Official plan ends countdown

| 16/12/2010

(CNS): With the countdown to the premier’s promise to get the country’s economy back on track now over, the official “stimulus plan” has been published on the government website. Following the national address made by Premier McKeeva Bush last week, the document outlines government proposals for future growth, which so far have been broadly criticised. Calling on the community to work together, the actual measures include considerably less than people had hoped. A reduction in turtle meat prices, a moratorium on loan payments, the roadside clean-up and possible duty reductions make up the short term measures. Bush has also revealed changes to immigration polices for high-net-worths and business travellers.

The premier also says he has also created a Stimulus Implementation Group headed by a “National Strategic Advisor”, which will consider future ideas. According to the document, the core SIG comprises a small number of key senior public servants, with additional members co‐opted from the public sector and the private sector as necessary. It will work across ministries and portfolios “to enhance the pace and quality of implementation of national priority projects”, which are expected to provide the required economic stimulus, the premier revealed.

Bush said that stimulus measures may take the form of changes in policy, capital projects or even refinement of existing government services.

“A turnaround in the local economy has already begun,” he claimed in the stimulus document. “Signs of renewed interest and potential growth are around the corner, yet to truly capitalize on the impending resurgence, much has to be done to affect major change. Results may not be visible overnight, but the momentum of the combined efforts of the public and private sectors will have a tremendously positive impact.”

The premier indicated that over the next 3 to 6 months measures focusing on enhancing the business climate and making it easier to do business will create jobs and stronger economic activity. He also said consideration had been given to measures improving the quality of life as well as the development of human capital and encouraging economic diversification

“The affects of these measures will not likely be felt until the long‐term,” he warned. “Nevertheless, implementation must begin now to allow adequate lead‐time to prepare.

Aside from the loan payment freezes, the reduction of import duties on select items on a temporary basis in January was under consideration, he said. “Further announcements will be made to clarify which imported items will qualify for these reductions as they are implemented. These reductions are intended to provide additional relief to the present cost of living,” Bush stated.

Along with the clean‐up campaigns employing between 700 and 800 people, he also noted the temporary reduction in the price on turtle meat at the Turtle Farm for December 2010. He also announced that government would attempt to “buy Caymanian” whenever feasible in order to support local companies across all industries when purchasing services or undertaking projects.

“Government should lead by example. Part of stimulating the economy is ensuring local companies get work. This can be encouraged throughout the public sector immediately,” Bush stated.

Along with immigration changes for high net worth individuals and efforts to become more customer friendly at the airport, Bush said Cayman would become more attractive to investors.

Speaking about the need for physical presence, he announced that a promotional strategy to encourage financial services operations would be unveiled in the first quarter of 2011. “This strategy will, at the very least, bring our jurisdiction on par with our competitors in terms of international promotional and marketing efforts. The success of this promotional strategy will not only address what is known as the ‘substantial presence’ issue, but it will also create new white‐collar jobs by supporting top quality organizations to combine their talent with the talent present in the Cayman Islands,” he said.

See premier’s full stimulus plan here

Do you feel stimulated? Vote in the CNS poll.


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Comments (44)

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  1. Anonymous says:

     He should do us the ultimate pleasure and resign. 

  2. IRON CLAD says:

    STIMULUS… The only Stimulus is see here is that McKeeva is HIGHLY STIMULATED by Foreign Investors’ MONEY!!! Have we not noticed how much he keeps harping on everything that points to making things easier for the Foreign Investor.

    He has even proposed to give 2 different types of the 25 Permanent Residency for investors in the REAL ESTATE – COINCIDENTLY and conveniently, McKeeva has GREAT INTEREST in the Real Estate Industry in owning a Real Estate company of his own.

    Again he has blatantly and without any concern, OVERLOOKED most of other industries that are CRITICAL to our economy.

    No doubt it is CLEAR to see that he has NO interest in the LOCAL Business Sector and the Caymanian people as a whole.


    People… People… People… IT IS TIME that we begin the process to truly embed in our minds the ABSOLUTE urgency to remove this IDIOT from the role as Premier of our Country before too much more damage is done. Once the embedding is done, then ACTION needs to be taken.

    We are facing a serious dilemma for our future and should we NOT remove this man, this dilemma turns UGLY!!

    IRON CLAD to no end.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Great work from the Pastor who is on sabbatical leave to deal with "national issues"

    Lord help us…….have mercy for we know not what we do !

    We can’t afford for any more Pastors to take sabbaticals……we need more prayer not less !!!!!!

  4. THAT's TOTALLY IT FOLKS!!!!! says:

     And as promised, the rollover period is being reduced to help us CAYMANIAN businesses that employ a LOT of Caymanians, but still need some expat help.  It is, right?  Last I heard, 1 month.  WE ALL KNOW that was a ploy.  But it will be six months within days, right?  NO?  Then I am close to shutting up shop, because if I cannot get my ONE expat back to help train my Caymanians, they are useless and my business is FARKED.

    Bu in reality, to put it in perspective, I only run a small business with 5 Caymanians and 1 expat – so it wan’t make a difference if my 5 Caymanians are on the street – or the next five from the next small business, or the next five, right???

    MAC – Step up to back up your promises.  Or the people sure as heck will back theirs in the next election – and your new palace walls will be the prison that protects you from noone who cares who you are any more!!!


  5. Junior Achievers says:

    The UDP stimulus plan seems like Junior Achivement project. God help us all! 

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s an insult to anyone who has ever gone through the Junior Achievement program.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I heard Clifford on Rooster a few morning ago saying that there was really nothing new in the Premier’s address and that the Premier had simply repackaged everything he had said before and said it again. Thats an accurate assessment of Mac’s address.

    Clifford also said that given the significant increase in violent crime that was the first thing that needed to be addressed in any stimulus package dealing with economic recovery but that the Premier had ignored it completely……Clifford hit the nail on the head again !

    I believe what happened was that when the Premier made his statement 90 days ago he assumed we would all forget that he had said it.

    But then CNS started the countdown to success and as Mac watched the days go by he had to say something towards the end of the 90 days.

    But seriously it would have been better if he had remained silent than utter the BS that was included in that national address.

    And then Tony and some of the other jokers get on TV and praise him for the address……..but I guess we should expect no less from them since they probabaly authored much of the BS.

    Mac u better wake up and start taking advice from your own Caymanians who have Cayman at heart.


  7. nauticalone says:

    Wow!….what a lot of nothing!….more of the same old rhetoric!!!

    While other places may currently be worse off, it only stands to reason that Cayman is fast heading in the same direction….and with little hope to change that as long as this current Premier and cronies are leading!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Ah hah……..I told you all so. I told you last night to stop worrying because Mac would fix our problems in 24 hrs. He has delivered !!!

    Thanks Mac.

    Now back to my pot of turtle stew. Unna eat turtle nah cha 🙂

  9. Anonymous says:

    what frustrates me most is the lack of criticism from the press and the opposition?

    in  any other country mckeeva would be ripped to shreds by the press and the opposition party would beputting up motion s of no confidenece….

    also what about marches and demonstrations???

  10. Anonymous says:

    “The affects of these measures will not likely be felt until the long‐term,” he warned. “Nevertheless, implementation must begin now to allow adequate lead‐time to prepare.


    Translated into ‘smart people talk’: "…Yep, I’ve dropped the ball again… But hopefully in 2 years (or more like 2 weeks) everyone will have forgotten that I even said anything… Chances are, I will have said something else even more rediculous by then..!"

    That man is the personification of ‘dangerous’ unintelligence, lack of education and a benchmark example of someone in an authoritive position  they have absolutely no business being in!!! – Sorry voters… But he (and those before him) has exercised zero accountability and we are now paying the price for his (their) mistakes and misguidance. I find this unacceptable. I find your behavour unbecomming of a Premiere and Ambassador of The Cayman Islands! 

    If I had voted for him, I would feel so failed & ashamed… –  Words can’t describe… 

    Never in my life have I ever seen an example of an individual that has turned his back and failed his fellow Caymanians. He doesnt even have the decency or integrity to step down…

    As far as  O N L Y  attarcting the high-end all powerfull elitists… Good luck with that… Because after they realize that their right hand men / women that run their companies for them (lets face it – a.k.a. – the managers/supervisors from Canada, UK, USA, S. Africa, Australia etc that DO ACTUALLY have the experience and qualifications to be placed in these positions) only have a ‘shelf life’ of 7 years, why would they even set up their camps here in the first place…? WHY???!!!


    If the average everyday ‘Joe’ onthe island woke up 1 morning and found their bank acct credited with 100 or 500 Mil$, after knowing how your going to be treated on the island by certain agencies, the hoops you’re made to jump through, the short sightedness you have to contend with& the hurdles that are placed in your path, – Why would you NOT invest in Dubai or Singapore etc etc…???? – Somewhere where investors (of all levels of financial worth) ARE welcomed, taken seriously and somewhere where you dont have to present the local Govt with a ‘bubble of gifts’ for allowing you to invest in their country.

    Be they opening a small restaraunt or building a wind powered water purification plant doesnt matter… Because 10 yrs on, that small restaraunt owner may own 10 restaraunts and employ 200+ of the local workforce and depend on 20 other local companies to support (supply) his restaraunts!!!… Why does no one think about the future like that here pertaining to investors. A 24 yr old man once said "If you always play the short game, you’re bound to lose." That man is now Sir Richard Branson… I believe he now OWNS his own, international airline, chain of mega stores, phone network provider and private Caribbean island..!

    News flash: We need investors of ALL levels to be here and invest! – Ever hear the term "beggars cant be choosers"? Trying to only attract the high-enders is positively farcicle… 

    And for heven’s sake: Ditch this rollover policy. – if there was ever a measure devized that ‘cuts its own throat’, this IS that measure!!!

    Those that dont believe me, I urge you to consider how ‘flourishing’ the island was in the mid to late 90’s!!! I dare someone to look me in the eye and tell me we have it better now than we did then! – And dont even try to jump on the "nine eleven / recession bandwagon"! That would be weak!

    In the early 90’s a global recession was on. Guess what: This country was magnificent, beautiful and booming! – A true "Jewel of the Caribbean" back then.

    I think it’s time to get rid of these ‘rabbits’ that are at the controls of this country and get some realists in. You and I know who they are… It’s time for them to ‘man-up’ and take the reins! 

    Next election, we know what to think about!

    • Florence Goring-Nozza says:


      You have not even used the term Caymanian NOT ONE TIME IN YOUR SPEECH! and This speaks volumes  about where your heart really is.You are simply handing these companies allowed to do do business on our shores a BLANK CHECK  to do as they please. Its just deja vu. Why do you continue to trifle with the minds of our poor struggling people on a daily basis, 7 days a week and 365 days a year! why do you do this to your people?


  11. EyesWideOpen says:

    Abrahma Lincoln…

     "better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt"

  12. Anonymous says:

    what about some  no-brainers?…things that stimulate the economy without any cost….

    allow sunday trading

    relax lliqour licensing hours (saturday night?)

    allow gambling for tourists(and expats) at big hotels

    have immigration laws that make people want to stay here!

  13. Dred says:

    You know with Big Mac it’s always another parlor trick.

    His "solutions" reminds of of the game where you have a box inside a box inside a box to infinity. He sets a date only to give you something else to shoot after. Once we get to that location it will be another and all along you are making absolutely no progress towards actually attaining what you set out to do in the first place.

    Here’s your solution and I’ll lay it out in stages to you. YES it will cost us revenues but we will counter that.

    1) Cut spending and drastically. This means no more new vehicles, web meetings instead of flights, control over gas consumption, no new hiring etc.

    2) Remove all the bloody markups on duties and fees that affect the average person and businesses. If you want to lower the cost of living for the average Joe he can’t be dealing with a recession and dealing with tax hikes. If you want to attract new businesses you can not be increasing cost exponentially during a time where they are not making sales due to recession. Wealthy can still pay increased duties on car $40K and over.

    3) Lower ticket sales on CAL. Get CITA and it’s members to agree to lower rates across the tourism sector. Start new campaign to redefine Cayman as a lower cost destination.

    4) Take a "SERIOUS" look at Casinos not this play play to Churches look. Casinos will bring in serious revenues to Cayman. We need new revenue sources. If you haven’t figured that out as yet YOU ARE STUPID!!!. It’s time to take our heads out of the sand and start being a progressive nation.

    5) We need Dr Shetty project moving forward. The facility is far too important to be stuck on silly stupid stuff. Simply put negligence cases account for possibly 1% of all surgeries and we are going to slow or stop this project for the extreme minority. I know it COULD hurt someone at some point from getting everything they probably deserve but when I look at something like this I see all the help it’s giving everyone else and I fid it hard to set one person on a pedestal and harm 99 others. That’s just from a operation standpoint but the other side is all of the benefits that will be gained Island wide from the business being generated.

    6) Crime. This needs to be addressed. Known gang members need to be harassed on a daily basis. Special gang task force need to be created and trained by US special units on how to take down these gangs. I believe wholeheartedly that you take down the gangs 75% of our serious crime issues like bank jobs, burglaries all go with it. I believe gang members are deeply involved with the home, business and bank jobs going on around Cayman. I don’t know if we need tougher gang laws but whatever we need do it.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       Mr. Bush has developed "nouveaux leadership 101" into a science. He and many elected members think leadership is forming yet another "advisory committee" or a new position in his office, some "strategic advisor, committee head" to form yet another group to investigate where we should go to create inward investment. Then they need to hire a firm to study, well you get the picture. IMHO the leadership Cayman desperately needs right now is someone who will sit down with the brain trust that exists and resides on the island and make "decisions" before we falter any further. I don’t see governing. I see riding around in SUV’s acting like a states person, sound bites, posturing, flying around first class, having security. This is all becoming humorous and very sad.

      Can anyone make a decision without forming a committee?

      • Anonymous says:

        "Can anyone make a decision without forming a committee"?

        Abraham Lincoln?

        No, seriously, do you know what made the U.S. a great country? At critical moments in their history, great leaders (like Lincoln) accepted the challenge and stepped forward to make the tough decisions necessary to move the country ahead. Where are Caymans’ great leaders? When will they step forward?

    • THAT's TOTALLY IT FOLKS!!!!! says:

       Yeah, the Shetty project will go the way of the Dart Dock – Government will not realise the investor needs a return, will make unreasonable demands and return periods, and we will get, at worst, nothing, at best, a vet clinic.  

      If Dart had been awarded the dock, it would have been a world class project.  My money says the new developers, Jamaicans with US "knowledge" – will have this looking like another extension of the farcical Rayal Watler Terminal.  No class, no pizazz, but a lot of profit for them and government will just say, "see, we did it" instead of having he opportunity to say "wow – we just blew the region out of the water by partnering with a TRUE developer".

      Time will tell, but we really could have had a classy outfit here.


  14. EyesWideOpen says:

    "promises is a comfort to a fool"…..Bob Marley

  15. Anonymous says:

    reducing the price in turtle meat???? …welcome to wonderland where we plan to save the economy by reducing the price of meat of an endangered species…………..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  16. KWB says:

    What a disappointment and incredible waste of time and effort by the many committees and groups that were asked for input. So many solid ideas, again shelved for the "painless" choices.

    Reduce the rollover policy, make it possible for middle income families to invest and have some hope at a future life. Not providing security to investors is killing us. Caymanians alone cannot sustain this economy with our population level.

    On the other hand, reduce government services, combine similar departments and invest in technology that will reduce heads needed. Of course with such a large percentage of the voters being civil servants, that will never be addressed by any politicians.

    We are again living on borrowed money, we are also on borrowed time. On this path, it wont be long before the UK insists on some form of Income tax for these Islands, to support the crazy greed and spending that is so rampart in our Government.

    We need a new breed of political will ! 

  17. Anonymous says:

    Reduced price of turtle meat needs to be accompanied by a reduced price in rum, Rum and turtle politics keep the masses appy, christmas soon come.

  18. Cayman fisting says:

    Looks like the Bush thought he would be announcing finalization of the port in EE 90+ days ago.  Too bad the people realized those plans are almost as unrealistic as the premier putting forth measures to ensure the tourist $’s stay on island by lighting a fire under Baines’ ass to curb crime.  It’s a shame Bush isn’t as charismatic as Obama because his talk of change is almost as convincing as Obama’s slogan "Yes we can" which switched to "Damn, we thought we could" once he stepped into office 

    • Anonymous says:

      Slam Bush all you want, and rightly so, but comparing him to Obama is like comparing turtle meat to filet mignon! Bush is performing the impressive feat (in a bad way) of single-handedly putting the country on a path to ruin. Obama, on the other hand, is being blocked by self-serving elements in both political parties who would rather see him fail than move the country forward.

  19. Anonymous says:

     You people actually believed McKeever?  The only path we on is the one to destruction.  Criminals have taken over the country and until that is resolved, there will be no path to success: only a path to destruction.  

    These are all short term fixes that doesn’t benefit anyone.  If you don’t pay your mortgage for a few months then interest accrues which means that it takes longer to pay off your mortgage.  

    Turtle meat: I can definitely do without.

    Stimulate local businesses?  Has government finally started paying their bills?

    All this rich people stuff again.  Maybe, he should check some other countries that actually stimulated their economies.  Here is one suggestion: check the unemployed Caymanian, find their skill and encourage that kind of business to be set up so that they will have jobs.

    The road crew?  They are doing a wonderful job when they aren’t talking on cell phones, crossing the road, and holding up traffic.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Man, I’m glad the recession is over in Cayman.  Thanks Mac. 

  21. Kung Fu Iguana says:

    Let them eat turtle meat.

  22. whodatis says:

    I am no great fan of the Premier however, the (actual) economic standing of Cayman as a country is far stronger than most greater western nations e.g. USA & UK.

    The citizens of those nations are only surviving via mass government handouts, newly printed "money" etc.

    Every day another European country is a standstill due to actual and physical rioting and protests – even "royalty" have been caught up in the melee. (Greece is on fire as you read this – London has just managed to douse its flames … with the promise of more to come.)

    In no way am I crediting the Premier with preventing similar scenes from taking place in Cayman – as our far better reality is simply by way of sheer good luck – relatively speaking.

    My point is that when one takes a step back and fully appreciates what is happening in the world today, we will realize that things could be a whole lot worse.

  23. Anonymous says:

    its a shame all together, but espacially this rollover policy, just lift it and stop kicking people off island, just dont give them caymanian status, and dont give them a right to vote, is it really so difficult, give me a break

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes it is difficult.  We are a part of the EU.  Thats why they implemented rollover.  I don’t understand why I still see comments like this.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are obviously clueless as are the 19 people who gave you thumbs up. The whole point of rollover is because international standards require that if a person has been resident in a country for at least 10 years they should be given the right to apply for permanent rights. If they have permanent residency they may then proceed to be naturalised, have Caymanian status and the right to vote. Rollover cuts that period short so that most will not qualify. Clearly, what you are describing is what we had before the rollover and expats were up in arms about that.  If it were that simple obviously nothing would have changed. It must be wonderful to live in la-la land where you don’t have to be troubled by real issues. 

      • Anonymous says:

        "…expats were up in arms about that."

        You serious? What were the expats up in arms about when there was no rollover? 

        Before rollover expats got to come here and if they contributed and fit in, and didn’t piss on anyone’s cornflakes, they would presumptively be allowed to stay and that was pretty much the end of it.  Now they are presumptively asked to leave in 7 years unless they jump through the hoops of Immigration while being watched by legions of Caymanians who are pissed off about McKeeva’s status grant and other stuff. I don’t think that rational expats would complain about having to fit in as a condition to staying, but I can understand their discomfort at a presumption that they have to leave and it makes sense that they not get invested here under those circumstances.

        As things are today, the EU law says we have to let expats stay after 10 years, so I say we need to "filter" them more carefully at the front end, but plan to let them stay if they fit in.  I mean if a business-owner, doctor, lawyer or accountant are here for several years, has fit in and we haven’t thrown them off the Island yet, then I say they should have a right to stay.  Good for us, good for them, good for everyone.

        There should also be another class of work permit for the unskilled folks, with no chance of status at all.  Come and stay for a few years to work but don’t plan on staying.  That way the business and professional people who help the Island make the money stay here for a long time, and the worker-bees can make their decisions to come or not knowing that it’s short term only. 

        And on business and professional I’m not saying only millionaires.  We need dive companies and mid level professionals and skilled administrative people who "make business go", and they need to stay long term too.  They just have to show that they fit in.

      • Anonymous says:

        Heaven forbid that someone who resides in this country for a certain length of time should have RIGHTS. Maybe if expats could vote, McKeeva wouldn’t have been elected in the first place.

      • scratchin' me head says:

        And since when did we adhere to international standards??

  24. Anonymous says:

    Wu Wu Wu We We Wee Wu Wu….Wu Wu Wu…Undastand!?

  25. Gordon Barlow says:

    Smoke and mirrors, mainly smoke.

    Gordon Barlow, former Manager of the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce

    • Anonymous says:

      its a pity the current manager of chamber of commerce will not come out a nd criticize such a pathetic set of proposals…

  26. BORN FREE says:

    Time is up!!!! The premier has once again broken his promise. He promised that the economy would be "back on track within 90 days" & those 90 days have come & gone & the economy is no better. In fact, the economy is worse. The people are suffering more than ever. The premier should stop making empty promises. He should stop making promises & not keeping them. By raising the people’s hopes by making a stupid promise he hurts them even more when he does not keep that promise.
    For Cayman’s sake I would love to see the premier step down, but let us hope that he does not promise to do so because more than likely he would break that promise too. We cannot win for losing, thanks to the premier.

  27. anon says:

     My god, what a joke.  Promises of this and that were made and not really anything was delivered.  Oh wow, cheaper turtle meat!!  That ought to change the country right around! I do recall stimulus for construction?  As in reduced duties for building materials and cutting the fees for planning that they ridiculously raised last year during a recession!


      I also recall talk of the rollover being reduced to a month, so much for that I guess.  I am glad I am not a voter here, I think I would go crazy with the lack of responsibility that comes out of the politicians mouths.  Say one thing then retract it the next.  

      The two points I have mentioned that were to be part of the stimulus, are the ones that stuck out for me the most.  They both directly affect me, and also prevent me from investing in this country if not changed. If you want investment, make it easier to do so!