Bush confident of recovery in 2011

| 02/01/2011

(CNS): In a New Year message to the people of the Cayman Islands the premier said he was confident that the country would recover from the economic downturn in 2011 as a result of his recently revealed stimulus package. McKeeva Bush told the country he would be introducing waivers for business and licensing fees, certain stamp and import duties. He also said the country could expect faster work permits and up to a 75% reduction in work permit fees for staff in the Sister Island. Businesses on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman will also receive a 50% reduction on Trade & Business license fees, he announced. Bush also said that for the first 6 months of the New Year  projects submitted for planning approval would be allowed to defer 100% of the required Infrastructure fees until the Certificate of Completion was required.

The premier said that 25% of the Building Control fees would also be deferred until Certificate of Completion, as revealed in the changes to the planning law earlier this year. Focusing on boosting the construction industry, he said all projects submittingfor planning permission or for a building permit between January and June will be allowed to import materials before 31 December 2011 at a flat rate of 15% duty.

“Our government will further ensure that local merchants will be granted a credit of the same value on the future importation and restocking of materials under this programme. This will ensure that the local merchants will not be disadvantaged on the sale of materials they have already imported,” Bush stated. “These are just the tip of the iceberg for what we perceive to be the first steps in turning around the economy.”

Reiterating his recently announced short and long term stimulus policies, Bush said that throughout 2011 the main objective would be to keep the Cayman Islands competitive.

“To achieve this, we must adapt our national and promotional strategies towards our major industries, and be prepared to change focus where and when necessary,” he added. “An important element of the recovery effort is to diversify our economy, which we will begin to seeearly in 2011. The emergence of two new areas of focus in the tourism industry – medical and sports tourism – will surely open new doors and stimulate growth of our local economy.”

He added that the creation of jobs, the retention of companies and the continuation of provision of community assistance to churches would be top priorities for the government in the New Year.

Bush said that his own theme for the New Year is Hope, Love and Tolerance. He said people had become too intolerant and were saying the worst things of each other and thinking the worst of people.
“Let us make a decision this year to be more tolerant of those around us, to help make our homes, our churches and our communities a better place to live,” the premier said as he asked people to love rather than hate, which would make people more content.

See full speech below

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  1. anonymous says:

    Mr. Bush keeps referring to "My Government".  Yet he claims that he was elected by the people.  We as a people might have more respect for him if started referring to "Your Government". 

    He tends to act like he is the savior, not a mortal elected politician elected to do the peoples will, not his own.The people of Cayman need to be center stage not him.

    If he started to refer to it as the peoples government, he might start to believe it and act accordingly. 

    This would please and benefit us all. 



    • Anonymous says:

       Mr. Bush was elected by the West Bay voters who are financially beholding to him. He controls the other UDP members. We never hear from the other ministers. I liked it better when we had EXCO. At least I felt like several people were directing the country. It is mind boggling the acceptance of the Caymanian people for the private jets, first class travel, SUV’s, double dipping and on and on. It would be one thing "if" the country was being governed properly and moving forward in a positive manner but Cayman is floundering with no leadership. When will the private sector wake up. 

      • lachlan MacTavish says:

        PS…..20:27 was my post, apologies for missing the tag…….

  2. Anonymous says:

    duty waiver,fee exemption/cut, roll over policy are temporary relief for our cayman.what we need is  particulars generating revenues

    roll over was just a ploy, it has to be modified at earliest or,it will catch our throat soon.

    we need people to stay on our island with security of not been discarded at certain time,so they will get their company/employment  settled here ,generate finance and employment.

    why cant it be possible to make a note on immigration work permit form that, those who earns below x amount of earning or assets is not entitled for permanent residency or being citizen here on th island…give a quick thought.

    if we think we can do it…

  3. Anonymous says:

    import exemptions,fees cut ,roll over ,permanent residecy  are temporary means of helping cayman.if you see in larger picture goverment has to take care of enough revenue to this island.after roll over almost 75% of things are on sale…and thier is hardly buyer for anything…goverment dont have enough revenue to take care of basic need of we caymanians.

    imagine modifying roll over policy so people are encourageto invest in terms of assets,contributing revenue and building companies here which generates  employment here.

    Permanent residency, soon will catch our throat,keep watch what has suffered on other islands,is it that we want .

    people started marriage for convinience so they can stay here on island.including my son who is married to a philipino,who has husband back in her country and also now daughters along with her on island.


    companies started migrating to other places living us stranded.exemption of particular nationality is a issue.think how cayman was before,we want to live in that peacful cayman.

    if this doent get straighten up soon,it will b  like those country who steal food from neighbours plate..mark my word.now even born caymanian here wants  to migrate else where..and its a hard truth !

    • Anonymous says:

      And your son is helpingthe Cayman Islands by marrying a person who already has a husband?  Well, perhaps your son’s wife should be deported – is bigamy not a criminal offence?

  4. Michel Lemay says:

    To Mr. Bush Honorable Premier of the Cayman Islands,

    This comment is in no way or form intented to be negative towards yourself or anyone else and not involve personnal Politics.As we both go back to when you where first elected I feel in my heart to voice my opinion directly to you Sir.After the last election you became our first Premier and then we all discovered that things were not as rosy as we were first led to believe by the report of the FS under the Past Administration and to that I say so be it. I personnally told you that we had the best man to hold the bull by the horns in yourself Sir and you went to London and I remember very well what the intentions of the UK were as most of us should know by now. It was a very delicate situation and we were either going to go broke or THEY would allow us to borrow money.You came back with the best that could be done at the time.And I still believe that. If we are going to mix that with a bad global economic situation, it did not help our(Cayman Islands) situation. And here we are in 2011 faced with many challenges as I am certain you Sir are most aware of. The crime situation has risen to an unprecedent point,many Caymanians are hurting,many not working and long term expatriates that were vital to our past success(facing rollover). I ask you Sir to please consider adressing the present issues to your people. The Governor is silent, we are living on the edge and find it now difficult at times to have much tolerence never mind with others,even within ourselves. I do believe Mr. Premier that if ever there is a time for all to be United,it is now.My grandmother taught me that charity begins at home and for us to respect the persons who come to our shores like myself once did, we should also be returned the favor.Your People needs you Sir; to lead us in the proper direction and pray that others will follow suit and work hand in hand, so that we can turn our country around.When Dr.Edlin Merren issued my letter of Caymanian Status in1986 he said Congratulations and that by the way that I had conducted my life so far in the Cayman Islands I would be given an even greater challenge by living and working alongside my fellow Caymanians for the betterment of our Beloved Cayman Islands.Only now do I appreciate it’s full meaning: For better or worse.I would like to take this opportunaty to wish you Mr. Premier and your Family a happy New Year filled with wisdom, vision and compassion.



  5. Alan Nivia says:

    Why are we subsidising the Brac yet again?

  6. Anonymous says:

    We’ve gotten used to balogna. Where’s the beef? Oh I forgot, the stimulus package for 2011 is a reduction in turtle meat. Ha Ha ha.

  7. Anonymous says:

    How about sitting down with random groups of local business owners (not just the Chamber of Commerce or the Contractors Association and asking for their input and suggestions?

    These benefits are for the the ones that spoke the loudest. There are lots of business out there without a voice and they need to be heard.

    • Small Business Owner says:

      I am a small business operator in the development field. Neither my business nor I is a member of any major association. During the slowdown of the economy last year I submitted my suggestions in writing to the Government and I must say not all but most suggestions were adopted.


      With all due respect, I said that to say this. You need to start to be more proactive instead of complaining/criticizing after decisions are made and announced. Be part of the solution weather you are big or small.


      I now find myself in the position where my clients who previously put projects on hold are now contacting me in regards to moving forward with their projects because of the deferment of fees.


      Small Business Owner.



  8. Anonymous says:

    No I realize why Julie was so strong on getting that new hurricane shelter for the Brac. With all these concessions the Brac ,we are all going to have to move to the Brac.

    McKeeva, Grand Cayman is suffering tremendously. No disrespect to the Brac but they have constantly gotten the good end of the stick and they do absolutely nothing with it to grow their economy. Instead they sit around and bicker about not wanting their islands developed.

    I own a medium size business on Grand Cayman and have done so for the past 38 years. Where are my concessions? I can’t move my business to Cayman Brac because they are not enough people there to support it. I am right know considering shutting it down. I have laid off employees, cut expenses in about just every area I can and I still can’t seem to survive and that is with Cayman’s population and very little competition who themselves have fallen on the same hard times.

    McKeeva, I believe you want to make Cayman successful, even if people say you are try to make yourself successful in the process but you have got to come with a better, more aggressive plan of action. Nobody wants to vote for a politician who forced them to shut down their business because of lack of leadership and the balls to do it. Look at the moth balls that Kurt is in now.  He will never get the opportunity to lead again because his track record is so bad and he ended up hurting a lot of people, including myself.

    Give local businesses a break, we need to survive otherwise Cayman fails and becomes just another dirty, crime ridden Caribbean country.




    • Anonymous says:

      Why look to the politicians to save your business? Isn’t that what entrepreneurs do; adapt, change, close down if necessary, start anew?

    • Bracca says:

      Ol Buddy im a Bracca but i couldnt agree with you more, These people up here dont even ty to run their business the proper way, they need to shut this place down, its a downright disgrace this place.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Got an idea… I will register my company in Cayman Brac, pay 75% less for work permits for positions that caymanians could do and send them to work in Grand Cayman! What a genius!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the promises Santa Mac

  11. Anonymous says:

    Not so “Big Mac” call things that were 90% previously in motion a “Stimulus plan” as though it was some revolutionary new set of financial ventures that were going to boost our economy. Now he anounces that he is “confident in our recovery”.

    Ya know something, if you go to Vegas and bet on black, eventually you will win. It takes no brains or skill to hit black.

  12. Samuel says:

    Greetings for the new year. 

    In 2011, I beleive that instead of a complilation of negativity and complaints, we ought to look for some answers.  By all means if you are unhappy, voice your concerns, but for the sake of all that is good, knock off the Cayman Brac bashing.  So what if they got a cut, albeit more and again.  That’s they’re lot.  Focus on what you have and not on what they have been given.

    They have many disadvantages as well.  Business there is nothing like here.  Prices are higher than here in everything. 

    I had the gift of spending the holiday season over there (my Grand mother was from there), for the first time in 30+ years (no immediate family has lived or owned property since).  While I visited Grand Cayman and made it home(24 years back), just, finally made it to the Brac.

    Grand Cayman has so much to be thankful for and yes I beleive that some breaks ought to be give to Grand, but kncok off the Brac bashing, you act like jealous children.  Focusing on what other people get all the time speaks volumes of who you are.

    And Remember:

    Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.-Benjamin Franklin.

    Let’s progress together and more importantly remember, "you have to see success before it can be acheived."

  13. Anonymous says:

    I do not see any recovery as long as bush and julie are given free reign to ruin this country.

  14. Anonymous says:

    This guy is trying to douse the fire that he lit.

    Where are the next generation of educated and ethical Caymanians? Please step up to the plate and take over from these ignorant and corrupt dinosars.

  15. Civil Dialogue says:

    Coupled with Cayman Brac already EXCLUDED from building permit fees, this idea of 75% off work permit fees is ludicrous. ISN’T THE ENTIRE CAYMAN ISLANDS AFFECTED BY THE ECONOMIC DOWN TURN? Yes our sister islands have unique challenges BUT don’t they already have several concessions which aren’t afforded to Grand Cayman 

    Additionally, if duty concessions are being considered on building material, why are they being limited to NEW planning applications ONLY, isn’t the economic down-turn effecting existing persons who are struggling to build and/complete their homes/business?

    The message falls short as it relates to HELP.

    • Anonymouse. says:

      Looks like a clear case of the tail wagging the dog. Aunt Julie is running the show and she will do anything to keep her votes.

      Solution? Lets all move to the Brac.

      • Anonymous says:

        Its just a numbers game, the impact to Govt revenues in the Brac will be minimal simply becausethey volume of these types of transactions are minimal in comparison to Grand Cayman. what this then boils down to is a "Big Gensture" that accomplishes very little – or in other words "lip service"


  16. Anonymous says:

    Mac looked like he was in recovery mode when he arrived on a private G4 executive jet with his cronies on New Year’s Eve…… Michael Missick style.

    Tail number M-ABCT.

    Oh no…….the British are coming !!!

    • Anonymous says:

       Glad to hear he made it back from the Albany party in the Bahamas.  Quite surprised when I heard he was at the event and wanted to ask him if the CIG was paying his way on the G4.  He must have heard some fellow Caymanians were there and made an early exit before he got fired with questions.  Oh well, hope he had fun chumming it up with Tiger Woods, perhaps he was looking for "future business".

      • Anonymous says:

        Tell us about the Albany Party….what is it….who attended……who accompanied McDinejad on the trip and on the G4 etc ?

    • Macman says:

      Interestinly that plane is registered to Pillar Securitisation SARL a financial institution.

      On another note was there a question some time ago about a "Finders Fee" for the loan the Govt. got? Have details of the loan been released yet?


      Just thinking

  17. Shock and Awe says:

    What???  Is he confusing Premier with Pastor?  If he wants it to sound less like sermonizing and more like someone who’s serious about giving people hope set an example.  Take a pay cut!!  Pay your own household bills!!  Cancel your pension while at the same time getting paid over ten thousand a month!! Stop flitting around the world and spending like a sheik at everyone’s expense!!!  And show some humility!!!

  18. McCarron McLaughlin says:

    UDP the brainiest PARTY at it again – now the government is realizing it’s wrongs they should have never raised fees in the first place and caused so much businesses to leave our shores, the government’s economic team should all be sacked including the premier for being so shortsighted.

    Please explain to the people of these Islands why you raised fees in the midst of recession in the first place, when the thinking at the time was to lower fees OR leave them as they were to encourage companies/people to stay in the Cayman. I hope you all are proud of all damage you have done.

  19. Common Sense says:

    Let’s see….the ship is sinking, but that’s OK, we’ll just add another coat of paint and nobody will notice. 

    • boymeetsgal says:

      Well… at least it will look good, and become an "economic-tourist-attraction" like the Kittiwake!

      I can see it now in the headlines:

      "Experts attempt to recover a sunk Cayman, as the UK prepares for their Independence"

      And another headline:

      "Mac runs to Florida and has abandoned ship"

  20. Annoymous says:

    How can you reduce the cost of T&B Licenses’ for the Sister Islands, what about those poor small businesses in Grand Cayman that have folded due to the high cost?
    Are we not the Cayman Islands, what is good for one should be good for ALL!!
    Mr. Bush your comments make me mad as hell, you go around preaching you are doing everything to help these islands, but all you are doing is securing Julianna’s re-election. But word has it that some Cayman Brackers are moving back home to register to vote her out.

    If you are going to do some good for these islands, include all THREE. What next reduction in fees by District and West Bay will be the first to profit from this?
    What is wrong with you? Are you loosing your noodles or have you lost the last few remaining ones you had left?

    I object to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman getting fee breaks and Grand Cayman receiving none, that’s absolute nonsense. Why don’t you do some statistic count and see how many businesses in Grand Cayman have folded or about to due to the high cost of doing business in comparison to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman?? Or have your consultants all gone mad along with you too?

    New Years message is nothing more than a bag of hot air as far as I am concerned. You should attempt to make some real changes not changes that are only for political voter protection in your govt’s favour.

    I am so disgusted I feel like regurgitating my Christmas and New Years dinner on the LA steps!!!! Yes that’s how I feel about this message. So bite me!!

  21. anonymous says:

    Finally…a break in the new construction fees and incentives for the construction industry. Many people have been sitting on the fence waiting for the economy to turn around, waiting for something to stimulate them. This will.

    A delay in Building control and infrastructure fees until the end of construction..wow that could be 2 years and after sales are complete! And to top it off a reduction in import duty for the entire year for new projects. I hope the Planning Department is geared up for the submissions.

    Thank you Mr. Premier. You get it now. Lower fees and get development….late but finally done.

  22. Cassius Dio says:

    Anything on Rollover as promised last year?? knowing one way or the other will be useful to many people.

    And why all the relief for construction? Cayman has lost 10-15% of it’s population.

    Apartment, houses and industrial units are vacant all over the island an Big Brain wants to build more?

    Hss he looked a Cireba recently, on the islands there are currently 1785 properties for sale alone, including one which started on the Market at 25m and now is down to 13.9m.

    If we lose the FS and tourism industries, there will be no reason to even have a contruction industry. Cayman will be a ghost town, with  the Caymanians that stay ecking out an existence by subsidence

    Is McKeeva playing his Lyre while Cayman Burns?

    Is he still building his wall? preaching love while isolating himself from his people?

  23. Anonymous says:

    “He also said the country could expect faster work permits and up to a 75% reduction in work permit fees for staff in the Sister Island.”

    And this is supposed to be a sign that you’re trying to help the unemployment situation for the Caymanians?!

    Faster work permits + less cash for a work permit = More expats working and less jobs that can have Caymanians employed!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Thank God Mac is confident about the recovery. I can now relax.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Nothing much said here was new and nothing that will change my outlook on the future of these Islands…I remain pessimistic unless there is a change of leadership.

    The paragraph about “intolerance” is right on and I hope that Caymanians think about that in light of the ongoing division within the entire community (Caymanian vs. ExPat). The over-reliance on Christianity to solve all the country’s woes is ridiculous and the intolerance that it breeds towards others who do not think the same way as they do will hurt the country’s progress. The official religion of China is atheist but even their country is more tolerant of other views than Cayman is!

    The leaders of this country need to spend less time praying for an answer to the problems and more time working on a macro solution. Mr. Bush’s 10% cuts here or 2 month deferments there are nothing but “feel good’ sound bites that will not fix the big-picture problems that this country faces. The Cayman Government’s laws and regulations are too complex for there own good. Everything should be overhauled top to bottom if the country is ever going to be the world class location that it once was. Although he is an arroganta** just like the Premier is, Ezzard Miller has said countless times that the country should be setting a path for independence even if it is 20 years down the road. That is the type of big-picture thinking that this country should embrace! Its time to drive the car, don’t just sit in the trailer behind it and follow where the car has already been!


  26. Anonymous says:

    Head in the clouds!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Just when you thought that his Christmas message was the worse he could do, along comes this. I believe it would have made more sense if he had stuck with the original title of "It is my pleasure to be here this evening for the re-launching of Beyond Basics Medical Day Spa".

    How can he possibly attract foreign investors on these "road trips" when after each presentation he must beg the question "Is this your Minister of Finance, or is this a joke"?

  28. Anonymous says:

    Give me a break please!
    This man has been telling the people of Cayman the same thing for 20 months and we are worse off than ever before.
    The only people that are not suffering are The Premier, members of the UDP and his cronies.

    • Libertarian says:

      Sir, with all due respect, I don’t think you know what is Cronyism!  By you disrespectfully calling the LA members cronies, it is a slap in the face to the people of these islands who voted them in power!  Cronies are folks who are "appointed" due to being long-standing friends with the one who is making the appointments. I must remind you that the LA members are not appointed – they are elected by the people of the Cayman Islands!

      Desist from such use of reckless name-calling!  It is your freedom of speech, but it is very disrespectful to everyone who vote them in power to represent them.

      • turtle stew says:

        Gosh, you can’t be serious – give it up man!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        Sadly, being disrespectful towards those in positions of responsibility seems to be an almost knee-jerk reaction from so many of my fellow Caymanians. There is a difference between disagreeing with someone and loathing their person, but so often we see persons in our society combining the two, whilst at the same time complaining about why it is that we don’t have a better calibre of persons coming forward and standing for public office. Now I wonder why. At least these persons will have the good sense to not disrespect our elected and appointed leaders in the presence of their children. I mean, that would be totally ignorant, wouldn’t it? Here’s for a more civil society in 2011.

      • Anonymous says:

        Only an idiot would vote for an idiot.  Its not a slap in the face its a kick in the a$$.  It is because of all the idiots that voted that the rest of Cayman is in such dire straits.  But if Cayman keeps to the path soon only the idiots will be left and they can all rest asssured that they are the smartest ones on the island.

  29. Anonymous says:

    zzzzz…..new year…same old nonsense for mckeeva…..zzzzzzzz

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       Nothing new here or anything that addresses Caymans real issues. No hard decisions just a future where we will borrow more money to pay for the CIG. Nothing new for stay over tourism, no new CIG income streams, no reductions in the cost for the CIG, no relief for the middle class and yet again no addressing the crime issue. The days of inward investment and trickle down are gone. As ted turner has said, "lead, follow or get out of the way". Mr. Bush time to get out of the way.