Budget delayed as no UK OK

| 25/09/2009

(CNS): Cayman was breaking out in a cold sweat on Thursday evening as there was still no agreement from the UK for the CI government to borrow the necessary funds to balance the budget. A planned public meeting hosted by Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush to explain what government has had to concede to get permission to borrow was postponed after long talks with the FCO failed to produce an agreement. Government has also been forced to delay the budget statement in the Legislative Assembly until 1 October.

Bush spent a good deal of Thursday in continued phone negotiations with the Foreign Office, which has continued to spell out the need for the CIG to find a sustainable revenue to fund its expenditure. Although Bush has said he is adamant that he does not want to introduce any form of direct taxation, it is becoming increasingly clear that the UK wants to see exactly that before agreeing to extend the borrowing levels of the territory.

For the last week government has been stating on a day by day basis that it hoped that the UK would give its support to the extra borrowing that government needs to get through the next budget year, and it was reportedly hopeful yet again that “tomorrow” would be the day it would gain approval from the UK.

With the budget policy statement postponed for the second time, government now finds itself in an unusual situation as the last budget appropriation by the LA will expire before the parliament next meets.

During a closed door meeting with representatives from the commercial and financial sector today at the Westin, Bush pursued earlier requests made to the private sector, most of which have been rejected. But speculation also mounted that Bush was exploring the possibility of seizing the contents of dormant and frozen accounts to fill government’s empty coffers.

Late on Thursday evening News27 posted a video interview with Bush as he left the meeting with the private sector in which he said negotiations with the UK were continuing. He said the UK wanted to see cuts in expenditure and a more sustainable revenue base.

“As far as cuts are concerned, this will have to await some sort of study. This is not a decision I can make … it is something for the officials and the governor will be on top of those matters,” he told Cayman’s TV network. Bush explained that revenue raising measures were, however, down to his government and he had spoken with the private sector to see what it would accept.

“Private sector, of course, is not satisfied with the CEF, not satisfied with income tax, not satisfied with property tax, not satisfied with VAT. However, they have gone away to look at what fees can be increased. We have made suggestions but, of course, when you meet with one section of the private sector it does not always satisfy the next,” he said, adding that people at the meeting had spoken out about their needs and how to make business flourish.

Go to News 27 video

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  1. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva Bush vs Kurt Tibbetts

    I say it’s time to call elections again. The UDP would win again, but that’s what they need right now, a little confidence booster. It would be like having West Indies Cricket Team play against our local Prison Team and then let Manderson escape (is he in now?) while West Indies are batting so nobody would be in the field to stop them scoring.

    Do you remember the campaign period when the consensus was that Mac was needed because Kurt couldn’t make a decision? Since being elected Mac has decided to cancel Pirate’s Week and Miss Cayman. He decided that he needed to travel many times over and spare no costs. He decided that knowledge of the particular subject should not be a hindrance to sitting on any Government board. He decided that every board appoinment must be political, no matter how technical the subject. That was the decisive Mac, but I have become a bit confused lately.

    Mac decided that there would be a pension holiday for the Civil Service, then he decided there would not be a pension holiday. He decided there would be a reduction in Civil Service salaries, then he decided there would not be a reduction. He decided that he had to go to London to negotiate with the FCO because he couldn’t do that over the phone. He came back after a week and decided to negotiate over the phone. He decided to implement a payroll tax, then he decided not to implement a payroll tax. He decided to implement property tax. Just kidding. But you have to appreciate Chris Bryant’s sense of humour to suggest that a substantial and reliable source of revenue could be derived from taxing the owners of expensive condos like those at the Ritz.

    I look forward to the coming week to find out what he is NOT going to do by first telling us "This is what I am proposing………."

  2. Anonymous says:

    Didnt Chuckie found guilty by the Commission of Enquiry? What about Charles Clifford and the Cayman Airways Building? what about Kirk and the Hampstead deal? What about Charles Clifford and the Kozaily deal? What about Naul and the 30 million that is gone.

    This is just a few and i can name more. You guys try to bring stuff on Mac because he is from a humble up bringing.

    • Anonymous says:

      I dont think its that – its just people are concerned about how qualified he is to lead the negotiations and the image he presents


      It has nothing to do with whether people are black , white , caymanian , non caymanian , gay , straight , married , unmarried – its not where you start but where you finish and how you live your life  . Some of the most successful men / women have come from extremly humble beginnings – so dont go down that route









  3. Anonymous says:

    God help us all with Mr. “what’s in it for me” negotiating our Country’s bleak financial future!
    Put a tax on stupidity…”we should be home and dry”…God bless Mr. Dart & Co.

  4. Jim E. says:

    The tiny island sails downstream cause the life that lived is is dead.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I didnt realise Mac had such an illustrious past however when you put his name into google search engine just check out what pops up !! 

    the wilkipedia entry is a belter !!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Although I dont claim to understand about the complex financial matters that are currently ongoing what is clear is that neither has Mac 

    I listen to what Mac has to say and then I look at what Travers has to say and it is clear who the expert is . 

    Mac you are our head of government however at the rate we are going we are going to be left with nothing worth governing – be sensible use your authority to create an official role for Travers as our chief negotiator – 

    It doesnt matter that he is an ex pat – he can do the job and that is what is most important – we should nt appoint people just because of their race, religion or background but on how well they are qualified to do the job . 


  7. Joe Average says:

    UDP supports PPM!!  LOGB KO’D!!  UK does not give OK!!


    It’s been a tough week I need a B.E.E.R.


  8. Indie Dude says:


    Not looking good at all folks…never a good sign when the foreign press breaks important news to you before your own government is it?

    Well, who is to blame Cayman?

    No one but ourselves!

    I saw this coming a long time ago – but I was of course too young and naive to know what I’m talking about.

    As a people we became too materialistic, shallow and elitist.

    There are dozens of examples of where that road ends all around us – even in our great neighbour to the north as well as our greatest enemy at the moment (UK).

    We kept ignoring the warning signs offered by the smaller voices in Cayman. You know, some of the younger, "less experienced" and even some older – though "controversial" personalities as well … a few of these individuals were over-looked again on May 20th of this year.

    All of that being said – I do place a LOT of the blame for this situation on the previous government (PPM).

    Not because I am a UDP supporter by any means, (I’m actually not very fond of either party), but because they managed to overthrow McKeeva "The Salesman" Bush – yet turned around and screwed things up to the extent of having themselves ousted only to have this character in charge yet again.

    However, that is not my main concern either. The fact remains that we were floating in money over the last few years! We pulled through Ivan with little to no outside help – yet somehow we ended up being broke in 2009?!

    Too many extravagant projects and not enough "saving for a rainy day" – moreso this was done in the face of a forecasted impending global recession!

    PPM – you guys had a stellar opportunity and you blew it. Now that "blow" may end up changing the character of the Cayman Islands forevermore.

    Thanks a lot guys … thanks a lot!

    So, Cayman – what are we going to do now?

    I hope we can manage a bit more than to "pray" and exchange "God bless you’s" on Rooster FM!

    There are so many things wrong with this society and it baffles me to no end.

    Anyway, let’s go pray about it tomorrow morning – that’ll make everything just fine and dandy again.

    What a hopeful / less, superstitious, complacent, push-over bunch we are. Nothing but a pack of luxury car driving prayers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dear Indie Dude

      i assume from your posts that you are Caymanian. I would like to thank and congratulate you for giving me faith in the youth of cayman as being able to get the country out of this situation.  I have seldom seen a more enlightened posting on this website from a Caymanian. Please continue to make sure than your influence is felt.

      • Anonymous says:

        Dear indie Dude,

        I too am a young Caymanian.  I too take pride when the youth speaks.  I too am very frustated on a daily basis because 1. as a young person and 2. as a civil servant I am hardly ever listened to, just abused.  But I do want to take exception with one thing.  Prayer is a most powerful weapon. The downside of it though is that when God fixes things man takes the credit.  But remember that God works through people, to accomplish amazing things.  I have seen people healed of diseases through prayer.  I have seen history changed through prayer and many many other things.  I myself have seen amazing things happen in my own life because of my relationship with Jesus Christ.  There is nothing superstitious about it, it is real, and I pray that you find Him as well.  That being said, I stress, God works through people, so while I don’t agree with you on everything I encourageyou to keep going at it, keep producing and putting your contribution forward.  But to you and all others, make no mistake about it, God is going to save this country.  In His own time and in His own way.  But the fact is we have become too materialistic, and we divide along any and every line.  So we have some hard lessons to learn before He rescues us.  Unfortunate, but necessary.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Travers or Mac

    Anthony Travers Chairman of Cayman Islands Stock Exchange was made an Officer of theLink title Most Excellent Order [OBE] for his services to the Government and the Financial sector August 1998 Mr Travers , Senior Partner at Maples & Calder has been the driving force behind a large number of the developments in the financial sector over the last 20 years. Apart from being one of the prime movers in the creation of the Exchange , he has been instrumental in preparing legislation governing financial services , including the Fraudulent Dispositions Law 1989, the Exempted Limited Partnership Law 1991 and the Mutual Law 1993. The Governor of the Cayman Islands Mr John Owen said "Anthony Travers has contributed enormously to the development of the Cayman Islands as a leading financial sector and this honour is in recognition of a job well done "
    March 2009 The Cayman Islands Financial Services Association (CIFSA) announced today the formation of a task force of leading representatives of the financial services industry that will engage with relevant authorities in the U.S. and other nations to help build understanding and acknowledgement of the global benefits of Cayman’s financial services sector.
    The task force will be headed up by newly-appointed CIFSA Chairman Mr. Anthony Travers, currently Chairman of the Cayman Islands Stock Exchange, who has represented the financial services sector in relation to the Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) Harmful Tax Competition Initiative and the European Union Savings Directive.


    Bush is notoriously associated with overseeing of 3000 Caymanian Status grants via cabinet that has caused much social friction and anger amongst the Caymanian population. Furthermore, Mr. Bush and the United Democratic Party were alleged to have been at the center of several corruption allegations relating to the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal, the Government affordable housing initiative, Boatswain’s Beach, and the Ritz Carlton Hotel.
    Bush was forced to resign from Executive Council in 1997 being implicated as culpable in the failure of First Cayman Bank, a fraudulent institution he was a Director of at the time. It is said that he was also involved in the failure of Eurobank that resulted in the abdication of the Island’s attorney general at the time who fled the Island due to espionage allegations.
    In November 2001 he was a founding member of the United Democratic Party XXXXXXX.
    A self-employed businessman.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      Assuming we need stable steady income to run the CIG. 

      Which is better……………

      Payroll tax…….large new Government department. Have any of the Government accounting departments ever balanced the books or have up to date accurate accounts. How many employers will run three sets of accounts. What happens with a world/global down turn in the future and employers are released….payrolls reduced……is this not stable steady accountable income.

      Property tax……you own property and wantto live in the country you pay an annual tax. The Land Registry gets increased staffing. The Land Registry is probably the BEST and most efficient Gov dept. properties can be properly appraised and monitored. Don’t pay your property tax have your title suspended until payment.

      I Cayman is going to have a tax to balance the books and stabilize which is better ? 

      Lachlan MacTavish

  10. Indie Dude says:


    Ok, I understand – you don’t see much potential in that option at all.

    Appreciate the feedback.

    Not looking good Cayman.

    Whereas I consider the UK is being a right b**tard in regards to this issue today – at the end of the day, we Caymanians are to blame.

    We had a near perfect society in the 80’s & 90’s but due to bad government (fault of Caymanians) we threw it all away.

    It amazes me that I am still in my 20’s yet have long since been convinced that we were going about much of our business in the wrong way.

    What excuses do our current and previous leaders have?

    Cayman is choc-filled with elitist capitalists.

    It was easy to see where that road would end.

    • Anonymous says:

      My apologies about the previous post (Idiotic and Preposterous).  I was being somewhat facetious.  Let me just sum matters up by saying that the Road to Hell is paved with good intentions, as is the Road to Independence.  I understand that Independence should be looked at closely, but this is not the time to do so.  That can wait until the current economic situation stabilizes.  Also, let me please add that once the Cayman Islands have gained their independence from the UK, there is noone to protect you from the politicians – and this is protection that is needed – to date, the politicians have proven to be of two stripes;  well-meaning but inept, or corrupt.  Although the politicians in Turks and Caicos were upset about the UK’s intervention, the majority of the population was grateful – that’s how corrupt things had become…  And lastly, should the Cayman Islands’ two economic pillars fail or seriously deteriorate (unlikely, but can happen), the UK does have the responsibility to bail us out.

  11. Anonymous says:

     Do you think Mac even knows what a Hedge Fund is ?

    • Over the Hedge says:

      Is it the term for stashing a bag of cash in shrubbery to be picked up as part of moving forward a legislative process?

  12. Anonymous says:

    I have made these points in recent discussions with the Cayman Islands and Anguilla when they sought permission to extend their borrowing without showing how they intended to drive down borrowing in the short to medium term. I am sure these discussions will continue for some time 

    It is concerning to see Mr Bryant say that the discussions will continue for sometime – he obviously doesnt have any confidence in what has been proposed by CIG / Mac so far

    Time to send in the experts at CIFSA I think  

  13. Anonymous says:

    The Guardian yesterday evening published two articles with regards Cayman Financial status http://http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/sep/25/cayman-debt-crisis-budget-postponed

    The other was written by Chris Bryant British terrirotries are moving on tax

  14. Anonymous says:

    Lach said:

    "Because we need a steady solid form of income. Then the people need to tell the elected members to  spend wisely and have a budget."

    A "steady solid form of income" discourages wise spending by politicians.

    That is what is so good about our current form of taxation.  It is self limiting.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       Even with a steady form of income for the CIG there will still need to be duties and fees. The duties and fees can be adjusted down in order to balance the budget. Couple of thoughts….when did we ever see a balanced budget from any CIG. For the last two decades there has been rampant spending. Sooner or later the voters need to express to our elected representatives that they need to be responsible.

      Lach MacTavish

  15. Anonymous says:

    The problem with closing Boatswain Beach t "tomorrow" is that the way McDinejad financed the deal was via a bond issue.

    If the government closes the attraction the debt does not go away. In fact there would be an immediate call on the bond and the government would have to pay off the entire $75M debt immediately. Yep thats your McDinejad for yah !!!

    Take that too !!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Here are some ideas to increase revenues.  It would not solve all problems, but definately help. Plus, all the below would not hurt anyone (I think) in a huge way.

    • Customs allowance lowered to 200CI:  The current allowance of 350CI is quite generous compared to many nations.  For example, Bermuda’s allowance is only 100$US. Along with this, stiffer fines for those who fail to declare or try to smuggle in goods without paying duty should be applied
    • Book duty free status removed: With the exception of books used by schools, books should be fully dutied. I see no reason why business books & novels should not have an import duty.
    • Vehicle licensing increased by 30CI/year: For all motor vehicles, annual fees should be raised by 30CI/year.   This will not impact anyone in a significant way and will most likely raise a significant amount of money.
    • Large cylinder engines: Along with the increased licensing fee, an addition fee could be levied on all cars & SUV’s which have a large engine, thus people with larger cars will then pay a bit more.  This could be labeled as an environmental fee since it will favor people with smaller and more fuel efficient cars.  I suggest the following additional annual fees on top of the standard fees:
      • 0l – 3.5l engine: No additional fees
      • 3.5l  – 3.9l engine: 30CI/year
      • 4.0l- 4.9l engine: 60CI/year
      • 5.0l or larger engine : 100CI/year
    • Closing of Boatswains beach: This facility should be sold to the private sector or closed. As per my last visit, the facility is inching towards disrepair and per all the media reports, loosing money.  Only the traditional activities of breeding turtles should be maintained.

    My 2cents to the debate!

    • Joe Average says:

      Those are all excellent suggestions.  Added to downsizing the civil service, not borrowing for projects we can’t afford, making minister’s salaries dependent on performance, a mild sales tax and tax on alcohol and tobacco, they would all go toward bringing our economy back in line.  But the point is the "suggestion" from the UK is to invoke direct taxation.  And it doesn’t appear to be a suggestion, it is a pre-requisite for their blessing.  It has been stated in no uncertain terms.  And in no uncertain terms we should tell them to mind their own business as you are stating there are many ways to derive income for government than to tax wages.  That’s an obscene way to do it.

    • Anonymous says:

      While I agree with closing or selling of Boatswain’s Beach and levying of increased fees on large cylinder engine vehicles, I do not see where increasing of the other methods of raising revenue will help that much as it will negatively affect the poorer segment of Caymanian society.

      Not only large cyliner engine cars should have duties increased on them but also luxury cars should have higher duties imposed on them as if someone can afford to  purchase a luxury car, they should be prepared to pay for the privilege.

      I think that duties should be imposed on duty free items sold in freeport stores as they are only luxuries and not necessities, and the average working Caymanian will not be impacted if duties are levied on these items.

      Since we are always preaching about a drug free Cayman, I feel duties should be increased on liquor/liquor items and tobacco/tobacco products as they are drugs as well and only help to destroy the health and lives of people.

      A payroll tax will more  negatively affect the pay of the average working man than those of the affluent ,as  many affluent self employed can find loop holes preventing them from having to pay out salaries to themselves by switching to payment of dividends .


  17. Joe Average says:

    We are at the beginning or the end depending on your point of view.

    The beginning of taxation.  And the end of any ability we have left to control the cost of government.

    The reason so many are adamantly saying no about a form of direct taxation…including the general population and including the private sector… is because people who have basically gone broke are running the idea past us if we would agree to give them money from our earnings.  HAHAHA.  That is too funny!!   In other words this situation doesn’t instill a great deal of confidence.  So pardon us if we’re a little sceptical.  LOL  

    At this point because we are still a territory of the UK it doesn’t appear we have much choice and that is their wise recommendation.  (Look fellows…it’s a never-ending stream of money!  AND it’s extracted from wages before they ever even see them.  Clever huh?  You can F-up as much as you want! Just raise more money through more taxes!  You caneven invent them!  We’ve got taxes on virtually everything! The only limit is your imagination!  It’s a wonderful system!). 

    The beginning of direct taxation.


    The end of fiscal responsibility.  Assuming there ever was any. 

    It most always results in…a never-ending stream of gigantic F-ups.  World wide recession anyone?  I don’t remember did we all stop working?  Did we all go to the beach?  No.  The geniuses (the ones who came up with direct taxation) blew it completely, missed the boat, fell asleep, didn’t notice, and more importantly didn’t care. 

    It wasn’t their money that disappeared in a clusterF and there is always that never-ending stream termed direct taxation.

    Give MY hard-earned wages….To ones who… obviously can’t handle money?

    That is more or less what we’re being asked to consider right now.

    Let me think…..


    remember this is the last time any of us will have the ability to… say no.  think payroll deduction at the source.. and with governments running deficits.. they’d spent your money before you’d earned it. clever huh?

    no.  think hamsters.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      Good points….but we elected the leaders of our country. 

      • Anonymous says:

        "Country" should have a capital "C"……Idiot 

        • Senor Pisacco says:

          Really? Why?  It is not a proper noun and we don’t capitalise nouns like in German.  It is "country". 

          But please do tell me why "country" needs a capital "C", I am looking forward to the birth of a new CNS cult figure, the "Poor Grammar Grammar Nazi".  (I capitalise because that description would be a proper noun).

      • Joe Average says:

        Lachlan….we have no choice but to elect someone.  That’s a given.


        If I hired someone to take care of my business.  And they.. obviously… did not do a very good job.  I could fire them.

        In other words I look at government as a board of directors and the people as the stockholders.

        In the situation with direct taxation regardless of whether money is being spent properly it is gone….phweeeet….zzzzip….deducted……at the source of your wages.

        Your option then is to wait.  Perhaps for four years as your money is continously misspent.

        Other forms of taxation which are more benign ie. salestaxes, alcohol and tobacco, duties, etc.  allow you to have some form of recourse or control.  But not direct taxation.  And once in place and imbedded it can be easily increased.  It is hardly ever decreased!  Only occasionaly allowances are made for how much you can scramble back at the end of the taxation year.  Corporations make careers out of this with reams of accountants.  Don’t you suppose that’s why many are here?  They’re not here for the beach! 

        In the meantime…..for most of us….it has already been deducted.  And can disappear it in the blink of an eye.

        Promises are made by the opposition that they can do a better job.  But in reality they hardly ever do!  They blame it on the last bunch.  Ad nauseum.

        So there you have the limitations imposed on government and it’s  spending practices once direct taxation is imposed on the public.  Do you see any?  There are none.

  18. Don't worry I wont stay says:

    Gambling. Yes but how and whom.

    Lets not just grant a license to an old buddy or the Ritz cause it is there. And certainly not a national lottery because that is a tax on the poor and no new dollars will flow into the islands.


    5 casino licenses. Advertised for sale world wide not requiring Caymanian partners.


    Each one costs i don’t know… $5,000,000, $25,000,000?


    Each one is required to be in a hotel to be built by the license holder. 100 machines and 10,000 sq feet of casino for each 100 rooms. 500 rooms minimum.


    Each license holder in addition to building the hotel and being allowed the license must also add some tourist infrastructure to the island.


    • The cruise ship terminal
    • 72 holes of golf
    • airport expansion
    • convention centre/ deep water marina
    • arts, sports, education centre 


    Before the next election we add 2500 hotel rooms, build out all the required infrastructure to support it, cut unemployment by half if not eliminate it, have the ongoing revenue stream of a % tax on the revenues of the casinos.


    There are I am sure one or two folks or companies already here capable of putting together the capital to fund a license. A single full page ad in the Wall Street Journal and we find the other four.

  19. Playa Hata says:

    Why not just agree to an income tax, borrow the money, then repeal the income tax. Since we have it all figured out once the money is borrowed right?

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      Because we need a steady solid form of income. Then the people need to tell the elected members to  spend wisely and have a budget.

      • Anonymous says:

        Excellent theory, but let’s get serious…  Governments never spend wisely.  Governments never spend money that is not theirs wisely.  Governments never stick to a budget even if they had one.  Governments will find ways to not only spend all your money but then raise taxes to spend that money too.  Governments are the least efficient, most corrupt, and poorly managed entities.  So yeah, good luck with that.

  20. Indie Dude says:

    INDEPENDENCE (seriously)

    Has anyone really taken a MODERN approach to this option?

    Before everyone reminds me of Jamaica and the Bahamas’ fate of DECADES ago kindly hear me out…then please offer your views and opinions.

    Many reject this option outrightly based on the fact that we "cannot protect ourselves". Yes, we have no military etc.

    Others reject it on the basis that we have no natural resources i.e. oil, agriculture etc.

    However, what we do have are 2 very lucrative industries nonetheless – correct? Ok.

    Is this not a case of our perceived weaknesses being our greatest strengths?

    Could not the fact that we have no tangible assests be in our favour?

    For example, if some rogue, crazy world leader was to invade us and take over – we would immediately be rendered worthless! He would in fact be capturing a very scenic, beautiful nation of hanger-ons!

    I say this because the minute that we are taken over the tourism would come to an abrupt halt, the financial industry would immediately shut down – and our new owner will have inherited nothing but an extra 60,000 mouths to feed.

    Our financial industry houses some of the sharpest individuals in the world, and it is spearheaded by very competent individuals that have consistently proved their worth for decades now – if I was an investor / client I wouldn’t throw a hissy fit because the Cayman Islands are now an independent country? Obviously the UK / USA / EU was not "carrying" us in that regard as they view us as their most formidable opponent!

    Times have changed folks, banking and legal institutions are now a mere click away from relocating to another part of the world – it is no longer a "bricks and mortar" situation asit was 30 years ago.

    Lastly, could it not be argued that due to our sensitive financial industry in which its demise would greatly disrupt the flow of global commerce and banking – that this would offset our need for an "on alert" standing army?

    Would this situation simply be too tempting for some power hungry nation to resist? Is the western world still as trigger happy as yesteryear?

    Standing by for your thoughts folks…


    • Gerald says:

      If you want a financial services industry contributing less income to government and supporting about  20% of the jobs it does today, and if you are happy with an income tax, and you have a good idea for new employment ideas for Caymanians, then maybe you have a plan.

      • Indie Dude says:

        Re: Gerald:

        I’m not really following you.

        Why do you anticipate such a rapid decrease in financial industry jobs?

        Do you predict a mass exodus of the workers themselves or certain sectors of the industry as a whole?

        If so – why?

        Re: Employment for Caymanians

        I am a strong proponent for the diversification of Caymanian interest in various fields.

        Foolish Caymanian pride is the reason behind many of our permit holders being here in the first place.

        (Many Caymanians really have no business possessing the arrogant and snobbish attitudes (in regards to lifestyles and job levels) that they do. Sometimes I think to myself, "What exactly qualifies you to look down on any particular career Mr./Ms. Caymanian?")

    • NO WAY!!! says:

      Two industries???

      Tourism is a farce and our mother-farkin-head isgoing to kill the financials.

      I suggestwe have ONEindustry- and it is a very thin fishing industry…


      • Indie Dude says:

        I agree with you completely on the tourism issue.

        I dread to think what will happen if the financial industry does in fact take a major hit due to these developments!

        If Caymanians believe they’ve been sold out to date …  they haven’t seen ANYTHING as yet.

        McKeeva is already a lapping dogbehind major "scum" money; XXXXXXX, I can only imagine what would happen if the worst was to happen.

        All I can say is that I am happy to have grown up in Cayman’s most fortunate era – and I don’t mean by way of monetary wealth alone.

    • O'Really says:

      I’ll try to answer your points as you raise them, starting with your emphasis that people should discount the history lessons of the Bahamas and Jamaica. Yes, these countries went through their problems decades ago, but what was the cause of those problems? In large part social unrest, politicians more interested in self than country and a blind belief they could go it alone without any help from " whitey." I know this is a gross generalisation, but is this so different from Cayman today? I don’t share your confidence that an independent Cayman would avoid these pitfalls, just because they happened many years ago and elsewhere.

      I don’t have my finger on the same pulse as you do, but in all my years here I have never heard anyone, Caymanian or expat, say the equivalent of " thank goodness we’ve got the UK looking out for us or we would be invaded immediately." This is a non-issue which in my view neither supports or opposes the idea of independence. Set it up to knock it down can be a nice mis-direction though.


      March 2008………………..

      Why did ACE choose to relocate. The answer seems to be in the ever-changing political winds.

       On a conference call, ACE Chairman and CEO Evan Greenberg > said Cayman was "incompatible with ACE as it stands today. The Cayman incorporation brings little to us, yet it exposes us from a reputational, financial and tax perspective. It creates unnecessary uncertainty."

      I’m sure many will dismiss this as a one-off, but it illustrates concerns that many users of Cayman’s financial service industry weigh up when deciding whether to do business here or continue to do business here. Do you think independence will increase or decrease the perception of risk and uncertainty that Cayman already struggles with? In particular what impact on this issue do you think the current, highly public financial struggles of Cayman, the arbitrary throwing about of new taxes, the refusal of government to tackle the thorny issue of reducing it’s own expenses, the rise in crime and the high level of anti-expat sentiment expressed by many sections of the local population, will have on the perceptions of those involved in choosing an offshore domicile?

      You took exception to another poster who suggested that the financial service industry would shrink to 20% of its current size and asked why. I’ve given you the reasons above.  I’m sure that 20% is a figure pulled out of thin air, but if independence is to be seriously considered, the powers that be must look beyond the present to assess the most likely post-independence scenario they will face. If they do not allow for a fairly significant loss in quality business, they are almost certainly out of touch with reality. We’re having this discussion, at least in part, because the previous government made this exact mistake.

      The wider impact on the economy of even a small fall in the size of the financial service industry would be much greater. Loss of clients means a reduction in professional staff required to service them. This has already happened but would get worse. Fewer professional staff means fewer support and secretarial staff. To list but a few consequences, government revenue down, through lower work permit and licencing fees, less demand for rental accommodation, leading to lower rents. Lower rents lead to mortgage payment problems for landlords, leads to forced sales and lower property prices. Less people leads to less demand for food, power, gas, building supplies, leads to fewer people employed in these service sectors. You tell me where this might stop. 

      As you yourself wrote, most of the financial service industry is just a click away frommoving elsewhere. This is not a good thing. You suggest that actually pushing the button and moving elsewhere would disrupt the global economy. Mind and management of 90% ( my best guess ) plus of the financial service industry is elsewhere and would remain elsewhere if the Cayman entities re-domiciled. The global economy would not even notice.

      In my view there may be worse times to consider independence than now, but I’m struggling to think of one.



      • Indie Dude says:

        RE: O’Really,

        Thanks for the feedback, you raised very strong points and I appreciate them all.

        In any event, I strongly feel that we are entering a very bad chapter in the story of the Cayman Islands.

        Neither option / avenue fills me with much confidence.

        At the end of the day, we Caymanians handed to the UK this opportunity to to shaft us on a big, shiny platter.

        Ram away Gordon and Bryant aka Capt. Knickers! (We’ll pretend we’re male in his case!)

    • Anonymous says:

      Idiotic and Preposterous.  It is based on the assumption that anyone really cares what Cayman has to offer.  In brief, massive public debt,  a government that’s broke and can’t pay its bills, a mostly uneducated/poorly educated local population, crime up the ying yang, and financial services that any other island or country can offer…oh yeah, let’s not forget your 7 Mile beach which is in fact closer to 5 miles has the aroma of that great toxic waste filling the middle of your Island, the Dump that catches on fire every once so often…I’ll stop there for now.

      • Senor Pisacco says:

        You know, I just don’t think most of the posters here get how fragile Cayman’s future is.  You have summed it up in one paragraph.  But the deniers will not listen.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know if Macs "advisors" are being paid by the hour or by the indecision?

  22. anon says:

    Yawn.  I am tired of all this rhetoric!

  23. Anonymous says:

    CIFSA is only body capable of developing a consensus for the Cayman Islands Financial Industry and it does so. It has real meetings real discussions and arrives at real conclusions by consensus. The views expressed are the views of the Cayman Islands Financial Services  Association. IF CIG ignores these views as it is clearly doing it does so at its peril .CIG has no one within it , and not within the Civil Service  with any comparable understanding. Personalizing this fundamental  point with inane personal nonsense is trivializing the importance of the CIFSA recommendations  and the structure that lies behind them.No wonder CIG feels it can ignore them  with impunity. But if it continues to everyone in Cayman will suffer. Without the Financial Services Industry Cayman needs Civil Service of 50 people .

  24. Anonymous says:

    We have killed the goose that laid the golden egg.

    The outrageous financial situation our Islands are enduring at this time is disgraceful.  Our ignorant, bloated and overpaid Government officials, past and present have arrogantly, so it seems never thought of planning for rainy days like our forefathers were forced to do, embarking on money wasting, frivolous and corrupt spending practices when the cash was rolling in through tourism, land sales etc ( the chickens have come home to roost). 
    If these incompetents ever lived in the real world of fiscal economics they would have realised by now how other developed Countries are being brought to their knees by direct taxation.  They have pleasured themselves building ivory towers and futuristic edifices trying to enhance their worthless self esteem. 

    When most credulous Companies are preparing quarterly accounts… what do we do…we sit back, and allow uncontrolled spending throughout our Government Ministries with NO accoutabillity and a "matter of fact" book-keeping approach.  No doubt, sooner or later Mr. Dart & Co will be asked to bail us out of this situation for his, and others  benefit. 

    How dare this Government even consider penalising our Country’s citizens by imposing Draconian measures such as direct taxation, more or less accusing us all of the present  predicament   Through the sweat and hard work of our forefathers we have earned the right to tax free status, and so it should continue. 

    "Trim the fat" is a popular saying being bantered about lately, and for good reason,  for one, is there any reasonable explanation as to why Government employees should not make a contribution towards their pension and medical insurance like the rest of us surfs?  This Island still generates revenues in excess 476 million Dollars p/annum, as far as I’m concerned, spent wisely, there is no need to impose direct taxation our Citizens and,in the process erect another bloated Government collection department (cut your cloth accordingly).   

    • Anonymous says:

      Groan. For the last time (I know better, I know I’ll have to say it again), the reason Civil Servants dont pay for their pension and medical is because the salaries in the civil service are far below those of the private sector and the non-payment of these items is a way of getting them back to or close to par.  There has been much said about civil service salaries being the same as private sector but it simply is not true.  The public’s opinion is being skewed by a small number of jobs that pay good (but nowhere near private sector equivelents), you are not looking at the vast majority (thousands) of civil service jobs.  If you don’t think that civil service salaries are lower then answer me this, why is it that expats and Caymanians alike in the private sector have traditionally not migrated into the civil service?

      You also have to admit that every job has trade-offs, and those trade-offs have value.  In addition to lower salaries, Civil Servants suffer under a stigma of being more inefficient than everyone else – believe me this matters when you are applying for a job elsewhere!  High ranking civil servants have the added pressure of public scrutiny and comment on what they do, not many of us would like to live that much out in the open.  Civil servants also have no choice in medical provider.  So you want us to pay a premium to be forced to only go to the same hospital that you are complaining about as being inefficient?

      Please also recognize that the civil service has by in large grown in response to various reforms and demand for more and more services from the public.  I am not saying it is a perfect organization and things need to be done to make improvements, but good people, please, please, understand that there is more going on than you know and civil servants can’t tell you becauasewe are under a secrecy agreement. And please understand that no matter how much you peek through a persons window, you won’t know how she runs her house. This is more complex than you think, so have patience with the civil service, we are working hard, doing our part.  I wish I could say more on why it is important to not reduce civil service terms and conditions of service, but even here I cannot.

      • Concerned Reader says:

        You forgot to add that despite salaries being lower than the private sector, we don’t get any bonuses unlike the large ones the private sector receives!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Close Boatswains Beach tomorrow. Keep just enough staff to mind the turtles. There’s no tourists here anyways!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Can some one please explain why we do not increase the fuel duty? If we increased that duty by $.50 per galloon at the stations we would generate a large amount of cash without any new infastructure. A 10 galloon gas tank would cost an extra $5.00 to fill up. This would also encourage people to buy smaller cars and drive less, better for the enviroment. This duty would be paid at the station so fuel used for utilities would not be included, just motor vehicles. If you can afford a sports car or luxury car you can afford to pay extra for the gas. I drive a truck and would be happy to pay more for fuel. This option really needs to be presented and debated.

  27. Anonymous says:

    We don’t have the full picture.

    I am very suspicious of the FCO and their intentions for Cayman, but I am also suspicious of our self-serving politicians – and that includes both parties.

    The budget that was presented to the FCO shows intended borrowing, anticipated recurrent revenue and most importantly expenditure. Everyone is assuming that the problem is with the UK not wanting Cayman to borrow to meet essential expenditures. That may not be true.

    It may be that what is really bothering the UK is that Mac is proposing to borrow in order to throw money at his cronies, or dumb projects that will yield lucrative exclusive contracts for politicians, cronies and hangers on, and any number of other things that will be a constant drain on our society. 

    The people deserve to see what he intends to spend the money on before we have to decide on any new tax. It is ridiculous that all we are told is that he wants to borrow a huge amount of money and it is the UK’s falt for giving it to him.   

    Call your MLA and demand to know what Mac proposes to spend the money on. Don’t allow yourself to be forced into something not needed by Mac or any other politician playing the politics of fear game.

    • Anonymous says:


      if you had listened to Mr. Bush the rooster show on Wednesday morning you would have heard where the money would go.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am sure that Mac also told the FCO that they needed to listen to Rooster as well and if they didn’t then clearly they are at fault. That is the way budgets are presented in Cayman these days – nothing in writing – goes well with the absence of financial statements coming from departments relating to how the money was spent. Brilliant response that all of us should be completely happy with.

        • Anonymous says:

          Certainly too much "information" is put out on-the-fly and off-the-cuff and not in a way most people can access (not everyone can listen to Rooster in the morning).  I suspect that is done 1) because they are making it up as they go along and 2) if they actually presented a thought-out plan on paper, then somebody could call them on it down the road when they didn’t do what they said they’d do.



      • Anonymous says:

        I don’t have time to listen to radio shows every day. That is one of the setbacks of actually working for a living. However, I would be happy if you would recap the details here.

        I am no financial wizard, but I have seen budgets before and I would be pleased to review and comment the numbers.

        A lot of UDP supporters, and I hasten to add here that I am not a supporter of any party, seem to sip the kool aid and repeat the rhetoric that they have heard. Unfortunately, very little of it makes sense but it does go down well with the rabid, and often poorly educated masses. Mostly it would seem, merely because McKeeva said it, so it must be true.

        The first misconception that I constantly hear is that PPM spending is why we have no money now. Then they point to the schools, new admin building, and roads.

        They were CAPITAL projects. Our expenses fall into two categories, namely recurrent and capital. Recurrent is your bills like electricity, water, etc. that come in every month. And yes, let’s not forget loans. In very simple, and non-accounting terms, that is like a recurrent expense for a fixed period of time until the loan is paid off. So if you have capital projects that are built with loans, then you will have higher expenses for a period of time while the loans are being paid off.

        Now it seems like our present predicament is that we do not have enough money to meet our monthly expenses. That is something that could easily happen to you, say if your salary went down and/or your wife/husband was laid off for a while. You would look at your expenses like rent/mortgage, electricity, water, entertainment, car loans, and see that they are more than your present income.

        Would you be so kind as to explain to me if you found yourself in such a predicament, would you go to the bank to borrow money to purchase a second car?

        On the surface it appears McKeeva has all of the UDP supporters in harmony singing that the problem is because PPM built schools, admin buildings, and roads, but nobody seems to be listening to the second verse which is "that’s why we can’t afford to build a cruise ship dock, or a new cargo facility, or a mega yacht basin," or whatever else he listed on the Rooster show.

        So if you are asking me which one I want to be stuck with then it is the one that we already have. If you think there is something in it for you in a new set of loans then I can understand why you might think different. The schools may not be everybody’s first choice, but we can’t send them back and ask for a refund, and God knows they are needed.

        • Anonymous says:

          I agree with you.  What exactly is the loan money for.  He did not elaborate properly on Rooster.  Unfortunately Cayman politicians have always believed in construction politics.  This Government needs to do the one thing that will guarantee a future for this country.. no new construction!  UDP, just hold things together until the economy picks back up, that’s what an individual family has to do at this time.  To borrow from the previous poster, a family in distress is not going to go invest in a new car now.  Mr. Bush, I know you have all of these dreams and ideas.  Put them down for now.  Whoever is hanging on to you that is looking to get something out of these things is going to have to wait.  By the way, I am not a supporter of UDP or PPM either, but I find it a bit frightening that the UDP plan of today looks very similar to the UDP plan of 5 years ago.  That can’t be right?!  Again, Mr. Bush, hold your hand.  Go back to the polls in 2013 and tell the people of the Cayman Islands that you should be re-elected because you did nothing (construction) at a time when the country needed politicians who would do just that.  If things have picked up by then, then by all means look at construction projects again.

  28. Anonymous says:

    "Seems the UK will not give us any choice."


    There is a choice.  We can spend less.  We are the ones rejecting that option.


    • Protect me family, nah!!! says:

      We???  You mean Mini Mac-a-doodle promised no government job cuts – and does not want to look like ‘im namesake Georgie with the old "No new taxes" farce…

      Truth be told – if he does not step up to the plate and play sacrificial lamb, he is screwed…

      Unlike Georgie-boy (Bushie the US President..) – he has an out – bring in the taxes, cut the fat government (not just his own fat – but he is also proof positive it works…) – and then cut the taxes to 0 – zero – nadda – when it come to elections… NOW WE HAVE A HERO!!!

      So you upset some family, you upset some friends, you cut some fat (felt that already), but you also save the nation you claim you would die for (rhetorically – because we all now you could and would jet to the US if you wanted/needed to – noone in you Miami condo right now, right??!!!…)

      BTW – Does Not-So-Big-Mac realise ALL U.S. Citizens owe taxes on worldwide earnings (apparently…)


  29. Anonymous says:

    Come on people can’t you all see through this ???? (I’m talking to everyone other than McDinejad’s UDP sheeps because their blinders ain’t coming off anytime soon)….this income tax thing is Mac’s idea and not the UK’s. He did exactly the same thing with the status grants.

    He knew that the UK wanted us to give their citizens status so he said listen guys I want to give out status too but it will be very unpopular with my people so if you all will write to me instructing me to do it and I tell my people that you instructed me to do it and that if we want to retain our British Overseas Territories status we’ll have to comply then we can achieve this.
    The result : 3000+ status grants, more demands on government for more schools and educational services, more medical services and more infrastructure generally to cater to the new Caymanians = the deficit that we have today !!!
    Now he’s doing the same thing with the income tax because the UK wants this for Cayman too so they can finish destroy our financial services industry…..so McDinejad declares that the UK is forcing us to do this or they won’t approve our borrowings. THIS IS MAC’S PLAN PEOPLE…..IT ALWAYS WAS.
    So he will get his way with his income tax proposal too and blame it on the UK. More money in the treasury means more money to pass under the table on its 360 degree journey back to our christian politicians.
    And guess what Caymanians….there can be no direct taxation without representation and that paves the way for more constitutional advancement and for expats to be eligible to run for public office and for the expats to vote in their own.
    Yes another major screw up for our country at the hands of McDinejad & his UDP……this is what you voted for Cayman so you have gotten the Government that you deserve. Now lets see if you will continue to let this dangerous party run for the full 4 year term and finish off our country as we know it !!!!!!!!
    • Anonymous says:

      Get a grip on reality mate. Your uneducated lowlife drivel is not needed here.

      Taxation is a reality because the government have encouraged Caymanians to become lazy and greedy when times were good, now that they’re not good we’re woefully unprepared and lack the funds required to operate.

      There won’t be changes to the constitution, you won’t have evil foreigners taking over the government. But you will have to drag your @ss out to work instead of calling in sick all the time.

      Go back to school and learn about economics or business before bothering to spout this drivel.


  30. White Flag!!! says:

    OK, so we are between a rock and a hard place.  Seems the UK will not give us any choice.  Some form of tax is coming…

    So, IF, and I really don’t want to go down this road, but IF we have to implement a payroll tax, let’s consider some things.

    1, We are going to be navigating the dangerous prospect of taxation without representation for a large proportion of the population.  This could breed more discontent.

    2, Mac, sadly, you will be remembered as the one who brought tax into the islands.  Not that you may have a choice.  

    So, we need solutions.

    Not sure how you address the first, so we may have to suck it up for a while.  Though not getting representation, all tax payers will get the benefits of roads, the hospital system and other government run facilities.

    However, if Mac is really smart, he will do a few things.

    First, everyone learn how serious this got.

    Second, clean house.  Cut the government fat, increase efficiency and get everything in order and operating at a surplus.

    Because if this is done, with the rebounding world economy coming, we could ride on that wave, get everything operating well again, and then Mac,you could do the best pre-election move ever…

    Solve problem #2 and eliminate the tax just before the next election.

    In doing so, we would have bowed to the mother (small ‘m’) land.  Gotten our affairs in order, (hopefully) learned from the mistakes of overspending, and steered Cayman away from near disaster…  

    Then Mac, my friend, you will be a true hero!!!

    But you have to do it fast…

    • Anonymous says:

      You are incorrect in some of your statements because expatriates aren’t eligible for your free hospital or schools etc so will be getting nothing extra for their taxes.

      They already fund the road etc through vehicle licences and duty on fuel and other than banning any non-taxpayers from the roads at peak times (which isn’t going to happen unfortunately) there’s going to be no benefit there either.

      In their own countries they would get benefits from their taxes like free healthcare, schooling and won’t get treated like second class citizens. I don’t mind not being represented. I know that I cannot vote here and to be fair, from looking at the candidates at the last election, not one of them wouldearn my vote. None of them had any business acumen, economic awareness or even common sense. Part of the reason why we’re in this mess.

      Like most others I will suck it up and begrudginly pay the taxes but as soon as it’s not worth my while any more, I like many others will take my business and investments elsewhere. Sure there will be some people cheering this via this forum but in the long if you upset enough investors there will be nothing left.

      I totally agree with your number two though, that government needs to clean house. The civil service is overpaid and overstaffed. I worked in there for a while and had a shock how little work a lot of them put in for their fat pay cheques and generous benefit packages.

      • Howie Phuckeditup says:

        Hold on a sec… 

        Let’s check a few things out…  I am Caymanian, and I pay for the hospital.  Those that don’t are deadbeats, and they come in the form of both Caymanians and expats.

        The schools are not completely free, as often mis-informed,  There are some costs to go to the public schools.  As mentioned before, I am Caymanian.  Does this mean I will send my kids to these schools?  Not if I can help it.  Answer me honestly – would you???  Would any parent who could afford an alternative?

        Past roads have been funded by past revenue.  Future revenue sources need to be found to fund future roads and repairs.

        Let’s not make this a he benefits, I don’t arguement.  In the US there is a government funded food stamp program.  Not everyone benefits from it – only the poor.  Shouldn’t every American get a freebie of food stamps to pay for their milk?  Why not?  They are paying for it.  Shouldn’t every Brit have the chance to stand in line and collect the dole, ieven if they have a job?  They are paying for it, after all…  You see my point?

        Walk with me a moment and try the path of coming up with some constructive solutions…

        Print out this document, and study side by sideSection D.  

        Bermuda has a payroll tax and still attracts foreigners.  So do the BVI.  So do other Business Centers (we can’t be Tax Havens any more), such as Gibralta, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Jersey.  

        I am not advocating we join them, I am suggesting we try it out to get through the short term, and hope above hope our leaders rescind it – if only to get re-elected.  If not, their political careers are over…  (NOTE: I know how many people are out there saying it will never happen – and I am thinking it myself – but I am throwing down the challenge to our leaders and doing more than most on CNS – coming up with an idea.)

        Truth be told – we all need to suck it up.  I am very against taxes, but there has to be something done.  Evidently a blatant protectionism is prohibiting cost cutting through layoffs – that is a sad and sorry way to run a business or country.  What I am asking for is that if we absolutely MUST go this way, then it needs to be temporary.  No other country has done it this way, noone reduces or eliminates tax.  But Cayman isn’t like most other places.  Let’s see if we can pull this one off…

        If the LOGB can orchestrate this, it will be amazing.

        Implement whetever we need to to get started, clean up the mess they ALL made, set more realistic long term, non-direct-tax revenues, and then remove the temporary taxation crutch.

        But, please Mr. Bush, don’t come to me with your namesake’s twisted approach to the subject – I don’t want to hear you yelling from the LA stoop "NO NEW TAXES!" – we all know where the last guy that spouted that crap is today!!!


  31. Anonymous says:

    Bush was exploring the possibility of seizing the contents of dormant and frozen accounts to fill government’s empty coffers

    I understand that all options need to be explored, but looking for and seizing the content of dormant accounts seems a bit like turning over the sofa looking for small change at a time when your 3 months late thousands short on the mortgage payments.

    Consideration also should be given to the perception this may give banking clients – put your savings in a Cayman bank and if you don’t take it out quickly the government will seize it from you. Not what we need at this time.

    • Anonymous says:

      #1 Money held in Dormant accounts in Cayman Islands = upwards of $40 million!

      #2 many other countries go after dorman accounts, some if there is no activity in the account for 1 year!  CIG simply needs to go after money that has been in dormant accounts for 10 years, or say 20 years and more.  Believe me that is where much of the value is.

  32. Anonymous says:

    In view of our present financial problems I found this interesting.




  33. Anonymous says:

    It is unfortunate that with all of the dithering that is coming from government that no one from government has taken the few minutes to set out for the public precisely how much new revenue they need to find/expenditure they need to cut in order to balance their books. They tell us how much they want to borrow but do not tell us if that is all new money that is required or whether part of it is to restructure existing financing. They do not tell us how long they would need to repay the borrowing. If they do not knowor do not have the information needed to set this out on a single piece of paper then we need to fire them and bring in people that can get things sorted.

    It is true that the LOGB has had a couple of meetings with the heads of various associations but whatever was discussed never "trickles down" to Caymanians who might be able to come up with suggestions. I am Caymanian and I have many years of university education and multiple univeristy degrees relating to finance and public sector policy and years of practical experience in raising financing. How do I find out what the numbers and time lines are so that I can try to make useful suggestions? 

  34. Anonymous says:

    Why not amend our restriction defining our borrowing limit? It was written during a time that didn’t foresee this global financial meltdown. Every country out there is floundering and borrowing far more than they would normally be comfortable doing. We could propose to temporarily change our debt limitations to get us through this difficult time. And clearly there are financial institutions (and other countries) hedging on an economic recovery, or they wouldn’t be willing to lend. We’ve been approved for loans by entities that have dealt with the economic recession far better than the UK government, so if the banks have faith in us why should we bother with seeking permission from the UK? I might be making a hopelessly naive suggestion, but wouldn’t it be fairly simple to just change the law? (With the caveat that once we get through all this we change it back…)

    • Anonymous says:

      Catch – 22. We are a colony and therefore we cannot amend the legislation without the approval of the UK. They have been doing this colonial thing for a very long time and know to lock the back door from the outside before they tell you that you cannot use the front door.

    • Gerald says:

      No legislation can be changed in Cayman without the effective approval of the UK via the Governor so that suggestion won’t work.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Extracts from today’s Guardian article by Chris Bryant (FCO):

    "It is clearly in the interests of all the overseas territories to have open, transparent fiscal arrangements and a sustainable revenue from a wide and diverse tax base. Mere tax haven status will not pay the bills, nor will an over-reliance on indirect taxation."
    "The overseas territories need a strategy for reining in their public expenditure and/or raising revenue to start paying off their debts. That is precisely what the G20 countries, including the UK, are doing. I have made these points in recent discussions with the Cayman Islands and Anguilla when they sought permission to extend their borrowing without showing how they intended to drive down borrowing in the short tomedium term. I am sure these discussions will continue for some time but I am determined to continue working with the territories to ensure that their public finances are resilient enough in the long term to handle economic shocks.
    Of course fiscal policy, on both taxation and expenditure, is a matter for the territories themselves but the UK government is right to put restrictions on their ability to borrow unless and until they can come forward with a clear strategy for cutting that debt. And if we want to promote action on regulating tax havens worldwide, it is essential that Britain be in a position to lead by example."


  36. Anonymous says:

    Of course most of the Caymanians writing on here have not even completed high school education (hence the spelling and displayed lack of knowledge of business, economics etc. But those that do must surely appreciate that Cayman has run out of money. They have been offered loans but they cannot afford to finance these loans without taking action to grow revenues and cut costs. They cannot just extend the loan and spend it all, that leaves them even more in debt and is just irresponsible borrowing.

    Take that route and the country will be bankrupt and the UK will be bailing us out. They still control these islands and are concerned at how badly they have been run in the past and need to see that the government is capable of getting Cayman out of this mess. They see a government that has consistently overspent year after year and cannot even produce financial accounts for the last how many years? This doesn’t instill confidence that the leadership here is going to be capable of managiong budgets to meet its obligations.

    Look at the current situation where the government is not paying it’s suppliers and threatening to not pay it’s staff. The UK is not withholding payments to it’s suppliers, neither is the US, or China, or brazil etc etc. We need to prove that we have the resourcefulness to drag ourselves out of the hole, which we do not at them moment because we cannot just take out a big loan and hope the tourism and finance sectors pick up so that we can pay it off.

    Government is afraid to cut civil service jobs, despite the service being bloated and vastly overstaffed. In the US and UK every year there is a budget shortage in government and every year they shed a few jobs to balance the books.

    • The Anti-tax rally cry says:

      The State of California is paying with IOU’s and the US and UK are printing more money..they are not defaulting they are inflating…Cayman should do the same thing actually I think they are already.. Stop the Currency Board system and swith to a Central Bank System covertly if necessary!

      • Dolla Dolla Bill )a'll says:

        Or just have one of our MLA’s ask his brother to run off a couple of notes for us.

  37. Anonymous says:

    casinos + lottery = revenue

  38. Anonymous says:

    I wonder what percentage of businesses have thier payroll records in order? How many incomes are actually verifiable? Are there any employers out there who are not paying thier employees exactly what was agreed upon and/or stated on their work permit applications? Hmmmmm…. it will be interesting to see how "income" taxes might be enforced and implemented…..

    • Anonymous says:

      Hmmmm, I wonder how much of why we’re bankrupt had to do with how much Social Services had to hand out after the 3000+ status grants to those persons who can’t even afford to pay for their Status certificates…..

      I wonder how many children those same persons have brought here and cnow have to request assistance to go to school, feed, etc…..

      I wonder how many expats would like to go back to their homelands and pay 20 to 70% in taxes, but don’t want to pay 5 to 15% here…..

      I wonder when someone becomes Knight Templar after doing a few years of "Good Christian Living" what next will happen…..

      I wonder!

      • Anonymous says:

        Another racist in the midst. there’s a lot of you about today!

        One reason why expats don’t want to pay taxes is that whereas in their own countries where they pay income tax and Vat, they also get great benefits such as free schooling, healthcare benefits, a working police force, social services. Therefore they come to Cayman they already have to pay a lot of indirect tax (duties) on everything they buy but up to now have not had to pay income tax but have to shell out for healthcare, schooling etc.

        It’s not fair to make them pay the extra taxes to subsidize the governments foolishness and the Caymanians social problems when they get nothing in return.

        You go to any other country and you pay their taxes but you get their benefits too. That won’t be happening here as the expats will pay taxes but get nothing in return. And don’t bull$hit me about "you get roads, trash collection etc" because this has always been covered by the charges I pay on goods (e.g. gas, road licences etc) and my strata fees pay for most of the other stuff.

        Wait for the ‘go home’ chants etc to begin because nobody likes the truth.

      • Dreamer... says:

        It starts at 5-15%.  But when it is seen how easy it is a source of revenue, you can BET it will go to 20-30-40% or more… 

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree.  Any new taxes or active revenue measures will loose their efficiency due to additional gov’t manpower required to administer the initiative.  This may contribute additional girth to an already overextended public service payroll.   

      For the sake of rules, sadly, enforcement (of any kind) is not our forte.     

      Passive Revenue measures, seem to work here; ie the Port, where goods are withheld until fees paid.  You don’t need to chase up after anyone after they leave the Port with their goods.  Even the simpliest person in Cayman understands the mechanics of how that works.   

      A successful revenue measue for a simple island country like ours, needs to be passive in nature.  Further, it is important, at this point in history, that our Gov’t consumption shrink rather than grow. 



  39. HOMER SIMPSON. says:

    FYI once taxation is implemented it will never decrease but will definitely increase over time. We need to stand for no taxes. When the US did this in 1913 it was a temporary fix for the government. Now look at it… FICA, Income, Sales, ETC…not so temporary. We really need to look over our spending… FYI schools…and was the new Governments “Mega Structure” Building really needed. Did we really need a school in Frank Sound…. Our population hasn’t grown that much?

  40. Anonymous says:

    A balanced budget does not take rocket science to achieve. Most homeowners do it every month. You look at your big expenditures, see how they can be reduced and make the reductions. I am sure that Government has cut all they can from paper clips and pencils. Will someone have the guts to make the changes where they should be done?

    On the other hand, they do want to get re-elected the next time round!

    May I suggest that in the legislation somewhere that it become mandatory that each Government has to have a proper balanced budget over their term? Not one of the borrow X million as part of the stated income and when you have paid your bills, say that you have a Y surplus.

  41. Cayman Tarzan says:

    Why are we pussy-footing around on this issue?!

    Why are we so in DENIAL here in the Cayman Islands?!

    Grow some testicles for pete’s sake!!

    The UK is adamant on destroying us – BOTTOM LINE!

    Quit being the "nice, little, obedient overseas subjects"!!

    Have we forgotten the Chagos Islands?!

    Look it up people! Knowledge of this case went right up to Harold Wilson the British PM in power at the start of the saga.



    In that case as the UK was busy preparing to militarily defend their WHITE B.D.T.C. folks in the Falklands, they were simultaneously defending their actions, by way of the very same FCO mind you, of illegally removing, re-categorising, starving, and forcibly uprooting their own other (BLACK / Islander) B.D.T.C. Chagossians in the mid 1970s.

    (For those readers now reeling in utter shock and disbelief due to my "divisive" words, take a minute to examine the sentiments of British Diplomat Dennis at the time:

    "Unfortunately, along with the birds go a few TARZANS and MAN FRIDAYS…"

    My words are not divisive – they are realistic! Only those on the beneficial end of that denial spew that "devisive" b.s.!)

    It is high time Caymanians come to terms with OUR history, the true reality of our situation, and the nature of our relationship with "mother England".

    Understand that the UK DOES NOT give 2 hoots about your "island a**" – am I making myself clear?!

    The trick was to make us feel more British than even the BRITISH themselves – and historically WE HAVE!

    My fellow British classmates back in univeristy were NEVER once in grade school forced to stand at attention, back straight, shoulders squared, toes forward as they sang "God Save the Queen" to the latest illegitimate seed planting, owner of diaper-wearing horses Governor.

    I’m so tired of this attitude in Cayman.

    We need to go on the offensive – name and shame the UK for their trickery, mis-information and prima facie illegal actions in regards to our basic human rights! What is this government waiting on? For the point when they truly CANNOT pay their own Civil servants?!

    Believe me – that day will be the day they know they should’ve acted "yesterday".

    (If anyone should feel compelled to reply to my post, attention will only be shown to comments that include an address to the issue of the Chagos Islands. That case speaks volumes to me and it should to you as well. Especially when one considers that another uninhabited island (Aldabra) was rejected in the selection process as it was the home to a rare breed of tortoise! Good ol’ Brits…really love and protect those defenseless animals – don’t they?)

    Wake up Cayman … wake up!!


    Cayman Tarzan


    • Anonymous says:

      no, they are actually trying to save you from bankrupcy……

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      Tarzan…..you can rant and rave all you want. That is your right….but history lessons really have nothing to do with this situation. Cayman has two chices in my opinion. First go independent and try to solve this issue alone….won’t work. Second find a sustainable tax other than fluctuating tax/duties borrow some money, balance the budget, reduce the CIG, find new income streams and fix this issue.

      I personally like the second choice.

      Lachlan MacTavish

      • Anonymous says:

        Your second option is the *certain* destruction if the Cayman Islands fincancial industry, its only a matter of time.  such taxes will never remain "sustainable" but will grow over time.  Once the country relies on such new taxes, they will spend it on social services and other "good" causes, anbd seek to expend further.  no government will have the political will to cut such services, and therefore once more revenue is needed when these services are expended "TAXES WILL ABSOLUTELY INCREASE OVER TIME"

        The politicians now don’t have to courageto do what is necessary NOW, which is to CUT the government.  C U T  I T  !!!    Its too big, too expensive, in too many areas, this insane expansion of education "infrastructure" (not education) IS A CLEAR example of these "good intention" services government in the future will useto increase taxes, then they use medecine, then it will be poverty, housing,  etc etc etc. then when they can’t raises taxes do to outrage, they will implement a lottery to such more money out from the people who can’t pay those taxes with a fake dream of getting rich!!

        what on EARTH do you think will happen once taxes are implemented and more government revenues is a simple as raising taxes again??


        You people are just plain stupid and probably deserve to get taxed.



      • Anonymous says:


        We have no army!

        We have no border control by sea!

        We have no other major industry, but tourism and banking!

        We are outnumbered; we have more foreignors here than Caymanians!

        We don’t have our own electrical plant – CUC run things!

        If there is a natural disaster or war breaks out in the world, where will we get garanteed help?  Presently, the UK is our protectorate!  Historically, Castro one time attempted to invade the Cayman Islands. If it was not for the Queen, Cayman would have been easily invaded!

        Look at history:  We would have been a part of communist cuba or a reduced to a Jamaican district. They may call us chickens under the UK’s wings, but we are not stupid! Cayman has many enemies who would love to see us vunerable!

        We don’t have oil and enough cargo ships to trade with other nations!

        We don’t have enough educated people to run all of our operations; we need foreignors to assist us!

        We don’t even have our own welfare state; where will the poor go when the government fails and tax everyone!



      • jubba gump shrimp co. says:

        The people of Cayman may have no choice, self determination may just knock at the door without warning!

        Before the complacent masses start shouting about a mandatory referendum, ask any Chinese / British citizen of Hong Kong who lived there in 1997.

        British Overseas territory passport holders at a minute prior to midnight and once the clock struck, ceased to be any more!

        Suddenly, thousands of Hong Kong chinese found their passports, residency status and several other issues to be null and void. Welcome to the people’ s republic of China!

        Luckily for them, Vancouver and BC stepped in and offered a home for thousands.

        Did any of the Chagos Islanders get a referendum to be given ‘Independance’ elsewhere in the Indian Ocean?

        Did any of the 61 million UK citizens get a referendum on the European Union or any of its associated mechnisms?

        Referendums are nice, which is great when world politics and the economic situation is also ‘nice’. These are also fine and dandy when governments have all the time in the world and when they are fiscally prudent with a surplus of cash in the bank and large organisations lining up for permits.

        Sadly, they ain’t and as a property owner, my main concern is to try and gain some sort of credible sale prior to any property tax or the ‘rolling stone’ of dropping prices created by the shift towards Independance.



  42. Joe Average says:

    Someone once said history repeats itself.  Since the advent of colonialism. Which in school I always found confusing before I fully understood it "You mean it was their country then?"  And later, abhorrent , as I realized the basic unfairness.  Because… it seemed there was no other reason other than removing resources, enslavement of people and holding onto some ancient idea of "divine right".  To this day the concept of "overseas territories" spread out across the world is a remnant of those times. The Dutch West Indies, the French West Indies, the British West Indies, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S.Samoa.  India, Australia, Canada, and the U.S.  Through "good behaviour" and sometimes outright revolt the lucky few have extracted themselves from this ancient system.  And surprisingly enough survived.  Sometimes thrived.  Although none have been able to escape the world-wide economic calamity.  Others hold onto the thought that they need to be looked after for their own good.  Where does Cayman now stand with a country full of bright minds and a very proud heritage?  That heritage was created here.  Not elsewhere. Cayman has never invaded another country.  Never extracted resources.  Never enslaved. Never demanded subservience.  Cayman has no military and no need for it because our neighbors are friendly.   No Navy.  No aspirations to take over someone else’s place and demand that they do what we want them to do.  All we have provided is a place for people to place their money.  Before their governments take it all!  Should we opt to become one of them?  Or tell them to go to H.  Thanks but no thanks.  We’ll survive.  But only if we set our own course as a people and a country.  God Bless Cayman.

    • Bit of common sense says:

      Ridiculous argument – the actual reason Cayman hasn’t invaded another country is because it can’t, Cayman can’t extract resources from other nations beacuse it has no power over other nations, it was never able to enslave other people because it had no military, never demanded subservience cause everyone else was stronger. Basically Cayman has no military becauase it can’t afford one and relies on the UK for its soverign defence.

      Bottom line is there are no good countries and bad countries – powerful ones bully less powerful ones, weak ones allign themselves with strong ones for protection. Cayman isn’t a good country, it is just a country. UK was the strongest country so did an awful lot of bullying. The US is now the strongest and they do just about as much bullying (though with better PR people) and soon China will be throwingits weight about (look at Taiwan and Tibet).

      Of cause it is abhorrent and immoral but the bottom line is, if you can do it,you do do it. No ‘divine right’ involved – it was money and greed and it has been going on since the first man realised he was stronger than then next guy.

  43. Anonymous says:

    While I understand Mr, Bush’s concern about property taxes I think he and his administration should consider a "community fee" (or whatever other name they may wish to attach to it) for properties on the now overdeveloped Seven Mile Beach area. Developers/owners who can afford these multi-million dollar properties can certainly afford a small pecentage of their worth to go to the government to assist in maintaining the infrastructure of these Islands. It is in their interest to do so and others may possibly be encouraged to look to invest in the outer districts, rather than concentrating on that one area.  Just a thought LoGB!

  44. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand why they won’t bring the lotto?  Then they don’t have to touch our pay checks

    • Anonymous says:

      because it would only generate a couple of million per year, remember there is only 60k people here not 60million… do the maths

      but it should be brought it anyways.. at least it’s a start

  45. Anonymous says:

     While the last administration behaved irresponsibly, this one seems downright incoherent.  Does anyone in the Glass House really know what is going on?  

  46. Gerald says:

    The UK is absolutely right.  A fee-based tax structure is too risky giving the uncertainty of the mid or even short term future of Cayman’s financial service industry to be considered as collateral against a loan facility as large as $370m.  Even a direct tax system, so heavily reliant on the status quo must have a great chance of default.  And default would leave the UK have to bail out the Cayman Islands at great expense.

    Immediate and massive cuts in public spending have to start on Monday. 

    • Bye Bye UK says:

      UK on MISSION

      If the UK believes they have a liability for our Financial situation then they should also take the RESPONSIBILITY of fixing what they presided over. Simple

      They cannot have their cake and eat it…or was that Tea.

  47. Playin the Game says:

    New plan everyone!
    All those who have taken advantage of the British Passports that were offered up, book your flights now. We are going to take refuge in Chris Bryants consituency. On arrival we shall all file unemployment claims and let him deal with the problem.
    See ya on the plane! Let’s all go have a party!

  48. Anonymous says:


    Question?  You all seem to blame civil servants for all what’s happening?
    Did we start that building on Elgin Ave or the one in North Sound?
    If you realize I didn’t mention John Gray
    Let’s hope you voted for Mr. Bush and his “UDP” party cause, if not you need to pay taxes.
    Why you need to pay? Chances are you got some of the 76 million from the “past”


  49. The Real Truth says:

    I am perturbed that none wants to give up anything. People, this is crunch time, we are in a crisis. As a result decisions have to be made that may not be palatable to all. But WE ALL must make some sacrifice.

    So far we have heard NO to every suggestion which would mean that we lose something. Are we only thinking of ourselves and how we can maintain our lifestyles?

    To take away anything from the Civil Service, we hear No, not us.  From the Private sector, no, not us? What’s wrong with us? Are we so selfish as to not care that we are in a bind here and we will only get out if we all say yes to giving a little something.

    The UK is playing hardball against us. It now seems that we are doing the same against ourselves. All hands need to be on deck now! What say you?




  50. Anonymous says:

     Mac does not have the background , intellect etc to be negotiating with the FCO – draft in help from the big hitters at CIFSA 


    Mac please realise your limitations and stop tying to be the big cheese 

  51. Anonymous says:

    10% cut in civil service NOW!

    • Anonymous says:

      Why not cut pay to everyone on the island! If 10% is good for the Civil Service then it should be good for private sector as well. Construction workers could have a minimum wage of lets say $3.50 per hour for labourers and $5.00 per hour for masons and carpenters and the retail shops working the cruise industry could pay commission only (you don’t sell, you don’t get paid).

      Cutting salaries is not going to achieve the revenue expected and itis foolish to believe this. there are other ways to generate the revenue and it will take time for the government to look over all the suggestions.

      Thank you for allowing my comment. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Those businesses that have survived the crisis so far have done so by slashing their costs which includes their staff costs by laying off and cutting salaries and by cutting benefits etc. Why should those staff lose an extra 10% on top of what they already lost to pay for your self satisfying asses?

        If government did the same and cut out the dead wood and chopped the fat salary and benefits, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

    • Anonymous says:

      And, 10% cut in high private sector salaries to go to government NOW!!!!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        already been at least 10% cut to the private sector.. thats what happens to the private sector in a recession….

      • Anonymous says:

        The private sector has already been laying off staff and freezing and cutting salaries, because they don’t have an unlimited pot of money like the government seems to think it does. First signs of economic $hit and the private sector tightens it’s belt and cuts the fat off the workforce. If government did this too we wouldn’t even be entertaining this idea of payroll taxes.

        But again, the private sector has to bail out the civil servants and government as well as just subsidizing their healthcare and benefits like we have been for so long.