Mac quizzes Jefferson over G20 list

| 17/03/2009

(CNS): Leader of the Opposition McKeeva Bush has written to Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson asking him why the country is facing possible inclusion on a black list which could emerge from the G20. Bush questions what has happened over the last four years to honour commitments made to the OECD and exactly who has been negotiating Tax Information Exchange Agreements on Cayman’s behalf.

In his correspondence, Bush notes that in 2000 the Cayman Islands government signed a letter of ‘Advanced Commitment’ to the OECD which excluded Cayman from a list of non-cooperative jurisdictions, particularly in the areas defined by the OECD as harmful tax measures. He said government had set out a schedule to implement measures Ito meet this commitment.

“I am not aware of any significant progress made by the Cayman Islands in delivering on those commitments contained in the letter. I would appreciate a response detailing the actions taken by this government towards meeting those commitments and when such actions were taken over the past 4 years,”Bush wrote.

He also stated that he was seeking clarification on the names and qualifications of the persons who have been tasked with serving as the official negotiators with various overseas governments on matters relating to Tax Information Exchange Agreements.

“As I am sure you will appreciate, the impending G20 Meeting poses severe reputational risk for the Cayman Islands and it is my duty as Leader of the Opposition to fully understand why our country is now in this position and what action can now be taken to address these issues. With the impending G20 meeting set to occur in April and the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Bill being discussed in the United States, the country faces two very serious challenges to the future viability of our financial services sector and our economy in general,” the opposition leader noted.

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  1. Elizabeth Nigel says:

    Vote ALDEN in again?????????? Seriously????? He and Kurt should be the first ones thrown from the doorsteps of the Glass House or the LA!

    Alden McLauglin is the Minister responsible for the Finance and the reason we are in this mess! We can not allow him to be put back in to run this country into further disaster! Please I beg you for the love of your/our country, get this man out of government ASAP!!!!

    Cayman, this is a very serious and detrimental situation we are facing and EVERYONE needs to be aware of this immediately. I know a lot of people talk and don’t really understand how all of this will effect us idividually but let me help you: If the Cayman Islands are black listed and the US and UK choose to take further actions, it means that we will be held to their mercy. They could implement sanctions which could mean that Caymanians would not be able to visit/shop/go to school in the US or allied countries for ANY reason including medical emergencies, no imported products would be allowed in….food, clothes, cars, alcohol, building/shelter materials, telephones, etc.. The Cayman Islands would be another Cuba or worse in which no country could have dealings with us without finding themselves in jeopardy. I hope this has better helped you all to understand how serious this situation really is!!!

    It may already be too late but I beg you on 20th May to choose a different government a "Better Way Forward" that will put this situation at the forefront of government business. 

    • Anonymous says:

      "Alden McLauglin is the Minister responsible for the Finance and the reason we are in this mess!".

      Last time I checked the Constitution we did not have a Minister for Finance.

      While it is certainly a matter that the elected Govt. should be involved in pursuing, isn’t it the case that these commitments were given to the OECD in 2000 and Mr. Bush was the LOGB 2001-2005? What did HE do during his tenure, the term immediately following these commitments? How many tax information exchange agreements were negotiated in that period? (The Tax Information Exchange Agreement with the U.S. was signed on 27th November, 2001 some two weeks after Mr. Bush’s coup against Mr. Tibbetts’ govt. and therefore was obviously not negotiated by Mr. Bush’s Govt).  Wasn’t it Mr. Bush who resisted ‘tooth and nail’ implementing the EU Tax Savings Directive?   

      It seems to be that Mr. Bush must share the blame for any "mess" that we are in.   

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mac, we need you and badly. I see no leadership potential in any of the PPM incumbents, and I for one, or 6 who vote in my house, will feel much safer about our future if  you are a part of the majority in the upcoming election.  I hope everyone thinks very carefully about what faces us in the near future, and chooses wisely. If we stay the course, we are toast!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Little Mac is the longest serving member in the house some twenty odd years and has the nerves to say this one didn’t do this and this one didn’t do that, why has he not done something about all the faults he now blames everyone else for?

    He now have all the answers but before  he could’nt do anything because he was not in government. Election is around the corner and a lot of empty vessels are making alot of noise and they are still not in government. The same suggestions he now have and all the meetings should have been discussed and taken place before, to KNOW better as he now proclaims to and sit by idle make you as guilty as the ones who  procrastinated and started late.

    Little Mac accept your responsibility too because you were voted in as a representative to represent not just to oppose.

  4. Anonymous says:

    People from out side of West Bay can see that Mac is for foreigners with money. Some don’t care as long as it ends up in Cayman. Storms have hit out country to warn us of the evil that Mac does will not be tollerated any longer. Mac is bad for our country. He is the money hawks main man. We must not go down with the ship of fools.

  5. Fiona Moore says:

    Wow, this government never sieze to amaze me. I could shake my fist at them right now. Such poor and utter lack of leadership.

     

  6. Serious about my country says:

    Seriously… ? 

    The financial services sector represents more than half of our total GDP and consists of about 60% Caymanian workers.  Think things bad now?  Forget market trouble in the states, better buy a boat and take up fishnin and plant some cassava to make a living.  Not throwing blame on anyone but what must be done, MUST BE DONE.  We Caymanians are already fighting a reputation of laziness in our workplaces, now we must fight it in the global market place?  Come on…. seriously…

    Sincerely,

    A young Caymanian in the financial services industry… and I would like to say tomorrow that I can look forward to my job and the positions I am working hard to obtain….

  7. CaymanLeamon says:

    TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE

    PPM is doing Too little, Too late.

    If they cared about creating jobs as much as they care about winning, PPM wouldn’t have waited until the election to do something about this crisis. Say what you will about Mac, but we know he wouldn’t allow something this important to go on with addressing it.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      "If they cared about creating jobs as much as they care about winning, PPM wouldn’t have waited until the election to do something about this crisis. Say what you will about Mac, but we know he wouldn’t allow something this important to go on with addressing it".

      If the UDP cared about creating jobs and the welfare of Cayman as much as they care about winning, they wouldn’t have waited until the election to say something about this crisis. Mac has allowed something this important to go on with addressing it.

  8. finance watchdog says:

    typical

    government neglect, govt neglect, govt neglect. lets see where we all end up due to kurt tibbets being asleep at the wheel again… 

    • Anonymous says:

      i would rather Kurt fall a sleep at the wheel with me than Little Mac.

  9. finance watchdog says:

    this government is trying to hide the fact that the finance sector is under serious threat. if the things developing in washington or in euoprope come to fruition we can all go back to taking some thatch weaving lesssons as we are finished. and part of the blame has to be on the government for doing absolutely nothing until 3 months before the elctions. this is no joke guys.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I think the letter should be sent to alden mclaughlin. he is the one that has neglected the financial services industry. he is the minister for financial services policy i think. so he should have been on top of things from 4 years ago. I see that the government is trying to do something with private sector now but to be honest this is all too late and looks more like electioneering rather than them having a clue about things.

    when you run a business you usually have to promote it and take care of its interest..but these guys dont seem to get that when it comes to an entire industry which employs caymanians

  11. Anonymous says:

    go mac!

    say what you want about this man but he understands the economy better than any current political leader. he rarely gets the credit for that but in these times we need people who understand how to get things moving in this country again.

  12. Anonymous says:

     

    just another example of neglect by the PPm giovernment. they built a bunch of roads and pretty much did nothing else during the past 4 years. many of these internal challenges existed for years so it make no sense that they could now be so behind the eight ball today…as usual pure procrastination by alden and kurt…

  13. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone heard much from the financial secretary? i dont know much about how the government operates but this guys seems very quiet when it comes to financial services issues!

  14. Anonymous says:

    It is very important to understand what has occured here. everyone seems to have the opinion that someone dropped the ball. hopefully we can find out soon to avoid this occuring again in the future.

    whoevere is in power after may should try to learn from these mistakes….

  15. Anonymous says:

    Blame shifting again. This man hasn’t seen a hedge fund or derivative that he dosen’t like. As Puppet Master this type of grandstanding isn’t going to fly. Mac has betrayed his country with status grants to a lot of undesirable people and has never been held accountable because a lot of his voters are hooked on hand outs, crumbs, no show jobs and anything that doesn’t allow them to do an honest days work. Do we really need to go back to those days of McKeever in control and a new twist, the Seaga rejects control him? What about our people? Of the stooge, by the stooge and for the stooge. We can’t live like that again. It’s not our values.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sad to hear this same old story again and again about the status grant,  Tell me what the status grant have to do with the present status of this country??? Yes Mckeever made a mistake and I for one was cut up about it and vote for the ppm government, WHAT A MISTAKE!!!

      We need to vote people in that have experience to turn this Island around and the base on who I see declared so far, we will have to split our vote,

      To be honest I think Alden the only one on the ppm ticket deserved to get back in.

    • Anonymous says:

      Stay on track..the topic is the Financial sector and the possible implications of the current governments ‘non action’ approach is having on us.  Furthermore this is not blame shifting..he is afterall the Leader of the opposition.  This is his duty.  His questions to the Financial Secretary should not be taken as ‘blame shifting’. The facts are the facts and the truth is the PPM have not said much about the OECD negotiations over the last 4 years.  Focus on the issue and dont derail…this is what has gotten us in this mess now.  Our current government derailing from the important issues.  Instead they chose to build ‘high tech schools’ that are fancier than most ivy league universities (where people actually want to learn) and will take so much annual costs in maintenance not to mention CUC bills.  Do you blame Mac??