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Floating dock needs to be considered in EIA

| 26/06/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): A local hotelier is urging the government not to overlook the possibility of a floating dock as a genuine alternative to the current conventional designs that will shape the future request for proposals on the cruise berthing facility. The owner of the Holiday Inn, Reginald “Choppy” Delapenha, is pressing the tourism minister to include the concept of floating docks in the Environmental Impact Assessment that it has commissioned. Delapenha said that if government does not include this type of design, the RFP will not be able to accommodate a bid for what he is convinced will be a cheaper, environmentally safer, more suitable, dredge-free option for the proposed George Town facility. Read more on CNS Business

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Coutts denies having Bin Laden cash in Cayman

| 24/06/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business) Updated: More than 14,000 files from the Cayman offices of the private bank Coutts have been seized by the German authorities in a tax evasion investigation. Following the closure of the bank’s Cayman Islands branch when its parent company, the Royal Bank of Scotland, sold it to Appleby Global, the documents were shipped to Germany bound for the bank's data centre in Geneva. The bank has, however, denied any connection to Osama bin Laden, the former al-Qaeda leader, or his immediate family following allegations that the files in question contained details of the infamous terrorist's cash. Read more on CNS Business

Appleby has clarified that it bought a tranche of fiduciary business from Coutts last year. "The recent shipment of documents from Coutts's residual business in Cayman has nothing to do with this transaction, and Appleby was not involved in the shipment," the firm stated. 

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Minister plans to end liquor license embargo

| 18/06/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): The minster responsible for the liquor licensing regime says proposed changes in the way premises are licensed and the now very, likely permanent lifting of the moratorium would not only cut down on illegal booze sales but address the problem of licenses been sub-let at over inflated prices. With a limited number of booze licenses in existence, owners without bars often sell or lease their license to those with premises at much higher rates than the government fee. But Wayne Panton told finance committee, Friday, that the problem of allowing people without a related business to own a license then renting it to a bar or restaurant owner will disappear if the embargo is lifted. Read more on CNS Business

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Chamber boss calls for CS heads to roll

| 11/06/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): The Chamber of Commerce president has called for heads to roll in connection with the revelations regarding the abuse of public cash in the auditor general’s latest report. Speaking on behalf of the Chamber Council and the business community members, Johann Moxamsaid there needed to be disciplinary action taken to show that the incompetence and dereliction of duty exposed in the report about the lavish, lax spending on travel and hospitality should not be condoned by the public or ignored by civil service bosses. He said, as the Chamber has long suspected, both civil servants and ministers have shown a complete disregard for safeguarding the public purse. Read more on CNS Business

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Chamber queries Brac duty cut policy

| 30/05/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): Although the chamber of commerce has welcomed the duty cuts delivered in this week’s budget as a step in the right direction it has taken aim at government’s long term duty cuts on Cayman Brac. The pro-business body queried government’s continued subsidy of the island and suggested it take a closer look to see if a decade worth of concessions has actually yielded any results. The Chamber president questioned the success of the Brac strategy and the island’s long term reliance on government for subsidies and public jobs. Johann Moxam also pressed the finance minister to focus on public debt and raised concerns about the on-going failure of government to produce audited accounts. Read more on CNSBusiness

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Construction sector wages still declining

| 30/05/2014 | 8 Comments

(CNSBusiness): Construction industry wages in the Cayman Islands are down considerably, according to skilled laborers, who say their take-home pay has steadily reduced over the past 15 years. The local industry is as multi-layered and diverse as it has ever been in the 35 years since the Islands began serious development, though salaries are in some cases half of what they used to be. Outsourcing of work is to blame in many cases, with many larger companies opting to go through brokers to source employees from overseas at a cheaper rate.  This is evidenced in the many different companies, large and small, that conduct business in the field of construction which once offered steady well-paid work for locals, especially in Grand Cayman. Read more on CNS Business

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Ozzie tells Chamber to back him on dump process

| 28/05/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): The minister in charge of Cayman’s future garbage plans has told the Chamber of Commerce to give him its support and backing instead of engaging in adversarial correspondence and demanding instant fixes, given the restraints that government is operating under. In a letter to Chamber president Johann Moxam in response to letters sent to him in February and April seeking a more speedy resolution to the situation at the George Town landfill, Osbourne Bodden said he intended to deal with it in an open and transparent manner and told the Chamber boss to change his “attitude” and get behind government’s plans for the dump. Read more and comment on CNSBusiness

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Brides catch tax break on wedding dresses

| 27/05/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): The government has been quick to move on the question of duty and deposits on bridal gowns and other clothes for visiting destination wedding parties. The Customs Tariff Law has already been amended to eliminate a duty charge and the policy of requiring a deposit. Recognizing the importance of the destination wedding market, the Tourism Ministry and Department of Tourism worked to address the issue, which caused huge controversy when the little known policy was revealed following an incident over an undeclared wedding dress. The tourism minister said government wanted to provide a "stress free environment" for people coming to get married, as he announced the change in a press release Tuesday. Read more on CNS Business

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No offers from employers to take ex CS workers

| 22/05/2014 | 1 Comment

(CNS Business): Although the review of the public service could trigger significant cuts in the government headcount, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson has said that so far none of the islands’ larger employers have come forward with any kind of offer to take on local workers that could become casualties in the downsizing. The president of the Chamber of Commerce, Johann Moxam, has stated publicly that the private sector needs to step up and support government by taking on Caymanians, which Premier Alden McLaughlin said was very helpful. But Manderson said no employers or business leader have made any kind of offer to assist or commitment in the transition of public sector workers into the private sector. Read more on CNS Business

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Dart booze plan brews concern with local producers

| 22/05/2014 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): Cayman’s only distillery, which produces niche local liquor products, is not the only local voice raising concerns about Dart’s plans to open a distillery at its Cayman Distributor’s warehouse in George Town. The local brewery has also added its concerns about the islands' largest investor and biggest corporate entity entering the production market as they fear Dart has the power to push everyone else from the liquor market. The Cayman Spirits Company said they were worried that allowing Dart to add a distillery to its list of significant booze interest would undermine rather than fuel competition and the Cayman Islands Brewery said it feared that it would push the new specialist distillery out of business. Read more on CNS business

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