Kurt offers united front

| 25/09/2009

(CNS): The Cayman Islands should stand firm against taxes Leader of the Opposition Kurt Tibbetts has told the leader of government business, in a letter sent to McKeeva Bush today. As negotiations with Cayman and the UK were still reportedly stalled, Tibbetts has written to offer the support of the People’s Progressive Movement against the UK’s insistence on the country introducing direct taxation. He says a united front would help the cause and recommended that representatives from the opposition be added to the Cayman Islands government delegation as discussions with the United Kingdom continue. 

Although the PPM has been roundly condemned by the current administration for placing Cayman in the difficult position of seeking the FCO’s approval to borrow more cash, the opposition leader seems keen to stand by the new LoGB in the face of what he says is unfair behaviour on the part of the UK government.

“I believe there is real merit in the Opposition lending its voice to the arguments being made on Cayman’s behalf.  A united front can but help the cause and I wish to recommend to you that representatives from the Opposition be added to the Government delegation as these discussions with the United Kingdom Government continue.  At a minimum, I am of the view that the Government and Opposition should write in concert to the United Kingdom Government setting out what I believe to be the position on which we agree,” Tibbetts wrote to the LoGB.

The opposition leader says in his letter that Cayman ought not to fundamentally alter its system of revenue generation as the lack of most types of direct taxation is a critical factor in what makes the Cayman Islands an attractive place to do business.

“We, along with many who have an interest in the Cayman Islands, are growing increasingly concerned at what appears to be an impasse between the Cayman Islands Government and the United Kingdom Government as to the way forward to resolve our present difficulties with the budget,” Tibbetts wrote.  “There are disturbing rumours that income tax is being considered as a means of providing a revenue base which is sustainable.”

Offering solidarity of the opposition with the position that the leader of government business had previously taken, which was not to introduce any direct taxes, Tibbetts writes that the PPM hopes that has not changed despite the pressure being brought to bear by the UK.

“Cayman must not introduce new measures involving direct taxation,” he stated, accusing the UK of exploiting the current difficulties balancing the budget which he considered unfair and unreasonable.  Tibbetts reiterated his belief that Cayman’s experience is akin to all countries, including the United Kingdom and is temporary as a result of the unprecedented global financial crisis.

“The present global circumstances and their consequences are grave indeed, but they are temporary in nature and must be regarded and treated as such,” Tibbetts added. He said Cayman should not risk the fundamentals of the successful Cayman economy by introducing direct taxation.  He said taxes were not helping other countries with major deficits that already have direct taxation.

Tibbetts did not offer any specific suggestions for new revenue raising measures, but said Cayman needed to restrict operational expenditure and borrow short term to bridge the gap between revenue and expenditure until the world economy rebounds and revenue streams return to normal.

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Comments (97)

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  1. No Mac fan says:

    I am no Mac fan, but KT is a bumbling fool who lead Cayman to the precipice of bankruptcy.  He walked away from Hampstead, perhaps he should walk away from Cayman politics too.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Surprised

    As one of those who pretend the local media is not biased I am very surprised that the media reporting this offer did not ask Kurt why it took him so long to make it?

    I would have thought that seeing as the PPM had the most to do with the current terrible financial state of affairs that they would have offered from day one to assist ‘in whatever way they could to support the Government’.

    Oh well.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      It sounds like you are biassed rather than the media. This is clearly an attempt to spin a positive thing as negative.

    • Anonymous says:

      "The PPM had the most to do with this current terrible financial state of affairs"? Where you been living? Please compare the records of the past 2 administrations & please see who had most to do with this financial mess, which is not as bad as junior whopper (formerly known as Big Mac) is trying to make out. The udp government between ’01 & ’05 wasted just as much as the PPM government between ’05 & ’09! The only difference between the 2 is that the PPM spent money on necessary needed projects like the schools, the roads & the new government building, & all money spent by the PPM was above board & did not go to personally enrich any politicans. Can the same be said about the udp government, or have you forgotten the money wasted & overspent (suspiciously) on Boatswain Beach, the Royal Watler cruise terminal, the low cost housing, the land bought from udp members & their relatives at twice the actual cost, the million $ payment to close associates & friends for "consulting, "the shady insurance fiasco at the tune of over $30 million, just to name a few. According to the Auditor General there was evidence of overpayments & corruption in practically all of these, & if you add up those costly payments, waste of money, special interest deals, under the table deals, family & friend deals, you will see that it adds up to far more than under the PPM government, both monetary terms as well as the damage done to Cayman & the Cayman people.

      The udp are quick to blame the PPM for political reasons, but they naturally fail to remind the people of the damage & hurt that they caused to Cayman & the Cayman people. They fail to remind the people that the PPM government had to also find around $30 million between ’05 & ’09 to subsidize the Boatswain Beach project that the udp overspent on (we’d love to know where the extra money went, where it really went), the udp have to be blamed for the turtle farm mess, no one else.  The udp’s waste of money in their first term is far more than the money spent by the PPM in their term, it is just unfortunate that a recession hit world wide during the last year of their term. 

      So please, stop with the foolishness, the PPM are not to be blamed entirely, & for anyone to blame PPM fully without putting any blame on the XXX & massive overspending during the udp’s term is simply being stupid, childish & blinded by lies!   

      • Anonymous says:

        I am not UDP, but do in fact see how the two times Kurt Tibbetts has been in office the country has gone broke.  Both times it affected me seriously and you say that people try to twist things around?  You are definitely one of those blind PPM supporters who just can’t bear having lost the election. I shutter at the thought of living in Cayman during this situation with Kurt and his useless cronies at he helm.  I think YOU should stop your foolishnes and crawl back into your hole!

        • Anonymous says:

          If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it is a duck. You are a UDP supporter alright. That line about the country being broke twice and each time it was under Kurt comes straight from McKeeva’s lips.

          • neither a UDP nor a PPM supporter says:

            UDP or PPM supporter, I could really care less; Cayman is broke and it happened on the PPM watch.  They were so far out of control that they didn’t even have any idea how much money they had to spend,let alone their failure to do the annual audits.  They committed to massive spending of money they did not have, at a time they had no reasonable grounds to believe that they would get it, having made no effort whatsoever to manage the books to gain an understanding of the government’s financial state to even know that they were already broke.  Pure recklessness and willful negligence

            I don’t run my household finances that way, my employer doesn’t run the business that way (because it would fail almost immediately if they tried), but the PPM ran the government that way – straight into the ground.

            Now Kurt wants a "united front".  What that really means is he wants to have someone do it right, and he wants to stand beside that person.

            Think about the facts before you spout political rhetoric.  Caymanians are not stupid and will not be swayed by talk of stupid ducks.

            • Anonymous says:

              That is right – we will not be swayed by the talk of stupid ducks!

  3. Anonymous says:

    There will be less tourists once they find out about all the crime, robberies at gun point and pistol whipping!!

     

    We need to concentrate on crime first and utmost 

  4. Anonymous says:

    I would like to congratulate Mr. Tibbetts and the PPM for making this step.  If the UDP had the people of Cayman at heart they would have tried to include the Opposition from the beginning and try to work together.  This is why I like the leadership of Mr. Tibbetts because he can put his differences aside and think of the people of Cayman.

  5. Anonymous says:

    You people amaze me,  Mac/UDP sold out our country to 3000+ plus strangers deprived our children from having a spot in their own country….(It will happen)

    And PPM built up our island and infrastructure we needed and you guys wanna kill them for doing good….     

    Come on PPL…aren’t you hurting from the negatives effects from the status grants…I’m sorry but I just can’t forget about it… Cayman is more benefit to them than they are to us especially the ones that rely on welfare from the government…such a shame wasn’t Mac thinkn about all of this..when he was feeling happy to sell us out..he admitted couple days ago that PPM is too protective of Cayman..Thank you PPM…if Mac ever told the truth he sure did when he said that!

    P.S can we please start taxing the money transfers?!

    I remember reading an article about how much Jamaica was receiving from lil jamRock (Cayman ) it was something like 198 mill for last year…CNS do you have this article?

    • Knowledge is Power says:

      I would like to congratulate the Hon. Kurt Tibbetts and the PPM for offering a united front.  We have a common challenge and need to work together. And not just the PPM and UDP, but all Caymanians and residents. Let’s see how the UDP responds.

      I would also like to remind both leaders and the PPM and the UDP that their MLA’s were not elected to impose direct taxation on us or to sell off essential services.  I would also like to remind them and the Chamber of Commerce, the CIFSA, CITA and other special interest groups that this goes well beyond their egos and pockets. At lot more is at stake. What I find truly disturbing about the current situation is that our country is at a cross roadsand the decisions rest with the UK Government and one Man and his personal advisors.  What about the rest of us?  Everyone acknowledges that this is a temporary financial crisis and therefore it follows that the solutions should be proportional and should not make fundamental changes that we would not otherwise support.
      If PFI has to be used then I have the following suggestions:
      (1) There should be an out clause to allow the Government to buy out the contract without penalty and at the non-inflated value, say, after two years and annually thereafter.
      (2) Interest rates are currently very low, even though it is reasonable for the investors to make a profit, the profit should not be unreasonable and they should not be making a windfall profit at the expense of the people of the Cayman Islands. It should be a win-win situation and not a rip-off.
      (3) Caymanians should be allowed to invest into the PFI.  If better interest rates than available elsewhere are offered then allow us to benefit too.  There will need to be safeguards, but please no excuses about small investors.
      Let’s see what happens, will the few benefit from this crisis at the expense of the majority and usher in the destruction of our future or will common sense and the long term interests of all of the Caymanian people prevail?
    • Anonymous says:

      You people who continuously whine about the status grants, why don’t you also blame the PPM who did their share of getting grants for their cronies?  If you are going to blame one, then blame all.  By the way, remember that unless you are a turtle or iguana, you are also from somewhere else.  Check your ancestry and whether you like it or not you too came from somewhere else so don’t be so selfish and closedminded.

      • Anonymous says:

        Whining about the status grants?! That is a very issue, you donkey!

        Obviously status grants were made by the UDP Cabinet plain and simple. The UDP decided the number that would be granted, the criteria (or lack thereof) that would be applied and the process, and you can be absolutely sure that it was done to benefit them as a party by creating new voters loyal to them. So please cut the crap trying to equate names that may have been suggested by the PPM with the grants.          

      • Anonymous says:

        WEEEELLLL obviously you not from Cayman, that’s fa sure! How can you defend the granting of 3000 status, the majority of which went to persons not deserving of it while ignoring thousands of people who have lived & worked here for many decades. There were people who had not even been to Cayman that received our once precious Caymanian status, people who had just touched down, people who had been here just weeks & months who got it! Do you agree with that you silly boy/girl? How can you be a true blood Caymanian & support such a careless & awful act?

        As for "also blame the PPM who did their share" I really wish you would stop killing yourself listening to the lies of the UDP! Mr. Bush OFFERED members of the PPM a few grants (up to 30!!!) if they submitted the names, but as ALL responsible politicans who LOVE their country more than the almighty dollar would do the PPM told them where to go, & I’m not asking you this I AM TELLING YOU! The UDP hoped that members of the PPM would submit a lot of names so they would have no grounds to argue, but it backfired. I suppose that you are so blinded by Mr. Bush’s lies that you have forgotten the motion brought by the PPM to put a stop to these grants, but it was defeated by 9 to 5 votes with the udp speaker not voting! DO YOU REMEMBER that stupid? So can you please stop following your leader telling stupid little lies, you are pathetic. THERE IS NO ONE ELSE TO BLAME FOR THE 3000 STATUS GRANTS OTHER THAN ALL OF THE UDP, & FOR YOU OR MR. BUSH & HIS CRONIEPUPPETS TO SUGGEST OTHERWISE IS PROOF POSITIVE THAT YOU KNOW THAT THE UDP HURT THIS COUNTRY BEYOND IMMAGINATION & YOU WANT COMPANY IN HELL. THE UDP IS TO BLAME & NO ONE ELSE, for GOD sake try accept that because everyone knows it already, you poor pitiful thing. You best try go check out the 9000 permanent resident grants that they have already started to give away, & if you choose not to believe that then check out the activity in room 576 of the marriott hotel, & all those brown envelopes that were being given away. Check it lackie boy, it may just be too late.

  6. Twyla Vargas says:

    KNOW WHAT I WOULD like to say? is Give Kurt and the PPM a chance. to put in their two cents,  After all they are Caymanians, and life is all about forgiving. It dont make sense for us to continue pounding them for their mistakes.   Right now I would like to see the two parties working together like mad fixing the problem.  What each party needs to realize is That too many jealous outsiders wants us to fail.  So if we are stupid enough to let that happen, then I lay blame at all who keeps us the blame game.   So, then lets unite,…….. do what has to be done even if it means a fair tax across the board for a set time.

    Lots of people in Cayman are finding it very hard to make ends meet but I believe we should all pay yearly HEAD TAX again, every person who is over the school age, men and women.  Say $50.00 a year has to be paid by all once you are working or living on this Island and is over 17 years of age.

    Taxing peoples properties………I am against that.  unless it is a small yearly fixed fee,  like the head tax.  Small bites will also fill the stomach, and small steps will still get us where we are going.  walk good, and give peace a chance.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Did "bo-bo" have any other choice than to support Mac? NO!!!! But then again he should have seen this coming when he was capatain of the ship but I guess he had no clue where he was coming from and definately had no idea where he was headed; so in summary, Kurt and his gang MISLED this country.

    • Anonymous says:

      I suppose that is better than selling out the country. Do you know that prostitution is illegal in Cayman? I suppose the UDP were not aware of that!

  8. Anonymous says:

    You folks are acting as though you have generations vested in the UDP/PPM rivalry.  Get real.  It has been less than 10 years.  The political parties are no more than personality cults.  Show me the differences in the party ideologiesd+sQ5.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I look at all these comment s and enquire who put us there? If it is the previous government with their wild spending on all the new projects at one time or the late production of govt. accounting lets get serious. I am travelling abroad and I am constantly asked if we are bankrupt and should business begin to move? I know of at least one huge company due for Cayman which has now gone  elsewhere! So would vested interests please face reality and introduce some sort of tax as the mother country will not be satisfied till we do so. Such a tax would be applicable to persons and business locally based and not to the offshore market. It does not matter what tax is suggested some segement of the local population will complain but while we continue saying not me Cayman, goes down the drain and much to the joy of GB we will be obliterated! There are several "Offshore Financial Centres" that have local taxation!

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you Mr. Tibbets it’s about time we really hear what your plans were to put the country back on its foot.

        It really does not matter which government did what at this crucial time.  I am a UDP supporter – we need solutions to the problems. I agree – that the last government went on an unaccountable spending spree; spending in hope of receiving, and not paying attention to the  down turn in the rest of the world especially the United States.  

      I have one question for the PPM, just suppose you were back in power, can you just tell us what your plans were to turn the country around.

      You were pleading, pleading, pleading to the country to put you back in, surely you knew what mess we were in , even in the absence of such a global ecomical down-turn.

      Please, lets forget about the bickering, and come forward and give the government your plans had you gotten back in power.  – We the people are suffering  – We need help.

       

         

    • Anonymous says:

      Quit dreaming and wake up to reality.

      Taxation is not the answer to our problem.

      We need fiscal responsibility which means it is time to cut the cloth to suit our size.

       We have too much government and insufficient income, meaning that we must cut government to suit our requirements and resources. It is as simple as that.

      We can not spend more than we earn and expect to balance our Budget.

      Get rid of all the hang arounds and lets be realistic.

      The British have every reason to express that to us because we dont seem to be able to see it for ourselves. Time to wake up and stop day dreaming.

      • Lachlan MacTavish says:

        I agree….fiscal responsibility is paramount. Should have been paramount a decade ago. BUT fiscal responsibility will not take care of the "numbers" each resident is responsible for at present.

        Lachlan MacTavish 

  10. Shif Shah says:

    I am not interested in the PPM or UDP debate.  Party politics in Cayman is hopelessly immature and reflects upon the poor quality of the politicians in this country.  But Kurt Tibbetts is a liability for Cayman.  His tenure in government was full of great words but little action.  He oversaw spending we could not afford while hampering the publication of government accounts.  He antagonised the rest of the world with nonsense speeches like the "first do no harm" comment.  He did damage to the financial services industry through sheer inactivity and unnecessary policies of Caymanization.  His party were wiped out.  He has no place at the table, big place though that would need to be. 

     

    • Anonymous says:

      For someone who is not interested in th UDP vs. PPM debate you take a very partisan stance. There is absolutely no basis for the statement that Kurt Tibbetts "hampered the publication of government accounts". The "first do no harm" comment was ineffectual but was hardly antagonistic. His party was not "wiped out" and clearly it represents a large minority of the electorate and therefore does have a place at the table in the same way that the UDP Opposition had a place at the table in the Constitution negotiations.  Please explain the "unnecesary policies of Caymanization" comment.

    • Anonymous says:

      u sound like such a charm and you know so much….perhaps you should be running the Country? I think not!!

      • Grammar Police says:

        The "C" in country should not be capitalised. 

        Personally, I prefer the more accurate spelling t-e-r-r-i-t-o-r-y.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The Cayman Islands Government is costing each resident about $75,00 per year. or about $30,000 per family of four.

    How is this? Well, suppose the total income of the Cayman Islands is about $550 million, the Government’s take is 80%, and there are about 60,000 people.

    So calculate 80% of $550 million divided by 60,000, and you will get $7500 per person, or $30,000 per family of four.

    This is where Caymanians can really decrease expenses and get their economy moving again

     

     

     

  12. Anonymous says:

    What Cayman needs to do is reduce the cost of government,

    By some accounts, the Cayman Government uses up 60 to 80% of the entire Cayman Islands income.

    The Governments income is around $550 million, and there are about 60,000 people living here.  That amounts to about $10,000 per person.

    And what do we get for our money?  If there was no CI Government, we would be far better off. Without this huge tax burden, private industry would take off, and would productively employ thousands of Caymanians.

    Why Caymanians cannot see this, cannot see how they are being held by their own Government, is a mystery.

    New taxes, whether a payroll tax, increased duty, or any other tax will only increase the cost of living in the Cayman Islands.

    Reducing the cost of Government will do the opposite. The Cayman Islands Government is far too costly, and far too inefficient, for the Cayman Island people to continue to support.

    It needs to be reduced by at least 50%, or even 90%. Only then can we expect the Cayman Islands to be placed back on a solid footing.

     

     

     

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      What a stupid comment. If only there were no government and private industry could do as they pleased they would employ thousands of Caymanians then all would be well. Which planet do live on?!

      "It needs to be reduced by 50% or even 90%". You have no concept of thenumbers and have clearly just plucked these from air. One of the reasons the cost of running govt. is so expensive is because of the quality infrastructure and the range of services that we demand from govt. We do not want to be stuck in traffic jams or have to negotiate around potholes so govt. must build more roads and improve existing roads to a high quality. We expect free primary and secondary education for our children, social services assistance for our elderly and indigent and, unfortunately for our loafers as well. There would be no financial services industry without government. Can it really be that you simply do not understand (a) the role of govt. and (b) that we the people have demanded of govt. an enhanced role? We have ourselves to blame.          

  13. MaH says:

    Cayman must make a united stand against the Uk government or there will be no going back.  If the UK force us to introduce taxation we may as well close up shop, the media will have a field day and investors will leave by the droves thinking it is an indication of more things to come.  If the UK won’t give us permission to borrow in the interim then we should be thinking about breaking our ties with the UK as they are doing nothing to help us, we have signed all their treaties, and still they have demands.  The demands will continue in order to shift the embarrassing state of affairs of the economy from the responsible states to the little states- we are the US/UK scapegoat for a right royal mess of a global recession.

     

  14. Anonymous says:

    Casinos…here’s a start with research.

    http://www.lasvegassun.com.news/2009/jan/30/reports-gaming-revenue-down-casino-debt-climbing/

    http://www.mydesert.com/2009/0827/NEWS06/908270316/competition-heating-up-between-Southern-California–Vegas-casinos&ref

    Here’s a couple of links to click. Now mind you, you can bet on "high-rollers," but kindly take in consideration that they sometimes skip out on their credit lines that are not always made public, example, former NBA Charles Barkley (aka Sir Charles Barkley) was made public.

    Research should be thorough.

    ***I think a good part of the research is asking the repeat tourists their thoughts on bringing in a casino.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      Good points…..there needs to be a lot of research, a lot of control and monitoring but IMO the up side would be good for Cayman’s stay over tourism which is languishing. The "same old" approach to tourism will no longer work. In reference to Cayman’s existing "return" stay over tourists. God love them. There are so many loyal returnees and I am not referring to condo owners who are also loyal. I believe polling returnees would not create useful stats. If I was a returning stay over, non condo owner, tourist I would vote against  roads, new hotels , casino’s, fast food…..just about anything that takes away Caribbean charm. BUT that won’t pay the bills especially when you are over drawn with no concrete method of paying off the debt.

      Respectfully,

      Lachlan MacTavish

      • Anonymous says:

        Mr. McTavish,

        You are advising that we not poll return stay-over tourists because their advice will be to not remove the Caribbean charm, which is what they have been saying for years, and we keep ignoring them, which results in less and less of them coming.  So this time we should ignore them yet again, so that we can build a casino because we need the money????? from who?  Are you saying that we should continue to ignore these people, so we can destroy our stay-over tourism niche, so that we can build casinos, so that we can build our stay-over tourism market?  If we lose the stay over tourists, then I assume you are saying that their contribution will be replaced by the portion of residents who gamble. Well let;s compare the social costs.  If tourists are gambling the social costs are minimized, if we are gambling the social costs are maximized, since the people litterally losing their shirts will be living here, not visiting here.

        If your intent was to say that we would lose the people that have supported us for the past 30 years and replace them with a new breed of stay-over tourists, then I am a bit upset because we should show some loyalty to those that have shown loyalty to us consistently, and whose loyalty only fell off when we progressed towards Miami-izing the country.  Once we have casinos, then we are in competition with the other countries that have casinos, which means we start from  scratch again, to build a product, while abandoning what is left of what makes us special.

        Yes the stay over tourists wanted us to remain ‘simple’.  There is nothing wrong with this, we just have to get used to having less luxuries.  As for the financial situatiation, lets find another way.  Start with financial services industry truly paying their way.  You can’t call it a tax if it is a fund established by them, paid into from profits each year, handed to Government with certain stipulations, and certain incentives to fund it.  And let’s not make any mistakes, no matter what level of contribution by either local party,, the fact is, this problem was caused by the same people sitting in the same chairs, getting bailed out by Governments all over the world, collecting bonuses and living in other peoples’ mansions.  The Industry in Cayman has made trillions (and whatever comes after trillions – quadrillions I assume, but I am too tired to look it up right now) , stop telling us how much you contribute to the economy – which is really very little in comparision to what you make and of course Government forces you to do that much – pay back something to the country that allowed you to make so much.

        • Lachlan MacTavish says:

          I certainly respect and agree with much of what you are saying. What I was trying to express and probably not doing a very good job was that Cayman needs big new income streams for the next 10 yrs to recover from this over spend and the deficit income for the CIG. If we don’t reduce GOV, find a new steady tax income stream, stop the spiraling duty system and make Cayman more competitive in the tourism and financial services then there won’t be much for    any    stay over tourists to visit. You have a position that I have agreed with for yrs. Fast food and mini me South Beach have not helped Cayman for the long run but unfortunately this financial stress on the country is to big. It needs very aggressive action.

          Lachlan MacTavish 

    • Teecha says:

      Your research is somewhat one sided.

      Fail.

      • Anonymous says:

        IMO, there are no happy endings with gambling. Additionally, IMHO, there are no winners, except the casinos.

        Yes, there are some revenues that will go to the government. Again, IMO, these revenues are quickly absorbed by the social ills the casinos bring.

        I listed some other sites, but, I don’t think it passed the muster to be posted.

        ***the sites that are listed above, please scroll down and read some of the comments from the gamblers.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Tibbetts, if you want to stand in solidarity with the UDP with respect to the finances of this country please submit to the public via CNS how your party, if elected on may 20, would have financed these ongoing projects?

    Until the PPM isable to bring water to the thirsty (bring solutions to the table) the solidarity rhetoric is just hot air, leaving the people to continue questioning the PPM’s ability to lead and manage the country’s finances.

  16. I. C. You There! says:

    Governor’s Blog of 09-25-09

    Slightly off topic here Wendy but it is in the big picture of Kurt’s support ….apologies to CNS.

    We as Caymanians better wake up and stop the PPM/UPD nonsense and start supporting our government whichever party is in power. Kurt, very late idea but at least it is on the table…thank you…sorry your government did not recognized the pending financial disaster and do something about it.

    The Governor in his latest blog suggests that he believes that it is “rubbish” that the UK is out to destroy the Cayman Islands financial centre…maybe he is correct and he should be. Maybe he is correct and the FCO is just bumbling along ineptly. Maybe they are trying to but just have not told him either, however these are some of the reasons why the Caymanians are saying so:

    1. Britain now competes with the Cayman Islands for business. This fact alone is good reason to try to destroy (or more accurately, “not care of its fate”) of our offshore business. We see the Libyan deals for oil even after the Pan Am disaster that killed so many in Lockerbie – Business comes first for the major world powers- they understand that and so do we.

    2. Britain is forcing the Cayman Islands to a standard on budgeting higher than their own. They are currently borrowing Billions monthly to feed their government spending and are less likely to pay it back with direct taxation than we are with indirect taxation.

    3. Britain leads the world chorus against the Offshore territories – see any Gordon Brown speech in the last ten years!

    4. The Governor has said he must side with his Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, who has never shown anything but contempt for these islands. We think HE has no choice but to follow his leader. We remember the official (and unofficial) reasons given for Mr. Brown’s not attending a conference here in 1999. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/1999/jul/25/observerbusiness.theobserver8 (good old Guardian again…..hmmm?)

    5.Caymanians cannot understand the chaos this Governor has created over his term with various investigations, bullishly continuing even after evidence & law identified problems. No level of Good governance can explain the ongoing debacle regarding this and damage of the resulting headlines worldwide. This is either gross, gross incompetence or something else.

    6.Britian’s support for OECD and FATF draconian concepts of financial transparency and anti money laundering that is not even practiced onshore. If Britain really was for our financial centre they would ensure these laws and agreements are simultaneously executed at home and through out the onshore centres. It is commonly accepted that London and New York are the two largest money laundering centres in the world. Sample article found here http://www.rense.com/general28/money.htm

    7. Britain’s 1997 white paper for “prosperity” is so one-sided and not really a ‘partnership” in the true definition of such. However it clearly states- get your tourism/environment in order, get out of financial business and here is your British Citizenship back in case you need it to come and get a job over here.

    8. Britain has over 600 years of deceiving and manipulating its colonies. It is the Master at this. This is documented by the British themselves…. lets think Chagos Islands for a minute….” http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/1005064.stm ” …..it is clear that no colony should EVER think the British would put their interest first…we understand this but I am surprised that our Governor would not recognize Britain’s reputation and history proceeded him to our shores.

    I could go on but clearly the Governor will have to do a lot more Blogging and Minister Bryant will have to write a lot more in the Guardian for the Caymanians to accept this concept of UK support for its Financial Centre. Until then, the valid concern of Caymanians will remain.

  17. Anonymous says:

    This is why I am such a proud supporter of the PPM and esp Kurt Tibbetts; they are all about love of Country, not love for self or special interest friends! I slept well at nights knowing our Country was in the hands of the PPM….nowadays however, I toss and turn so much at nights I get ‘sea sick’. Thanks Kurt! Thanks PPM! You did this Country proud no matter what the naysayers might blabber on about….no matter how you dice it or slice it, you put money where it was most needed to benefit the Caymanian people! Some people seem to want to forget about the three years prior to the global recession…they want to pretend our situation is all about mismanagement of government funds…these people need to wake up and smell the coffee! They are the jokers!

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow – good golly Miss Molly.  What planet are you  from that you slept so well under the incompetent PPM administration? They are responsible for running the finances of this country into the ground.  Perhaps the last investigation the Governor should lead before he leaves the island is into the capabiity or the lack thereof of the PPM administration and charge them with mismanagment of public funds. 

      Those  jokers should be the poster children for what not to do with Government funds.

      • Anonymous says:

        The PPM were certainly no worse than the previous UDP administration and in many ways significantly better. There were no reasons to suspect corruption. There was more transparency. They built needed infrastructure and not ridiculous pet projects like Boatswain’s Beach that will never pay for themselves. Do you really think the Affordable Housing Initiative was a feather in the cap of the UDP? Or Boatswain’s Beach which the Auditor General was the greatest waste of goverrnment resources he had ever encountered, or the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal which again reflected waste and clearly does not serve the purpose since new facilities are being demanded by the cruise ships.  The UDP are at least equally responsible for running the finances of the country into the ground and just so happened that they were not in power when the proverbial started to hit the fan.

        And what has significantlyhelped put us in this position are the Governor’s various fruitless investigations. You are clearly a part of the problem.  

  18. Anonymous says:

    I  am very happy to see the Leader of the Opposition take this stand. It actually makes me see that when it comes right down to it Caymanians will unite to save ourselves.

    This problem is not simply a PPM/UDP matter. This has been brought on by years and years of plenty and  not enough wisdom to prepare for lean times.

    The PPM’s spending spree, coupled with the Governor’s imposition of a ‘state of emergency’ with his Operation Tempura and all the other expensive investigations and pay-outs; and then the Global economic crisis; two major hurricanes in 4 years.  All of these things have come together and presented the ‘perfect storm’ for the Cayman Islands.

    Stop the blame game people and let’s face this thing head-on. This is where we’re at and it looks like two choices only. The status quo will no longer hold. We have to choose – will it be reimposition of direct rule, or political Independence?

    I think that’s what we’re up against.

    CNS: could you do a poll on this please? Direct Rule from the U.K. or Independence?

    CNS: OK, go to the CNS online polls

     

  19. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    Just a clarification. Kurt I have nothing against a united front. I applaud you for stating this publicly. Many of us would like to see a true united effort with no politics. Solve this problem quickly as leaders of the country. Stabilize ….then get back to politics.

    Wish you all luck….

    Lachlan MacTavish

  20. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    IMHO……the solution……

    New income stream via PROPERTY TAX….administered through Land Registry so it can be monitored, collected  andenforced.

    Receive UK permission to borrow. The borrowing is a stop gap not a solution.

    Reduce the civil service by 33%……hard but necessary.

    Privitize DOT,IT, PWC, Wsate managment, Pedro’s and Boatswaine, Prison, Social services and health care for a start.

    Introduce new income streams. Hotel (no free standing)guest only casino licenses for hotel of 250 rooms and over and an international lottery just as a start.

    With the new stable CIG income from Prop Tax create a long term sustainable budget for the country. Look at reducing the old duty system for food, resident necessities and tourism products, financial services fees. This gives the population relief and creates a more competitive tourism and fin services industries.

    This allows the Cayman Islands to have a smaller more efficient government, quality services for the residents, sustainable income to weather global economic issues, changes the antiquated tax/duty/fees ever increasing system, creates a budget which is transparent and shouldn’t get out of control…..as I said it is at least a start.

    Lachlan MacTavish

    • Anonymous says:

      Lachlan — you should have run for a position in government. Those are all the right ideas but its been 3 weeks and they haven’t been done.

      Good luck — lot of innocent people are hurting because of this mess!

  21. Anonymous says:

    yep, typical of ppm, offered nothing new in gov and are even worse in opposition

  22. Anon says:

    Here we go again. Yet another another person saying NO to a solution……. but not offering any other solutions in their place.

    • Dred says:

      This is not the solution. This is simply a blank check to more ludicrous spending.

      What we need is savings not more expenses. We need smaller CIG and a CIG that is being run sensible. We need Civil Service to stand down. No one is going to completely trample them but the facts remain true. We are paying full health and full pensions and pensions at a higher rate than the rest of us. This alone will be a humongous savings should this be reversed.

      Then we need to add more services but not more staff. We need to move excess staff from overloaded departments into the new jobs.

      Next CIG needs to move more towards automation. Online paying of things such as Drivers License renewals and car license renewals. Immigration also probably can do some automation and probably customs if the departments are examined.

      These things will make work easier for businesses and the CIG also meaning staff changes and more efficiency.

      • Anonymous says:

        The civil service pays their own pensions portion, just like everyone else does. Only their bosses accunt for it differently. – The questions isn’t why they get paid such a "higher rate" of pesions than other companies, its why the rest of society accepts such a low pension? Ask a financial planer how much you should be saving for retirement (as a % of income) then look at your pension % and wonder where the difference is going to come from. I know some civil servants do.

        Since when doesn’t it count as being trampled on when an employer tries to unilaterally cut contracted remuneration amounts? What would you consider trampling? Theres a way to renegotiate contracts and a way to, well, do whatever the government has been doing.

        This isn’t saying that the Civil Service doesn’t need to be reduced but ‘willy-nilly’ budget cuts are not the targeted and appropriate rdeductions in overstaffed areas to suplement more critical understaffed areas that you call for.

        Stop letting your bile and bias override your good sense.

        • Dred says:

          No reason for government to be spending 1% more than Private Sector. Only 5% is stated in law. CIG need not pay one cent more. PERIOD!@@

          • Anonymous says:

            I think you all are missing the point.  The poster said that the 6% being paid for cvil servants is not enough, and the 5% being paid for you is not enough.  Therefore, instead of trying to pull the civil service down (crabs-in-a-barrel works in more ways than we thought), you should be demanding that yours goes up.  People, like it or not, the easiest thing to do is very rarely the best course of action.  There is tons Government can do to reduce costs, and the only thing that so far has the effect of forcing them to at least ry to find real solutions is the lobbying of the civil service that you all are so hell-bent against.

            Also, the statement that let-go civil servants will be taken into the private sector is unrealistic.  We already see problems with Caymanians who have been let-go from private sector companies getting jobs in the same private sector.  So what makes you think that this will easily work itself out when you let go 1/3rd of of the civil service?  That’s over 1300 more unemployed peole by the way.  And I also take the writers other point, 1/3rd of the civil service is expat, will you all support us getting rid of all of them?  it will satisfy your call for us to be cut, and it will satisfy the government’s need for cash savings?  let’s see your comments please?

        • Dred says:

          How about job layoffs, would you prefer for the CIG to run out of funds and cut your job? This is a reality in the private sector. CIG staff are pampered pets to be honest. There are areas in CIG where it is taking 3 people to do what one would be required to do in Private sector.

          I have taken my won eyes and watched full blown conversations happening in Immigration and Customs while lines are present. It comes in like the officers at times could care less that business owners and people on their lunch are in there trying to get something done on their lunch hour.

          We need goals for officers at desk to turn customers around completely but expediously. There are many positions teller related that could be combined due to automation of processes.

          I stand firmly by the fact that CIG is heavily obese.

        • Anonymous says:

          When exactly did civil servants start paying their 50% portion of pensions?? You’re quite right that it is accounted for differently.  It is shown as a deduction on one side and then on the same pay slip the full amount is credited back.  They zero out – so therefore the civil servant does not pay anything the government pays the full amount.

          This was all well and good when the govt. had the money to afford it. Now they don’t – it’s that simple.

          I also agree with the poster who said that the civil service needs to be down sized by approx. 33%. They will not necessarily add to the unemployed as a matter of fact they should NOT be unemployed for very long at all.  There has to be an integration/absorption into the private sector by reducing the number of work permits proportionately as needed.

          This needs to be done. Problem is that this government and every one before it is damn afraid of the civil servants and their votes. Time to get past that now and do what is right for the country.

          I wonder if civil servants realize that their stubborness may just be the ‘hair that breaks the camel’s back’?  

          Would you rather have a more effcient and lean service, or would you rather that the country if forced into independence because of poor fiscal management?

          Time for a reality check, people.

           

          • Anonymous says:

              You are speaking like a foolish person:

             

            The government should just get rid of all the overseas contracts that are sitting in other peple’s sets hiding from the roll over – I bet, you will hear a lot of kicking and screaming from those unappreciated expacts who thinks the Cayman Islands is theirs..

    • pls read says:

       at least he’s not suggesting selling out Cayman!

  23. Johnny Cake wid a cup of coffey(e) says:

    Thank you Mr. Tibbetts for your leadership position on this matter.  Until your press conference a couple weeks ago and this release, it has been difficult to feel confident.  Your stable presentations adds breath to many lungs.

    We pray for continued wisdom to all our leaders.

  24. Shif Shah says:

    Mac – get some cojones!  You have refused to stand up to the civil service when cuts are necessary to save this country’s budget and its future.  What have you done to reduce spending?  Nothing.  Give the UK a sign that your are committed to sorting out our over-fat government, rather than appeasing those who are overpaid, overperked and underworked just because they may live in West Bay.

  25. Gerald says:

    Get the IT team to indentify the culprit. Fire them.  Every sacked civil servant is a good civil servant at the moment.

  26. Anonymous says:

    What a joke, just a ploy. The fox that killed the chickens now want to pay for the funeral. Give us a break with the nice guy personality. Fiscal mismanagement is what got us here

  27. Anonymous says:

     Shame on you Kurt for causing this.  SHAME

    • Anonymous says:

      you are so retarded you poor pitiful fool. This all started when Mr. Bush & his UDP gave these islands away, to make themselves richer. Any fool could see what was going on. Not only did they overspend massively during ’01 & ’05, but they also gave away the country to whoever was willing to pay a few dollars! Add those unforgivable status grant give aways & then we begin to see when this all started! So please drop the nonesence & lies about it all started under the PPM! What did the PPM do? Spendmoney on the people of this country rather than spending money of themselves & colleagues! The scools are necessary, the roads are necessary & loved by everyone, the government building is stroke of genius, & the PPM was above board with everything! Compare that to the constant corruption, selling out, overspending, special interests, special favors, under the table dealings, and the money pocketing, and then we can all see when this mess all started!

  28. Anonymous says:

    It is Kurt Tibbets and his PPM cowboys who got us in this mess, no wonder he is offering support/solidarity to the UDP now.

    For goodness sake, how did they planned to build three schools, (one in West Bay, one in George Town, one in Frank Sound) and a new Government Administration Building all at the same time ???

    As the old saying goes to this recent solidarity and support of the UDP, "it’s too little, too late" Mr. Big Cowboy Kurt !!!

    Hope you are planting plenty of cassava, botlas and sweet potatoes these days and that harvesting will be in "surplus" in your Northward backyard, so that when civil servants and the general public have no jobs and goes hungry because of your stupidity, we can come to your residence for a "good hand out" of breadkind to make a good "rundown".

    Hey and by the way, we like our "rundown" with "salt beef and pig tail" so you better get Shirley to place a large order with "Willie in Hutland" to have some of that available for us as well.  !!!!!

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank GOD you can go to Kurt Tibbetts & get cassava, botlas & sweet potatoes. He is an honest man that grows many GOOD things in his backyard. Unlike Mckeeva Bush who grows nothing, but supports many of his fellow West Bayers who grow plenty of grass. We all know his record, and how the first person anyone wants to call when they are arrested for grass offences is the one person who helps them, mckeeva Bush. That is the difference between the two leaders, one is an honest man who works hard & plants his own food, vegetables & fruits, while the other is well known for his involvement in………… well you get the message! Which do you prefer? I prefer my leader to be an honest, hard working gentleman who would not sell his country & people out for the almighty dollar. Prostitution is illegal in Cayman & I believe that it should remain so, so I do not support my leader selling out for any amount of money. Unfortunately, it is quite obvious which type of leader you like & support, but the less of your type the better for Cayman. CAYMAN IS NOT FOR SALE, LET MR. BUSH KNOW THAT!

  29. slowpoke says:

    Inviting opposition members to the table is helpful but, not a panacea.  Together, they still only represent 14,000 (at best) members of the population. 

    If you want more impact and influence, you have to have much broader community support by including (YIKES!) expats, CIFSA members, accountants, bankers, real estate brokers, hotel managers, doctors, journalists, even lawyers if need be,   

    Otherwise it will be “divide and conquer”.

     

  30. Anonymous says:

    Thank goodness someone in the LA has sense! Go KT!!!!

    "Tibbetts reiterated his belief that Cayman’s experience is akin to all countries, including the United Kingdom and is temporary as a result of the unprecedented GLOBAL financial crisis.  The present global circumstances and their consequences are grave indeed, but they are TEMPORARY in nature and must be regarded and treated as such.”  

    My first point this being a GLOBAL crisis, which took a little longer to trickle into Cayman but finally it has.  Considering 60% of Cayman’s revenue is attained from investing and with various Economists concluding that the main cause of this Global recession is due to increased spending by consumers and governments, with not enough saving then of course, who would be investing/saving in Cayman?  Our 2nd largest source of income, tourism, has been hit drastically since the recession has set in globally since no one could afford to take vacations anymore.  So please help me understand how McKeeva and other UDP supporters are continuing to blame our financial crisis on the small PPM administration?  It’s so embarassing to me as a Caymanian to have our leader point the fingers at the previous administration for our financial crisis, nationally through the media.  This not only doesn’t help fix our current problem, but places doubt on the minds of those who would be willing to extend anymore loans to this "new and improved" government, after all let’s face it, McKeeva and the rest of UDP wasn’t heaven sent, (at least I don’t recall getting that memo).

    The U.S. is facing one of the largest recessions, since the great depression of the 1920s.  The U.S. being one of the world’s largest exporters, and with Cayman only being able to produce its own water and having to rely heavily on Imports, we can see how thisrecession will affect not only the U.S. but anyone else that has ever ate a box of Kellogg’s cereal!  Not to mention Gas prices tripling compared to what they were 4 to 5 years ago and we all know, Gas is currently US$2.30 in the U.S. but yet in Cayman it’s still well over CI$3.00 and not to mention CUC’s outrageous fuel charges on their utility bills.  I don’t recall anyone paying $800 for an electric bill 5 years ago – pre-Ivan,  but still place blame on PPM??   

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes I in fact do place blame on the PPM for being so arrogant as to ignore prudent warnings from many sectors of the country that in fact the capital expenditures were excessive and needed to be phased in at least.

      Until the PPM take responsiblity for this MISTAKE they will not be trustworthy to handle the country’s finances out into the future. Every PPM member should look past party partisanship at the ignored warning of a future recession and ignored warnings of excessive spending for the betterment of the Cayman Islands.

      The PPM leadership should stand up and show the country that they now understand their mistake and will not repeat it. 

      • Anon says:

        What continues to amaze me is that some persons still appear to think that this issue was caused by the last administration. All of the administrations in the past 25 years had a hand it it. Simply by not continuously improving our required infrastructure to keep pace with projected growth, they are all guilty.

        Even if the last administration had not embarked on any capital projects our county would still be in a large deficit position. Maybe by 5 or 10 million or so less but still a large deficit. So in a way the last administration is guilty of recognising these issues and trying to do something about them that would help as all. Unfortunately they got caught by the global crisis.

        We have people ranting against foreign workers but then also ranting against schools which would improve our citizens. You cannot have it both ways. Please think. Use some good Caymanian common sense.

        If the revenue was continuing along like before, then there would not be a breach of the financial regulations and borrowing would be allowed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Gas prices are not triple what they were 4-5 years ago.   

      You cannot compare gas prices at the pump in the US since (1) they fluctuate on a daily basis according to market prices. I have just returned from the U.S. where it was $2.50 at some stations. Cayman prices depend upon the price paid for the last shipment. (2) we have to factor in transportation costs and duty ($0.50 per gal).  

  31. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations for making this move!  We all need to come together to face our problems as a country and it gives hope when our leaders can communicate this way.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh, please.  The PPM had no constructive solutions while they were in the house and even have less now.  Who would want to take advice from the very same party who put us in this bloody mess.  If they could come up with a decent  idea they would still be Government.  As usual KT has nothing to offer but empty political rhetoric as told to him by the want to be Opposition leader AM.  Leave the UDP to pull us out of this mess, right now, they are the best men for the job. So lets leave them alone long enough to get it done.   We are in this together, so stop the jealousy, the PPM lost the election already. Let it go!

  32. da wa ya get says:

    I know it must have taken a lot for Kurt to offer a united front with the UDP, but he is a good man, and I am glad to see it. We need to stand up to the UK together.

    I have said before that I am not completly opposed to voting for the UDP, but this is why I lean towards the PPM. This is why I voted for the PPM, they think about the good of the country. They think about the long term implications of their decisions and positions.

    The funny thing is, even though I lean towards PPM, I’ve never considered myself PPM until now. I’m proud of the education reform, the new government administration building, the new roads, and the tourism apprentiship program!

    I can’t think of one project that Mac or UDP has completed that I would consider myself proud of…that says something…

    Anyway, despite the obvious missteps, I’m proud of the accomplishments of the last government, and I’m now proud to say that I’m confident (by their actions)  that PPM is for the people (both expats and Caymanians) who care about the long term success of this country.

    I just hope that Mac will accept Kurt’s offer.

  33. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    All due respect…this is not politics….not cooperating PPm and UDP….not solidarity…..this is hugeeeeee……we have spent more than we can make and more than we can recover from in the next decade. This is prime time…..decisions have to be made…..steady CIG income …..having another TX….another tax…we already have taxes…having another one will not kill the country. Complacency…..politrics….finger pointing….non decision making……WILL kill the country.

    Lachlan MacTavish

    • Anonymous says:

      Easy Lach….don’t worry…nobody takes you seriously….you don’t live here anymore so you don’t really have a voice….you don’t understand the issues.  Politics or not, Mr. Tibbetts is right on the mark….NO taxes is the way to go to preserve our international integrity as an offshore jurisdiction of choice….and if there’s any ulterior motives in the Opposition Leader’s offer to the LOGB, I’m not worried as the LOGB is on top of his game and can see through any smoke screen….he will know what to do…..so don’t flatter yourself as someone who thinks he knows what’s good for Cayman….how could you…you decided to bail!

      • Lachlan MacTavish says:

        Again at a disadvantage because I don’t know your name. But I, my wife and children are Cayman Citizens and proud of it. Like many Caymanians we do not live in out home right now. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we don’t have an opinion or some educated insight. I am probably more in tune with what is happening at home now than when I resided on the island. Some of my solutions might be reasonable and good but at least I present a solution. "Bail" is an incorrect perception. Hope this all works out very soon for everyone.

        Lachlan MacTavish

    • Dred says:

      Mr MacTavish,

      I am no one but I respectfully disagree with you.

      I believe the very first step in all of this must be a unification of our nation by way of our representatives. I believe Big Mac needs to realise two very important things.

      1) He gets no where by launching personal attacks at PPM

      2) His attacks at PPM and his CRIES only attract negative publicity and it is some of that publicity that is creating the standoff today.

      I could also add that the more people are working together to find solutions the less fighting they are going to be doing when ideas are brought forward. The more we are unified in our respect to the UK the more they respect the determination to meet the challenges.

      So the first step MUST be PPM and UDP burying the hatchet for the good of the country and for this I applaud Mr Tibbetts and can only pray Mr Bush takes this and runs with it for what it is worth.

      Past this I feel that there are areas we can explore to find money and unfortunately for the Civil Service I am targeting them again and for good reason. I agree with you Mr MacTavish that our CIG is too fat but I feel the first step to east the cash flow is to simply make the Civil Service like the private sector to pay their share of health and pensions. I would also reduce pensions to 10% like the rest of us are paying.

      This alone should equal a fair chunk of change. I would not be surprised if that alone rang up about 20Mil annually.

      The next step as a gesture of goodwill and a stance to show their willingness to do the same I think the MLAs should give back their increases and reset their salaries to previous levels. This is not going to save government but sets the stage anything else that might be deemed necessary.

      This is where we need to get down and dirty.

      I don’t believe what we need is a forever afair. The world is in a recession and this is impacting us but there are other reasons and the quicker we understand them and work around the or thru them the better we will be.

      Tourism 

      We need to do something about the ever falling numbers to the Cayman Islands. I believe we need to revamp ourselves. We are too expensive for the product we are now offering. We use to be an Island getaway but now we are Little NY.

      a) Lower Airline prices on a more permanent basis to attract volume.

      b) Simulaneously rebrand the Cayman Islands as an affordable getaway.

      c) Pull Hotels, Restaurants, Watersports together to form a group based marketing campaign where dollars can be grouped to target the US in a more efficient manner.

      Lets face one small fact. We are too expensive. When a family of 4 tries to come here just to land they are paying US$1,200 to US$1,500. Hotels run another US$1,400 per week. They generally don’t have much funds to do much else after that especially during these hard times. We need low season rates during high season kind of approach. A hotel room once not sold in any night can never be recovered. It is gone.

      Next we also need to look at things that are developingaround us. The day Cuba opens up we will face unprecidented tourism challenges as many US visitors will abandone the Cayman Islands for Cuba.

      Next, we need look at all that we have to offer and work to bring all assets to the forefront. Little Cayman comes to mind but we need to do it smart.

      Also, we need to investigate the Casino ideas because this will present us with "high rollers" who have money to spend. These guys/gals will end up buying homes here and opening businesses etc. We can also garter from this business casino tourism such as tournaments.

      Financial Sector

      I believe we need to get back to the thinking block on how we can get our edge back. We are loosing ground and its not only because we are in recession because if that was the case we wouldn’t be loosing positions in our global position because all countries would be.

      Questions such as are we pricing our products too high? Is government doing all it can to be efficient in a manner that saves CIG time and the Financial company money? We need to answer the pressing questions such as why are business consolidating away from the Cayman Islands? Are we poor geographically or priced too high personel or products wise?

      Other

      What else can we do to set Cayman Islands forward.

      Lotteries have been thrown around and here is my position on this. We can do this two ways which generate money. But before I go there let me state something first and foremost.

      At present the Cayman Islands Police Force is doing nothing to enforce the laws of the Cayman Islands against the playing of numbers. In fact MANY officers are active buyers of numbers and this is not rumour this is FACTS.

      Now saying about we have but two avenues to deal with this. We can make nothing off of it and leave it as is and watch our countries money going out the door OR.. We can regulate them and make money off of it.

      We have now two ways to go. Get into the business of a lottery and make money direct or choose to regulate them outright like any other business.

      We tell them they must form a business and get regulatory license to form a money based business much the same way banks do.

      On top of this each operation must set up agents and pay a per agent fee. Each operation must have an office. Each agent must be registered seller and this is filed with CIMA or Immigration or a special department set up for this.

      Now the question need be asked why would they want to do this? Simple. Do it or be cracked down on. These big wigs in this business makes tons of money and they can afford lawyers and accountants and all that goes with it to set this up. They haven’t done it yet because they did not have to and were not allowed to under the law because it was illegal.

      I believe this is a new form of income for the Cayman Islands. Now on top of this what you do is to add a tax to money being sent out of Cayman to get money off the money going out of Cayman.

      Now on top of this there are other things that need addressing:

      1) Collection of Garbage fees

      2) Reinstating Education fees

      3) New Fee on Private Schools of CI$100 per student per year. These schools are collecting CI$600 to CI$1,000 per month. I believe they should give back to the Government for a portion of what they are making. CI$100 per year is on the bottom end only 1.39% of their take.

      I think a next situation needs to come with the banks. I believe their are things the banks can do to assist the CIG in offering plans that emphasize immediate cash savings such as extending the loan periods and a more scaled interest rate system which is lower at front end and increases every 5 years.

      I think all businesses that do business with CIG must realise that these are not good times and if they want to have a environment that is friendly to their growth and success it’s now time they stood upand helped CIG with a meaningful solution that does not always enhance their bottomline.

      I would also like to see CIG get creative and introduce some new taxes but I am not in favor of any tax linked to payroll at all. Maybe one linked to consumption but not payroll.

      Finally I would like to to say that I feel Civil Service is in a really difficult position and if they don’t fully realise this then I fear when it hits them it will be too hard for them to swallow. Something needs to be done about the amount of money being out out on CIG salaries. If we are not going to take cuts one way you can bet it will come another way. Fact is CIG is obese for lack of a better word and it needs to loose weight and fast.

      I believe if MLAs volunteer a salary rollback CIG as a whole should volunteer a 2% in an effort to save jobs. YES this is only 2.5Mil but trust me when I say every little bit counts.

      So I do not agree with direct taxation but I think a serious overhaul needs to be done across the way we do business in a full reflection of the environment we are in and have been in for sometime. Tourism was a problem long before recession and so was the finance industry also. Now with the introduction of measures by OECD and other bodies geared on killing "Tax Havens" we need to somewhat reinvent ourselves in a way that puts us in a stronger and more unique position.

      I believe taxes in the form of Payroll, Income or Property is our first step towards destroying these Islands.

       

      • Lachlan MacTavish says:

        Dred…..your first sentence is incorrect. "You are someone" …you have stood up, voiced your opinion, you are interested in your country and home. Some of what you suggest I don’t quite agree with but hey you are a right to your opinions and you are presenting ideas/solutions which many people forget to do. It is ok to question, object to how your country is being run but only if you provide a solution rather than just objecting for the sake of objecting.

        Very good post….keep them coming

        Lachlan MacTavish

  34. Anonymous says:

    Mr Tibbett’s have always been the kind of leader that puts his country that he loves so much before anything else.  I’m so proud to be a PPM supporter. They had great intentions for these Islands it’s just that the revenues went down and the expenditure went up which is what happening in mostly every Country today.  Now we must all give credit where credit is due have you seen the size of the new Govt Build?? it is ginormous which should hold a lot of the civil servants…and save on a lot of rent…this building along with the schools were long term thinking we won’t need buildings like these for a very long time…and the roads!… all hats off to Mr. Arden…when have we ever have roads like these!

    yuh can’t eat yuh cassava cake and have it too!

    we will reap benefits from these projects ..the schools would look great and our children would have a good learning environment..ppl PPM did good admit it..we know where are money is ok..it’s not like it’s missing and we have nothing to show for it.. 

    Mr Bush was on the radio couple of days ago and he said "PPM is too protective of the island"  he was referring to PPM making the visa apply to Jamaicans and not wanting too much ppl here…  i wont apologise for that one..and a gentleman called and said one govt built infrastructure for the island and the other sold it out..and that’s true!

     

    But I am proud of Mr Tibbetts making this move and hope that PPM and UDP may work together for the betterment of the Country…because hey I’m sure UDP contributed to a  lot of the issues we are facing today…and i won’t get into that now.

     

    Good Job Mr KT

     

    LOVE PPM..Good honest Team

    • Anonymous says:

      AMEN!!! Cheers to a man whose concern is for his country.  Have to admire how "protective" Kurt is of his country, after all isn’t that the main reason we elect politicians? to protect and act in the best interests of OUR country?  What a shot to the knee McKeeva did when he said that one! 

    • Anonymous says:

      You wouldn’t need a "ginormous" building to hold all those civil servants if they did the right thing and cut all the fat in government.  Furthermore, your point about the schools paying off some time in the future – good luck with that, and keep dreaming…  A fancy school does not a student make.  You’re going to get the exact same product graduating from a fancier school that costs millions of dollars yearly in upkeep.  A few more Prospect Primaries at a tenth of the cost, scattered throughout the Island would have been sufficient.  But why let common sense get in the way…

      • pls read says:

         your right we should trim some of the civil service by first getting rid of all the expats… 

        ok the schools won’t pay off let’s do a lot of the schools like prospect primary that got over crowded within the 1st year…they  don’t have a art or music room for the kids..  yeh that makes much more sense that within a year we would be scracthing our heads saying darn we need more  space becos reality is all those stauts holders now have their kids going to our  schools…i guess only you and Mr Associate degree(Eilio) believe that those kids aren’t taking up space in our schools… Hi Hater!

    • Anonymous says:

      Your "in luv" with PPM post does not impress me quite honestly and I found most of what you said dribble. That said, the following part of your post was interesting:

      "Mr Bush was on the radio couple of days ago and he said "PPM is too protective of the island"  he was referring to PPM making the visa apply to Jamaicans and not wanting too much ppl here… "

      If indeed Bush had that to say he has lost touch with reality and I hope that he does not listen to the nay sayers and think that removing the visa requirement for Jamaicans and others will be a good move for the Cayman Islands, especially at this time.

       

  35. Anonymous says:

    Be careful how you accept this olive branch Mac.

    This may only be a face card to set you up to take blame for this mess.

    Certainly shutting down the construction sites as a short term cash saving measure would help with the present deficit, but doing that could also jeapordise the income of many.

  36. 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  

    • Anonymous says:

      CIFSA undoubtedly has a role to play, but its ability to represent the financial services sector as a whole should not be overstated. As a Caymanian professional who has a vested interested in the financial services sector of this country, I would like to point out that the decisions taken by CIFSA represents the interests of the senior partners and managers of some 40 organisations, a tiny fraction of the people employed in the sector. In some instances the positions articulated by CIFSA coincide with the interests of most of the Caymanians and non-Caymanians in the sector but not always. Those of us for whom Cayman is our home may take a more broad view more inclusive of societal issues thanthose interested primarily in keeping the inbox full for a few more months or years.

      In this particular instance I suspect that CIFSA’s opposition to direct taxation and its concern for the fumbling of the issues over the recent past is shared by both those who have a say in CIFSA’s official position and those who work in the sector but have no such say. That may not always be the case. CIFSA should be careful not to overstate the basis for its representations.

  37. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    Kurt….I have always had the most respect for you as a person that loves their country and wants to serve. I have to respectfully disagree with you. Our country is in very dire straights and it is not the PPM, or UDP or the global situation fault. This has been coming for 2 decades. The tax/duty/fees/stamp system can no longer sustain the CIG and the people of the Cayman Islands.

    No new taxes may be thought to be a politically correct stand for the voters but it is not the rt stand IMHO. We need ……leaders……to stand up and recognize no matter what the voters think that we have allowed the CIG to grow to big (in the future any global hick up will cause problems if the civil service remains the same) that we have expended to much money without long term planning, that we do not have and never had the proper reserve accounts, that we must privitize some CIG departments and we must create new income streams.

    These are hard decisions….mistakes have been made…..BUT we must not point fingers…..our leaders must look at the new world…..we have taxes now…..have a tax that you can rely on.

    All the best

    Lachlan MacTavish

    • Anonymous says:

      The argument for introducing any direct tax is flawed and does not address the underlying problem. Cayman’s budget should be based on a conservative running average of recurrent GDP measured over the previous 5 years, not on some politician’s fantasies. On this basis, public services can be delivered and funded most efficiently by indirect taxes. In my view it is necessary to completely review our indirect taxes on an urgent basis as many of the provisions are antiquated. Indirect taxes are however simply far less expensive to administer.

      The recent problem has arisen not because of problems with the tax base, but because over the past 10 years or more successive governments allowed public expenditure to rise far faster than the long term GDP. As a result of an unsustainable increase in the size of the public sector relative to the long term GDP, together with a fundamental breakdown of our public sector accounting following the introduction of the PMFL, we have the current mess. 

      Any introduction of a direct tax will cause the economy to shrink and the public sector to expand to administer the tax and deal with the social displacement. That is the opposite of what we need in this country.

      • Gerald says:

        Absolutely.  Cut civil service numbers by 10%.  Cut the salaries of those that remain by 10% and cut their perks.  Don’t like it?  Get another job.  Nice?  No.  Necessary?  Yes.

        • Pale Rider says:

          Great Idea…as long as you are willing to pay 10% of your salary in taxes as well to do your share….

        • anonymous1 says:

          What perks?  What jobs? 

          Civil Servants made lists of where savings could be implemented? Why is no one talking about all the savings that the civil servants suggested?

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with you.  What is amazing to me is that noone is looking at the whole picture.  Why is it that we need to borrow 372 million?  I know we need to borrow, but Government shouyld provide a breakdown of exactly what the money is needed for.  The UDP needs to be the Government that did little – I am serious.  Progressive Government’s come in with their fancy ideas and end up committing to more and more capital works.  The UDP needs to commit to not do any capital works other than what is absolutely necessary.  And for those that are necessary, the construction needs to be as simple as possible, not the designs I see for the new licensing building or the schools.  The new Glass house has some design aspects that I also don’t agree with.  Take out the fanciness and build ‘boring’ looking buildings, your grand-children will that you for it.

      • Anonymous says:

        I did not vote for the PPM last time but I agree with KT on this point – the Government and Opposition need to stand together for the Cayman Islands at this watershed moment. 

         

         

    • Anonymous says:

      Easy for youto say Lach, you don’t live here anymore and you are already paying taxes.

       

      • Lachlan MacTavish says:

         You know it is really interesting. We kept very good personal records when we lived in Cayman. We do in the USA as well. After 3 yrs living in the USA I did a little "cost of living study"  and found our expenses here with taxes was 70 % compared to Cayman. It might be that with steady long term income for The CIG Cayman would end up better off than they are now. Sometimes change can be good.

        Lachlan MacTavish

  38. Anonymous says:

    Hear, hear! I applaud this move of solidarity to preserve Cayman’s best interests in the face of increasing and unfair pressure from the UK to impose its beliefs in a manner quite reminiscent of colonial practices and mentality. And perhaps this olive branch between parties will be seen as a moment when the Cayman government overcame their divisions to stand in unity for the best interests of all of Cayman.

  39. Anonymous says:

    It cannot have been easy for Mr. Tibbetts to indicate support for the UDP, but indicating a willingness to cooperate shows that Mr Tibbetts he is putting country first. Mr. TIbbetts proposal shows true statesmanship and the ability to act on principle. It also shows prudence in understanding the need not to proceed carefully and not destroy the factors that have allowed Cayman to succeed. 

    Hopefully the government will accept this offer of solidarity in this time of crisis and not revert to nonsense fingerpointing. As a Caymanian who supported the UDP before the last election I can say that no one is going to be impressed with anyone playing petty politics with our futures. We expect all of our elected politicians to act cooperatively in the best interests of the country.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let us wait and see the response of the UDP to this act of solidarity by the PPM. It is my suspicion that Mckeeva Bush will either ignore it or treat it with scorn, but we simply have to wait and see if he will finally put country before himself. Mr. Kurt Tibbetts has once again proven himself to be a true statesman. Let us wait and see if Mr. Mckeeva Bush again proves himself to be an egotist and selfish dictator, or if he is finally making an effort to do good for the Cayman Islands, but please do not hold your breath. Actions speak louder than words, and we shall soon see what Big Mac is really saying.