime rate

    In conclusion, I have seen many of these types of reports which only address financial issues from a cost reduction perspective without addressing the socio economic aspects and sustainable revenue aspects. In many cases the personnel performing thesetask are far removed from the feelings of the society . A payroll tax should be implemented across the entire private/ public sector and a review by each government department should be done to cut cost and allowances where possible by a % that would have a significant impact on the deficit.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      t is nothing short of incompetent to recommend the introduction of any direct tax in an indirect tax system when public sector costs are completely out of control. Possibly you should read the Miller report before regurgitating  the conventional socialist old labour tax solution which has brought down most of the G 20economies. There is no upper limit to the payroll tax rate in these circumstances and you know it or you are being deliberately dishonest .Further as Miller brilliantly analyses any direct  tax in Cayman must destroy the entire civil service because over 50% of Government revenues  are derived from a mobile financial industry .SO any cut in civil service and public sector cost now that is less than a 50% cut is a better solution for the civil service than introducing any form of payroll or other direct  tax . 

    • Anonymous says:

      so basically your saying that all of us private sector workers should be happy to pay a minimal income tax after we already pay pension, health insurance, have taken pay cuts and even been laid off because teh civil service body is so large and have a voice and simply dont want to pay pension or health isurance or have pay cuts…. OK THEN SURE, SOUNDS FAIR TO ME! (I hope you sense my sarcasm) 

      • Anonymous says:

        What exactly was your pay cut then? Let us stop this myth that all of the private sector had to suffer pay cuts. Most private sector workers are still on the same salary they were on two years ago. But a lot of people have been made redundant. Yes Caymanians are unemployed and nearly 4,000 people have left the island in the past 18 months. 

        This is where the cuts have been made and this is exactly where the civil service cuts will be made. Not the $100,000 plus a year Caymanian civil servants who got a nice job from their cronies, it is going to be low income Caymanians who will be laid off and expats who will have to leave.

        I am waiting already for the whining about crime getting worse when the police has less funding, inadequate health care because there are fewer doctors and nurses and a school education that is deteriorating because there are not enough good teachers.

        But I can assure you we will still have a civil service with a bloated senior management that earns way too much for working way too little. 

        • Anonymous says:

          I agree with the payroll tax,,this would raise approx 3.5% (1bill in salaries) 35million in revenues. Sustainable

           

          It is common sense

          • Bodden Towner says:

            And it would probably cost a few years, legislation and another 35 million to set up the systems and resources necessary to implement, administer and operate this payroll tax, not forgetting more CS to run it… ever thought about that?

            Solutions aren’t always as clear-cut as they seem

        • Anonymous says:

          But some private sector workers have had to suffer significant cuts. Some law firm partners (for example)  are only making $3,000,000 a year now, up to several hundred thousand less than only two years ago.  I really feel sorry for them. No wonder they had to make their Caymanian staff redundant.

    • Anonymous says:

      And who/how would the payroll tax be administered and monitored?

      Do you realize thatan entire new buearocracy (such as the IRS) would have to be set-up? 

      And then people are going to try and beat the system so new laws would have to be constantly introduced.

      And of course, a whole team of people would then have to investigate non-compliance.  And this would require (ironically) assistance from the rest of the world in the event that wealthy Cayman residents attempted to shift income to other jurisdiction.

      My guess is that the administration and enforcement of such a tax would cost more than the revenue it would bring in. 

      Of course, it would be a great way to further expand the civil service

  33. Chop-Chop says:

    Excellent Mr. Miller!…

    Let’s start to chop about $100 million off the Civil Service cost by cutting all the excess fat, removing the perks and increasing the retirement age to 65.

    Let the Civil Servants scream all they want: they have had it way too good for way too long on the backs of the rest of us and it’s time for a serious change, as we can no longer afford their life styles.

    McKeeva, SLASH ruthlessly and don’t bother asking them for what they want. You have your blueprint in the Miller report, just execute it ASAP.

    If it’s not enough, you can always bring in a 5% VAT on all goods and services collected free of charge on behalf the government by the vendors at the point of sale: this should add another $100 miilion+, based on our $2.4 billion GDP!

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      And you could change the duty-free allowance on every trip off-Island to a smaller number like it used to be [eg:CI$100.00].  All the increase ever did was hurt local businesses.  Other developed countries only permit a duty-free allowance once per quarter, and not every single trip!! A more vigilant inspection by Customs would also provide the public purse with millions of dollars annually.  I am tired of seeing people go through customs at the airport with several huge bags and having "nothing to declare".

    • Anonymous says:

      That’d a 5% increase in everybody’s cost of living. Making it more expensive for tourists but particularly for local residents already finding it tough.

      The private sector workershave already andured job losses, pay cuts and cuts in benefits so that the businesses can continue to make their fat profits. It is only fair that the civil service follows suit. We cannot afford to subsidize their healthcare and pensions when we struggle to afford to pay our own. many of us can only afford basic health cover so don’t see why we should pay through the nose to fund the idle government workers to have premium healthcare free.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hello chop-Chop,

      You obviously fail to understand that there are many Civil Servants-Caymanians who do not make a whole lot of money, who are living hand to mouth, who have single families with many children and are struggling to survive like everybody else.  Do you understand that when these people can’t survive they will come right back to government for assistance and then your money and everyone else who pays government fees will go to helping those poor civil servants who cannot make it from month to month.  Where is our concern for our fellow Caymanians?  I think it is like someone else said, let us start to get back to where we came from and have a little concern for our fellow man.  It will get us a lot further than this just trying to hit out on everyone.  Of course, I am not saying that the Civil Servants at the top who are making alot of money, cannot afford to take a cut but there is a wide gap between those at the very top and those that are in the middle.  Cutting right across the Board will hurt those from the middle to the bottom who make very little when compared to our high cost of living.  Perhaps that is what we should address.  If the cost of living was not so high, everyone would be able to take a salary cut.  Or better yet, let’s get even more fair, put in some income tax and so we all pay for the cost of running this country.  Would you agree to that or would that be cutting into your income?

      • Chop-Chop says:

        The Civil Service has not YET tightened its belt like everyone else and it’s urgent that it begins to do so, thus sharing the burden of the recession and economic mismanagement (ie: $80 million wasted on the Turtle farm…) equally among all residents…

        The lower paid Civil Servants will only lose 5% of their pay and contribute 1/2 of their health and pension contributions, as everyone else: nothing could be fairer and I’m sure they’ll manage.

        However, the Civil Servants who don’t like it, are welcome to seek a job in the private sector and take a pay cut of between 30 and 50% in the process. In addition, they will have to perform work for a change – like returning phone calls and e-mails – or get booted out.

        The more Civil Servants who decide to leave the better, as I bet Mr. Miller is demanding at least a 25% cut in numbers, 20% cut in overall salaries and retirement at 65 to mitigate the pension forward liability that is near $1 billion at present.

        I hope that he also recommends that the CS pension fund should no longer be guaranteed and become subject to the vagaries of the economy and the skills of the funds managers, as is the case for the rest of us…

        So, Mr. Civil Servant – who apparently knockedoff early today – it’s time to stiffen the old upper lip and crank the belt in a couple notches –  become you’re never going to have it as good as you did in the last 15 years, EVER AGAIN!

        From now on, you’ll have to share our MISERY, for a change!…