Archive for November 26th, 2008

Ireland to probe those using offshore centres

| 26/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(The Post): The Revenue Commissioners plan to contact Irish people who have moved assets overseas through offshore trusts in a bid to determine if the money involved was declared for tax. Under extensive new powers, the Revenue can demand details of offshore discretionary trusts, which are regarded as one of the most valuable tax avoidance vehicles in existence. A number of people and companies are known to use offshore trusts in the Isle of Man, the Channel Island and the Cayman Islands. Go to article

Continue Reading

Christmas is coming to Camana Bay

| 26/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman National Choir & Orchestra and Santa will be adding to the festivities next week when Camana Bay hosts its annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony on Thursday 4 December from 6-8pm. The Paseo is to be transformed into a sparkling wonderland with a giant Christmas tree and thousands of fairy lights illuminating the town.


The Cayman National Choir & Orchestra will add to the enchantment with a festive performance of carols and Christmas music, accompanied by children’s choirs from Cayman International School and Cayman Prep. Song sheets will be provided for the audience to sing along to old time favourites such as Away in the Manger and Hark the Herald.

After the tree and lightsare switched on, Santa will make a much-anticipated appearance bringing candy canes for well-behaved kids, who will have the opportunity to have their photos taken with Santa. There is also a Christmas market, with a variety of stalls along Market Street selling an array of local produce and crafts, including several products by Junior Achievement companies.

Evening opening hours at all of Camana Bay’s stores makes it an ideal opportunity to start Christmas shopping. Bedside Manor is a treasure trove of gift ideas, NKY has a number of elegant ideas for fashionable friends and family, while booklovers will appreciate all that is in store this Christmas at Books & Books. To really spoil the special person in your life, a trip to The Mansion, the soon-to-open flagship store from Island Companies with its alluring choice of luxury watches and stylish jewellery, is a must this holiday season.

With cookies and juice also on offer throughout the evening, the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Camana Bay is the perfect time and place to get into the spirit of Christmas.

Meanwhile this weekend the new town will be hosting the first annual Children’s Book Festival starting with storytelling and activities on Saturday 29t h November at Books & Books followed by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust Bedtime Story Fun Day at Dart Family Park in South Sound on Sunday 30t h November. Headlining the book festival are celebrated children’s authors Julia Donaldson from the UK and Kate Klimo from the US, together with a host of local writers and performers.

For information about the Camana Bay Children’s Book Festival, visit

Continue Reading

Gimistory? No, not until next year

| 26/11/2008 | 3 Comments

(CNS): One of Cayman’s most loved family festivals won’t be happening this year as Gimistroy faces a permanent rescheduling. According to the Cayman National Cultural Foundation (CNCF), it is moving the International Storytelling Festival to April to coincide with Cayfest – The Cayman Islands National Arts Festival and away from what is fast becoming one of the year’s busiest months for entertainment.


The CNCF said that Gimistory will become a signature event of Cayfest and will remain a travelling show with performances in the districts.  The move was made with a view of making the best use of resources, enhancing Cayfest and also because of the proximity of so many major events toGimistory’s traditional dates. 

Since 1998 Gimistory has run for one week in late November  atradition maintained even after Hurricane Ivan but in recent times the CNCF says that November has become a very busy month for entertainment.

Pirates Week which involves a number of CNCF staff has also moved to November and next year it begins even later in the month November it closer to what would have been the Gimistory week. Jazz Fest has also been overlapping with the story telling festival as well as the Rotary Central Music Extravaganza and Taste of Cayman all bumping up against it.  

“With such major events taking place in close proximity of the storytelling festival it was thought best to look for new dates for Gimistory,” said CNCF. “Cayfest was a logical choice — one reason being that incorporating Gimistory into Cayfest offers an opportunity to make the best use of resources in these tough economic times when everyone must do some belt tightening. Gimistory is envisioned as a major Cayfest event that gives an added dimension and impetus to the overall festival.” 

Becoming part of Cayfest means a reduced scheduled for Gimistory. However, the districts will have a Gimistory show. The reduced schedule will only affect the greater George Town area, which previously had performances at Dart Family Park, Elizabethan Square and Smith’s Barcadere. Instead, George Town will have one performance. The 2009 dates for Gimistory are April 20 – 24.  

Cayfest offers three weeks of entertainment with performing, literary, culinary, and visual arts; a fashion show of original designs; a catboat regatta; films and cultural discussionin Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands. Cayfest 2009 is from April 15 through May 3.  Volunteers are needed to produce the festival both in performing and support capacities. People wishing to be a part of Cayfest and Gimistory by volunteering can call 949-5477 or email  


Continue Reading

Police hone key skills

| 26/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Preparing the facts for court was one of the key lessons in a special training session designed to keep 21 police officers and special constables working in West Bay up-to-date with policing methods and practices. Crown Counsel Kirsty-Ann Gunn conducted a two and a half hour session at the police station last weekend covering which crucial aspects of the job.


The session covered the recording of original notes of an incident, how to structure a statement as well as how best to complete a summary of facts ready for court proceedings. “A continued knowledge of best practices is vital for officers,” said Area Commander Chief Inspector Angelique Howell. “We are committed to ensuring our officers and staff are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to allow them to carry out their duty as best as they can. This includes ensuring we keep up-to-date with policing methods and best practices.”

The training included details such as what key elements should be recorded into notebooks when responding to incidents, when and where to record these notes and the importance of having notes when appearing in court. The training was concluded with two role plays relating to offences that officers frequently deal with to demonstrate how the training fits into the reality of policing.

“This was a highly successful session which we found extremely useful and informative and our thanks are sent to Ms Gunn for her time and insight,” said Mrs Howell. “We anticipate that sessions such as this will continue in the future to ensure the continued development and progression of our staff.”

Continue Reading

‘Sparkies’ now need license to trade

| 26/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS): The Electrical Board of Examiners is now enforcing the Electricity Law (Revision 2005) and the Electricity Regulations (Revision 2005) and requesting that all active electrical contractors submit an electrical contractor’s application to the Building Control Unit (BCU) by Friday, 27 February 2009.


Section 60(1) of the law states, “No person shall trade, contract or carry on business as an electrical contractor of any nature or employ staff for any such work unless he is licensed in that behalf by the Board (Electrical Board of Examiners) and also holds a license as an electrician or contractor under the Trade and Business Licensing Law (2003 Revision).”

The requirement is now being enforced as part of the EBE’s phasing-in of the regulations, said EBE Chair Robert Duty. Subsequently, as of Tuesday, 31 March 2009, BCU will not conduct inspections for electricians who do not meet the requirements in the regulations, section 60(2), as they would be operating illegally. “However, we expect that most contractors will be in compliance,” he said. 

This section states that qualification for an electrical contractor’s license shall be that the applicant is the holder of, or whose business is managed and supervised by the holder of, a valid license under regulation 61(1)(a), (b) or (c) for a period exceeding two years immediately preceding the date of the application, and who satisfies the board (referring to the EBE) that the applicant is a suitable candidate for such license.

The electrical contractor’s application is available on and at BCU, in Regatta Office Park. There is no application charge at this time.

The EBE will consider applications during its regular meetings, which normally are held the second Tuesday of each month.

For more information, visit, or call EBE Secretary Emerson Piercy on 526-1521.

Continue Reading

The Darling of the tax haven

| 26/11/2008 | 0 Comments

(CNS):  The Cayman Islands, along with the United Kingdom’s other overseas territories and crown dependencies that have offshore financial service industries are to be the target of yet another review according to the UK Chancellor. Alistair Darling said in Monday’s pre-budget speech that the current global economic crisis had highlighted potential problems as the territories attract banking customers with lower taxes – without contributing to the UK Exchequer.


Despite the fact that earlier this year the UK Treasury Committee began an inquiry into Offshore Financial Centres and invited them to submit written evidence for a report which has yet to be released, the UK Chancellor says he has asked for a review of the regulatory arrangements surrounding territories and dependencies which he says will report to him in the spring.

The global financial turmoil has spurred most western government’s to seek explanations and while most experts have pointed the finger squarely at onshore jurisdictions and their poor levels of regulation the tax free or low tax status of places such as Cayman make them consistently attractive targets for ministers looking for scapegoats. Dalring said in his 24 November speech that in times of stress, depositors need to know who will compensate them.

“The British taxpayer cannot be expected to be the guarantor of last resort. The Government will shortly commissionan independent review of British offshore financial centres; their role in the global economy; and their long-term business strategies," it was stated in the pre budget report.

"The review will not consider changes to the UK’s constitutional relationship. It will work with the crown dependencies and overseas territories to identify current and future opportunities, risks and mitigation strategies, including issues such as: financial supervision and transparency; fiscal arrangements; financial crisis management and resolution arrangements; and international cooperation," the report continued.

Former chair of the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) Tim Ridley said that Cayman needs to pay attention to this latest development.  He notes that in the pre-budget report Darling makes it clear he is seeking full exchange of information when it comes to tax issues. “The words that should really make us nervous in the pre budget report are “there is growing international pressure to line up standards of regulation and meet international norms with regard to taxation. Increased engagement, increased transparency and enhanced cross border assistance and exchange of information are essential to preserve our industry," Ridley added. 

In the report Darling does acknowledge that progress has been made by most offshore financial centres to improve financial regulation and transparency, and tackle financial crime. However, he states that these jurisdictions also, “face challenges and opportunities as the world is changing.”

The idea that UK residents can reduce their tax obligation legitimately through the use of offshore financial service jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands continues to irritate the UK Treasury. In times such as these where the UK government faces pressure from its electorate as a result of enormous economic uncertainty, the offshore tax haven remains a favourite target.

While Cayman is certain to figure in this UK review it appears however, that Darling’s first target is the Channel Islands and Allan Bell, the Isle of Man’s Treasury Minister, hit back at the UK, saying that the Government was orchestrating a campaign to make the Isle of Man a scapegoat for the Icelandic banking crisis, which has cost British local councils with deposits in Icelandic banks millions of pounds in lost savings. The Isle of Man subsidiary of the Icelandic bank Kaupthing collapsed when its parent was nationalised in September. British savers with the offshore bank have called on the Government to refund their deposits in the same way as it has compensated savers with the bank’s onshore UK subsidiary.


Continue Reading