Tax protest moves to GT

| 31/07/2012

nick.JPG(CNS): Activists behind the social network movement Caymanians and Expats United Against Taxation have rescheduled their rally against the premier's proposal to introduce expat taxes in the interests of peace and safety. Nick Pitman, the group's creator, told CNS that in the face of increasing intimidation it was more sensible to hold the rally in central George Town next Monday evening. The group had originally planned to go to West Bay on Wednesday, where the premier had rescheduled his first public meeting on the proposed tax after canceling his Monday night meeting at the eleventh hour. Pitman said the rally was about peaceful protest but given the premier's comments about the 'disquiet', which was nothing to do with the new social media group, he did not want to fuel further misunderstandings.

The group had originally organised a peaceful protest on Monday night outside the Mary Miller Hall where McKeeva Bush was meant to be hosting his first public meeting about his proposal to introduce a 10% tax on the salaries of work permit holders earning over $20,000 per annum. However, at the last minute the premier stopped the meeting as he said the protesters were creating “an ill-temper abroad that suggests we would not get the calm and measured discussion” he claimed he wanted. Bush then rescheduled the meeting for Wednesday evening in his own constituency of West Bay.

Pitman said that the group had initially planned to follow the meeting to West Bay. However, after concerns were raised by several group members of increasing intimidation the decision was taken to organise a meeting in front of the Legislative Assembly in Heroes Square on more neutral ground for next week to send a clear message that the group is about peaceful protest and collaboration and not, as implied by the premier, disruption.

“We believe that holding the meeting in front of the country's parliament, the seat of democracy, on Monday will be more effective,” he said. “We are concerned about the intimidation being experienced by some of those who have joined the group and people are uncomfortable about the situation. As a result we intend to hold a more organised, peaceful rally against the expat tax, where we hope to offer alternative solutions to the economic difficulties faced by government.”

Pitman, who is a social media expert, said the goal was to get the premier to listen to the group's concerns and he did not want the movement to be labelled as disruptive. He denied it was either divisive or encouraging hate but was all about the people of the Cayman Islands uniting against poor and discriminatory government policies that would hurt the entire community.

“This isn't just about direct taxation on expats,” said Pitman. “This proposal is just a first step — foreigners today, Caymanians tomorrow — and we must come together to protect the islands that we love, regardless of whether we are born here or not.”

He said he believed the rapid growth of the Facebook group in a matter of days demonstrated that the so-called divide between locals and expatriates that some would like to promote does not exist. The younger generation, Pitman said, is far more united, regardless of where they are born, and recognise that their political leaders are failing them.

“This movement is about the community joining forces to address the problems faced by everyone,” he said. “The government cannot target work-permit holders as the scapegoats for its mismanagement. There are many solutions on offer which the premier doesn't seem to want to listen to, many of which have been cited in the Miller-Shaw report and many more are being posted on social media sites on a daily basis by young Caymanians and people who call Cayman home. We hope to make him listen.”

He said that many of the members of this new group have been involved in several of the activist movements that have emerged in Cayman over the last few years as people begin to recognise they are not powerless. But there were people joining the Caymanians and Expats United Against Taxation now that had never had the courage to stand up to the powers-that-be before.

“It is encouraging to see people posting under their names in this group and emerging from the shadows to express themselves,” he said. “There are, however, many more still who are afraid to speak out but those of us that are privileged enough to be in a position to do so must speak out on their behalf. It’s not just about my pocket, as it won't be affected as much as those on lower pay. Those of us that can must speak for them.”

Pitman added that he and the other organisers would continue to use Facebook to galvanise everyone in the community to join the peaceful rally next Monday and send an unequivocal message to the premier that this latest discriminatory proposal is unacceptable and that there are other solutions.

Local MLA Ezzard Miller lauded the young activists and said the movement was another demonstration of people-power that had been used to stop the commercial dock in East End and was continuing to protest the closure of the West Bay Road and would now hopefully stop the plan to tax expatriate workers.

“Politicians fear people power,” Miller said. “Not least because it works.”

Category: Politics

Comments (74)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Everyone with an IQ in double digits undersatands thatCayman DOES NOT HAVE A REVENUE PROBLEM, IT HAS AN EXPENDITURE PROBLEM. 

    Instead of the taking the difficult yet fiduciary correct decision to cutthe cost of running government over the next few years, and for purely political reasons, the UDP is going to prop up the bloated civil service by taxing expats in the private sector.  This will reinforce the old story: Lazy Caymanians being bailed out by hard-working expats.  Can you imagine the conversation:

    Caymanian CS: "You expats come here to live in paradise and take our jobs."

    Expat:  "Well, to work here I have to pay a work permit fee (tax), you don't.  I pay 10% income tax, you don't.  I pay for my children to go to school, you don't.  I pay full-price for medical insurance for my family, you don't.  I pay the high cost of fuel, food, consumer goods, and accommodation just like you do.  Unlike you, I don't have the benefit of positive discrmination to keep me in employment.  So, sorry, how are you contributing more to the Cayman economy than I am?

    Caymanian CS: "Errrr. . ."

    Expat: "Exactly, so don't bite the hand you feed out of."

    I'm sure, unlike the CIG,  most Caymanians have more pride than this.  Surely, any self-respecting Caymanians will want to play their part in the prosperity of their country, rather than passing over the responsibility to the foreigners? 

    It will be a very sad day for CAYMANIANS if ever this tax is implemented.

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      If it's that bad, why not move to somewhere less harshened? CS took a cut in salary, now this pension and insurance issue. Everyone is feeling it and it might get worse. How can someone who has been here 3 years become equal to someone that lived here all their life? You can't do that anywhere else in the world so easy.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Cayman economy can be described in very simple terms.

    The 50,000 or so people who live here simply can no longer afford the Government they have.
    Their Government has been allowed to grow into an expensive and inefficient behemoth, and
    its cost is strangling the Cayman Islands.

    New taxes are not the answer. Taxes no matter how applied drive up the cost of doing
    business and therefore the cost of everything you buy.

    Cayman's only course, if it wishes to survive, is to cut the size of its Government.

    A good start would be about 10 %,  which would instantly release $60 million into the economy

     

  3. datisme says:

    Better to just step aside and let the system that is CIG die.  Stop feeding it and it will fail on its own soon.  Grand Cayman is a small island that can not feed itself.  It no longer deserves the care and feeding it has gotten used to.  Time to pull the plug.  Hopefully the educated surviving Caymanians can have their chance at making it work in the future.  If they still own it that is.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I'm genuinely embarassed that McKeeva is proposing that the nation's guest workers be asked to pay for services to which they have no access.  He thinks Cayman should live off the backs of guest workers and not make any effort to support themselves.  Where's the inspiration, where's the pride?

    Also, the Orwellian "Community Enhancement Fee" phrasing is creepy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seems like the 10% community enhancement fee for expats will be a reality against the protests of expats and Caymanians alike.  Well, if it happens lots of businesses will close and many people will leave.  I hear that many expats are willing to move on if they have to pay 10% of their income.  I know many from first world countries that are gettting ready to leave if this becomes law.  Just last night an expat told me that Cayman will be left with the expats that came from third world countries because they will be the only one that will stay because they will not have to pay the 10%.  The professional people will move back to their home countries (mostly first world) or they will move to other tax free jurisdictions.  Then Cayman will be left with the lower class.   I was also told that the USA is looking on with interest.  People we had better be careful and cut expenditures and bodies in the CS if we have to.  I don't want the high income earners to leave  and then we will be saddled with a bunch of low income earners who will only take out the money to send to their home countries.  The high income earners don't do that they buy properties and spend money in the economy. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Put it this way.  I was content to spend the rest of my days here, but now I'm going to move on to more welcoming jurisdictions.  This place sucks now and is going to the dogs.  I refuse to go down with it. Its all very saddening, and everyone I know and come across on-island, whether they be ex pat or Caymanian seem severely depressed at the state of affairs in Cayman these days.  The Premier's actions are the only actions leading to civil unrest.  He really does need to be removed before he completely damages Cayman's reputation.

  5. smitty says:

    Caymanians and expats standing together to fight to preserve the prosperity that decades of prior cooperation brought – that's a nice sight.  Maybe one good thing came from McKeeva's death sentence pronounced against this beloved land: unity amongst those he seeks to destroy.  Let's hope Cayman lives through this so as to enjoy that unity, instead of seeing the expats going off to the next jurisdiction and the Caymanians getting back on the boats.  What a shame that would be after decades of success, and what a loss brought all about by one man's failure to protect his people.

  6. Anonymous says:

    One man alone should not have the power to pass a law that will have such a detrimental effect on the islands future. He needs to be stopped. Please Governor, step in before there is nothing left to save.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank God I am Working Under Right of Law, while my permit is in appeal. No payroll tax for me 🙂

  8. Progress says:

    "I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference."
    ― Robert Frost

    In 1962 Jamaica chose independence and its destiny as a taxable nation. In the same year, instead of the glamour of independence, Cayman took the road less traveled by. Cayman elected to no longer be administered by Jamaica (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Cayman_Islands#Dependency_of_Jamaica), to become a British overseas territory and begin the path towards emerging as a tax neutral jurisdiction in1966. Taking the road less traveledby has made all the difference for Cayman.

    Today, the per capita GDP of Jamaica is $5,402 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamaica) — slightly above the levels of Cuba, Namibia, Algeria and Angola and Turkmenistan — while the per capital GDP of Cayman Islands is $47,000  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cayman_Islands) which is above the per capita levels of Belgium, Japan, France and Germany. Indeed, “Prior to 1966 when the Cayman Islands became a tax haven, you’d have found the capital Georgetown to be a sleepy little backwater…but with tax haven status came almost overnight sophistication.  And today, with more than 9,000 mutual funds, 260 banks and 80,000 companies operating through the islands, Georgetown is a thriving and exceptionally wealthy hub.” http://www.shelteroffshore.com/index.php/2/expat-tax-cayman-island-tax-haven-11181

    It has taken decades of leadership by courageous Caymanian statesmen and stateswomen — and the Caymanian people who supported them — to achieve this result. As of a week ago, Cayman was known the world over as one of the world’s leading tax neutral jurisdictions — and the fees charged to the businesses and expat employees financed (together with import duties and other indirect taxes) MLA and civil service salaries, unemployment benefits, social services etc. without the need for direct taxes for anyone.

    In less than one week, these decades of work by the Caymanian people and its leaders have been carelessly thrown overboard through the proposal to introduce a new direct tax which has been broadcast all around the world.

    Cayman is now beginning to get the reputation as a taxable jurisdiction (not a tax neutral jurisdiction) in publications ranging from Forbes to to Reuters — from the Vancouver Sun to the Los Angeles Times.


    Here is a small selection of articles promoting Cayman’s new strategy as a taxable (not tax-neutral) jurisdiction:

    1. Forbes: You Know It's Bad When The Cayman Islands Calls For Income Taxes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/walterpavlo/2012/07/26/you-know-its-bad-when-the-cayman-islands-calls-for-income-taxes/

    2. Reuters: Cayman Islands proposes income tax on foreign workers http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/07/27/cayman-tax-idINL2E8IRBUW20120727

    3. Vancouver Sun: Cayman Islands may adopt a payroll tax for expats, a first in famed tax haven http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Cayman+Islands+adopt+payroll+expats+first+famed+haven/7002275/story.html


    4. LA Times: Taxes? In the Cayman Islands? New budget could tax foreigners http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2012/07/taxes-cayman-islands-budget-foreigners.html

    By choosing the road less traveled by, Cayman has — for over half a century — been a beacon of light and progress in the Caribbean through its strategic choice to become one of the world’s leading tax neutral jurisdictions. As a result, the per capitaGDP of Jamaica is $5,402 while the per capita GDP of Cayman Islands is $47,000.

    Over the last week, by proposing a direct tax, Cayman has abandoned its path of light and success, and is now broadcasting to the entire world — through Forbes and Reuters — that it intends to take a different road, the one characterized by direct taxation. This was the road chosen by Jamaica in 1962 and resoundingly rejected by the proud Caymanian forefathers when Cayman chose to become a tax neutral jurisdiction in 1966.

    Taking the road less traveled by has made all the difference for Cayman. Choosing the Jamaican path of becoming a jurisdiction with direct taxation — a choice that began less than one week ago with the Premier’s proposal to introduce direct taxation in Cayman for the first time ever — is likely to lead Cayman to experience the same results as those encountered by Jamaica on its journey of direct taxation.

    • NeoSurvivor says:

      Respect.    Your post encompassed every facet of my own concerns, and I very much appreciate a post as yours that substantiates its position with links and resources. 

       

      If we travel the road seemingly mandated by the Premier, we reverse the goodwill and heritage of this young culture itself.     We ARE a young culture, however one borne of overcoming hardship and one rooted in honest work for an honest wage.  

       

      Did we pass a line where we didn't collectively feel that we didn't have to produce??  Of course not.    We WANT to produce, don't we?   All of us, regardless of our nationality, want to WORK for our wage and contribute to the beneficial financial and cultural growth of these sweet three islands.   

       

      I temporarily discount the minimal percentage of people who appear to not want to do anything.   It's no joke — there are a few, and you know them and so do I.   Sometimes people can be motivated to do a task that they enjoy.   This is the responsibility of the various communities to discover and engage the folks in minimal employment to find a niche.   Somebody gave me a hand up once.   It's perhaps the best of us that we can do. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    I was at the Mary Miller Hall. The UDP (Unaccountable Despotic Plunderers)  had their enforcers looking rather stern-faced. Top cop Baines was there and quite a few police. The few protestors that showed up were very cordial and well-mannered.

    It is obvious who the thugs are. Their day is nearly here.

     

  10. Anonymous says:

    Truly4Cayman Coalition Group will be there in West Bay

    Members of the Truly4Cayman Coalition Group, which includes the Concerned Citizens Group, West Bay Action Committee, Keep Bodden Town Dump Free and the Save Cayman Group, will also be at the Sir John A. Cumber School Hall this evening, Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at 6:30 PM, to welcome the Honourable Premier to his meeting about his proposed “Community Enhancement fee”. We are confident that as the RCIPS protected our right to assemble before, they will do so again in West Bay.

    Mr. Premier, you may be able to scare some of the people, some of the time, but not ALL of the people ALL of the time.

    As the members of the recently formed Caymanians and Expats United Against Taxation group have not yet learned to stand their ground against our government leadership, it is worth noting that the Hon. Premier’s only answer to our Coalition Group’s letter to the Premier requesting a meeting to discuss his ever changing “DART DEAL”, including the transfer and closure of a section of the West Bay Road, was to disparagingly accuse us of being “DESTRUCTIVE” people!

    But to the contrary, the goals and aims of the Truly4Cayman Coalition Group are quite the opposite of destructive – instead we work for the PRESERVATION OF THE WEST BAY ROAD and other areas of Grand Cayman solely for the long-term benefit all the people.

    Mr. Premier, it is time for you to fulfill your pledge to PROTECT AND DEFEND the best interests of ALL of Cayman, which, you must admit, cannot be achieved as long as you insist on focusing only on your special interests groups. By the way, if you want to use the term “ÐESTRUCTIVE” correctly, then do so by applying it to your plans and deals like the Dart Deal!

    Even blind Bartimaeus can see, not only WHO is out to destroy our West Bay Road, but WHY, namely, that in time your ultimate objective is to cut the West Bay Road into multiple short pieces, like cut ribbon discarded on the floor.

    Members of Caymanians and Expats United Against Taxation do not be intimidated, stand your ground, join our Truly4Cayman Coalition Group and others this evening, Wednesday, August 1, 2012, at 6:30 PM in West Bay.

  11. Honourable Absurdistani says:

    “an ill-temper abroad that suggests we would not get the calm and measured discussion”.

    Rubbish!

    "Ill-temper abroad"? Are you serious? How close does this sound to Bashir al-Assad in Syria blaming "foreign powers" and "foreign interference" for the issues in his country.

    This is not coming from abroad, Mac. This is coming from sensible Caymanians and guest workers in Cayman who can see through your ploy and do not support this discriminatory and completely unnecessary measure. 

    The CI Government has an expenditure problem not a revenue problem. Cut the wasteful spending. Eliminate the slush "Nation Building" fund. Eliminate the fat in the Civil Service. Eliminate the excessive travel by politicians and their entourages. Eliminate the disproportionate concessions to developers. Collect the $6 million from Mike Ryan.

     

     

  12. Anonymous says:

    Everyone should boycott tonights meeting, including media and Cayman 27! 

    • Anonymous says:

      If we boycott tonight, the radical UDP supporters will still turn up, pretend they are the majority and the media will still be there in the form of Radio Cayman and CITN and we will all be paying for it. 

  13. Anonymous says:

    I say exspats & caymanians we should have been working from the start not wait for income tax to hit you’ll! Calling us lazy etc now we are the same people who you’ll want to stand up you! All I have to say is UNITE &STOP FIGHTING AGAISNT EACH OTHER!

    C-Bracer (WP)

  14. Anonymous says:

    Nick Pitman is a brave man indeed.

    Thank you for leading.

    Caymanians and expatriates do not let him stand alone.

    Let us go to West Bay tonight at 6:30 PM, let us show Mac that he and his thugs frighten some people but he does not frighten all people.

    It is right to stand up for our Cayman Islands, to stand up against reckless vote buying spending, to stand up against ever increasing taxation driving away good jobs from the Cayman Islands back to the USA and Canada where the cost of doing business is now less than the Cayman Islands.

    It is right to stand up for the right to stand up!

    Run and hide then Mac and his thugs will take away your rights to express our opinion.

    The people won One Man One Vote, Mac stole the victory!

    Let us all stand TOGETHER to preserve our Cayman Islands in West Bay at 6:30. 

    TOGETHER WE WILL ALL WIN!

  15. solutions says:

    We need solutions to this problem..how do we bring about solutions is the main question?

    Aside from the obvious that Mac needs to give up the luxury and slush funds but that is only say $6.5 million and we need $43.5 more.

     

    Full disclosure I am a CS and we all see the prejudice going on in this country.  When the CS took a 3% discount of pay we didn't march and we didn't protest. More like we said, your humble servant.

    Now, I am not for the tax but I understand the need for balanced economicsof the situation.  As a CS with my wife out of work (expat issue) as they are using they little brains to keep the door closed (see articles about lawyers and you will soon understand this extends beyond legal field into any areas they gain control).

    I plan to send her and my childern out of Cayman and I rent out the extra rooms in my home and send my money abroad.  The consumption based tax will no longer apply to my family and I will probably ride my bike into work and shower in the government facility.

    The other civil servants you fire will just go on the dole and you will be paying for them with higher taxes and crime/security costs. Plus when they see you in your nice job paying nothing we will get somebody that takes a more antiexpat view which won't be good.

    I think everone Pension needs to be taxed retrospectively say last 7 years with a higher deduction based on contributions i.e. les than 10,000 per annum 3% and greater than 10,000 6% .  The law can then be changed to stipulate greater contributions in future years starting in say 2014.  Compliance for non-contributions can then be made in a severe offense so that everyone pays

     

  16. Anonymous says:

    All including the opposition must be careful as the country is in serious financial vicegrip and need all to make sacrifice.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sacrifice?

      Tell Mac to give up his lavish lifestyle, vote buying expenses and doing favours for his billionaire buddies.

      We do not need sacrifice, we need accountability for all of Mac's wasted money.

    • Anonymous says:

      If what I am reading and the financial news that are coming out of Europe.  We should all be very worried about the impact on Cayman and in the mean time begin to prepare for the financial storm that is fast approaching.   The cold hard facts are:

      1.  Business as usual is done this is a reality

      2.  One cannot spend more than you make so government must reign in its spending

      3.  Government must cut cost and find means of sustainable income

      4.  Caymanians and expats must realise that increased taxes will come

      Please read people, the USA and the rest of the world is ready to clawback all of its money from overseas in low or no tax countries including here in Cayman. So the handwriting is already on the wall. Unemployment is rising in Europe and the largest economy in Europe, Germany is having a difficult time.  The USA is putting on a good face but things are not good there either.  If all these global economies are having financial difficulties what do you believe will eventually happen here with or without taxes?

      Yours for

      Reduced spending and sustainable income

    • Anonymous says:

      Give status/residency rights to about 5,000 Chinese business people and professionals and watch this economy grow without taxes.  The Chinese how have lots of money to invest and they are highly skilled and they and the money will stay here. 

      • Anonymous says:

        and the island will be taken over by Chinese. What a silly proposition

        • Anonymous says:

          Gee take a look around it's already taken over, what rock have you been liiving under for the past 10 years? Anyway go back to your Snow White bed and have some more sweet dreams because there is no reality for you.  Better the Chinese because they have the money and education.

    • Anonymous says:

      We are not in a financial vicegrip, we are in the vicegrip of a vote buying dictator who wants to be a KING in an independent Cayman Islands.

      We do not need to sacrifice; we need good honest government, with honest politicians.

      When these changes are made we will return to prosperity.

       

    • carrots and milk says:

      We have approx $30mln/year in debt service obligations out of over $500mln in total annual expenditure, and during a prolonged period of high single digit negative GDP growth.  Still, THIS GOV'T refuses to cut or even contemplate constraining the tens of millions in non-essential spending, and continues to rehash their blaming of the previous wasteful regime.  This is why there is a requirement to broaden the revenue base.  There is only one person responsible for the vice grip we are in. We should be ordering the MLAs to scrap their 40% payroll bonus and pension double dipping – long before dubiously targeting a certain group for the lion's share of the sacrifice.  That would be a good start in the right direction.  I don't like paying people twice for half or a quarter of their attention, and neither should you. 

  17. Anonymous says:

    Do you agree with the Premier's EXPat tax?

    Answer thumbs-up for Yes; thumbs-down for No; and LOL if you'reumdecided…

    Better still can we have a poll CNS?

     

    • Castor says:

      One would need to live in La La Land (and there are some who do do inhabit these islands thinking they are indeed living in La La Land) to think the British government will outright turn down this payroll tax. What is going to happen is that the British Government is going to agree and condone this tax but the rub will be it must apply to all, work permit holders plus Caymanians…. and it won't make any difference whether or not it is "Born Caymanians or Paper Caymanians"  Then Esteemed Leader will be able to look all in the eye and say :"It wasn't me. It's those Big Bad Boogey Men who live across the sea.  See if I'm wrong. The present economic model is unsustainable as it it based on constant expansion of the economy. Health Care is next as the present form is also not sustainable and is going to crash in flames.

    • 00:14 says:

      Where are you living, because I do not believe it is on this Island.  Do you not know that only a handfull of Caymanians have internet in their homes.  How do you expect fair voting here,the voters on here would be expatriates votes, only you do not realize this.  Go out in the streets and ask people.  Find Caymanians and ask them how they feel, you will hear yes we agree because Expatriates are here working milking this country and do not want to contribute anything.   Tell me what they are contributing to?

      • Anonymous says:

        A handful of Caymanians have internet access? You must be blind. Most Caymanians are very techno-savvy and an astonishing number of us have internet access on our mobiles!

      • Just Commentin' says:

        I hesitate to dignify your mindless rant by making a reply, but for you I will make an exception.

        I would say that expats contribute as much to these islands as do Caymanians, but that message would be lost on you, so…

        My wish for you is that tomorrow morning you wake up in a Cayman Islands in which all the expats have vanished.

        Forget calling a friend to find out what happened, the phones are down. Forget making coffee or getting breakfast, no power. When the native-born thugs break into your place to loot and pillage and rape your loved ones, don't expect a timely intervention from the RCIPS as the force is but a skeleton crew since the expats left. With traffic lights all out, driving is dangerous, but you were injured by the robbers and require stitches, so you get in your car to drive to the hospital. When you get there, the hospital is overrun with patients but barely any staff to attend to the throng. So you tear off a strip of cloth from your sleeve and wrap your wound as best you can. As mimutes turn into hours and the native hospital staff doing triage among the most serous cases you decide to leave the hospital and return home

        Since you have been robbed and have no cash you stop by the bank only to find their doors closed. Hungry you drive up to the BK drive through only to find it closed as well. You stop by Fosters to see if you can get some food but the sight of looters makes you decide to pass on that idea. You head home through the snarl of traffic.

        Returning to your now ransacked home, you go to the tap to get some water to quench your searing thirst. Barely a drop comes out.

        As the country plunges into chaos, don't expect the usual response from any of the volunteer organasitions such as the Red Cross, they are down to a bare-bones staff witout the non-contributing milking expats.

        You hear another band of thugs at your door. With heart pounding, injured, bleeding, hungry, parched, you hide in the closet cowering in fear.

        Welcome to paradise without those annoying expats!

        —————————-

        PS: I do not know what 19th century circles you run in, but virtually of my family and extended family and Caymanian friends have computers and the internet. Not to mention G3 and G4 connectivity through their Blackberry phones and Internet-capable I-Pods and I-Pads.

         

        What century are you living in? Because I do not believe it is in the present  one?

      • Anonymous says:

        I am the  original poster.  I live in North Side and I expect voting here is a lot fairer than under the recent OMOV referendum.  I am out on the streets daily and often sit and reason with people young and old, employed and unemployed, Caymanian and Ex Pat, and I have yet to meet a fellow Caymanian who does support this tax.  Most of them, like me, realise and fully overstand that introducing taxation in Cayman at all will be sending Cayman to the gallows to hang while the international community laugh and throw stones at us.  That in itself should spell out what Ex Pats and the Financial Industry contribute to, along with the same indirect taxes you and I pay.  I also happen to know that whilst many Caymanians might not have internet, many, many Caymanians got Blackberries and I-Phones along with the internet access that goes with them.

        You and a very small, small-minded xenophobic minority through your ignorance, are not helping anything my friend.  You definitely don't speak for most of us. 

      • Anonymous says:

        You are 100% correct …expats contribute very little, the less of them on the island the more prosperous Cayman will be! This tax should keep them in their place and reduce some of their numbers! We think too much of them!  They are enough highly skilled locals here to do hedge fund accounting  and captive insurance management that bring in the big bucks to Cayman. Also we have MORE than enough first class chefs and waiters to keep the tourist industry going strong! We need to be independent and strong! We can provide for ourselves! Why should we try to keep foreigners happy, screw them! Pay the tax for the streets YOU use during the 7 years  and stop complaining…if you don't like it leave. Won't do Cayman no harm

    • Anonymous says:

      I didn't vote, so there should be at least one more NO recorded.

  18. Anonymous9 says:

    Many of my friends had asked if I was going. I felt it was to volitile and didnt' feel comfortable. I'll go now! Perfect set up. And more people will also feel comfortable enough to come.

    Count me as Caymanian

    • Anonymous says:

      I will be there to protest against not just tax to fund his foolishness, but also MAC MADNESS!

      The PPM spent money on roads and the education! 

      Us West Bayer’s can now get to work and get home in minutes, not hours, Mac and Dart do not care about us only their MONEY. Traffic jams will return to the West Bay Road.

      The UDP and MAC spent money to pay off broken contracts for crooked deals, Cayman Turtle Farm’s stupid “parK’ development when it was making a profit as a farm,  vote buying dutywaivers to millionaires and associates and his unaccountable “Nation Building Fund”.

      Now Mac and his buddy Mike Ryan as ejecting our North Sound trip operators from Safe Haven, NO, NO, NO, WE WILL NOT GO!

      CAYMANIAN AND EXPATRIATES LET US ALL GO TO WEST BAY TONIGHT; WE WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED BY MAC AND HIS THUGS.

      EXPATRIATES TAXED TODAY,

      CAYMANIANS TAXED TOMORROW!

      COME ONE, COME ALL THIS IS A FIGHT TO SAVE THE CAYMAN ISLANDS, WE ARE ALL IN THE BOAT TOGETHER, WHEN THE BOAT SINKS WE ALL GET WET!

      DO NOT LET MAC AND THE UDP INTIMIDATE YOU!

      STAND YOUR GROUND,

      SAVE CAYMAN,

      IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

      IF NOT YOU, WHO?

      See you later.

       

    • Anonymous says:

      Now that is my type of Caymanian, I wish I knew your name, but I understand why I do not yet know you.

      We need a new breed of Caymanians, the return of THE IRON MEN (AND WOMEN) ON WOODEN SHIPS.

    • Anonymous says:

      You will not be alone, I and 5 of my friends are joining you tonight in West Bay.

      If it is only 7 of us in West Bay tonight, then so be it.

      Together we will stand.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Way to go.  He has intimidated people every time he has been in office and now he's the one intimidated by people power. Ha ha ha.  Running back to West Bay to hide.  Reminds me much of Sadam Hosein. 

    • Anonymous says:

      So he fooled you too – Mac is not running back to hide in West Bay.

      Mac has returned to West Bay regroup, to rearm, to buy with our money the “loyalty” of more troops – the thugs, then he will test the waters in other districts again.  This is standard warfare practice when you leave your base and meet a more powerful foe on the battlefield, for now us the people are stronger.  But that will only be for a while if we run away giving him time to rest in West Bay.

      To remain a strong foe against Mac we must follow him into West Bay, to assist West Bayer’s who know that Mac is bad for their district and our Islands. 

      Outside of West Bay Mac is weak, leave him in West Bay unchallenged and then he will gain strength by more intimidation and subversively spread his power with the money that his cohorts now give him to “buy loyalty” in other districts, until there will be no district in our Islands that we can have a meeting to say anything that is not yes, YES, YES Mac.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is what happens when you give people too much power one way or another.  Sadam Hosein outlived his usefulness and so will each and everyone who believes that they are indespensible.  Caymanians, Iraq is a very good example of what can and will happen to people who believe that every promise will become a reality.  Then again most people are ignorant to history.  No taxes, No cuts, more spending and illusions of grandeaur = failed country like Greece = too big to fail = bankrupt economy = poverty = welcome to poverty.  Oh well and so it goes

  20. Progress says:

    "I think it is probably the single greatest existential threat to the Cayman Islands in over 200 years". Anthony Travers, Chairman, Cayman Islands Stock Exchange. See interview in Cayman 27: http://www.cayman27.com.ky/2012/07/27/big-story-reality-of-payroll-tax

    Students of business and government often refer to how a company or a country makes money as the business model. Understanding the business model of a country, enables one to make choices that enable the country to succeed. Misunderstanding the business model can lead to existential threats.

    The business model of a tax free jurisdiction is to be tax free so as to attract businesses that would otherwise have located elsewhere — and in place of taxes to attract fees from the companies and any expat employees with specialized skills that these businesses may employ (in addition to Caymanian people they would employ but for whom there would be no fee to the government). It is the combination of company fees, expat fees, import duties, etc. etc. — all indirect taxes — that make it possible for no one (whether they are Caymanians or expats) to pay direct taxes. It is also these fees which fund MLA salaries, compensation for civil servants, unemployment benefits, social services, police, schools, roads etc.

    The moment a tax free jurisdiction introduces a direct tax, any direct tax — whether on Caymanians or expats — it ceases to be a tax free jurisdiction and it signals to investors that it has entered the "slippery slope" of a taxable jurisdiction. As Anthony Travers states, “The confidence placed by investors in the tax free status of the Cayman Islands is based, not simply on legislative structure, but on a belief that the core philosophy of the Cayman Islands’ people would always find direct taxation repugnant.” http://www.ieyenews.com/2012/07/anthony-travers-comments-on-premiers-proposed-tax-on-work-permits/

    Once this belief is violated — through the precedent set by a direct tax, any direct tax (such as the one proposed by the Premier last week) — companies and investors seeking a tax neutral jurisdiction will locate elsewhere (in other tax neutral jurisdictions), and over time the fee income will disappear completely. For every dollar of fee income that disappears, the government will have to replace it with a dollar of taxes. Once virtually all fee income is gone, almost all government revenues will have to be raised through direct taxes. Since most international businesses will have left at that point, the base of expats will be very low and the expat fees will correspondingly diminish. To pay for government expenses at that point — MLA salaries, civil servants, unemployment benefits, social services, police, schools, roads etc. — a direct tax will have to be applied to both Caymanians and expats.

    At that point, the Cayman Islands will — from a business model perspective (again, how the country makes money) — be virtually indistinguishable from old Mother Jamaica. There will be tourism revenue — but virtually no company and expat fee revenue — and both Caymanians and expats will be taxed. The $47,000 per capita GDP of Cayman will also — as these events unfold — fall towards the $5,402 per capita GDP of Jamaica. As income declines — and the economic activity created by international businesses rapidly diminishes — unemployment will rise. As unemployment increases, crime goes up — just as in Jamaica.

    It has taken several decades of far-sighted Cayman statesmen (and stateswomen), and the Caymanians who proudly supported them and sacrificed for this vision, to rise Phoenix-like out of the ashes of Jamaican administration — and to create a per capita GDP that is exponentially higher than that of Jamaica (with far less crime and a much higher quality of life).

    The path to eliminate these decades of Caymanian progress — to begin the slow but irreversable process of abandoning the tax free model and becoming a taxable jurisdiction like Jamaica — began less than one week ago with the proposal to introduce direct taxation in Cayman (in this case on expats). All that's required to complete the journey is to ratify and implement this direct tax — and Cayman will once again begin the journey towards Jamaican conditions.

    Of course, no one will gain from this situation — Jamaica as a country will be no better or worse off than it is today, the Jamaicans in Cayman will likely experience more unemployment and lower income, and the Caymanians in Cayman will regress towards the economic condition of Jamaicans living in Jamaica.

    In summary, the business model of a tax free jurisdiction is to remain tax free — and it will maintain a standard of living like other tax free jurisdictions. Once it ceases to be a tax free jurisdiction, it will tend to regress towards the status of other neighboring countries — in the case of Cayman, that neighboring country is Jamaica.

    • Anonymous says:

      And then you inevatibly follow the social and political upheaval that blights that beautiful country. The ingredients are already there, it just needs the right socio-political tempurature and civil disobeidence may rear its ugly head. And all this closely watched by those who only have their own agendas, they are the same people responsible for the crime wave sweeping Cayman.These are the gang leaders, drug lords, corrupt polititians and businessmen, mostly home grown and desperate to weald authority and fear over their fellow citizens.

      Expats and home talent will leave, good people who love this island will look towards safety and security and no one will follow to take their place.

      Your freedom, reputation and wealth is being dissolved in front of your face, now is not the time to stay quiet or think that everything will just go away like it has in the past. Cayman is poking the lion, a lion that normaly sleeps quietly and goes about her business diligently, but she will bite back, expat workers by nature are transient and will look elsewhere for security. Remember, most come from society's that utilise protest as part of their democratic right and are not afraid to defend their freedoms against tin pot polititians or leave a country of residence when thet feel it necessary. 

      To shrug your shoulders and say good luck and goodbye isn't going to work this time, there is real anger and concern with Cayman's political, business and social policies and only she will suffer when the exodus begins.

      Beware and wake up Cayman, bad people are here and watching, some are already leading you down the path of no return, this could end very badly indeed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well written article Progress, you however failed to mention a very important factor in your article and that is the population size and the cost of maintaining a population of 10,000 or less than 55,000 or more.  A lot of Cayman's problem is the expenditures to operate a population of 50,000 and more with no natural resources and sustainable revenues.  Tourism and Finance are two industries that can end at anytime because they are service based (look at what happened in NY Wall Street and what is happening in London with the LIBOR rates).  Thank God that we are still a dependency of the UK, with the world economy being what it is today and getting worst daily.  Imagine if we had external factors to take care of such as an army, embassies and more we would be worst than Jamaica.  We had better get our population and expenditures under control.  I just hope this has opened the eyes of Caymanians to see the outcome of poor decisions and judgement however good it might have seemed at the time. I for one believe that a major issue with our country and economy is expenditure and the services that we are now forced to provide since the mass status grants of 2004.

  21. Anonymous says:

    first battle won….. we have made him run back to his foxhole in west bay……

    george town is ours!

  22. Anonymous says:

    well done… we should ignore mckeeva and his udp sheep……

    we have the majority of caymanians, we have the expats, we have the opposition mla's, we have the governor, we have the auditor general, we have the free press/media, we have the chamber of commerce, we have the law society, we have the tourism association………

    the revolution is now!!!

  23. Anonymous says:

    every man , woman and child who cares about the future of these islands  must come out next monday……

  24. Anonymous says:

    beware….mckeeva has his henchmen hijacking the facebook site trying to incite hatred and division….. don't fall into their trap….. ignore their their evil posts….

    this movement is about caymanians and expats uniting  for what is best for the country….

  25. Anonymous says:

    good call…..nothing to be achieved by following mckeeva into the depths of west bay…..

    invite the ezzard, alden,governor on monday night too…..

    • Anonymous says:

      NOT going to West Bay tonight is declaring and accepting West Bay as a "Garrision Politics" area in a Multi-Member District!

      NOT going to West Bay tonight is admitting defeat.

      Going to West Bay tonight is standing up against political control.

      Going to West Bay to stand with the good people of West Bay who are sick of the Mac brand of politics shows that there is HOPE FOR WEST BAY.

      Yes, Yes, meet in West Bay tonight.

       

    • Anonymous says:

      By all means invite them, but we don't want this thing turned into a political rally like previous protests.  This is a people protest, not a political one.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ah, so now Ezzard and Co have planned a "meeting" where well all plan to converge in GT on Monday night.  With all due respect to them, just as I said above, they should be invited and welcomed to offer their support, but I really don't want them to hijack this and turn it into a political meeting to fulfil their own political agendas – this will only detract from the issue at hand, and potentially could deter some from going.  Its not that I do not welcome them, I just feel that we would have more impact without it looking like we have political alliances, which will only lead to Bush and his cronies pointing the finger and saying we do have political affiliations after all.

  26. Anonymous says:

    This is what they said in 2009. It is eerie how they magnified the problems that they promised to fix.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wflzqDuhspE

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLdtYayZe9k

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEEYLDg6Yz8
     

    Talk about hypocritical!

     

  27. Anonymous says:

    You are a coward mackeeva, the only time you ever listened to your udp thugs or anyone is when they told you to run.

    You are a disgrace to the office you hold, you are an embarrassment to the people of the Cayman Islands and the people of West Bay are very ashamed tonight and truly disgusted in you.

     

  28. Anonymous says:

     

    Disruptive, divisive and encouraging hate within these islands, pretty much sums up what Big Mac accomplished with his decision to introduce the "expat tax."

     

    Kudos to Nick Pitman and all the members of Caymanians & Expats United Against Taxation for being the bigger men and handling this fiasco with dignity and respect for all citizens and residents alike – including The Premier.

     

    Hey Big Mac from the Wild Wild West – take note – You can learn a thing or two from these people.

    • Anonymous says:

      Mac Learn?

      He already knows about vote buying and colluding with his cronies at the expense of our future.

      Mac learn something that really benefits our Cayman Islands, now that will be something really new for him to do.

  29. Anonymous says:

    “Politicians fear people power,” Miller said. “Not least because it works.”

    Mr Miler hit the nail squarely on the head again and his statement equally applies to both Caymanians and ExPats.  Stop being fearful of the consequences; stop sitting in your seat hoping things will get better or that someone else will do it; stop the apathy and start demanding accountability and results from the politicians YOU employ to work for YOU using YOUR money.  People power is a politician's worst enemy.  Stop letting them walk all over you and squeeze you dry of money, stand up and be counted.  The more people stand up, the less chance they can be singled out and intimidated.  

    I think the group made a sensible decision moving the demonstration to GT, and I for one intend to be there to offer my full support.  If this goes ahead Cayman can forget being one of the world's leading financial centres.  With or without this new tax Cayman's reputation has been damaged and opened up to worldwide ridicule, right from the very moment Bush took up position and announced to the world we were bankrupt, and then went about ensuring it.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, have themeeting in George Town next Monday night.

      Yes, go to West Bay tonight at 6:30 PM to stand up for the Cayman Islands.  We must be there also tonight, do not back down now.

      I will be in West Bay tonight standing up for the Cayman Islands, will I be alone or will you join me?

  30. Anonymous says:

    I just hope a cruise ship is in port so  that the world can see first hand what is going on here.

    Although from the international news media it is obvious that this move has brought more financial harm to the image of the Cayman Islands than anything ever before in history.

  31. Anonymous says:

    A peaceful protest group was just denied its rights by a bully and his dogs.

     

    GOVERNOR, ARE YOU READING YET?

    • Anonymous says:

      It is up to you, take responsibility for your own actions.

      This is not a "Governor" problem, this is an "US" problem, we have take care of the Mac problem, that is how democracy works, but only if we will fight for our rights.

      The "bully and his dogs" will only win if we do nothing.

      All it takes for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing.

      Join me in West Bay tonight at 6:30 PM.

      Do not allow the "bully and his dogs" to continue the destruction of our Cayman Islands.

    • Man From Foreign says:

      That is conflated rubbish. No one was denied any rights, in regards to protest or assembly.

       

      Your exagerations lessen the strength of your possition. You should avoid such hyperbole.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks, fellow lawyer, but I already knew that.  Just because we are professionals does not mean we are forbidden to speak as laymen.  When I need an opinion on the legality of intimidation, I'll let you know.