UK tells Cayman to levy taxes

| 27/08/2009

(CNS): The Cayman Islands must show plans to introduce long-term and sustainable revenue raising measures such as direct or indirect taxation before the UK will allow the CI government to borrow more cash. Though government does not have enough money to meet its immediate operating expenses for the next month, FCO Minister Chris Bryant has told McKeeva Bush he wants to see a widening of the Cayman tax base before he is prepared to approve any more debt.

Speaking to an audience of both public and private sector representatives on Thursday morning (27August) at the Ritz-Carlton (which sponsored the meeting free of charge) the leader of government business detailed the government’s current financial situation and shared a letter from the Overseas Territories Minister from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Chris Bryant, regarding the request to draw down on new loans, in which the UK minister effectively refused the request.

Since the CI government broke the parameters defined by the Public Management and Finance Law during the last fiscal year with a record deficit and record borrowing, the country is now forced to gain special permission from the FCO to incur any further debts.

“Because we were not in compliance, it is the first time ever we have had to do this,” Bush told the audience. He said he could play the blame game but there was no point and the time for politics was past. The LoGB explained that he had already negotiated loans locally to the value of $372 million for the next financial year but before he could draw down on that he needed the UK’s go-ahead, which was not yet forthcoming.

Bush said that although he had submitted the cost savings of around $90 million, which was based on expenditure cuts and the pension contribution freeze, when he approached the FCO to approve the loans he had set up, he said that Bryant had told him on the telephone this week that the UK remained unconvinced that the CI government could manage further borrowing without introducing a more sustainable source of revenue.

On Tuesday 25 August 2009, I spoke with the FCO minister to seek its approval to allow the government to borrow at least CI$30 million that is urgently needed to make current operating and capital payments,” Bush said, adding that although Bryant said he was not necessarily disapproving the borrowing requests, he was not approving them either.

In his letter to Bush, Bryant said he was alarmed that the 2007/08 operating surplus could be turned into such a large operating debt in one year and it could not be allowed to happen again and warned of the danger of Cayman heading towards a debt spiral. And while all countries including the UK are being forced to borrow to see them through the recession, they are at the same time levying taxes and reducing spending. He said the UK expects to see its overseas territories taking a responsible approach to managing finances.

“That means both ensuring a clear strategy for cutting borrowing and debt over the next three to five years, and tackling expenditure,” Bryant wrote. “I doubt that the Cayman Islands government can afford to take on extra debt without getting expenditure under control and widening the tax base. I therefore need to be absolutely convinced that there is a sustainable medium-term plan for turning around public finances and pay off the debt before being able to consider any extension of borrowing.”

The OT minister said such a plan must be realistic about future business activity and government revenues. He said it would need to factor in risk especially uncertainties in US markets and hedge funds and financial services, as well as the outcomes of the G20 summit and Michael Foot’s report on the UK’s OFCs.

“It would be unwise,” he said, “to rely too heavily on a rapid improvement in trust fund income or to expect that the Cayman Islands prosperity can presume on its offshore tax haven status. To make the public finances more resilient in the face of these uncertainties and to give me confidence that you will be able to service any new borrowings you will have to widen the tax base. I fear you have no choice but to consider new taxes perhaps payroll or property tax.”

Bryant also warned that operating expenditure had increased too quickly and it needed to be controlled. He said if he could see clear progress being made he would be prepared to consider the further borrowing request and he expected to hear from the CI government about ideas in a few days.

After sharing the letter with the audience Bush asked what it was that the people of Cayman wanted, as it was evident the country needed to change. “Do we now accept the UK’s implication that we should introduce direct taxes?” he asked. “Or do we craft and implement our own vision on the way forward for a sustainable and successful economy?”

He said government had to go back to FCO with a credible plan but he was concerned that both indirect as well as direct taxes could be detrimental to business and the cost of living.

Bush spoke about a number of possible ideas that would generate revenue for government, such as the development of a new commercial port, cruise berthing to expand tourism, development of five star resorts and encouraging more foreign investments. He said that there were a number of ideas from the civil service, such as the Civil Service Association’s consideration of using its funds to buy the new government administration building; increasing fees on alcohol, tobacco and fuel duties; property tax;  tax onmoney transfers; increase existing fees; investigate government possession of dormant accounts; or a national lottery, something which Bush said he would not be opposed to if there was support for it.

Above all, he said people had to be ready to accept change and in particular he warned against protectionism and anti-foreign attitudes, which he said were undermining foreign investment and driving business away. “We can’t have everything without giving up something.”


         If you like this article, click here to find out how to support CNS

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Headline News

About the Author ()

Comments (128)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Joe Average says:

    I’m tired of all this expat bashing!! That’s it!!!…I’m quitting my $10/hr. job, giving up my $800/mo. which I pay to a Caymanian for my "studio".  I will stop paying my $150/mo. CUC and $60/mo. Water authority bill, sell my $700 jeep in need of repair, my t-shirts and flip flops.  Take my $900 out of the bank.  And fly my a** out of here.  After two years, I will cash in my pension or what’s left of it, and move to Switzerland.  And buy a chalet.

    Maybe my neighbor will be Hassan Syed.

    Whatever happened to Hassan??

  2. Anonymous says:

    Please go and vote for the National Lottery and Property Tax.


  3. Anonymous says:

    I guess this is what we get for teasing Captain Underpants.  Man that was a bad idea.

    • Anonymous says:

      The British Govt. no doubt put Capt. Underpants in place because it knew this would offend the OTs and he in turn would despise the OTs. They would like for us to go independent. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    cayman focus on the poor expats while the rich ones take their land  and good job it too late now to fix it 

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sell the damn casino licenses already!!!!  One for the Ritz, one in the East End, one in Kaibo, and how about the Brac?  You guys want one too?

    Make ’em good though.  They gotta be like the best of Vegas or it will degrade our tourism product.  Shows and entertainment, flash and flare… tuxedos and evening gowns… you know the routine.

  6. Joe Average says:

    Want to tax expats?  Ok fine.

    But how about No Taxation Without Representation?

    We can’t vote.  We are according to rules only temprorary citizens.

    Blamed for everything.

    Damned if we do.  Damned if we don’t.

    • Anonymous says:

      There is a simple way for you to deal with it if you dont like it. You have a home elsewhere – feel free to go back to it.

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s useful. On the other hand, you are no doubt trapped here with no chance of moving elsewhere to improve your lotin life, so it must just be jealousy speaking.  I forgive you, and even pity you a little.

        • Anonymous says:

          And that’s useful alos, grow up and be part of the solution and not the problem

      • CHC says:

         Then who would you tax?

        • Anonymous says:

          We would tax the person who would gladly leave their own country (where they are paying taxes I might add) to take your place in Cayman. They have not yet been spoiled by living here. It is still fresh in their minds what the European or Canadian winters are like, what it is like to have significant taxation deducted at source, to take the train on a long commute to work, and to try to get around a major City with a young family in tow. The freshness of those challenges in their minds, those people understand and appreciate the benefits of the opportunity to live and invest in Cayman. Many of them would jump at the opportunity to come to Cayman, earn more, and pay a significantly smaller tax than they were paying back home. The trouble is that you have been here for so long that you have forgotten what life is really like back home. You are not irreplaceable and the truth is that there are many millions of people who, if given the opportunity, would come and fill the spot that you are vacating. Is there a risk that I am wrong and people will not come – of course. But it is a risk that I am prepared to take. The question then is, if a modest tax is levied are you actually prepared to pick up and go home? I will accept any negative consequences if you do, because I am convinced that there will be someone to replace you, who would be fine with paying the modest tax. 

    • Dennie Warren Jr. says:

      Dear Joe Average,

      Expats currently have more " representation” than most Caymanians (wink wink). However, there should never be any income or property taxes in the Cayman Islands.  Ever!

  7. Joe Average says:

    Wow.   There are some extremely useful comments, some quite funny, and others sound like the rants on call in radio shows.

    As a Canadian (shhhh!)  I have fallen in love with the islands.  I also see the creeping taxation man which begins as it did with our income tax with a crisis.  In our case it was a world war.  And direct taxation (taxes on wages) was brought in as a temporary fix to the crisis.  But it was soo good and so convenient as a constant stream of money for the government it never went away.  And it also allows government, when it completely mis-manages the economy, as it does so often, to increase the burden on wage earners at will.  I say wage earners as a meaningful comment, because coroporations have over time and with the expertise of legions of accountants devised ingenious ways to dodge taxes.  Some, heaven forbid, even decide to incorporate offshore.  The only fair system of taxation is one suggested.  Find out what it costs to survive, including mortgage payments, rent, water, hydro, food, school expenses, etc.  This has already been done in the quest to consider a minimum wage.  That is the baseline.  A sliding scale from there based on remaining "affluence" can possibly be taxed but only if clever people are not allowed to take advantage of loopholes either missed or designed into the taxation system.  A lottery is also an excellent idea and in Canada it is an obscenely large portion of government revenue although based on desperation after people have beentaxed to death otherwise.  As one person pointed out it can be called a stupid tax although the odds here would be much better of winning something.  Casinos?  Why not?  But it must be pointed out that gambling can be an addiction and one that in Canada the government takes no responsibility for although it runs the gambling and accepts revenue from it.  The same as with the drugs alcohol and tobacco.  They have the monopoly on gambling, alcohol sales, and tobacco sales.  Hmmm.  I guess we’re being protected from the evils of organized crime.

    Finally.  Say goodbye and good riddance to an irrelevant empire.  Which outlived it’s self-appointed mandate to decide the fate.. and governance.. of distant countries hundreds of years ago..  why in the 21st century an anachronism can still send threatening letters half way across the world demanding subserviance and compliance is and should be an insult.  There are other places to go for financing if needed than the Bank of England.  A look back at history will let you know what getting into debt with that dreadful organization results in.  Did someone say 1776?  

    Cayman has the ability, and certainly the smarts, to come through this disaster created and bank-rolled.. and milked… by Wall St.  It also has the advantage of learning from other’s mistakes.  Canada included.

    The Cayman Islands Government should rest assured people here will co-operate and make sacrifices if they are also assured the sacrifices will ultimately benefit all of society and not just a few.

  8. Anonymous says:

    When an expat in civil service is nearing the end of thier contract a qualified Caymanian should fill the position. One simple solution to help solve a much bigger problem. Expat employment is a luxury Cayman can no longer afford to indulge!

    • Anonymous says:

      When an expat in civil service is nearing the end of thier contract a qualified Caymanian should fill the position. One simple solution to help solve a much bigger problem. Expat employment is a luxury Cayman can no longer afford to indulge!

      Genius idea!  Why has no-one else thought of that over the years?  Now, where do we find hundreds of qualified Caymanian teachers, nurses, dentists, lawyers, legal secretaries, librarians, refuse collectors, customs officials, policemen etc.?  Let’s have a think.

      If we can’t find them on island, we’ll recall them from where they are living, drag them from their jobs and families, install them back here and put them to work.  If they are on island but working in the private sector then we’ll just force them to resign their jobs (to be replaced by ex-pats, I guess) and work in lower paid civil servant roles!  

      Nice one, thank goodness we have the best minds on the case here or goodness knows what would happen.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I am totally confused.

    Why do we have elections and elect people to represent us, when those people are powerless to do anything unless it is approved by NANNY.

    Would it not be better to just let Britian rule us and govern us instead of wasting money on useless local Politicians. If they cant deal with the countrys financial woes without NANNY approving everything then they really are a waste of time and money.

    Since we are considered British citizens by virtue of being issued a British Passport, why dont Britian just do to us what they did to the Turks and Caicos islands. Is this whole scenario not heading us in that direction anyway.

    Welcome back to Colonialism. What goes around comes around.

  10. Anonymous says:


    The country is in a bind and needs a real solution, you can increase fees here and there but the revenue will not add up quick enough. My suggestion is implement a tax of 5% or so and exempt the first $30,000. If you make $30,000 or less you are still tax free (call this the basic living allowance), if you make $50,000 you pay tax on the $20,000 over the exemption ($1,000), if you make $100,000 you pay tax on the $70,000 over the exemption ($3,500). Try making $100,000 in any other country and only pay $3,500 in tax, good luck!
    If you have too many civil servants then move a few into the new revenue collection agency. Maybe cut some of the excessive perks but don’t cut any jobs, the private sector cannot absorb these people right now and that will only lead to a worse economy. 
    Long term, look to phase out the stamp duty on property and implement a property tax, but phase it out, it is not fair for those who paid stamp last year of 6% to have to start paying property tax now. Plus property taxes will unfairly hit more Caymanians over expats and businesses cannot afford another hit to the bottom line. Maybe levy a small school tax if your child is in the public schools. Also, debate the issue of a Casino, it does not have to happen overnight, but if the voting public favours it then you can reduce the income tax over time.
    You are in a bind McKeeva, take a small tax, but use it wisely! We enjoy one of the best standards of livings in the world, we can pay a little tax to keep it going. The only thing better than a tax free country is a tax free and debt free country. Plan the finances correctly and we will be there soon enough. 
    • Anonymous says:

      How about if you make $100,000 a week (or more) and you "came" here "because" there was "no" tax?  Do you know how many folks like this quietly live here and underpin our economy? Do they leave? There are plenty of great Countries in this hemisphere just as appealling (albeit differently) than Cayman.  Cayman is beautiful, but if you live here you can loose sight of the fact that there are many beautiful alternatives (Anguila, Bermuda, Bahamas) when you’re saving $260,000+ a year by not living with your suggested tax.  Be prepared for less investment, less rich guy benevolence, an unwinding of many holdings held here, less charity, less of pretty-much everything you take for granted. The painful truth is that the civil service (government), which gives "relatively" little back to it’s people, has become so bloated that Cayman can no longer afford it.  The courageous thing to do is fire civil servants and shrink government to fit the new economic reality, but courage may be in short supply here. Make no mistake, if direct taxation becomes a reality, Cayman will become a much less desirable place for Caymanians (and expats alike) to live.

      • Anonymous says:

        The idea is not to tax peoples wealth that is generated outside of Cayman. We are talking about  taxing earnings derived from employment within the Islands. There are many people living among us who earn millions of dollars every year from the employment in locally based businesses. This small segment of the population should shoulder a significant share of the new tax burden. We also should impose a tax on new permanent residents. On being granted PR a resident would have to pay tax based on his level of income. The tax would not be permanent, rather would cease one the individual is ultimately granted Caymanian Status. Essentially, if you want to stay you pay for the privilege.

        • Anonymous says:

          Okay.  I chose to go and renounce my permanent residency.  I’m selling my home (no hurry, whenever it does) lowering the price to move it, dragging down my neighbors prices. I’m closing my accounts at local banks, cancelling family health insurance. Laying off the Caymanian staff who work for me (4 full time, 6 Cayman contractors not renewed). Selling the boats shipping off the cars.  That’s 1.2mmCI in local spending out of the economy. But good ridence, the island didn’t really need a freeloader like me.  And I’m sure I’ll be the only one.  Do you see the problem here?  There are people in this economy, who look like your friends and neighbors, who appear to work in the local economy, who also manage family money and trusts from fortunes overseas. These people chose Cayman because of the absence of tax. PR is bought and paid for here..  it isn’t free.  Nobody in their right mind would pay for the privilege of PR only to be taxed. Status holders should be the ones paying..  rights and responsibilities come with Citizenship. The real key is to right-size the government to our new economic reality.  There is no shame in saying "we can’t afford it"  The real shame would be in letting pride stand in the way of necessary cuts and running Cayman into the ground in the process. If you thought a silly roll-over would kill Cayman, you aint seen nothing.  Watch what taxes do.

          • Anonymous says:

            I think you have been away from your home country for far too long. The truth is that if paying a moderate tax during the period when you hold PR is going to cripple you such that you think it makes sense to renounce your PR, close your business, lay off Caymanians, sell your home and close your bank accounts then you have profited very little from being in Cayman. If indeed you have profited verylittle then perhaps it is time to go home. We are all, expats and Caymanians alike, extremely lucky to be here. Some of us should, for a period of time, pay for the privilege. Given the state of the world economy and the difficulties in living in other countries I am sure that there will be someone who would be willing to get away from some cold, grey city where its difficult to raise kids, and where they pay a nice chunk of their income to the tax-man every month, who would just love to occupy the spot that you have vacated. Losing what you are contributing is a risk that I would be prepared to take, because I can think of countless people across the world right now who would want the opportunity to be here, investing in this economy, getting away from the awful winters and the long communtes. I am sure that there are enough people out there who would pay the moderate tax in order to be able to fill the spot that you are vacating.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Give them enough rope and they will hang themselves…….that and the other favorite expression within the FCO…..Never let a perfectly good crisis go to waste. 

    We should never forget that the UK have had centuries of practice in destroying lands that they have occupied/colonised when those lands posed any type of competitive threat. The UK’s present position has littleto do with fiscal prudence but everything to do with eliminating competition. They need to destroy as much of London’s competition as possible if they are to be successful in squeezing their own financial services sector for the money which UK politicians have mis-spent.

    The UK now has the levers necessary to destroy the competition which Cayman’s financial services sector provides to London. We gave these levers to the UK. They did not force us to place ourselves in this situation, but now that we have we can not expect them to do anything but go forthe kill. After all they have observed that the government will now sign anything that is put in front of them. I suspect that they view the current government as essenetially panicked, confused and gutless – and I am not sure that they have had a much better perception of any government recently.

    There is no reason to believe that anything conventional or reasonable will get the UK to lift the ban on borrowing. They will not remove the noose that they hope to use. The FCO is likely to discount to zero any revenue measure based on building on Cayman’s financial services sector. After all they want to destroy it.

    The introduction of any form of taxation of income or profit will completely destabilise the financial services sector, and as another pointed out, where are people who are already stretched supposed to come up with the money. This is precisely what the UK is trying to accomplish.

    The taxation of property poses the same problem for property owners who are already stretched to the limit, and it will make inward investment in "bricks and mortar" less attractive. The LOGB has indicated that he wants financial services providers to build more substance into Cayman’s economy but as the UK knows, property tax will make this less likely.

    Out of the box solutions require the prepayment of revenue streams from new activities so that new money is introduced. This may include unpopular things like selling casino franchises for a substantial upfront fee and no taxes or other annual payments for 10 or 20 years – something like the development of Freeport in the Bahamas – except cutting a better deal for Cayman than Bahamas got. (Unfortunately corruptable politicians are probably not the people that we should let negotiate this type of arrangement for Cayman.)

    There will need to be a freeze on all government capital projects and much greater reliance on private capital which will need to pay rather than being given duty holidays. Again, pre-payment of future fees on things like the new cargo port and any new yacht marina needs to be encouraged by substantial net present value discounts.

    It may also be possible to remove the fulcrum of their lever by formally indicating that we would prefer independence to their unreasonable exercise of colonial power. They think that the connection to the UK is a selling point for our financial services sector which we are afraid to lose. I suspect that the public demonstration of the malign use of that connection by the UK will remove any such selling point as it will reveal that any connection to a socialist UK government is more of a threat than an advantage.

  12. mindy says:

    Do like Honduras, where you have to pay at the airport US$ 10.00 to enter and US$ 33.00 to leave the country! hahaha

  13. Anonymous Coward says:

    The debt and the recession are temporary problems.  Couldn’t Government do a donation drive to get us out of debt?  Anyone that donates could have their name posted somewhere and how much.  A lot of companies on the island like the PR and people don’t want a permanent increase in tax.  We didn’t have any major tax increases after Ivan, why should we do it during an economic storm?

  14. Anon says:

    Taxing remittances will only kill off outside investment in Cayman – if you can’t get you money out….who would consider putting it in?

    A low level of Income tax seems to be the only fair solution – everyone who earns a little…pays a little. It makes no difference if you are Caymanian, Expat or from timbuck earn here, you pay here. Same for everyone.

    I’ll volunteer to pay 5% income tax right now to help the country.

    Actually it will help remove the stigma we are somehow a tax haven too.

  15. A New Day says:

    As a grateful (UK) expat with Caymanian status, I would certainly be willing to donate my pension fund to some kind of plan. I don’t even require payback, just the knowledge that we implement a sustainable plan of action that enables us to get out of debt. I believe in these islands and its people.

    The Bible clearly warns about getting into debt declaring that slavery is the end result. Well Cayman, we are almost there, in slavery to the money men.

    Your certificate of land will become worthless as land owns property, so country owns land and money owns country.

    For those of us with faith, let us pray for wisdom and for those without, don’t worry, you soon will have.

    The UK are a fine one to tell us about borrowing. They are up to their neck in it, as are the Americans. Independence is certainly the way, but you (we) will not even be allowed independence carrying this amount of debt.

    I have been in debt myself as many of us are. I have since cancelled all my credit cards and am paying off debt as fast as I can. No more meals in fancy restaurants and I buy Caymanian produce wherever I can although it’s not always the cheapest. Some of the local fruit here is superb, the fish is the freshest and the beef is full of flavour.

    This is not theend of the world, but perhaps the beginning of a brave new one wherein dwells righteousness and hope.

    God bless the Cayman Islands and its people.


  16. Drive your own car McKeeva - set an example nuh!! says:

    Sad news, but please explain why the ‘man at the top’ is delivering this message at the RITZ (hello, that’s unnecessary expenditure).  It’s not like the RITZ is cheap or an economical choice!  (or maybe it’s a ‘deal’ he’s struck up after his ‘sweetheart’ deal on the real estate side of things?)

    Government shouldn’t be spending no things like that in these times (or ever, for that matter).  Be smart people!!!

    Meet at one of our Town Halls, or in a Government conference room, or a Statutory Authority’s Boardroom, or at a Community Centre.   Come on people….. if we’re in debt so much and don’t have money, why does he continue to spend money unnecessarily.

    Another thing….why can’t McKeeva Bush drive himself around the place.  How can he justify the unnecessary expediture and salary for his driver, the additional cost of insurance and gas money (it’s a big SUV, so you know it’s not cheap on gas).   Don’t be a hypocrite.  How can you be so happy to spend money that we don’t have on something so trivial!  Start small, save big!  Every penny counts!

    That vehicle was purchased for other purposes, not to chauffeur the LoGB around everyday, everywhere.   Get real McKeeva.  If our country is really in this serious mess, set an example and start cutting your own unnecessary costs.   It’s not just your country to mess up.  Set an example so that others in the civil service will follow suit.   This is OUR country, and may God bless us in these hard times. 


    McKeeva, as our "Leader" please stop and take a look at this and do what’s best for our country as a whole, not what’s best for you and your friends and your bank accounts.  don’t spend our money for your personal gain or comfort.


    To the current Government (and future ones for that matter!)….

    Cut back, be thrifty.  Do what’s right for us LONG-TERM, not the short-sighted view which seems to be the winner today.


    • Anonymous says:

      Did someone miss out the part about Ritz offering the venue free of charge..??

      • Anonymous says:

        Which raises the question "what’s in it for them", particularly given the previous relationship with Mr. Bush. You can be sure that any revenue measures will not adversely affect the Ritz.

  17. islandboz says:

     Ask all the church/s for the money. They dictate everything that happens in the society.Oh! I have another idea….legalize gambling!!. Allow casinos to come to these shores, introduce a national lottery. time to stop listening to the "bible touting" finatics. Well, you can follow the UK suggestions and introduce taxes (lol). Then watch your Tax Haven status, and the Financial Industry start to dwindle. Look it is simple! follow the Bahamas tourism plan and u will be in "the black". Otherwise, have your prayer meetings and it will fall from the SKY.


  18. Rafl says:

    Lavonida Independce with what my child may i ask. I tell you what that is exactly what mother would like, so man a stan on di corna with pistol a hand collecting road taxes from you and me. Mr Bodden is a learned and wise politician and scholar he probably mused at your advice and is well aware of the long term affects of your suggestion. I tell you what, had we followed that advice we would need more than luck but God’s intervention to save us. And the Almighty is with us thats why we have made it this far mid dear. Prayers would help however.

    • Anonymous says:

      If Mr. Bodden was so learned and wise he would indeed have looked at our long term future and the direction that our relationship with the UK is headed.  

    • Lavonida says:

      Trust me Mr. Bodden is well respected by me, and I know he is learned. But guess what I never said to go independent, I said and still say prepare for it. And mark my words, if you like it or if you don’t that is where mother country will eventually tell you to go. So its better to be prepared than not. It may not even be in our lifetime but at least the people of the country will be prepared.

      By the way its not going independent that make people stand on street corners,and make you have shootings, murders, robberies, burglaries, rapes  and what ever ills that you can come up with, thats hapenning in Cayman now, and the I from independent haven’t been talked about, so thats no excuse.

      The problem is most of us get too comfortable, and with that comes complacency, and that is the case now. There must ALWAYS be a plan B and guess what Cayman had none and still don’t.

      There is absolutley nothing wrong with being prepared just like those who prepared for Ivan. They were fine. Those who didn’t needed the most help.

      Everyone spent like there was no tomorrow, and like the money well had no bottom. Well the bottom dropout now. Remember when our parents always told us save something for a rainyday, those who do, will weather this storm, those who don’t the rain will turn into a flood.

      We must learn to think outside the box, or like my husband always say, "see round di corner". Until you learn to do that you will continue to go round in circles. There is now no way to tax income, or property really. What about the young Caymanians, that has what we consider a decent job, but really only take home about $2500 per month, have to pay rent, buy food, send their children to school. Pay CUC, water & cable. If you ask them to pay 10% you just took their grocery money. If you demand for land tax,zing- groceries just went UP, and you still take away Jane Doe grocery money.

      If ANY government that we the people had voted in was thinking out of the box, and had prepared and educated the people on the possibility of independence, and what we would do in the event it was forced on us, Someone of the 50,000 or so persons that live or have lived in the Cayman Islands would, be able to say " remember former Minister so N so, or the form whatever govt. had said we could do XYZ.

      Anywayssssss I do hope that all the "learned" people of the Cayman Islands, can now come up with a plan that does not kill the little man and put plans in place to protect the future of the children. Remember that Cayman is not just yours but your childrens as well, and think long and hard about what you are leaving for them? 

      This is just to let you think, about 10 – 15 years ago a house lot in a nice neighbourhood was about CI$15000, young people struggled to come up with the downpayment, now a house lot in that same neighbourhood would be about $50,000 or more. young people now can’t afford that, they have to think about affordable (low income) housing. What will happen to the next generation??? Are we going to build projects, studios that they can rent to own, with government subsidy?

      If Cayman is broke now and some LONG TERM plans or plan B & C is not considered we’ll all be like someone else said pirates. Oh wait I had plan B which I put in effect 4 yrs ago.

      I know that I may seem harsh, but please, even when the mother country is cutting your throat and you are bleeding to death, you are still telling me you don’t want to prepare. Sad


  19. noname says:

    We already pay enough for Taxis!

  20. Sick and Fed up! says:

    Start by setting an example!!! Cut salaries from the top then down the line, if we in the private sector had to take a cut in salary, should we not expect an example to be set with the top leaders??? This country has been raped in the last few years till nothing is left! Look at Northward prison, it cost 50,000 a year per prisoner and there are 200 of them, wow what a budget… over ten million to run yearly, stop sending these guys Nortward for something as simple as a splif! Or we can start with the police department, why does an Island this size need such a large police force, half of these policemen go clock in and go home and sleep then go clock out!! I know several that does this! And why in the world bring in a policeman from a crime ridden country such as Jamaica? Cha, my people lets stop the bickering and find some solutions, but ABOVE ALL MR. BUSH WE DO NOT WANT TAXES IN OUR ISLAND!  Clean up the court house, when you go there you see more people sitting around on the job than anywhere else!  Call them on the phone at lunch time and everyone is "out to lunch" Well my people you can see for your self, start at the top with salary cuts!!!!!!!!

  21. Anonymous says:

    All this taxing ideas are only going to create an all out RIOT!

    Where are people going to get the money from?  When they can hardly put food on the table!  In order to pay these taxes (if they dont starve to death trying to meet the demand), they will have to live by candle light and have a minimum diet. This will only create a mental breakdown in our already hurting society. And with school starting and other overlapping demands, the flu season is about to begin, what will happen to these families that already cant meet their needs?  Will they be left for dead?   As a caymanian, we need to think smart we cannot prevent this recession!  It is here!

    I agree on some of the suggestions of LOGB, like: taxes on Alcohol & Tobacco.  Check the bars and nightclubs tonight.  Jam packed and making lots of money.  Do the lottery, I’d be happy to stay at home in front of my tv til the last lotto number is called!

    Not onto the property taxes and payroll taxes.  People are already stressed out because of the current situation and most unable to meet there needs.  Why put more pressure?  This will lead people to abandon their Jobs and homes.  (Well not their homes)  Because the banks wont be able to do anything with them anyway!   The housing market will sink and so will our fragments of reputation of a once upon a time paradise!

    Tax money transfers!  The money is no use to cayman after it have left our shores anyway!   Introduce the lottery!   And tax the winnings by 50% if need be! $10 million pot?  Take $5MM!  Isssssssssssh!   You can even take $9MM!    lol  

    Introduce the lotto now!  And give the caymanians something to dream about everytime they spend a dollar.  And stop publishing all the "LET’S SCARE THE HELL OUT OF THE PEOPLE" headlines!

    Last but not least, if push comes to shove, believe me.  I’d just have to be placed on the "tax evasion list" and the banks/govt can have my house to add to their monument collection!  Maintime, I am going to put my extra shillings to invest in a cat boat and will be ready to set sail with a few roasted breadfruit.  And forget about taking your passports and other forms of identification.  Because they will not want us.  If you make it to the shoreline of a neighboring country, just pretend as tho you’ve got amnesia.  Have a good day Cayman! And remember, ONE CANNOT DO IT ALONE! 

    CNS, can you please start up a headline welsome for voting on this topic?

    Please vote if you are for NATIONAL LOTTERY by placing your initials and number accordingly?  and another if you are against NATIONAL LOTTERY?   Lets start the tally PLEASE???   I want to see numbers!!!   Tickets starting at $2.  Lets see what kind of money the Gov’t will be looking to make.  CNS Readers, please participate!  : – )

    • Anonymous says:

      5 million winnings and 5 million to the gov

      Do the math, say 50,000 people bought 5 tickets a week (which will never happen), that would only raise $500k , to pay expenses and lesser prizes.

      to get the10 million from 2 bucks a ticket you want, everyone in cayman would have to buy 83 tockets a week. LOL

      Tax remittances, all that money sending kids to college now taxed, shopping off island, taxed on any money spent.

      Foreign onwed companies like CUC paying 80-90% of profits out via dividends, the majority of which are overseas, taxed! (and then recharged to consumers you can bet)

      Cut the costs

    • Twyla M Vargas says:

      ALL THESE TAXING IDEAS  are going to create an all out Riot.  09:23

      You have hit the nail on the head top with every word you said.  Already I hear people talking about what they are going to do if this happens, and it sounds scary.  People will run from this place if what I am hearing takes place.  Somebody who knows what they are doing better work darn fast, to solve this problem, beside taxing people property and homes, taking civil servants jobs and their money, because a mix up is in the making.  A pot is simmering that we do not want it to boil over because the whole stove top will blow up with what is in the soup.

      People are fedup, too much money is leaving this Island without being taxed correctly.  A killing is being made by illegal lottery and  Off Shore Churches.   That is what isdraining this country.  Introduce the National Lottery, and other Games of chance,  I am sure the first month all the outstanding bills for government will be paid.  95% of Cayman want it, so what are we waiting on to ring the bell and let the coins fall out, and hear some poor Caymanian say "YES!!!! YES !!!!, YES!!!  Aw, ketch im. I can pay off for my house tomorrow.  Is,nt that sweet.  They are doing it now anyway, and it has been going on for about thirty years.



  22. Anonymous says:

    Beware of taxing the professional expats.  

    Caymanians have long told the professional expats not to get comfortable here, don’t assume you can stay, and make plans to leave in 7 years.  OK, so since they are rocket scientists and not idiots, let’s presume that they heard and understood that.  They’ve made themselves mobile and are ready to go.  Tax them and they will go.

    The Big 3 law firms all have offices in other tax-free jurisdictions, as do most of the Tier 2 firms, and there are ongoing expansions with new offices in the middle east (where there’s still money).  It’s not like professional expats don’t have a number of choices.

    Further still, professional expats leave home and give up living close to their families and living in cities where there are shopping malls and good roads etc so that they can earn their salary tax-free.  If it is taxed, if they don’t go to another tax-free jurisdiction then surely they will simply go earn it at home and enjoying the benefits of family and their society.

    And when they go their hedge fund clients and trust clients and corporate clients etc will follow them (remember that attorney-client relationships are personal – where the attorney goes the client follows), and thus ends the government revenues associated with the financial services sector, as well as the work permit revenues from those expats.  Gone also are the jobs in the firms for Caymanians.  If half the lawyers have gone, there won’t be secretaries stilling outside those empty offices or support staff running about making things happen.  The trainee Caymanian attorneys will need to be looking for training positions in other jurisdictions, since that’s where the lawyers and their clients will be.

    No,  The answer is not in that.  It is not even on the revenue side of the equation.  The problem is that Cayman is spending money it does not have, and that needs to stop.  It’s like a person who spends twice what they earn and who uses their credit card to keep up the spending and draws cash advances on the card to make the monthly payments.  It simply cannot be kept up because that person will never be able to pay it back and will soon be bankrupt.  Asking the bank to increase the credit limit makes no sense.  If they say yes, the problem just gets even bigger and there is still no solution in sight.  

    The only solution is to spend less than you earn.  Shut down all but the most essential government programs.  Pass a law that says Cayman won’t build Kurt’s gold-plated schools and doesn’t have to pay penalties to stop work.  Law-makers can make those kinds of laws.  It costs some credibility with the contractor, but not as much credibility as general government bankruptcy costs.  

    Cut the civil service to a third, and make them work overtime for free (as the private sector does with the professionals).  It’s time to take some pain Cayman.

    Get your spending under control.  The drunken sailor days are over.  If you want them back, best let Mike Ryan build a casino besides the Ritz for the wealthy tourists, and require 40% of the take go to government.  

    You have somechoices to make.

    • mindy says:

      I agree w/ everything you’ve said, most people have been saving money the last couple of months preparing for the worst to come yet our government kept spending like they did before, instead of worrying about trying to make more money they need to start saving money.

      I wonder if it’s possible to know how much govt. spends on utilities alone.

    • anonymous says:

       I agree with everything that you have said 7:49 and, given time, your and Gordon Barlow’s plan would work (if this plan were implemented tomorrow it would probably be about a year before actual benefits were felt).  Unfortunately the government’s irresponsible spending was apparently so rash that it doesn’t have a year, it doesn’t even have 30 days.  There has to be some temporary measures in addition to implementing this plan tomorrow.  The government needs to sell some assets to foreign investors with assurances that those investments are safe from protectionist policies.  Take a very close look at whatever you have (investment in insurance companies, banks, hotels, land, tourism/pr agencies) and put them all up for sale.

  23. Lavonida says:

    Mr. Roy Bodden, remember when you were the Minister of Labour, I kept telling you that the government of the day your Government needed to prepare the people of The Cayman Islands for independence.  Every chance I got, I told you. 

    I told everyone that had a political conversation about, thats what was needed preparation for independence. I also said that the UK was out to destroy cayman as London is also a financial center. I also said they could keep their UK passport, as they will soon be wanting to tax those who have, (well they want to tax everybody). 

    People thought I was talking foolishness, and ‘nooooooooooooo MOTHER country would neva do us dat’,. A wonda wa unna saying now.

    Mr. Bush, he said he wasn’t going to say no or yes, tell you what he daring you, so I say before you bring in taxes, take the money and tell him to get stuffed. The people of Cayman, Caymanians and expat alike will back you 110%, who wants tax????

    What has the UK really ever did for Cayman? People were hungry, thirsty and homeless after  Ivan and they never even gave the country a dollar to buy the people a glass of wata. Can you imagine the funds that came from the UK was raised by a group call friends of  Cayman.

    Some mother, if a mother did that to a child in Cayman today, social services would take that child out of that home.

    Like it or not people the only way is independence.

    Best of luck Cayman, God be with you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who would countersign the loan guarantee if we went independent?  Florida Cruise Ship Association?

    • Bob says:


      You must be kidding! With crime at an all time high (if it wasn’t for the governor it would be even worst) and the country in more debt than ever (and it would be even higher if it wasn’t for the UK saying NO to more borrowing), becoming independent would mean choosing the road Jamaica took years ago (no offence to anyone).

      I pray it never happens.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Economics 101, you cannot “save” yourself out of a recession.  If you read the news , France, Germany and Japan aggressively dealt with this issue, and “spent” their way out and subsequently, are now leading the G20 out of this recession.   The UK missed their opportunity.


    Here are some suggestions:

    1.    Increase (temporarily) gasoline taxes by 50, or 75 cents, but exempt taxis, buses and trucks.  Caymanians/Residents who cannot afford this increase can take the bus, car pool, ride bikes, etc.  Tourists renting a car for a day or a week, would not be inconvenienced (we are three small islands).

    2.    Decriminalize drugs.  Huge savings in Court costs, prison costs, etc.  Control and regulate drugs.  Less adverse drug reactions because you get what you want and not what has been added.

    3.    Earmark 10% of revenue from drug duties for treatment of abusers and their families (they are already using drugs and families are suffering anyway).  This has been a proven model, used in Portugal and Holland.  It does not lead to increased drug use.

    4.    Allow a (or more) Casino License and National Lottery.  It is going to happen anyway – bite the bullet and get it done now when there is a time of need.

    5.    Provide basic health care (family physicians, Public Health e.g. immunizations, basic dental care, etc. as part of CINICO for all residents).  Additional insurance should focus on “Catastrophic” events. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Are we going mad?

      You want the government to “Decriminalize drugs”? (What did they tech you in Economics 101 class)


      And are we to think that expats got the government in this mess?

      There is a lot of rich company and people here who utilize more government resource than the average resident.

      Yes that’s exactly what I am saying! Each one of you give the government $2 mil and call it a day.

      Economics 202

      • Anonymous says:

        Do you even understand economic concepts? Decriminalization of drugs isn’t a bad idea. You can legalize certain drugs (a keep others illegal) under certain circumstances. The point is that such drugs would be under the control of government regulation, but all that money lost now to the dealers would be going to government and legitimate business owners. I think taking some of the money from that to spend on drug therapy for addicts as in done in certain European states is a good addition to proper decriminalization. But I digress.

        The first poster is offering ideas which would increase government revenue relative to costs of operation. Their ideas are reasonable, though certainly open to intelligent discussion. Your ideas, on the other hand, have very little to do with "economics" but are rather a gut-reaction to the idea that there are some "bad guy" rich people here who use up all our resources but give nothing back, so let’s just take their money and things will be great. How silly is that? Your idea wouldn’t stimulate any economy, it would drive away business and soon you would have no revenue for government service to speak of. In which case, all those rich people using up all those government resources you spout on about won’t be a problem for you anymore, because you will have no rich people and no government resources. Mission accomplished, right?


        • Anonymous says:


          I am the Idiot, with the capital “I”.  I just want to clarify some matters, am I an “Idiot” because:

          1.       The listed countries are not leading the G 20 out of the recession?

          2.       Because temporarily raising gasoline taxes would kill the country?

          3.       Decriminalizing drugs would result in mayhem?  (Before responding, kindly Google “effects of drug decriminalization in Portugal".)

          4.       Do you really think that a Casino or lottery will never happen in Cayman?

          5.       That the health care insurance policies are not fundamentally flawed and that a large section of society is un/under insured?

      • islandboz says:

         He is not 100% mad. Besides the "Legalizing Drugs" suggestion. What is wrong with his/her other suggestions?

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re an idiot…….with an capital I

  25. A Christian says:

     Well, it didn’t take Captain Underpants a long time to bring Cayman down… What could we expect from Bryant – a openly gay person in charge of Cayman. Anybody surprised that he doesn’t like Cayman?

    Having Bryant in charge for Cayman is like having Michael Vick as a judge in a Dog Show – it just doesn’t make sense.

    But obviously Bryant came with an agenda – which he is now fulfilling. Get rid of dem offshore centers and long live England. They are more bankrupt than we are – they just don’t realize it yet.

    But Cayman has to unite – PPM or UDP, Expat or Trueborn, West Bayer or East Ender – it’s now really us against FCO.

    Just take a look again at this article:

    I tell you – in 5 years Cayman is either independent or the Islands that the world forgot…

    • Anonymous says:

      Thats right cayman do not come in good favor with the gay activist that beleive like the UK do, do it our way or suffer. that said it is high time to play capt underpants for what he really want to do. Open him up to the world courts to show what his mother wants to do to us.Report the ugly step mother and brother.

  26. Anonymous says:

    There are hundreds of Law Firm Pertners in Cayman earning millions annually and not putting any of it in the Government coffers.

    In fact the majority of it goes out of the Country because most are expats.

    Hit them about 35% and that should be a big help.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your are right. they are milking this country with blood.

      • Anonymous says:

        completely disagree with statements here…laws (& accounting) firms have been disproportionately taxed for years via license + work permit fees. For a firm with 60+ professionals, trade & business license fee is $400k. Work permit fees for the typical firm will easily be 2 – 3x that amount. What do the likes of QuickCash, Fosters, Tortuga etc pay in comparison?

      • Anonymous says:

        Except the majority of these expats buy property in Cayman, have families they pay for in Cayman and very little of that moey is remited anywhere, so very wrong.

        They also pay the highest Work permit fees. Start taxing them they will go to other more friendly jurisdictions and no more WP fees for Government making the situation worse.

        May be as the Government already gets money from expats working via the WP fees, they should start having those without WP pay the equivilaent in taxes to even it out adn make locals a valuable government monetary resource?

        • Anonymous says:

          Excuse me????  THEY pay high work permit fees or their empployers pay high work permit fees???? Obviously the employer deems that employee an asset or at the least valuable to their business or they wouldn’t pay but let’s be honest here; no expat here working in the financial services and the like PAY HIGH WP fees. That’s bull! 

          • Anonymous says:

            Of course the company pays for the WP fees, but if they didn’t do you not think that the employees remuneration would be higher???? may be more in line with those with out permits doing the same job. That would be nice!


      • Anonymous says:

        "Milking with blood"… nice dramatics. 

        Kind of ignores the fact that their businesses wouldn’t even be here to generate the alleged millions (and I doubt it is that high) unless they were here doing the work. 

        They pay more than their fair share in work permit fees and business licences, and they are in fact the economic engine that makes Cayman run. 

        Most important: don’t ever forget that their revenues come from London and New York, not here.  They are bringing money to the Island, not taking it out.  Be careful how you treat them.

  27. Anonymous says:

    You guys like JDoug and his ilk make me sick with your divisive, ignorant and inflammatory rhetoric. Remember all of you, you were immigrants once. You only care about hearing yourselves on CNS.

  28. bungalow says:

    Can Anyone Say CASINO????


    Come on people, open the casino and we are in the black again. restrict access for residents, but open her up. the Ritz already has a ‘casino room’ ready as soon as they get the green light.

    Then legalize a lottery for residents. Let the residents play that and the government can just call it a ‘stupid tax’. Dont be naieve, lottery already happens, just that now it is lining personal rather than government coffers.


    Sweallow your medicine and we will befine.

  29. Anonymous says:


    It’s ironic what you are suggesting here!
    Why not start by increasing motor vehicle licensing by 200% (if you can afford to own a car you can pay).
    Increase the import duty on motor vehicle by 20%
    Increase the duty on alcohol and tobacco by 80%
    Reduce the import duty on basic food items by 4%
    Increase the import duty on furniture and appliances by 15%
    Increase the processing fees on all immigration matters by 10%
    Charge a property infrastructure fee of 2% (or even more) of the property value annually.
  30. Anonymous says:

    Start with Social Service and cut out the grants.  They are a few old and new Caymanians who used this dept and really don’t have to.

    Mothers seeking money to help with children need to take the child father(s) to Court.

    Seniors who need help, their children need to take care of them.  If their children can drive around in a 30 thousand dollar vehicle, they can take care of their parents.

    Take care of your children/ parents.

    Clean up this department and save some money. 

  31. Foots and Elsie Cayman Brac says:

    Impose Property Tax, these Islands will die

    The UK is like the US Tax Tax Tax, Taxs upon Taxs, The Honorable Mckeeva Bush, My Wife and I beg of you, along with thousands of others in this Country, Do not let it happen, You are a Wise Man, and you will find a way, Those who voted you out in 2005 and your UDP Party for the PPM, now we all suffer, PPM, Poor Peoples Mistake, ,,,,,,Pain Poverty Mistery, Now we all suffer.No One can denie this Fact, You knew it was coming,but they would not listen to you.

  32. Jedi Dread says:

     This was started from way back when with the introduction of SPIT…

    from 03/27/2009 – 20:38.


    SPIT was and still is a destabilization exercise being carried against the People and the Country of the Cayman Islands for purposes as yet unknown.

    The technique employed is known as Problem-Reaction-Solution.

    ‘Problem‘ was manufactured. It was neither real nor perceived, just minor infractions blown completely out of proportion. 

    The ‘Reaction‘ was the Governor’s decision to bring in the SPIT, whose mission, was to pull the footing out from under RCIPS (starting at the top), with false accusations of misconduct etc. 

    The ‘Solution‘ remains to be seen as SPIT is still here, which leads me to believe that this leg of the mission hasn’t started yet or has been delayed. The solution, I think, will present itself in the form of a Turks and Caicos type of intervention from the UK. 


    – Jedi Dread –

  33. Anonymous says:

    Hello!? You do see what’s happening though? Can’t you see that we are next?  Now it is our time then Turks and Caicos.  We are not living in the 1940’s or 1960’s but our time has come. Do you know what I am talking about? "Divide and conquer….as we build our empire…let’s leave them dry and hanging".  Are these sentiments from the past now knocking at Cayman’s door? (August  2009) 

    Ask India, ask former colonies in Africa….ask Jamaica. Ask them if our current situation remind them of their past.  Has Cayman now become the jewel of the crown as a tri-island nation of out of many one people?   


    Will direct taxation eventually come here? Will the envy of other countries – the strong CI dollar one day devalue?  Over the next 4 years decisions will be made that will shape the future of the Cayman Islands for the next 30 years.  Trust me on this one!  Many will stay here…others will leave in search of a better life in another country.  Caymanians…please live at peace with all nationalities.  Respect them.  We could find ourselves as expats in other countries within the next 10 years.  We will want to be treated with respect and be given opportunities in their countries as well.  Face it Grand Cayman—you have had your time! Our hope is now in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman where Caymanians still rule the roost!

    In the future Caymanians may need another Ms. Gwen, Southwell Years and another National Bulk opportunity.


    Let us have faith!

    Quincy Brown 





    OK, well I guess we’re done with Cayman fellow Expats.  Let’s meet at the secret location and plan the move to the fall-back jurisdiction.

    Funny thing is that if they let us run things, it all would have ticked along smoothly.

    • Oops-A-Daisy says:

      That’s just the problem, we have trusted you to run things. You’ve run your own countries into the ground and now you want to run ours. Our people do not have all the fancy qualifications and doctorates that you have, but you have convinced us that we need your expertise. Your quangoistic (is that a word?) attitudes and your penchant for non-jobs have rubbed off on us.

      We were doing quite nicely before you came along and we will do even better after you leave.

      Take your expertise and your expert friends and hopefully the fallback jurisdiction will be the very place that you band of locusts originated from.

      Don’t worry about the door, we’ll get it.

      Cayman for Caymanians! (and I’m not even caymanian!)

      • Foreigner says:


        yep, enjoy your fishing and bugs.

        ahh the good old days.

        at least you are good at doing nothing.

        • Anonymous says:

          Let me tell you something. In those days, there were very few people who actually did nothing, because they had proper jobs then, like fishing, farming and construction.

          Not these ”pie in the sky" directorships that ‘progress’ has brought us. We were a lot healthier in those days and a lot happier. Families stayed together and the churches were great  places to go for fellowship.

          We don’t need you to help us kill the mosquitoes and if it is a choice of you or them, well, they are a lot less hazardous to our health.

          Don’t get me wrong, caymanians are certainly to blame for allowing this state of affairs to arise, but these people are a hardy bunch. They will see the light and come through…..again.

      • Anonymous says:

        we have trusted you to run things!

        Pleae point to one Expat MLA or even voter, Caymanians run things.

        And beofre you mention da Govner remember if he did everything why do we have MLA’s?

        • Anonymous says:

          I don’t disagree, but believe me, our caymanian politicians are not capable of coming up with half of these hare-brained schemes without expensive consultants.

          Point made!

          Oh and by the way, if you don’t like it,  you know where the door is. Cayman Airways would appreciate your business.

          • Anonymous says:


            It sounds like the only Point you made here is pointing out that the politicians you elected aren’t educated/smart enough and needs more schooling to detect all these so called “hare-brained schemes”,
            What was that about not liking it? I am sure Dr. Syed loved it, oh sorry that’s Mr.  Syed.
            I wonder who voted for these politicians to run the country?
          • anonymous says:

            I am on the way out, and my money has already left.  If you ever wonder why expats don’t have a commitment to the long-term future of Cayman, it’s because of people like you who keep telling us to get the fxxx off your island.

            I do have one question though: I have met a lot of really smart Caymanians during my stay.  Why don’t you send them to the LA?  Why is it that the politicians you elect are (generally) really not that bright?  

            Shouldn’t you talk to your smarter citizens and recruit them?

      • an Expat says:

        That’s just silly.  How many members of the LA are expats brainiac? 

        Expats get no vote, no representation, no say in things and no ability to so much as suggest to you Caymanians that you are spending more than you can afford… It’s just "work here and keep quiet or I’ll have my cousin at Immigration throw you off the Island but only for 7 years when we’ll throw you off the island anyway". 

        How the hell am I running things?

        You voted the PPM into power, who are Caymanians pure and pure, and they ruined this formerly wealthy country.

      • Anonymous says:

        It almost sounds like you Mr. “Oops-A-Daisy “ dislike educated people, don’t blame us for you not having one. And that nonsense you wrote “”Cayman for Caymanians! (and I’m not even caymanian!)”” That has to be the dumbest statement I have heard since Hitler’s Germany for Germans… I’m guessing your going to do us all a favor and lead by example by being the first one waiting in line for a flight at Cayman Airways in the morning to get out?


      I almost forgot: Bring the money. We’ll need to be taking all of that along with us.

  35. Chet O. Ebanks says:

    Start by changing the Immigration laws, anyone who gets status has to pay CI$15,000 and residency CI$10,000, if you can’t pay you can’t stay. Tax the expats on the monthly and yearly income, the majority of them send most of it home anyway.  A national lottery what a great idea. As it is now status cost CI$500 and residency CI$1,000, last time I checked. We are giving it away.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Tax the expats? Wow, give me a break expats get the blame for everything around here  and now they want our hard earned money.


    • Anonymous says:


      It’s ironic what you are suggesting here!
      Why not start by increasing motor vehicle licensing by 200% (if you can afford to own a car you can pay).
      Increase the import duty on motor vehicle by 20%
      Increase the duty on alcohol and tobacco by 80%
      Reduce the import duty on basic food items by 4%
      Increase the import duty on furniture and appliances by 15%
      Increase the processing fees on all immigration matters by 10%
      Charge a property infrastructure fee of 2% (or even more) of the property value annually.
    • Anonymous says:

      Are you out of your mind.

      Big Mac gave away 3000 status before, tell him he can sell them for 15,000 and he will flood this country until it sinks.

      Dont mention that to Big Mac pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

    • Anonymous says:

      You would swear the expats come here with no skill or talent, sit around all day, money magically falls into their laps and then they ship it of the island and somehow drained the Surplus the government once had in one year, get real please, you will still be here in the next 10 years saying the same stupid things "Chet O. Ebanks" which changes nothing, please come up with sensible ways to help your country, instead of that nonsense

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with the other replies to this post and add this…

      Who’d want to pay for status so as to be able to live in a bankrupt state and have the privilege of paying taxes?  

      I mean you do know that there are other off-shore jurisdictions for people to go to, don’t you?

      Or maybe they just go home. (Or is that what you want?)

  36. Anonymous says:

    Either an income tax is required or the government streamlines considerably… there are only two real options right now.  Cutting back on civil servants would have a massive negative impact on general demand in the local economy as laid off workers will not all be picked up by the private sector.  Therefore, the only answer seems to be a tax system – if the civil servants are going to pay an effective tax of 12% then why shouldnt everyone chip in to meet the deficit (including us expats)?  The tax should not be regressive, as the import duty system is, but should target the top tier salary earners at higher rates than the lower income bracket.  By all accounts, it seems as this is necesarry, at least in the short run – so implement it, get the finances sorted out, and then we can look into the longer foreign investment plans that Mac is refering to.  A small Bermuda-like income tax charge aint going to hurt too much…

  37. Anonymous says:


    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
    The British Labour party has brought the UK finances to the edge of bankruptcy. Never in history has there ever been any doubt about the UK AAA rating; until now. Labour has ruined a country and it will take several generations to fix the damage.
    It is no wonder the only thing they have to say to Cayman is ‘raise taxes to cover ever increasing government spending’; it’s the only thing they know about. They have no concept of cost control or increasing productive sectors, they only know about confiscation of personal wealth.
    It is hoped that this evil regime will fall at the next election (if they allow one to take place). However, it is doubtful if the prime candidate for immediate succession will be any different.


  38. Anonymous says:

    If ever there was a time, it is now to re-vamp the Civil Service. Cut their salaries in half, take away all their perks including free cars, free gas, free health care, free pension payments. let them pay the same as everyone else.

    As for the PPM bunch, put them in Northward where they belong. It is a shame and a disgrace what they have done this little Paradise in such a short time, "Dont stop the progress", imagine how much more of a mess we would be in if they were given another four years running this country .

    Progress, what progress did they bring ? ruined the country financially, expanded the civil service to the point that they had to build a new building to accomodate them as there was no more space for them in old buildings and called it "Progress".

  39. Anonymous says:

    So where does  the Legge handout, the Bodden family and the 10,000 new status grants fit in to this?

    • Anonymous says:

      tax each cruise ship passenger a water landing fee tax of US$20. There is $40,000,000 additional a year.

      • Anonymous says:

        The cruise ship passengers already pay $10CI per passenger, even if they don’t come on island!

        • Anonymous says:

          True, but it’s tacked into the price of their ticket when they buy it. Since cruise prices are falling now, they really won’t notice the extra $20 being added in. And furthermore, if you are willingto drop a few hundred dollars a person for a cruise, $20 extra is not going to change your mind. The same goes for landing fees attached to all airport ticket prices. As long as you don’t go overboard with large fees, an extra $20-25 for each landing will go unnoticed and bring in some decent revenue. (Plus, it’s very easy to implement.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Lets pull a cuba or panama on them…….Nationalize and noting leaves the country well the limeys can go and anyone else that is against us hahaha

    • Anonymous says:

      The Legge Handout.

      This is an interesting and relevant post. Read his beautiful document, folks, -only the cocktail circuit photos – and ask "what has this got to do with all this crisis?"

  40. Anonymous says:

    Obviously the PPM wish to deflect any responsiblity for the country’s financial condition but they cannot. The the extreme amount given to capital projects put in place by the PPM were questioned long before the global recession hit.

    They need to be responsible and adult enough to stand up and take the heat for their spending.

    I have had reservations about Mr Bush but believe he will have the courage to do what needs to be done for the long term good of the country.

  41. Anonymous says:

    "The incompetence of the PPM regime is causing more and more long term damage every day! "

    And so far, the UDP has not show any willingness to mitigate the long term damage by reducing the size of the civil service.


    • Anonymous says:

      Why arent you all seeing the picture here. Stop the name calling of each other, blaming party system etc,etc. The true picture is that the uk is going to destroy Cayman and they are doing it very fast, like it or not it is the truth, England do not like to see any of the over seas territories prosper beyond what they think they should, if so, they begin to conquer and divide, this is not about expats, this is a fact,  look at India,Sri Lanka,Africa, what they have done to them,left in poverty,  Mother country?   she is not a good mother country,they are more like the wicked step mother, arrogant, evil and want all for her self. We need to stand up to this attrocity that is going on here, yes we are small but have pride and dignity, untill we allowed them to rule and control us they way they are doing, they are brutal, God have mercy on us.

      All of this have not come about so lightly, the Gov was sent here to start this fiasco and he is doing a good job destroying us. Those of us that can leave this little island  had better start looking now, as it is going to get worse.Taxation is what they want as they know that we cannot uphold it.

      • Anonymous says:

        England did not drain the Government coffers, Cayman did that all by itself. Why would they co-sign a loan for someone (a country) that spends irresponsibly and has no concrete plans to generate the revenue to pay it back? If you tried to get a loan for yourself at a local bank under similar circumstances they would laugh in your face.

        This does not make the UK evil, they are just exercising the fiscal prudence that Cayman should now demonstrate.

  42. Anonymous says:

    PARTYS OVER! Someone turn off the overpriced lights on the way out…

  43. Anonymous says:

    Seized them Yes Mista Kurt & Al u finally did it now eh!

  44. Anonymous says:

    This is a plan by the UK to destroy the overseas territories… A guess this is the excuse.

    Please Mac help us!!!!!!

  45. Fagin says:

    National Lottery – great idea, but in reality how much would it raise on a weekly basis? With a population of around 35,000 actually eligible to participate, before taking into account those opposed to "gambling" on religious/moral grounds, and a necessary payout of between 40 – 60% of the proceeds to make it worthwhile, the revenue raised would be less than 1% of that which the government needs to raise and raise quickly ( a lottery would take at least 4 months to set up and run properly) in order to pay its employees next month. I certainly wont play unless I stand to win enough to allow me to retire to Honduras with an entourage of nubile "masseuses" for company. I will of course donate some of my winnings to the church.

    Taxing money transfers – surely an indirect tax on the ex-patriate population or a disproportionate tax on that population, with the added disadvantage of detering investment in the islands? We will simply encourage money laundering and cash couriers.

    Income tax – a banded system with a minimum threshold of perhaps CI$30,000 would not impact upon the less well off and an upper limit of 5% on the super earners (say 500K plus) could be implemented quickly and would have the flexibility to allow change (i.e gradual reduction) year upon year as occurs in most other jurisdictions. Residents/citizens of Bermuda, BVI and other UK OT’s have a minimal income tax burden without detriment to ability of those countries to function and attract business and (dare I say it) required manpower to their shores. Coupled with minimal additional taxation of other commodities such as fuel, tobacco and alcohol, which are still relatively cheap, the govt could raise revenue and perhaps provide some additional public services at the same time. This might ease the rift between certain sections of the population and those viewed as economic migrants/parasites here to bleed the country dry. It would also increase the work for accountants on island (company audits would have to become mandatory) and provide more jobs through the creation of an IRS.

    One politician in particular has been rather silent on the issue, aside from suggesting that we all become self sufficient and dig ourselves to victory – hurrah!! It would be interesting to hear JOCC’s view – will god provide a few money trees at the bottom of the garden, or doesnt it matter, given that the second coming is but a few short prayers away?

    • Twyla M Vargas says:

      A NATIONAL LOTTERY, To Be or not To Be.  The absolute fact.  in what some analyst and observers may well regard as the irony of ironies, Yhe Cayman Islands Government may consider taking a chance, as it examines the possibility of a National Lottery.

      Given the extreme religious nature of the Cayman Society, this decision hopefully will be approached with care; however we must rest assured that the debate on the lottery issue will continue to rage throughout Cayman Islands whether the die is cast and a decision is made. 

      In examining whether we need a lottery, certain question s will be raised.  When facing the absolute truth we need to accept that gambling is very much alive and well in the Cayman Islands.  Take for instance the   "Numbers Game",  This has been around in Cayman for  more than three decades, expanding its roots throughout the Cayman Islands, after being imported from Honduras.  We continue to have nightly Dominoes and Poker gambling, and the famous Bingo Gambling, which is even done in the churches.

      Throughout the Cayman Islands are various number Headquarters, where anyone who desires may purchase in the number Game.  The Jamaican Drop Pan Lottery is observed three times a day in Cayman, while the Phillpino and Indian Lottery is observed daily.  The Belize Boledo is observed every night of the week and the Honduras Big Chica draw on Sundays.    These games are expanded and germinated throughout the Cayman Islands, in terms of sixe Jackpots, to sophistication and popularity.  Hundreds of dollars are spent weekly on these numbers, with very little retained in Cayman, and the amount which is sent out weekly can sometimes run into onehundred to two hundred thousands of dollars..  Thequestion is  "Who Looses?"  A question that will also come to the mind is,  "Do we need a National Lottery"? and if the answer is No!, then I say " why Not?".

      Many Caribbean countries have benefited from a National Lottery, "So what sets Cayman aside from benefiting from a well managed and regulated National Lottery?"    It can be a lucrative source of incomefor the Government by contributing to sporting activities, children and family services, Hurricane disasters, the elderly and so much more.

      Whether we want to accept it or not, Millions of dollars are sent out of Cayman monthly, that has been generated by the numbers game.  While many Caymanians too continue to enjoy its benefits.   Now the major question is, "Should the Cayman Islands, a popular tourist destination with a huge population of tourist  and visitors  not reap some good benefits from those funds, and then utilize them to further development of the Cayman   Islands……………………

  46. They really think Caymanians are stupid! says:

    Hi editor

    Levy Taxes, say good bye to the KYD$.

    We need a lottery and expats making over USD75,000 need to pay a 5% income tax or invest the money local in the Caymanian economy.

    Property tax will surely bring "bloodshed", so please consider this very closely as the UK maybe setting us up for failure, imagine investor staying away now and the UK wants us to change our tax policies, they really believe we are stupid!

    There is no quick fix to this problem, even the UK now needs new income streams, but at whose expense?

    Now CI$1.00 = USD$ 1.25, one year from now if the government doesn’t create new viable income streams it will be USD$ 1.00 = CI$ 3 to 4.00

    Mark my word.

    • Anonymous says:

      So the Cayman leadership "I Don’t recall seeing any expats on the ballot boxes" got us into this mess (Surplus to below zero in one year), and your suggestion is to only charge expats income tax? And then want to speak about investor’s staying away? Wonder what they would think after reading your bright idea? Hey lets reduce the 7 year roll over policy to 3 years whiles we are at it, it seemed to have work really well….



    • Anonymous says:

      or invest the money local in the Caymanian economy.

      Nearly all already do, by owning property

  47. whodatis says:


    The UK truly is a sick, twisted, heinous animal!!

    I am dumbfounded…talk about being grabbed by the b*lls!

    Folks, I trust that we are ALL AWARE that the UK has  NOT been our "friend" as of late – and this"suggestion" should be viewed in the context of your greatest enemy offering you "friendly advice". How many of us would be prepared to consider whatever came out that person’s mouth to be in our best interest?

    This is nothing but trying to achieve an ultimate objective by way of another avenue! The UK is adamant on shutting us down as an OFC by any way possible – this is nothing but the latest trick pulled out of the hat.

    "Mother country"…? Someone needs to call Family Services Dept. and report this deplorable, power-obsessed, abusive, tyrant of a parent – pronto!

    I honestly hope that the previous generations of Caymanians are finally beginning to feel a bit of shame for worshipping that abuser across the seas and hoisting them upon a pedestal right under the knees of God! Are you finally beginning to see the light folks?! Are you?

    Trust me, independence CANNOT come soon enough!

    And please – spare me the rhetoric of "remember Jamaica…remember Bahamas" – that was decades ago! The world has advanced and matured by leaps and bounds both politically and technologically since then – when will we finally lay that fear to rest? Cayman is a politically stable nation that has managed to sustain a top notch financial industry for 30 years now.

    Besides, we have lots of VERY competent White men running that show – so really, what is the problem world?! (Come on people, stop pretending as if deep down we don’t all know what is the actual fear in regards to this issue!)

    As for an immediate approach to our situation – I say bring on the Cayman Islands National Lottery – I suggest naming it "The Rundown"…I’ve copyrighted that one so back off everybody!


  48. Anonymous says:

    Its a serious quandary for those making decisions. The civil service has become the most important employer of caymanians. Its overstaffed, expensive and in my opinion not providing a lot of valuable services to the public. Its overspending its budgets, not publishing its financials etc. It will take a lot of political courage for McKeewa to slash the civil service cost. If he doesn’t he’ll only be sweeping the problem under the carpet and subsidizing a mess through increased taxes. Maybe forcing serious structural changes in the civil service and creating a more streamlined public service would be good for the country in the longer term. Lets not plug holes and sweep things under the carpet. I agree with McKeewa its time for some real change..

  49. Anonymous says:

    The PPM government should be held accountable for this incredibly wreckless and utterly irresponsible drunken sailor type spending.

    This is absolutely sickening to drive the country in such a financial mess with little to no regard to these serious consequences.

    No wonder they have been burring this information. Taxation to support this monstrosity is utterly unacceptable. Some serious cuts need to be made.

  50. Knal N. Domp says:

     We sort of knew that the Brits hated the Cayman Islands for taking all their ‘offshore’ business away from them, and we knew that the Brits then tried to stick it to us through the G20 OECD attacks on off-shore jurisdictions, but it is especially galling to have a man better known for his prancing around in his jocks calling up rentboy chatrooms than for his pragmatism and leadership telling us that we have to levy more taxes on ourselves before we can use Mc’s loan funds! Maybe we should quietly remove the UJ from our flag, take the loan money and get on with it…

    • Ifor the injun says:

      Ya jus dont geddit do you – if you take the loans, how will you repay the capital and the interest with the finite income stream and deficit that the country has now? Invite more ex pats in for the WP fees? Yeah right. You gonna have to raise income from somwehere in years to come to repay the loans, and if you dont, you den face massive inflationary forces, devaluation of the currency (with the Sovereign’s heed on it), plumeting property prices as you get your wish drive out the ex pat population and investment brought with them, and an increase in the social evils that will then drive away our tourism product. Wise up for petes sake.

    • Anonymous says:

      "We sort of knew that the Brits hated the Cayman Islands for taking all their ‘offshore’ business away from them"

      What a completely goofy thing to say. 

      • "Off-shore business" by very definition happens OFF-shore. 
      • It doesn’t happen in the UK, because the UK is ON-SHORE!!! 
      • It follows that there isn’t any OFF-shore business ON-shore for us to have taken away.
      • Since it can’t happen ON-SHORE, the UK is completely happy to have it happen in one of their OTs, instead of some other little island-state.

      If you don’t understand the differences between OFF-shore business and ON-shore business, then you don’t understand (a) international taxation (which is not surprising) or (b) the nature of Cayman’s financial services sector (which is actually surprising) and you should not be commenting on this in public.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Don’t increase indirect taxes unless they are solely levied on luxury items. The ones in place are already regressive enough. How about attaching relatively high annual fees for the ownership of more than 2 vehicles registered to the same household? It would be useful in reducing traffic as well as raising some money. Immediately begin taxing remittances as well. If the money is going to be leaving, there may as well be a small fee (fixed or proportionate) attached to help increase government revenue. Think outside the box in order to keep the "tax-free" reputation here which is so attractive to the financial sector while still raising revenue.

    No capital gains or income tax and avoiding highly regressive indirect tax schemes means people should be putting their creative minds together and thinking of ways in which money can be brought in while protecting vital business and lower-income needs. I’m looking forward to hearing what people can come up with.


  52. Anonymous says:

    Why is it always this governments answer to raise fees!? You should be happy to still have a jobs, so stop driving around in government cars using government gas, Spendingour money! I say lock up all the government cars and issue them out when the worker comes to work. Set your A/C higher, sweat alittle! everyone else is! We owe way too much money to too many people, and they want it! Increase the departure tax, it is built into the plane tickets, no one will notice an extra $5.00. Just remember to use it wisely and not loss it again!

  53. Anonymous says:

    How about satisfying the Civil Servants by leaving their 12% Pension alone but Tax them 33 1/3% on their salaries.

    That way Big Mac could simply tell them to blame the UK and not the UDP.

    • Anonymous says:

      "Blame the UK and not the UDP".

      You mean like he did with the status grants? That worked like a charm last time, didn’t it?  

  54. Anonymous says:

    You should not impose taxes, especially on income or property as a means feed an over sized, bloated, redundant and ineffective government that does not provide any further significant services.

    The radical government size increase in such a short period of time is not sustainable and the tax increase would be feeding the ineffective bloat as opposed to any form of new services that are actually needed.

    We must look at reducing the size of government period. Popular or not. There is so much unnecessary redundancy and replication that can absolutely be removed.

    Taxes will only remove capital from the private sector and away from job creation, slow real estate investments, slow economical growth at a time when it is most desperately needed. To feed bloat that should have never been implemented in the first place.

    To now tax the nation with permanent new forms of taxes to feed a problem government as opposed to actually fixing the problem is not the solution. not only isn’t it a solution, its a sure way to solidify this problem permanently with no hope of every fixing it down the line. No governments ever find ways to restrict its budgets and reduce its tax revenues. Taxes by in large go up once they are implemented taking away a huge competitiveness aspect of the country.

    Cut it, cut it now.

  55. Anonymous says:

    I guess the days of hearing Xpats taking all the “”Good Caymanian Jobs”” will soon be over if income taxes come into effect. All that would be left is the so called “”True Caymanians”” and a broke ass island. At least the xpats will be gone right?


    • Expat 9330 says:


      I am out of here!

      Kurt Tibbetts, you’ve destroyed the country.  Sleep well tonight.

  56. Anonymous says:

    So would the idiot who’s blaming the PPM for the global recession which is impacting Cayman please identify yourself !

    We need the experience of the PPM now to manage this situation instead of the wild mouth, incoherent voice crying in the wilderness and playing right into the hands of Stuart Jack and the FCO. They are so enept that anyone can pull the wool over their eyes.

  57. Anonymous says:

    The PPM has put us firmly over a barrel  . . . .

  58. Anonymous says:

    In light of this, maybe the 6% that they are already planning on taking from the civil servants they can just rename it and call it TAX…so 6% tax across the board??

  59. Anonymous says:

    Goodbye Cayman …….

    • Anonymous says:

      The UK is gleeful about this. They are clearly hoping that our "offshore tax haven status" (even though the OECD has declared that we are not a tax haven) is finished this time. Rather like when they wouldn’t help after Hurricane Ivan. They also hoped that would be the end of us as a financial centre. Rumours of our death have been greatly exaggerated.   

  60. Anonymous says:

    The incompetence of the PPM regime is causing more and more long term damage every day!  No wonder they were desperate to hide the nation’s accounts before the election.  We must never forget how bad they were.

    • Anonymous says:

      The PPM decided to mislead on the nations financial situation because their plan was to impose direct taxation if they were returned as the government. Had the present fiasco been made public prior to the election the PPM would have lost all of their seats and we would have had a one Party Government.

      I think it is time for those members of the PPM that are still in the house to work for free and give back all of their salary to the Government coffers.

      The UDP bunch should give back most of theirs as well. They would only be repairing damage that was caused by them.

    • Makam says:


  61. Anonymous says:

    Not f– ing good

  62. Anonymous says:

    Slash the civil service and cut their perks.  We have too big a government and one that is too expensive.