Mac gets cash with no tax

| 30/09/2009

(CNS): The UK has granted permission for the Cayman Islands government to borrow up to $229 million of the $372 million it had wanted over the next financial year on the grounds that it will make cuts and broaden the country’s revenue base. However, Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush said that he and his government had managed to prepare a budget that reduced expenditure, increased revenue and would get Cayman out of its position of dependency on the UK for borrowing without any direct taxes and even a small budget surplus by the end of 2009/10.

In a long presentation on Tuesday evening that was light on specifics but heavy on politics, Bush did say there would be fee increases across the board. Along with a two percent duty increase, he described increases on cigarettes, luxury goods and non-essential water craft. Bush said there would be some new transaction fees and some financial services fees would go up, as well as work permits — including new fees to fast track permits in as little as 24 hours. He said there would be no community enhancement fee or any other form of direct taxation for now, but he he would be conducting a study to look at widening the revenue base as requested by the overseas territories minister, Chris Bryant. He read the latest letter from the UK minister this week to the LoGB in which he agrees to allow the borrowing, $50 million of which has been granted immediately.

Speaking to a significant crowd at the Mary Miller Hall, despite the last minute venue change, Bush told the people that, although the talks with the UK had been tense, his government had continued to maintain a position that it would not be pressured to undermine Cayman’s success. He said that he would agree to examine solutions to financial sustainability but he had already found a way to cut expenditure and raise $100 million without taxes.

Bush pointed out that taxation in onshore jurisdictions was the reason why Cayman had been a success and the causes of the global financial crisis lay at the door of onshore jurisdictions, not Cayman.

“Is it the fault of the Cayman Islands that Lehman Bros failed?” he asked. “To those that say we should introduction taxation I say that is what caused their money to run to us.”

He said the new budget would bring a small surplus because of the cuts and new fees, and get Cayman back within the rules of the Public Management and Finance Law. He failed to say if he intended to pursue the extra $150 million to make upthe $370 million plus he had originally requested to borrow but focused very heavily on his goals to encourage inward investment over the coming year.

In what is becoming a very familiar political position for Bush, he set out his intention to sell government assets, although he said the administration would seek to retain part ownership of any entity privatised. He also said that government would take a dividend from existing statutary authorities that had surpluses.

Bush also spoke of the development projects he would be encouraging that would require outside investment. He said he would be creating a channel in the North Sound, despite opposition, to allow a full marina for mega yachts and had established a committee, headed by Bob Soto, to examine that project. He also talked a great deal about the privatization of the sewerage system and was seeking tenders to develop that, which he said would create a thousand jobs. Bush also confirmed plans to build a cruise berthing facility cargo in George Town and put the cargo port out in East End.

Bush stated that he would be encouraging the development of five star resorts and wanted Cayman to return to the days when it welcomed people from overseas, creating a business and investment friendly environment. “Over protection will only stifle our economic development,” he said. “Let us get revenue from investment and not from taxes. Once we are compliant with the PMFL it will negate the need to depend on the UK.”

The LoGB warned of government cuts, which included reducing the government phone bill from its present $3.5 million by taking cell phones from all but the most senior civil servants, stopping the use of company vehicles except during office hours, and cutting overtime.

Provision will also be made in the budget to pay back local contractors that lost money in the previous government’s Matrix scrap metal deal, Bush said, as well as money for a police task force to clean up gun crime. He also announced the start of a clean-up programme for the islands in which government was investing $1.5 million, where the unemployed would be put to work cleaning roadsides and buildings to make Cayman attractive once again, starting on 1 November. He also said that the direct flight from Miami to Cayman Brac would be introduced in this year’s budget.

Although he said government was currently on target to present the budget to the Legislative Assembly on Thursday, not wishing to commit, he said it could be Friday.

Although rumours were rife yesterday that Bush would be announcing a Cabinet reshuffle, which including the demotion of Rolston Anglin from the post of Deputy Leader and Mike Adam from his post as a minister, no changes to the UDP line up were confirmed.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m confused….Mac has threatened to cut civil servants pension, cut civil servants salaries, cut civil servant jobs, impose direct taxation etc. in order to save on government operational expenses. But instead he’s going to ‘hire’ the 1,000 plus (according to some UDP members) unemployed to clean up the island – pull bush, pick up garbage and paint public buildings.  All to the tune of $1.1M per District. Does Government not already pay civil servants to do this work? And don’t they have a large number of prisoners sitting idly at Northward being well taken care of and entertained on governments dollar? If they need extra help with cleaning up the Island cant they maybe put these prisoners to work?! Are we not just looking at further handouts here? I guess since the millions handed out by the Development Bank disappeared so quickly Mac had to find a way to extend this ‘programme’. This madness has got to stop! Shame on the many respected business people out there who helped put the UDP in power and now sit by quietly and watch as pure madness unfolds!

    • Anonymous says:

      After the six week works program is over, they will have to hire another set of workers to paint the buildings all over again professionally. Far better to justgive them the money like they plan to do with the money budgeted for the Matrix subcontractors that were never paid. That must have been Elio’s and Jon Jon’s contribution to the budget.

    • Backstroke says:

      Amen to I’m confused. How in the world can you pay others to clean up and save money,when you have the DOE that should be doing this and PWD, (they need  the  cleaning up).  PWD, now theres a joke, you ever see them out on a job, one truck, five men on the job one doing the job while  the other 4 is  sitting around chatting and watching the other poor guy sweat his*** off,  thats doing the job.    Now,  thats where Mac need to look to save money, some of these jokers need a wake up call.The majority of these civil servsnts are arrogant and lazy, take the windows at immigration what a grumpy bunch and the dept of vechicle licenening, ever get a good morning or a smile, its like you are in my space hurry up and get out of it,look at the little posters that some of them have at their desk, tells you what we are dealing with. save money, let the DOE and PWD earn the money put them to work, OHHH, maybe this is Macs stimulas get the people working,     Now I see

  2. Anonymous says:

    Prepare for taxes!!! They are coming!!! It is inevitable.  The government is borrowing money to pay loans.  When will the new loans be paid?  The deficit will continue.  2009/2010 might be tax free but for 2010/2011 some form of tax will be implemented.

    Mark my words, prepare Cayman, prepare.  It is time to start tightening our belts, the economic crisis will continue.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The Compass article provided some interesting additional detail:

    "Of the $50 million of loans Mr. Bryant agreed to unconditionally, $15 million is to pay offan overdraft facility and $35 million was to replenish cash reserves for recurrent expenditures and principal loan repayments.

    The conditional $229 million of borrowing will repay an existing $154 million loan facility due 31 December 2009 and to provide $75 million to funding existing capital projects.
    The borrowing facility for existing capital projects was half of what the government requested. Mr. Bush did not say how the half–funding would effect the three major ongoing government infrastructure projects, namely the government office accommodation project, the JohnGrayHigh School and the CliftonHunterHigh School.
    In addition, the UK did not approve CI$21.5 million of borrowing to fund new capital projects.

    Regardless, Mr. Bush said there would be funding in the budget for several capital projects, including a new Sunrise Centre; repairing damages from Hurricane Paloma; and road works on Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands"

    Did you get that, folks?! Having lambasted the PPM for spending on capital projects when they should have anticipated an economic downturn, in the middle of an economic downturn when govt. has suggested that it may not have sufficient funds to pay civil servants salaries, Mr. Bush was proposing to spend an additional CI$21.5m to fund NEW CAPITAL PROJECTS! The UK is not so bad after all by turning that down. Having drubbed the PPM for borrowing and thereby running up the national debt Mr. Bush’s solution is to borrow far more. So now, magically, Mr Bush, who didn’t have money to pay civil servants is going to have money to spend on capital projects including the road works which were criticized by the UDP without borrowing and people are singing his praises!

    If you are astute, it will be obvious that this is all smoke and mirrors.  He has managed whip people into such a sense of panic that they are giving Mr. Bush free rein and are not scrutinizing his moves.  Mr. Bush has created a crisis giving him the opportunity to ride in as a saviour.  He has saved the country; thanks God for Mr. Bush! Although it is with the same old fees and duties plus selling the countries assets people are in awe. By first scaring the daylights out of the people various tax proposals and then withdrawing them, he has skilfully obtained licence from the people to do what he intended to do all along.   This is one wily politician.     

    • Anonymous says:

      According to the UDP, $150 million dollars for the schools was irresponsible, but $150 million for 1 of 2 ports they intend to build is OK.

      Smoke and mirrors….

  4. Janelly says:

    Perhaps studying harder at school and achieve some form of literacy would have increased your chance of living in a better home in the future.  Punctuation marks are not considered an optional extra in better paid jobs.


    I am well educated thank you very much, you seem to know me very well. Thats the problem now with you all judge before you know anyone, as far as I’m concern i was speaking about the way things are looking in the cayman islands and they way Mckeeva is dealing with things not the way I’m suppose to punctuate or get paid better in jobs. I have the right to speak and that I will do!!!!!

    also,  i forgot to say all of this money they want to do this port for the cruise ships to come in? It doesnt make any sense I mean it would be better but what about the little guys who would be the ones driving the little boats to bring the cruise ships in what jobs will they have then? They really need to think things over.


    • Dick Shaughneary says:

      "I am well educated thank you very much" It is fairly obvious you are not well educated, if by well educated you mean anything more than barelyliterate.

      Let us take one of your sentences:

      "Thats[1] the problem now with you all judge before you know anyone [2] [3], as far as I’m concern [4] i [5] was speaking about the way things are looking in the cayman islands [6] and they [7] way Mckeeva [8] is dealing with things [9] not the way I’m suppose [10] to punctuate or get paid better [11] in jobs."

      1. "That’s" – contraction.

      2. "with you all judge before you know anyone" – Sense. This is borderline gibberish.

      3. This should be the start of a new sentence.

      4. "concerned" – The present perfect tense takes the past participle.

      5. "I" should be capitalised.

      6. Capitalise "Cayman Islands" – it is a proper noun.

      7. Just a typo.  We all make them.  Just you probably don’t realise it after the event.

      8. Capitalise "K" in "McKeeva".

      9.  Insert a comma.

      10. "Supposed" see 4 above.

      11. "get paid better".  Criminally ugly turn of phrase.

      Even if we let [11] go, this is pitiful. 

    • Anonymous says:

      This is one of the very many sad things about Cayman right now-the fact that you think you are well educated. You’re not. You’re almost illiterate and an embarrassment to Caymanians who are literate. I suggest you stop posting and get a job which does not require you to write English.

      Jesus! This is depressing.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes but this will also be one of those famed "qualified" Caymanians trying to get a job as a financial services firm and being turned down because of an evil expat conspiracy.  Absolutely no clue.

  5. Baby Einstein says:

    Now I get it! The rich get richer, the poor starve to death, millions is saved on next years Social Services budget! That coupled with the increase in collected fuel duties as a result of higher electricity consumption caused by forcing everyone back in their homes by not spraying the mosquitos should keep us going without taxes for years! Ingenious, why didn’t I think of that? We will also reduce our expenses by only collecting the garbage once a week! Mac Daddy, you da man!

    • Anonymous says:

      Careful, dont give him ideas!  He may have noticed in his recent trip to UK that they only collect refuse once a fortnight – used to be weekly before that.  And they wonder why they have so much rats in the UK (the rodent kind not the politician kind!)

  6. Hippo Crits says:

    The UK must be using the Cayman situation as a distraction for their own problems… 

    Doesn’t that sound VERY familiar?????

    Hello Pot, I am Kettle…

  7. neither a PPM nor a UDP supporter says:

    So Mac solved his manufactured "problem" with a solution that has been at hand and obvious all along. 

    That would mean there never was a need to drag Cayman’s name through the mud on the international stage (other than to further weaken the already-defeated PPM), since Mac could have increased these usual fees right from the beginning without the globalreputational destruction inflicted upon Cayman by his political power-play.

    So why did he do it? To further his own personal political career by damaging Kurt’s reputation. All at the cost of Cayman’s international reputation as a stable jurisdiction.  Nothing more.

    So how is this a "fantastic result" deserving of cheers of "well done"?

    Other people would call it treason.

    • Anonymous says:

      Makes me so happy when somebody else understands what’s going on here…..I keep hoping that we are still the majority! Although right now not sure how that is going to help as Mac is still at the helm.

  8. Janelly says:

    I am a 21 year old caymanian, Graduated 2004.

    This wasnt the cayman Islands I know. Changed in so many ways, people backstabbing eachother, killing eachother, when will it stop,

    I am not old but things changed and i know that, more killing more hatred. more stealing!

    Mckeeva isnt making things better in this island, things may go back up but then we caymanians are going to suffer also, putting up duty fees who do they think it will hurt? What about us caymanians who order cars or whatever else cause they prices up here are ridicoulous.

    What Mckeeva needs to increase is the money that leaves here, what about the expats, permit holders who come here and work and work and send their money back home. I know a few expats who come here and live here buy a home and pay mortgage thats different. Last night i was over a friend’s house and we were talking about the ‘politics’ and she told me that she was in a bank one day and there was this guy who had 50,000 sending to his home, that they fee here isnt anything all they pay for is wire transfer! Thats where he should start taxing or increase!

    I’m sorry for us, for the younger people when they decide to get marry, and have kids where will they put them? No more lands will be here. Good day and may god bless you all and this little island, Because this is a beautiful place, and i love my home and i dont want to go no where this is where i want my kids to grow up when i decide to have any.

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps studying harder at school and achieve some form of literacy would have increased your chance of living in a better home in the future.  Punctuation marks are not considered an optional extra in better paid jobs.

    • Backstroke says:

      To "I am 21"

      My dear friend this is global, not just here in Cayman, where expats come here to work and send their money back home, Our own caymanian people do  it, our forefathers did in the Southwell years, went  abroad, worked sent their  money back home to support their  family, my father did, so before we condemn them, think about it, if we were treated in another mans country like you all treat the poor expats now we would not have accelerated so fast  to the big homes,fast cars,education etc,etc.

      Lets all try to be more tolerate with our fellow man and not spread hate and anger,we  all need to survive and if it means that you have to travel to another country to find work lets hope that that country will be as tolerant as possible. Proud that my forefathers had the chance to go abroad to work and send the moneyback home to support us as he should have done, he wasnt taxed for sending it either.

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you for that, Backstroke.  How quickly people forget.  The US in particular was very welcoming and vital to Caymanians. 

    • Anonymous says:

      It is apparent that your schooling was deficient and perhaps you require remedial training. 

      Why should you wonder what expats do with their money?

       You are clearly not spending yours on education but on cars and luxury goods. The law states that the expat has to leave after seven years so maybe he was sending home the money he accumulated.  It is possible that he was asked to leave so that a qualified Caymanian like yourself would be employed.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Mac is a brilliant politician. If Mac had come up with a realistic budget in the first place then all this fuss with the UK would never have happened – but then politicians would not have been able to spread fear in order to profit. 

    It is amazing what can be achieved by a populist politician addressing an unthinking audience – the politics of fear driving the unthinking and baffling the gullible once again.

    Think about the formula – infer that the UK will impose direct taxes by July unless the people agree to a politician destroying the North Sound so that his buddies can get paid by Government to dredge up the sand in the Sound, which those buddies will then also sell at huge profits of course. 

    I have no doubt but that in a short while we will hear about a developer who just happens to have awarded an exclusive real estate listing and a couple of free multimillion dollar condos in a marina development on the North Sound. Maybe there will even be a casino added.

    I wonder whether any of our other politicians will be willing to ask where is the evidence that there will be enough yachts that will come to Cayman, and enough benefit to ordinary Caymanians, to in any way justify destroying our environment. How many yachts would that be anyway?

    Got to hand it to Mac – he is a work of art as a politician and brilliant at making money.

    • Anonymous says:

      You got it right….as for the evidence to support enough yachts coming to Cayman to justify destroying the North Sound with this multi-million dollar project? When you are Mac who needs evidence?! As he said, ‘you build it and they will come’…….well his memory (like his supporters) is very short indeed – otherwise they would all remember how Mac wasted $70M building Boatswain Beach based on that very seem thought process….’build it and the people will come’…..and we all know where that got us…..

  10. PT says:

    CNS question.

    If we, the people, are to know if Government are really reducing expenditure is it possible to start a thread where you can post known Government wastage – much like the ‘covered parking’ comment earlier?

    It might just keep them looking over their shoulders when they want to put up some light poles for their voters instead of paying bills.


    CNS: Anyone can start a thread in the CNS public forum

  11. Anonymous says:

    I cannot believe that people don’t understand the lack of substance in Mac’s "solution" to a manufactured problem. Of course the UK said that borrowing $350 million in one year was ridiculous – it was. The $250 million that was setteld on was plenty of money for all that needed to be done as we can all clearly see.

    If I was suspicious I would suspect that Mac and his cronies knew this as well and created a crisis for no reason other than to make it appear as if Mac is some kind of hero. Had they proposed a realistic amount of borrowing in the first place none of the drama would have taken place – but then of course Mac would not have appeared to be a saviour to the unthinking.  

    • Dont4getMe says:

      Well said… it appears he played his hand well and has the masses falling to his feet with praise.


  12. da wa ya get says:

    I have to give credit where credit is due, thank you (Mac and others) for buying us time with the UK. We will need that time to conduct a PROPER study on taxes. I’m asking you to consider a Luxury Tax on properties that cost more that 750k, we could use that revenue.

    Moving on…I was very troubled by Mac’s speech. He laid out vague plans of development, major development, development that I suspect will end up like Boatswain’s Beach (and worse). He is convinced that the only way to make money is by constantly bringing in new investors/developers…unfortunately all of these developments will have MAJOR impacts to our environment. Why does Mac not realise that tourists come here for the environment (secenery)? Dredging the North Sound will have serious implications for the health of our entire country; the North Sound is where all marine life begins. Building the cargo dock in East End will mean more dredging, higher costs of groceries/home goods etc, and amoung other things, a disruption of the way of life in the eastern districts. The talk of builing an oil refinery or moving the dump up there is also dangerous…that is where the islands water table lies…we don’t want to damage that. Our tourism industry already has trouble with occupancy (even in high season), why are we looking to further diminish the product that we have to offer to tourists?

    I say when taxes are introduced (because it’s only a matter of time from the UK perspective), that anyone making over 100k should pay and that the % payed goes up with their salary.

    P.S. can someone let the UDP camp know that they are now the government…please stop the campaigning

  13. Anonymous says:

    Sadly if you looked at the faces in Mr Bush’s audience during his televised sppeach you could understand why Cayman is in the position it is now.

    There they were, the tacky tourist trap owners, the dolphin prison owners, the shady developers -people that look at government as a means to acheive wealth rather than a means to take care of the vulverable, their view is limited to their narrow special interest.

    So long as they have million dollar toys they are not interested in the welfare of their fellow man.

    But we only have ourselves to blame for this type of cabal running the country, we voted their figurehead in.

  14. Naranja says:

    From the amount of unintelligible mumblings he produces Sir H sounds more like a hereditary peer to me.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Wake up people. If you all think that Mac really negotiated his way out of direct taxes, you’re crazy. His speech was all smoke and mirrors. There will be direct taxation here by next July.  Did any of you not hear what Chris Bryant said in his letter?  The conditions on the loan mean direct taxation for Cayman sooner rater than later.   It seems like only the Compass didn’t fall for Big Mac’s slight of hand.

    • Anonymous says:

      Representation in West Bay. Let us look at that for a minute. As we know Mac and his Fries have had sway in West Bay for years, but what have they done. My assessment:-

      1. West Bay is a mini "welfare state". It seems 50% of the population lives on hand outs and not wanting to work like the rest of us. If you doubt me check with the Children and Family Services.

      2. Drugs have taken over.

      3. West Bay school gangs are rampant in the schools.

      4. Most of the children/young people and their parents in court on a Friday morning are from West Bay. All one needs to do is to walk through the waiting area at the court house on a Friday morning where juvenille and youth courtsare being held and you will see it .

      What kind of grade do we give Mac and his Fries? I would suggest an F.

      Now they are in charge of our government. God help us and rid us of this one man show. 

  16. Anonymous says:

    CNS I’m hearing that Mr Associate Degree(Eilio) is taking Mike’s ministry is there any truth to this?

  17. Anonymous says:

    I guess Mack heard that chuckie is trying to sell his Wave Runner to bring in a newer replacement, so he will sock it to him with increased duties when he does.

    Thats the end of Wave running for Chuckie.

    • Anonymous says:

      if he sockChuckie i hope he sock them work permit holders and tax the millions they send outta this isle..but then again his big friend does own a money trsfr place…hmmm

  18. Gary says:

    Does anyone have a definition of a "non-essential water craft"?  And any idea when these additional fees will be implemented?


    • Eve O'Loughshean says:

      Given that mankind is a land based mammal, I suspect all watercraft are non-essential.

      • Cotrarian says:

        Au contraire mon frere…

        If we are land based mammels – ALL water craft are essential in order to transit large areas of aquatic mass…


  19. Anonymous says:

    So after all the fuss he created, Mac comes up with: increase customs duties and work permit fees???
    Couldn’t this have been figured out from the beginning – since that is the usual government solution?
    This is a straightforward concept, quite unremarkable and obvious.

    However, this will drive up the cost of doing business. Cayman will price itself out of the market!
    Considering that there is nothing special for Caymans financial products, truly: even STAR Trusts are available elsewhere, including Bermuda – what are we offering that is worth the extra costs??

  20. Anonymous says:

    Wow I never thought I would say this….. man… this is harder than I thought… Ok Ok….. WELL DONE (not so big) MAC!! Well done…

    Ok back to eating my crow 🙂



    signed… PPM to da’ bone

    • Anonymous says:

      hahhahahhaha during the election a lady called and said Mc was going to get the grocery store prices she’s banging her head rite about now!


      PPM to d bone

  21. Joe Average says:

    Not to seem ungrateful but I don’t think we should be falling over ourselves thanking the UK for allowing us to borrow money after they sent their police to investigate us.  And also didn’t vet them for cultural intolerance.  Which we paid the bill for.  In lawsuits, etc.  Also we still don’t know all of the details surrounding this last minute approval and any riders attached to it presently or in the near future….don’t count your chickens.

    Best of all we’ve all had a chance to express how we could find our way out of this financial mess.  With certain ummm exceptions. 

    Tax?  Me?  The tax is for you.  You’re mistaken the tax is for you. My impression was YOU were going to be taxed.  I don’t want taxes. Well he just said you were going to be taxed! No he didn’t…. he said the taxes are for you.  No he didn’t he wasn’t looking at me when he said that. He wasn’t looking at me either.

    But I am relieved Cayman has been given a wake-up call not nearly as brutal as others have received.  We’re awake now.

    • Anonymous says:

      We should be very thankful for the UK’s support in these difficult times, especially because it seems Cayman has offered nothing to shore up medium term solvency risks.

  22. tired says:


    With the recent problems that we have been having with work permit holders and expat government worker making up credentials and hiding criminal records, this is NOt the time for making it easier for investors bring who ever they want down with 24 hour work permits grants.
    NOONE could want this country any less safe than it already is? Do we need a Jeffrey Dahmer , Beverley Allitt or Clifford Olson getting in?
    We cannot make the mistake of thinking that immigration red tape is not necessary for the protection everyone including expatriates   it needs to be a long enough process so that everyone can do their job to ensure that the person receiving the work permit has
    ·        Real credentials
    ·        Non criminal background
    ·        Has good credit
    ·        had a Psychological  assessment
    ·        Etc
    How can we aspire to stay active in a tourism market that is moving towards eco and green tourism?  If we destroy our fragile environment. We need to be looking at new green industries like ecotourism.  Another example apparently there is a need for solar panels specifically made to absorb the greater solar energy that we receive this near to the equator. Or perhaps making an all natural sun block that doesn’t damage the reefs and only allowing that on snorkeling/ diving etc tours( similar to what Mexico has done).  Let us be innovators.
    Some may not remember what the area at the very end of north sound looked and smelled like before the dredging that turned out to be for no reason as the property is only being used not many years later as a docking facility.
    Perhaps instead of mega yacht facility we could build a few high end helipads, since everyone with mega yacht come with helicopters (right??)   I think this would be less costly and damaging to our environment we could charge nice fees for their use?
    Also can someone please tell me what privatization (other than the Utility companies) has ever been able to wean of governments funding.
    Turtle farm- broke
    CAL –Broke for years
    NRA close to broke
    CINICO- Broke and broken
    ‘HSA – brokest please look at the the ci government purchase agreement for full list of "private" entities that we still support" 
    SO I am not sure that this works and is this being suggested again with the talk about selling government assets? If will it be done differently this time? Please let me know!
    After all of the concessions that were given to Ritz all of the controversy with developer etc. What percentage of the Ritz Carlton staff is Caymanian or permanent residents how often has the Ritz been full to capacity? If we can’t fill this hotel would we be able to fill another 1/2/3 hotel/s of the same size?
    I have more questions than answers!
    • Anonymous says:

      You forgot 2 of the most important aspects of questions surrounding Ritz Staffing.

      1. How many Caymanians were employed by the old Holiday Inn (including taxi drivers who used to wait outside, Caymanian staff in the gift shop, and outside watersports?

      2. (Your existing question) How many Caymanians are employed by the Ritz?

      3. How many of the Caymanians that are employed by the Ritz were Caymanian in 2002?

  23. Anonymous says:

    In reference to the last paragraph of your story. The truth of the matter is that the old guard needs to retire. Mr. Anglin should be LOGB and Mr Adams should be minster of tourism. Mr Anglin will soon learn to keep his eyes open at all times even during prayer to insure that his does not get back stabbed again

  24. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous posted at 14:09

    so you mean he understood what was needed by given 3,000 status grants, which added to the overcrowding of the schools, which lead to the need to build new schools? Or did you mean he understood when he was stubborn and went ahead with Boatswains Beach inspite of the advise he had received the the profits weren’t going to turn out as expected and it turned out it has cost the country millions? You mean he understands by announcing to "loosen immigration regulations" to encourage business and thereby lessening the chance for YOUR children to get any decent jobs in the future? Is that the understanding you are referring to? Boy, it is 2009 but the country surely still has plenty ignorant people around

  25. Anonymous says:

    Whew! Ellio must be relieved that he can shiny new benz jeep since none of the cuts in MLA pay!


    • Anonymous says:

      You’re right.  I also saw other day our poor straight talking Ellio was driving a crispy green Benz ML350 SUV.  He looked very proud.  So his progress during last 3 months is remarkable.  Keep up good work Ellio.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes – as long as Elio never gets out of his new Mercedes the country will probably survive.

  26. Sir Henry Morgan says:

    Great we got the cash!!!! Now lets go independent and tell the UK to go ____ them selves!


    • Anonymous says:

      Isn’t falsely passing oneself as a knight of the realm a criminal offence?

      • Joe Average says:

        What if none of us believe he is Sir Henry Morgan??

        Archibald Slatheringham the 5th Duke of Devonshire

      • Anonymous says:

        How do you know it to be false? It might have been leftover from the Cash for Honours program and he picked it up cheap.

        I think the UDP should see if they can get one for Mac and present it at his inaguration ball.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Heads of department are still not cutting back on non essentials. If they were then please tell me why they are rebuilding the covered parking spaces at the government administration building in Cayman Brac. There is absolutely no need for a select few government workers in this building to have covered parking and……………. to make matters worse if it really really is necessary to rebuild this instead of giving the work to the PWD workers they have given it to a Grand Cayman contractor to rebuild. Dont tell me that they are using insurance money or recovery fund money because I dont give a s…t whose money it is the fact of the matter is that they DONT NEED this covered parking spaces and it is a waste of money and an extravagance

  28. Anonymous says:

    Of couse Mac wants to sell government assets. Boatswin Beach will make an excellent real estate commission for some poor real estate agent.


    The irony of this whole Macopera is that, Dredging, Gambling and lotteries seems more appealing than anykind of proerty taxes or income tax 

    • Anonymouse says:

      Turtle farm cost ~$100 million…

      or close to it, when the construction costs, interests on loan and yearly losses in the CI$8 million range are all factored in…

      Investors don’t get rich by being stupid: how much do you think an investor would pay for this tainted asset?…

      My guess is no more than CI$20 million or 20 cents in the Dollar, so McKeeva’s ill-advised decison is likely to cost the country about CI$80 million in total, instead of the small profit the old Turtle Farm used to make…

      Then, what happens to the TURTLES?…

      They are part and parcel of the attraction, in fact they’re the main attraction, yet McKeeva will want to keep control over the Turtle meat for political reasons…

      So, don’t hold your breath waiting for a sale… 

      • Anonymous says:

        My offer would be CI$1.00 plus the 8 million annual subsidy.

        Even at that I stand to lose my dollar.

        Only someone who wants to launder dirty money would offer to purchase such a liability.

        Mack knows that and is certain to have turtle meat come next election.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Thanks and appreciation should also go to the UK government for agreeing to increasing its contingent risks by nearly a quarter of a billion dollars.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Bush stated that he would be encouraging the development of five star resorts and wanted Cayman to return to the days when it welcomed people from overseas, creating a business and investment friendly environment. “Over protection will only stifle our economic development,”

    I remember in the 90’s when bush said get rid of all the expats! That’s a true politician for you. 


  31. Anonymous says:

     It upsets me as to how this man can try to empathize with lower-income Caymanians speaking about "he knows what it feels like to not be able to pay the bills."  Yet he has a condo at the Ritz and his overpaid salary for the next 4 years will cost the gov’t over $720k alone, and that’s not including XXXXX! 

    • Anonymous says:

      Mr. Bush surely can empathize with the downtrodden, the poor, the voiceless – you see Mac was not born with a silver spoon, in fact, I doubt he was born with any.  He came from a poor family, had to work harder than most to get where he is today,  but with God’s blessings, have risen to the top.  I beleive that if he had come from a high society family, Cayman so called rich or white, those very same persons who think they are better than anyone else would be inclined to accept him in thier inner circle as he would be looked at as one of theirs.

      So many people, yourself inlcuded poster, is jealous of Mac and the fact that a poor boy out of West Bay holds the most powerful position in Government , Leader of Government Business, soon to be Premiere. 

      Be warned –  Who God bless, let no man curse.

      • Anonymous says:

        I may not be rich YET. But I can assure you one thing, when God does bless me with anything it will be earned through hard work and HONESTY and not by loss of anyone else.  Funny how you speak of God and money in the same context, seeing as money is the root of all evil and cause of all problems.  Furthermore, I have no jealous tendencies toward anyone, it’s just pretty obvious to anyone who has a fraction of education and was interested in the best interests of Cayman’s future and also were active in politics BEFORE it became a FAD with the U.S. presidential elections.  

        Because after all let’s face it, if it weren’t for the U.S.’s influence with their ‘Change’ with electing a black president, we wouldn’t have marketed our elections with "Change" so much as we did this year and I still have yet to see the so-called "Change" but rather we have just stepped back in time a decade.  How about giving someone new a chance? We obviously had problems before PPM was elected 4 years ago so now we just give the same party them a 3rd chance?  Just like the extreme job President Obama faces of cleaning up Bush’s mess that he created over an 8 year presidency, it will be near impossible for him to clean that up in just 4 years, just as it was for PPM to do in their 4 years.  

        Please let it be known that this is the greatest global recession since the Depression of the 1920s, with that being said, no one in office now has any experience of dealing with such a crisis before so please don’t beg for a qualification in this arena.  I am extremely happy that we got the funds, but I would’ve preferred to pay my income and property taxes instead of depending on investors who have no concern for our country except as to what they can profit financially from it.  I would hope you as a Caymanian would feel the same way as I do!  

        Soon to be premiere right?  Apparently some of us don’t even wait for approval before we start calling ourselves that! *hint hint*  That might just be a change that will force the UK to intervene and take control just as they’ve done in the TCI, you asked for an inch and you got an inch, don’t go taking a yard and mess it up for the rest of us now! 

      • Anonymous says:

        Those same high society people whom I presume you are referring to are the very ones who helped McKeeva’s party  secure victory in George Town.The George Town UDP candidates were all nominated by high society George Towners, so I do not see the logic in what you are stating.


  32. Anon says:

    Fantastic outcome Mr. Bush…congratulations.

  33. Mercedezes says:

    Thank God for Mr. Mckeeva Bush. Cayman we need to continue to pray for Mr. Bush, for health and strength and endurance to continue the good fight for our Country, as no one could have ever done a better Job.

    Mckeeva, We love you and i’m so happy the you will be the first to make history in the Cayman Islands as the First Premier in the Cayman Islands. Continue todo the good job you can and will always do. God has placed you in this position for a wise and purposeful reason. Stay Bless 

  34. Anonymous says:

    With the doom of Global Change some beleive that we will be partially under water in a few years, maybe he should focus on moving the business district to higher ground and not flooding some of the highest parts of Grand Cayman

  35. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to Mr Bush, his fellow government members, and the other citizens from the private sector who negotiated this deal.

    As you say, Mr Bush, some times your damned if you do, and damned if you dont.

    I just want you to know I am one of the many within the community, who appreciate, all your, and your teams, hard work dealing with these current economic issues. I wish you continued success.

    Once again, you have proved yourself to be a REAL LEADER, when faced with adversity. Someone who understands the ‘ big picture’ of macro economics, who understands what is required to attract business to the Cayman Islands.

    Well done to everyone & Good Luck !


  36. Anonymous says:

    Heaven help us! This man is a definite loose cannon! And those who support him must all be deaf!

    • Anonymous says:

      So, instead of just being critical, and offering negative comments.

      What are your proposals???? What would you do????

      This is your podium. Tell us what you would do???

      This man, is NO "LOOSE CANNON", he is a man than truly understands, what is required, in order that the hardworking people of the Cayman Islands can put food on the table for their children.


  37. Sav/New says:

    I can’t believe even after so many have opposed this in the past, and even with the DOE on the radio, I believe on Monday, stressing about the repercussions we could face if the Main Channel is dredged out, and part of the North Sound is dredged AGAIN. He is still persistent in getting this done. 

    Scott’s Barcadere Marina does not consist of the channel being widened for yachts to pass through and the size yachts that they are providing services for are up to 120feet.

    See their websites below:   

  38. Anonymous says:

    I had confidence that the fundamentals of the Cayman Islands were sound and that the current difficulty could be readily explained based upon excessive capital spending by the previous government.

    My confidence in the LoGB being able to stand up to UK pressure was well founded and I congratulate him and the current government for their success.

    There are still basic problems to be addressed and the reliance upon cheap foreign labor which effectively price out local labor.

    Runaway cost of living must also be addressed for the future good of the country.

    • Adam Smith says:

      1) Increasing the costs of labor will increase the cost of living. 

      2) These tax increases will put up the cost of living.  By how much?  I suspect an additional 2-3% but I am happy for someone to give a more educate guess.

      3) Priced out local labor can always reduce prices, provide more productive services or do something else.  Read my books for more details.

      • Anonymous says:

        Of course this will raise the cost of living but do you think the Cayman population will accept taxes, of course they will gladly pass taxes upon Expats in almost every concieveable form but they themselves will never accept income or property taxes.

        Once income and business taxes are introduced then let the new corruption probe begin.

        • Lachlan MacTavish says:

           With respect I disagree. Just because since The Wreck of The Ten Sails The Cayman Islands have not had what is called   personal taxes ( I believe the duties, fees, stamps etc are taxes just under a different name) does not mean that there cannot be change. 

          Has anyone done the MATH……will it cost each resident more with the duty etc increases OR will a steady property tax equal, be more or less….I would suggest that the study has not been done.

          • Anonymous says:

            Perhaps you have heard of the stories around the island about unpaid existing fees such as garbage fees and even unpaid HSA bills to the tune of millions of dollars. Just how would you introduce income tax when existing taxes and even direct billing goes ignored.

            Perhaps you would put offenders in Northward.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      There is action. The LOGB is being proactive…no head in the sand….decisions are being made.

      I do hope though that this action is a stop gap. Something to get the country through until a more permanent action can be taken. I would hope that and in depth study will be done on …….what these first messures will do to the cost of living and the cost of doing business…..The CIG needs to be reduced, how, when by how much…..where did the talk of privitization go…….

      I am still at a loss as to why increasing duties and fees makes sense. To make Cayman    more competitive    services and costs need to be lowered not increased. What happens in down turns…..income drops….wouldn’t a solid more sustainable income be a better choice.

      Maybe someone could tell us why this is a better move than say a property tax.


  39. Anonymous says:


    From a shocking surprise deficit to a small surplus in one term.

    Mckeeva must be a Magician.

    And after he has created a dazzling distraction (UK borrowing saga), he raises customs duties, work permit fees – as usual – and pants himself as a saviour.


  40. Anonymous says:

    wow…this has been up all morning and no comments? …seems Bush has silenced all his critics?

    CNS: No, sorry to all. I wasn’t able to go through the comments until now.

  41. Furkine Klosecall says:

    I hope the figures can be worked and we can pull through – but sustainable revenue and cutting recurring expenditure will now need ot be beefed up to service the new, massive debt load…

    I am fairly certain it is a typo, but one line did jump out from the story…

    "he had already found a way to cut expenditure and raise $100,000 million without taxes"

    If he really has found a way to raise $100 BILLION then hats off to him!!!

    Seriously though, we all need to pay close attention to the budget in the next couple of days.  There are things that need to be clarified…

    Duty – "a two percent duty increase" – does this mean what it says, which is duty will be going from 20% to 20.4% on most items, or does it mean (as I suspect) that duty is going up from 20% to 22%?  If so, that is a 10% duty increase…

    Non-essential watercraft – can we get a legal definition?  If I have my pay cut to the point where as a Caymanian, I want to exercise my right to fish for food to feed my family, I would consider the provision of life to be fairly essential…  I suspect the government will not…

    Luxury Goods – another definition needed here.  I am sure they are thinking silver spoons, jewel encrusted watches and the like, as well as smoked salmon, high grade meat, caviar etc.  For some, just getting name brand milk over generic is a luxury.  Further, those watches and silver spoons and other items drive our duty free industry…  Will duty free now mean "only for export" like it does with liquor?  Or will residents still be able to pay the same price in the jewelry stores?  If not, how will the price be differentiated?  A point of sale price increase – or, put more simply, a sales tax or VAT?  Hmmm…  I smell something here…

    Whatever the outcome, and however the above and many other definitions are defined, kudos to the LOGB for at least getting the ship moving again, but we are still pointing towards the reef, and a lot more needs to be done to turn it around.

    Now is NOT the time to pat ourselves on the back, say "that was close" and go about running the country ‘business as usual’.

    CNS: Thanks for spotting the typo! 

    • Any one ever gave thought to all the income the country could get from putting a tax on all of the duty free stores, A lot of moola there.they could cough up some of the millions that they keep on duty fees.

  42. Dissapointed says:

    I was actually very dissapointed in Mr. Mike last night, I genuinely thought better of him but his opening remarks left a very bad taste in my mouth. Can we leave the campaigning until just a little closer to election time? These problems stem a little further back that just one four year term of office. Everyone needs to start taking responsibility followed by action. Starting with the FS resigning.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Mac says: "Let investors invest in our country"

    Sure why not just put for sale or lease on everyone’s back and go back to times of slavery.  I don’t have any kids yet, but when I do, I doubt there will be a piece of land left on this island where they can stick their feet in. 





    n.b. (white man = investor, whether it be male or female, black, white, purple or yellow investor, not literally a caucasian male)


    • O'Really says:

      Why don’t you grow a set and admit that when you said white man, you meant white man. It’s clearly a racist comment, pure and simple. As I keep saying, racism is a 2 way street. 

      • Anonymous says:

        I included the *n.b.* for illiterate fools such as yourself who would jump to such a conclusion.  I have no reason to be racist, because Caymanian heritage and all of we Caymanians consist of a multitude of different races, INCLUDING white, thus the reason you will find white, blonde hair blue eyed caymanians, yellow skin, brown and black, whom I all love and treat equally.  So please direct your bark up a racist tree and not this Caymanian one!

        • Frequent Flyer says:

          *n.b.* It doesn’t matter what color you said. It is the same sentiment! PERIOD.

          • Anonymous says:

            Finally some of the Caymanian bigotry comes I thought it was reserved only for radio call in programs.

            • Anonymous says:

              Everyone is entitled to their own interpretation of everything.  But being I am the one who wrote it in the first place, I’m telling you what I meant which was ALREADY included in my first post since I knew there would be racist interpretations.  I am in total disagreement of allowing investors whether they be black, white, purple, yellow, red or blue! to further buy out any part of MY country.  I’d much rather pay property and income taxes and THAT is the MAIN POINT of my post which you have seem to have lost some where along the way of making your false accusations of racism!!!!!  I really hope that you are twice as concerned about the politics of your own country as you are of MINE!

              • One of the owners says:

                Trouble is, its not “your Country” at all, but in fact, a collection of islands belonging to the United Kingdom. How you like them apples?

        • O'Really says:

          I’m not illiterate, in fact I am so literate that not only can I read your words, I can interpret what you mean. You’ve been called out and you don’t like it. Why am I not surprised? 

        • Anonymous says:

          Ridiculous.  Your use of "white man" is as racist as if I used the "N" word in a comment and then put an asterisk saying * of course, when I use this word, I am referring to persons of all colors.

      • Spartacus says:

        Absolutely.  It was an obviously racist and inflammatory comment that should never have been published.

      • Cecilia says:

        My oh my!!  aren’t we quick to accuse and pull that famous card.


        I sincerely hope that Mr. Bush would wake-up and stop selling off our birth right. Maybe then we won’t be accused of being a bunch of racist and bigots.

         Selling the country off to foreigners is definitely not the way to solve the current financial crisis in the Cayman Islands. That can only lead to Caymanians becoming second and third class citizens in our own country.

        Mr. Bush we both know that the only one that will profit from investing our little island is you the Mac.

        Therefore I say "TAX US IF YOU HAVE TO"




  44. Anonymous says:

    I felt and I believe the whole must know be feeling a sense of relief from the past few months!

    Thank you McKeeva and to all those who worked so hard to get us to this point. 

    The tough times are still to come!! Hang in there


  45. Anonymous says:

    Everyone!  Read carefully between the lines!

    I hope "embracing everyone" doesn’t mean another 3 to 5 thousand status or permanent residency grants!


  46. Digi-ri-do says:

    3.5 million on cell phones? Where the heck am I going to find 1.75 mil to pay for this, cause I’m pretty sure at least half of this is my wifes fault!

    • Anonymous says:

      You are a brave man… better look for another place to sleep tonight if your wifey finds out it was you!

      But really – that much on cell phones. Ugg Remember when we didn’t have them how much happier and sane people were!

  47. Anon says:

    So the UK came good for Big Mac after all and Cayman gets the loan without pay cuts or direct taxes.

    I wonder whether all the UK haters and those who criticize the UK so ferociously will find it in their hearts to apologize for all the mean things they said on CNS……….

  48. Anonymous says:

    I can understand the business case for moving the cargo port out of GT but there does not appear to be any evidence that there is a business case for dredging the North Sound. The "build it and they will come" approach without any apparent evidence that they will come is dangerous. The "if we dredge the North Sound and the yachts come and they tie up in West Bay then maybe they will order a taxi" argument is rather thin. Is there a developer who is going to provide an exclusive yacht basin real estate deal to someone? Maybe a couple of marina side condos thrown in???