Tax question still unanswered

| 03/05/2010

(CNS): While government pursues the goal to have inward investment as the source of future new revenue for governmentcoffers rather than taxes, the UK is continuing to push for some form of direct taxation in Cayman’s next budget. Although the premier has cited the possibility of both payroll and VAT, a government spokesperson told CNS on Friday that no decision had been made on any form of direct taxation. Meanwhile, in the wake of the Miller/Shaw report, the Revenue Measures Subcommittee of the National Investment Council has submitted its report to government, which also found taxes would be far more harmful than helpful in Cayman.

Although Bush has said that he preferred the idea of a 5% VAT earlier last week, on Friday he said it was probably the most problematic and was still considering a payroll tax or a community service fee. In the end, the premier said, it would be the one which was the easiest to be administered that would be the one government was most likely to introduce if the CIG was forced to implement direct taxation.
 
The Investment Council also met with industry stakeholders last week in order to solicit further feedback from the business community about possible investment projects, new revenue streams and viable avenues for sustainable economic growth that could stave off the need for taxes.
 
Bush said at the meeting that government had to find new sources of business to diversify the economy and improve the government’s revenue base. “The National Investment Council is uniquely positioned to bring together input and recommendations from a variety of key organizations, boards, committees and individuals to create a holistic blueprint for economic recovery and growth,” the premier added.
 
Council chairman William Peguero underscored the importance of a ‘country first’ focus. He pointed out that NIC members were aware of work and reports that had been commissioned in the past by various bodies and the council would be “dusting them off and reviewing them with a view to gleaning the best ideas that would enable the NIC to set a strong foundation for future economic efforts.” 
 
The Revenue Measures Subcommittee has found that taxation would be bad news for Cayman and more harmful than helpful. The sub-committee suggested that cost-savings measures could be considered equal to revenue raising measures. Peguero who also chairs the subcommittee said the members are working hard with all the government offices to stream line the process for projects and investment and find ways to improve Cayman’s future fortunes but that any form of direct taxation could be detrimental to the future economy.
 
The NIC report submitted to government last week recommends cost savings, divestment and sale of assets and land as well as gaming licences and watercraft licence fees but not taxation. The report suggested that indigent Caymanians receiving government health care should be relocated to qualified healthcare facilities reducing costs. It also recommends that government seize assets from companies struck off the company register for 10 years or more.
 
The NIC was created as one of government’s first steps in the goal to develop a long-term strategy to create investment opportunities. The council consists of members from the private and public sector and it reports to a special Cabinet Committee, chaired by Bush with five elected representatives. The members of the NIC are William Peguero, Michael Ryan, Jim O’Neal, Burns Connolly, James Bergstrom and Marcus Cumber.
 
The first order of business for the NIC was to evaluate options for economic diversification, and according to the Terms of Reference, the development of new industries and new opportunities must allow Caymanian entrepreneurs to thrive.
 
With the government faced with a deficit for 2009/2010 and still in need of borrowing approval from the UK, any new long term investment opportunities may now be too late to save Cayman from direct taxation.
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  1. Anonymous says:

    No taxation without representation. Expats should refuse to pay this tax until they are given full political rights – i.e. the right after a reasonable period of residency (say 2 years) both to vote and to stand for election. Expats will be able to force the crucial, swingeing cuts on the civil service – the current Caymanian politicians appear unable and/or unwilling to do this, due to their cowardice, lack of integrity and fundamental weakness as leaders.

    Again, no taxation without representation. If taxation is imposed, expats must form a political rights movement willing to undertake full civil disobedience if where necessary.

    • Utterly Naive says:

      Your suggestion as to enfranchisement reflects the rights UK passport holders should be afforded under the ECHR.  They have a right to vote for and participate in elections for the legislature and the UK is in breach of its obligations under both the ECHR and the Human Rights Act by failing to extend political rights.  Aggrieved UK citizens could sue the UK government in London to have this changed. 

    • Ummmm... says:

      Another reason for just raising duty!!!

       

  2. Anonymous says:

    Taxes or No Taxes do we really have a choice? If we do then why don’t we do what we have to do to avoid taxes and if we cannot avoid taxes why don’t we just accept the fact and move on with paying our fair share of which ever taxes.  I don’t like taxes but they have been around longer than each and everyone of us.

  3. Anonymous says:

    NEW TAXES IN THE MIDDLE OF A RECESSION ??????

    It is obvious that everyone is focusing only on Govt’s financial woes and not the big picture of Cayman’s economy at large. Any new taxes implimented during a recession will be disastrous for the economy of the Cayman Islands and the lives of its people.

    NO TO TAXES

    Govt must act on the costs of the civil service and their own wasteful spending before they can turn to the private sector to support and finance their wasteful addictions and incompetance. Govt must clean up their act, then a wider more qualified non political private sector committee can discuss new revenue measures to help this country have a more sustainable revenue base.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Property Tax without consideration of the ability pay:  I hope the Premier knows the history of the UK Poll Tax (Community Charge) Riots on Saturday 31 March, 1990, when 200,000 citizens marched onTraflagar Square in London.  The police lost control.  113 injuries, 339 arrest. shops, cars and other property vandalized.  Trying to defend the unfair property tax when opinion polls show 98% against brought Maggie Thatcher’s premiership to a close: she resigned in November of the same year.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I was so appalled today to learn that new positions have been filled for the first time in the civil service. This is not marl road gossip but reality because one of the new hirings told me so today herself! This individual was basically bragging that she was able to leave her good paying private sector job basically because the professionals she worked with would not put up with her troublemaking, backstabbing ways.Yet amazingly she could burrow her way into a busy government department to just get up to her old tricks of cause strife and division. Is that the kind of "help" that government needs to be paying big bucks for? I do not think so!  Politicians get off your butts and identify all of the new positions recently filled (the one I speak of was 2 months ago) and make them all redundant. Those departments were doing without these new ones before they were filled, so they will continue to survive until we can get over this mess. If you politicians don’t do something I for sure will not be giving UDP another vote.

  6. Anonymous says:

     This is nothing more than a ploy to push gambling/casino’s through.

    There is no tax coming… just wants to scare you. So he can say "taxes or casino’s" your choice .  But once again he has no idea the damage he is doing to our economy with all this s***!  Way to go Mac… continue ruining a good thing! You can always live at the Ritz.

     

  7. bradley says:

    I support a Payroll taxing system in the Cayman Islands: 

    7% for those making more than 7000 a month

    3% for those making less than 3000 a month; and,

    5% for those making between 3000 to 7000 a month

    I the revenue of such asystem should go into –

    Education & Career enhancement programs

    Health & Social Services

    Welfare State especially for the elderly and disabled folk without jobs; and,

    if needed for Emergency purposes and operations.

    How the revenue of the Payroll Tax is used, should always be by law transparent.

    In addition to implementing other revenues other than the Payroll Tax, Government should cut its expenditures as well, such as the MLA salaries.

    2nd – should cut the operations of government, leaving the essential operations and services that deal with protection and preservation of the Cayman Islands community.

    3rd – Government should sell some of its assets, or if she doesn’t want to sell, at least, privatize as a shareholder, certain of its services like Cayman Airways and the Post Office.

    These are just ideas and suggestions I have. 

    But I do believe we need a fair Payroll taxing system. We can’ t close our eyes and believe that tourism, banking, indirect duties and fees will provide us with enough revenue. 

    Society has helped alot of people upwards on the ladder of success. It is now time for them, especially those making good salaries, to give back to society. Taxation is a good principle. By taxation, we can improve our schools, our hospitals, our roads, and help fight crime. Through the Payroll, we make monies for ourselves and families. Same… through the Payroll, we can help the entire community by paying a fair tax that will help the community as a whole.

    I know I will get alot of thumbs-down, but do you think we can continue without some form of sustainable revenue?

     

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      IF, and I repeat that again for emphasis, IF a Payroll Tax is introduced, how many people do you think will be earning $7000 per month AFTER it is introduced?

      You don’t need a Philadelphia lawyer (my mother always  thought they were the best) to tell you that salaries will be cut, and employers will instead offer to pay employees’  electric bill, water bill, TV bill, etc. and then offer them housing allowances (rent or mortgage), entertainment allowances, overseas travel allowance, vehicle allowances, etc. and at the end of the year they will get bonuses depending on performance.

      Come to think of it, it might not be a bad idea. A lot more people would know what it is like to live like the Premier with all expenses paid.

  8. Dred says:

    I believe before the people of the Cayman Islands are subjected to any other taxes or duty hikes we need to see the cuts. This is rediculous now.

    STOP THE CRAP!!!

    Fix the darn problem and then let’s see where we are at after that.

    Staff needs reducing. Move them into private sector by identifying work permits that match staff being let go.

    Identify areas where consolidation of services, equipment or staff would result in further savings and cut those also. Examples I could give here Stores should centralize and use the whole CIG buying power to buy stock local or overseas but always at the best deal. Cut out crap such as special color paint for certain areas. Uniform government colors to buy a certain color in bulk. I heard crap of certain schools wanting certain walls painted special colors. STOP THAT CRAP!!

    Here is another example. Again I bring up Northward Prison. There is no way in hell a prisoner should cost us CI$56K a year to house when I don’t make that. Are you seriously tellme this crap? Cut AC, TV and lower the quality of food. It is a prison afterall. You are making their return to society harder not easier. When they get out they can’t afford the lifestyle they had in prison. How does this make any sense? They make what $3 a day to be there, I’m not even sure that makes sense but what happens when they create problems? Do you dock anything? if not start. Return offenders should make nothing. Start them building things also. Help them pay for their stay. No build no money.

    We can come up with a whole fleet of ideas if we all put our minds to it.

    • bradley says:

      I glad you brough up Northward Prison.

      Just the other day, repetitous offender said to me that he was thinking on assaulting someone. And that he was not afraid to do so. When the time comes, I will hear the news. He said, he can live up in Northward for life – free TV, free food, no problem with woman, and all them up in there know him well. He told this to me, because he was upset. I seriously think he is going to commit another crime. 

      Listen… we have to do something about our Justice system. I am not saying to turture people. But … look…they shouldn’t be running to Northward for a refuge after committing a crime. There has to be some kind of rehabilitation program that will "teach" them how to control anger, refrain from drugs, et cetera…

      Like I said, thanks for bringing up Northward, but I had to mention this incident I had the other day.   

  9. Anonymous says:

    CUT THE CIVIL SERVICE NOW !!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Cut??  Go and check out how many new positions were recently filled! The politicians probably don’t even know what is going on but they need to demand that those positions be made null and void.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Memo to the Premier and government MLAs:

    From the Cayman people:

    Failure to balance the budget by cutting expenditure = End of political career

     

     

  11. Ummmm... says:

     Mr Premiere, may I respectfully suggest that since duty is effectively a consumption tax, then raise duty to 25%.  This has the same net effect as VAT but eliminates the need for a whole new department to tally and collect the VAT.  And at the same time, we need to see results of cost cutting.  

    • Ummmm... says:

      In addition to my comment above on VAT, to address the proposed payroll tax I would like to point out:

      1, Again, a new department is needed.

      2, People can be really hedgy in a small community giving out this info.

      But most importantly…

      3, Small business owners, and even large, can get around this simply reducing salaries and compensating in the form of bonuses, free trips home for expats, paying rent of employees…  That "income" would not be taxable under a "payroll tax" – that is, unless you were thinking of an "INCOME TAX" and THAT will scare a lot more people away as technically, wealthy retirees and residents would pay tax on ANY income in Cayman.  So if they had bank accounts, brokerage accounts and any other income source, this too would be taxed.  So would apartment owners – they would be taxed on rent as income…  

      In short, any income or salary based tax is a bad idea.

      So, as noted in my previous comment, use the resources we have, base it on true consumption BY ALL – and make it apply in the form of increased duty – IF you cannot make the savings through the extensive cuts that really are needed.  People will pay a little more duty if they see government shrinking to do their part…

       

  12. Anonymous says:

    The answer to the budget problem is staring our politicians in the face. Here it is: CUT EXPENDITURE IMMEDIATELY OR YOUR POLITICAL CAREERS ARE OVER! 

    No additional taxes are acceptable to the people of the Cayman Islands and the Tooth Fairy is not going to show up within the next 5 weeks with a pile of cash which would allow politicians to continue wasting money.  

    By way of a minor correction relating to the history of taxation in Cayman, Britain passed a law in 1778, (during the reign of George III)  which exempted its Caribbean and other American colonies from taxes imposed by Britain. This was done in part to secure the loyalty of the Caribbean colonies during a period in which the American colonieshad declared their independence. 

    Here is the Wikipedia note on this and for anyone interested there is a lot of other literature on this 1778 law. There is no historical evidence relating to the shipwreck story and any 1788 shipwreck would have been irrelevant as the law was passed 10 years earlier.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxation_of_Colonies_Act_1778

      

    • bradley says:

      The legend was not about exempted Cayman from taxation. I was just look in Wikipedia myself under Cayman Islands_History. Correction:  The legend was about as Wikipedia states and I put in caps:

      "The Caymanians were rewarded with King George III’s PROMISE to never again impose a tax."

      So to correct everybody’s misunderstand. The legend was about King George making a PROMISE, not about him exempting us from tax in 1788. That was in 1778!   But the "promise" was merely ASSURED to us that the UK wouldn’t tax us.

      Also, to apply this legendary story to oppose taxes on these Islands, is not a supportive story for that endeavor, because the PROMISE was based on England taxing us – not we taxing ourselves to get ourselves out of an economic jam.

    • Anonymous says:

      Britain does not need to IMPOSE tax on Cayman, Cayman may simply be forced to accept it as a CONDITION of additional lending, which it has to seek because of the shockingly mismanaged public sector by successive governments, who cannot even maintain properly audited accounts for its own departments. (That fact of itself should worry Caymanians more than anything else and highlight just how incompetent government is, and has been).    

  13. Anonymous says:

    No one should be suggesting a real estate tax.

    Everyone should recognize that any real estate tax, no matter how small, is the end of property ownership.

    This tax means that no one can ever own any real estate, only rent it by paying the government an annual tax.

    Up until now, Caymanians could actually own their real estate.

    In the US and most other countries, governments seize properties when the real estate tax (rent) is not paid. It is one the worst taxes possible.

    It is common for people to be thrown out of houses they have owned for  50 years.

    Caymanians need to think hard about this before voting themselves such a horrible, dangerous, regressive, and disgusting tax.

    Do they really want to convert from being owners to being lessees?

    Raising the 22% import duty is by far the most efficient and best way to increase the government’s income. Their would be no additional administrative costs because the tax already exists.

    Of course any tax, from whatever source, is paid for by the consumer and so raises the cost of living

    What this country needs to do, and quickly, is to expand the economy and cut its expenses.

    Government here is way too large for our shrinking economy to afford, so it is  the first place to look for cuts.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      We DO HAVE REAL ESTATE TAX, anyone who doesn’t think so is disillusioned. What do you think stamp duty tax on transfer is?? Cayman charges a one time transfer tax which is equivalent to 5-10 years worth of property tax in North America, and people often sell their houses within 5-10 years and so they collect that tax again! Therefore Cayman DOES have property tax and collect more per transfer than is collected in a five year period on a home in North America and the country is still broke! on top of this is the 40% import duties collected daily, and fuel adjustment everyone pays to CUC monthly which is also a hidden govn’t tax, we do have taxes and they were spent poorly and now we must all pay the govn’t more money to throw away.

      • Anonymous says:

        Granted stamp duty on property transfers is a tax but it is entirely wrong to suggest that this is worth up to 10 years of property tax in North America. If that were true why would North Americans over the years have seen Cayman real estate as a particularly good investment? Do you really think they would not have done this calculation?  In Cayman many people have their homes built and the stamp duty is therefore only on the value of the land and not also of the house which is subsequently built on the land. In North America the land taxes take into account the value of house and land on an annual basis and therefore any APPRECIATION in value. On top of this there is also a real estate transfer tax in many states in the U.S. albeit at lower rates than our stamp duty.       

        Further, the 40% (actually 42%) import duty is only on luxury vehicles over a certain value. The general import duty is 22%. It is therefore incorrect to speak generally of a 40% duty collected daily.

        While the CUC fuel adjustment does include the govt. duty on diesel it is primarily the cost of the fuel which is being passed on. 

        Amazing that with so many errors you received so many thumbs up and no thumbs down.  

  14. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Bush’s ridiculous "doing something (direct taxation) is better than doing nothing" comment shows a leader devoid of ideas and devoid of the courage to take the necessary steps to deal with the country’s budget deficit. If he doesn’t take a scythe to the civil service and slash both the number of jobs and public sector pay, his credibility (if he has any left) will be irrecoverable. 
     
     
    T
     
     
     

  15. Anonymous says:

    As noted the George III story is nonsense.  One does not tax a few thousand people (if there were that many here in the 18th century).  That is the crux of the taxation argument – a population of 60,000 is unlikely to raise enough tax to cover the costs of the Revenue department taht would have to be formed (keep in mind that the number of tax payers will be substantially less than the population).

    Government has absolutely no experience collecting taxes and their collection history is abysmal – look at the HSA and its outstanding debts.

    What tax model would be introduced?  Residence driven or nationality driven.  What about double taxation treaties – there are a substantial number of US tax payers working here who, without double taxation relief, would be paying both CI & US income tax.

    All of this against a background of cutting costs!!  The Revenue department will have to be imported.  A myriad cross checks will have to be introduced to ensure that the taxpayer is accurately reporting (and paying) his tax.

    The way that these bizarre revenue schemes are being uttered by government without thought or reason make Cayman look like a wholly backward banana republic.

    Sad

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually the US tax code does not allow for double taxation.  If you are a US citizen living and working in another country, you pay the income tax of the country where you live and work.  Then, if you owe any income tax to the United States, you subtract what you paid to your resident country from what you owe the US and pay the difference to the US.  If what you owe your resident country is more than what you owe the US, then you pay the US nothing.  So, if Cayman introduces income tax, US citizens will not be double taxed.

  16. Judith says:

    "Using your figures, 5% of $2,500 = $125, 5% of $11,000 = $550. Since when was $125 the same amount as $550?"

    EXACTLY!

    You can’t tell me that the woman making 2500 will not be hurt than the man making 11000 a month. Of course 550 is more than 125, but you fail to put yourself in the shoes of the woman with children. Being cold and indifferent, you even go as far as to blame her for the number of children she have.

    Maybe… you need to study the question:

    WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO LIVE IN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS?

    As far as I know, the man can easily, but the mother will have a hard time!

    FAIRNESS… maybe you need to study what that is too.

    • Anon says:

      And you fail to explain yourself

      Why should the person earning poor pay a higher rate of tax?

      Is he using more government money, like sending 4 children to government schools, rather than private schools?

      So please explain why he should pay more? because he can afford it? rather a sad reason/ If I approach a rich man and ask him for $50,000, he asks why and my reason is he can afford to, do you think he will give it to me?

  17. Anonymous says:

    What is there to answer ?

    New taxes in the middle of a great world recession will be the ruin of Cayman and political suicide. The people of Cayman are struggling as it is and the UDP wants to implement new taxes without cleaning up the civil service with serious cut backs. You have got to be joking. Who is advising these people because Economics 101 will tell you otherwise.

    The Solution – economics 101

    I do not accept the reasoning behind not implementing a VAT/GST because of cost and having to increase Govt.

    Eliminate all customs duties, roll customs duties into the VAT/GST and implement the tax using the Customs department employees to administer in the same way a 10% service tax is applied to the hotels and condos. I do not know what % level of VAT/GST is required however after some research a percentage can be calculated which will provide increased revenue for Govt and the minimum impact on the country.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Why not a 1% property tax on all properties valued over $250,000, and 2% for all those valued over $500,000? To take into account for the Caymanians who have inherited the land and are either retired or make very little income, havingproof of the land being owned by family for, let’s say 50+ years, would waive the tax outright. Obviously the waiver would not apply to commercial property, but perhaps the tax rate could be 1% for $750,000 and 2% for $1,000,000+ commercial properties. Thoughts?

    • Been here 15 years says:

       You should be called Robin Hood as you only want to (steal) taxes from the rich.  So if you bought your pretty little condo for CI$249,000 you would be exempt from property tax?  That is just silly.

      ANY KIND of property tax would be the end of overseas ownership here….period.  And careful, if you think the real estate market is bad now, you will be looking at more vacant homes than you can count.

      We DO HAVE a real estate tax. It is called  STAMP DUTY and it is significant at 7.5%….so that would be CI$18,675.00 you owe our Government for your little condo…..thank you.  What, you WANT to pay MOREon top of $18K?  We already have a property tax people!  That million dollar condo that an overseas purchaser buys…pays 75,000 dollars and that is a LOT of tax for not even living here full time.

      With 22% duty on incoming goods, 7.5% Stamp duty on property, and HIGH work permit fees, you are already taxing your overseas workers and property owners.  It is time to cut the spending budget, not tax more.

       

    • Anonymous says:

      Annual Property Taxes of other "havens"/vacation spots:
      BVI = 12% stamp duty, 1.5-7% (7% of rental income), COSTA RICA = 0.5-1.5%, PANAMA = 0-2%, BAHAMAS = 0.5-1.5%,BERMUDA = massive restrictions, forget it!
      JAMAICA = $600/yr on first $300k of value, 0.5% of every dollar thereafter
      IRELAND = was 1.5%, abolished after 05APR97
      MEXICO = 2%, plus 20% of capital gain on sale
      SWITZERLAND = 0.3-0.5%
      TURKS = none, ie. same as Cayman

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Property tax is a horrible idea and would require a huge bureacracy to administer. Property tax would also drive down the value of property owned by both Caymanians and non-Caymanians. People who are already struggling and could not pay the additional tax would end up loosing their homes when they are seized for non-payment of tax.

        Some of your information is a little short on fact as well. I am not sure about all the countries you mention, but in Bahamas raw land owned by Bahamians is not subject to tax and there are a bunch of other exemptions as well.

        Note that many businesses already leaving Cayman are going to Ireland,  for a variety of reasons of course. It is noteworthy that Ireland does not have property tax.

        • Gibberish says:

          "Note that many businesses already leaving Cayman are going to Ireland,  for a variety of reasons of course. It is noteworthy that Ireland does not have property tax."  It is a fair bet that none of the business registering in Ireland from Cayman own any property in Ireland.

          • Anonymous says:

            Maybe or maybe not but even if they rent space, or the place of the registered office does someone is NOT paying property tax and that is reflected in overall pricing. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you bought a home in Cayman? because then you would know we pay a property tax in Cayman, in fact, we pay it outright on the transfer of ownership and that one time fee is equivalent to years worth of property tax in other countries, so that is an unjust solution. If we need to pay annual property taxes there should be no stamp duty on transfer.

  19. Elmer crud says:

    You Caymanians who still believe in this financial miracle returning to the good old days and believe this immigration rubbish being preached to us by the UDP please see Caribbeannet news online today re Rudolph Elmer a stark reminder of putting our financial industry in the hands of others. Their is no rescue coming Cayman institute the paying of some form of taxation and stop listening to these self serving advisors.

  20. durrrr says:

    "Hence, the poor man would have to pay the same amount as the rich man who will feel not a thing!"

     

    Using your figures, 5% of $2,500 = $125, 5% of $11,000 = $550. Since when was $125 the same amount as $550?

     

    And stop with emotional cr@p… if the mother can’t afford to have 2 kids, she shoulda stopped at 1. Typical of the over-stretching of finances that got us into this mess.

     

    Object to taxes by all means, but please please please object to taxes for reasons that make sense – it’s not as if there is a shortage of real reasons. 3 off the top of my head are: the fact taxes are such a slippery slope (5% today, 10% when the Government is next short of cash, 40% before you know it – just look at England); taxes feed the problem (i.e. a bloated government) instead of fixing it (by curbing the overspending); and, an income tax will either put a real hurting on local businesses (as they are forced to raise salaries to keep hold of their best talent, who will not accept a reduced take-home pay) or will result in an exodus of expats (which hurts everyone).

     

    And the talk of VAT is just nonsense – we already pay VAT at the source, in the form of Customs import duties. As we are an Island which produces little to none of the products which would be subject to VAT, this is obviously the way to do it in terms of ease of revenue collection. So if we are to face more taxation (and we must all agree that the answer is to cut spending instead of taking more from your average man on the street), the answer surely will be to raise import duties by a few points, ratherthan have to form a Tax Collection Authority, and create an even larger Government.

    • bradley says:

      durrr

      You have to be FAIR.

      A flat tax is not FAIR, and your reasoning that 225 is less the 550 and thus the treatment of the man making 11000 is worse than the woman with children making 2500 is RUBBISH!

      • hogwash says:

        Both arguments can be justified:

        Salary-wise a flat tax is Fair

        Economically-wise to someone making lower than you, a flat tax is not Fair

        So…

        It all depends on how you define fairness. The Premier appears to approve a flat tax instead of the opposite a progressive tax based on "how much" you make

        It all depends what is fair in your eyes

  21. Anonymous says:

    what happened to the idea of cutting gov expenditure (civil service)….oh yeah the gov has not got the guts to do that…..zzzzz

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree wholeheartedly that the civil service needs to be reduced! There are unnecessary positions throughout government, and I was shocked to learn that there were NEW positions filled very recently. You heard it, nesw positions, like only one or two months old. Why was this allowed to be done I ask? Replacement positions I can understand but not new ones, not in these economic times. As a Caymanian I demand that our politicians get some spine and demand a list of all new positions that were filled within the last six months and make them all redundant! This kind of splurging should not be allowed to happen at this time.

  22. Anonymous says:

    No matter who they try to blame, if the UDP introduces a payroll tax, it will be ousted from power at the next election and will remain unelectable for many years to come.  It is almost certain to bring Mr. Bush’s political career to a end, and  make him not the saviour of the Cayman economy, but possibly the most despised figure in Cayman politics. 

  23. Anonymous says:

    What concerns me about the cross the board payroll tax is if it is a way to cut the civil service pay indirectly rather than cutting it directly and to soften the blow to the civil service by charging the expat workers as well.

    Given the low wages given to a segment of the foreign work force it would be inconceivable that the government would take an additional 5%.

    I was shocked that the civil service could not cut their departments when asked by government.

  24. Anonymous says:

    It is never too late to save us from direct taxation. What we need to do is CUT EXPENSES! As long as the cost of Government services remain at $500,000,000 per year we are doomed. No amount of even DIRECT taxes will work. Money will simply leave rather than getting taxed. That is why it came here in the first place-remember?

  25. Judith says:

    HOLD ON! 

    Just wait a minute!

    We have been direct tax free for over 100 years, since 1788 when King George III promised to never again impose a tax on these Islands, due to the bravery of our seamen, rescuing a Jamaican merchant ship convoy that struck the reef off East End, and now we must make a mandatory law enforcing everyone to take a 5% cut from their wages?  We must do this, when these very politicians incurred the debt upon us???

    And now 5% Payroll Tax! This is not fair! 

    And gets me even more upset, is that it is 5% across the board!  This tax is not progressive or based on anyone’s salary scale. Hence, the poor man would have to pay the same amount as the rich man who will feel not a thing!  Downright unfair!  Imagine, the mother with 2 kids, making 2500 a month is obliged to pay the same tax rate (5%) as one making 11000 a month.

    I mean, give me the Payroll as the eternal punishment, but PLEASE not the Payroll with a 5% tax rate across the board!!!

    People, this is just not ethical!

    I pray that the Premier consider my recommendations

    • Nanoo Nanoo says:

      The George III story is nonsense.

    • frank rizzo says:

      We should all know by now that the King George story is a myth and I thank the reader who provided a link in another article.  Even if the myth were true it does not mean that Cayman would be tax free, the myth "promised" that Cayman would not be taxed by the Crown (UK).  If we, internally, need to implement taxes for our economic survival that has nothing to do with paying taxes to the UK.