Economy still in decline

| 05/10/2009

(CNS): The financial secretary has warned that things will get worse in the local economy before they get better and has predicted decline in the 2009/10 GDP before it begins to grow in 2010/11. Kenneth Jefferson told the House on Friday that Cayman is looking at a GDP rate of -3.3% in 2009/10 followed by a 3% growth rate in 2010/11. Cayman’s government finance expert said that inflation would also continue its downward path, with the cost of living increasing by only 0.6% for this financial year. He also said Cayman would see an all time high unemployment rate of 5.5%, but predicted an improvement in jobless stats by 2010/11 with the rate dropping to 3.8%.

Jefferson told the Legislative Asembly that, despite the indications from the United States Federal Reserve that the recession is very likely over, with Cayman’s economy lagging behind that of its powerful neighbour, and locally the people are still feeling the worst of its impact.

“The global recession has brought its share of challenges for these islands and the government alike," Jefferson stated. “Caymanians have faced job losses, inflation, salary reductions and many have had to dig deeper into their pockets in order to meet monthly household expenses.”

Against that backdrop, during his budget presentation Jefferson said government was focused on strengthening the local economy and practising responsible financial management that would bring the islands back to prosperity. “Although the government is combating the worst global recession of the century, it is focused and committed on rebounding from these difficult economic times,” he said.

The financial secretary said that this year’s budget would be in compliance with the PMFL because of both cuts in operating expenditure and revenue raising measures that are expected to realize a further $126.4 million for government over this financial year. Despite increasing revenue generation by a significant amount through fee increases, government will still be borrowing over $275 million to add to its existing debt, which will be used to fund existing capital projects, pay back temporary loans and start a  number of new capital projects.

According to the Annual Plan and Estimates, by fiscal year end (30 June 2010) government debt combined with that of statutory authorities will still stand at $714.4 million.  Despite the government’s efforts to reduce operating expenditure, when core government expenditure is combined with the costs of these public bodies, government will still spend close to $700 million of tax payer’s money.

In 2009/10, however, government said it will be looking for better management from authorities and government companies, and in some case statutory authorities will not only be expected to pay their own way but to give back to core government. Jefferson said that government would receive $42.4 million in cash withdrawals from these bodies in 2009/10.

In his presentation, Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush said that, over the years, government had invested heavily in statutory authorities with little or no expectation.  “Many of these organisations have not managed themselves in a way that maximises their financial performance and, as a result, we have seen this sector post significant losses,” Bush noted. “For the 2009/10 budget, this government has changed the approach and demanded that statutory authorities and government companies improve their financial management and performance.”

He said government would be requesting dividends from those with excess capital and noted that he would still be seeking to divest some of the bodies to the private sector.

Key authorities that have drained public finances over the years include the Turtle Farm and Cayman Airways, both of which government is interested in divesting , while the Water Authority is one of the more successful bodies from which government is likely to seek a dividend, and on that Bush has said he is not prepared to sell.

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  1. Fyah Im Rass! says:

    Dis man still hav a job?


  2. Anonymous says:

    Leases create an interest in property. Taxes on leases are property taxes. The government did what it said it would not do. Of course the economy is going to continue to decline and small Caymanian business is going to go under and unemployment is going to rise. The government is incompetent. Why did they not just expand sin taxes to make up the money that was needed?

  3. I see said the blind man ! says:

    I think the commercial property lease fee has been implemented to get large companies to build theri own premises instead of renting. This would have two beneficial effects:

     1) It would generate much needed work for the construction industry which like elses where in the world is the foundation of the economy. This industry creates opportunites for distribution of wealth down the line to other industries.

    2) Organisations that have physical presences in Cayman would be less likely to move their assets at the drop of a hat, should circumstances change for them doing business here. Mr Bush seems keen to attract these companies to the Islands in a physical capacity to counter the Obama tax regulations. If the organisations were managed and run from Cayman they would not be subject to the new tax regulations applied to all US based companies.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Monte Python logic.

      Either what you are writing is completely tongue in cheek or you give far too much credit where it is not due. The tax on leases was imposed because the small business people who lease their premises do not have the money or the legal expertise to avoid the tax.

      It is ridiculous to suggest that by raising the cost of doing business in Cayman the government will encourage business to come/remain in Cayman. Nonetheless this actually may have been the logic applied by our fearless/clueless leader. On that basis no doubt we should raise the tax to 10,000% and get all the business that currently goes to our competitors in other jurisdictions

    • Adam Smith says:

      Unfortunately it will have neither effect.  The taxes will stop new businesses starting up in Cayman just when we could attract some.

      Re 1) right now firms do not have access to finance to build and rent at the same time, especially with the added costs of the lease tax and hiked work permit fees.  If anything firms will be cutting back capital expenditure to pay the tax increases.

      Re 2) this is a disaster for attracting new on island business as it immediately adds to start up costs on a business plan – this on an island where both Goldmans and Maples Finance have just shipped jobs off island because of costs.  Cayman WAS too expensive to keep jobs.  Now it is 15-20% more expensive than that.  No-one will build and own at the start up phase.


  4. CatMan says:

    Re: Lease tax alternative.

    Rather than an exhorbitant tax for small businesses who lease their stores, perhaps govt. could consider an occupancy tax based on square footage for ALL businesses.  If all businesses paid $1.00 per sq. ft. p.a. to be paid with their T&B renewal it would be more equitable, and also not unfairly penalize small businesses. As many of the large businesses own their properties, it might well equate to the same or even greater revenue generation, with a far less castastophic impact on independent merchants.  Also, adding the fee to the T&B renewal would make collection of fees simple, and maximize collections.


    • Anonymous says:

      Your suggestion is far too fair to be considered. It is only by imposing pain on small business people that the Party can assure that small business owners will come to understand the necessity of paying protection money to the Party in order to avoid new taxes being imposed on them. The rich backers of the Party have long understood this and we can see that they were well taken care of in this Budget.

      Anybody care to guess who will get the payoffs from the proposed port facilities and the destruction of the North Sound? I can just about guarantee that it will not be small business owners who do not bribe the Party and its bosses.

  5. CatMan says:

    RE: The Economist

    CatMan is in total agreement.  The lease tax will indeed lead to layoffs.  It will in my business. I presently have NO work permit employees, so the person to go will be a Caymanian.  We are a south- side cruise tourist business, and are just hanging on in this economy.  We have seen a huge down turn in business due to the cruise ships berthing almost exclusively at Royal Watler Terminal.  And frankly in riles me beyond words that this tax is so inequitable.  It will not effect the big players in town that already have a strangle hold on the cruise retail business because they own their buildings.  It will only serve to put the independent operators out of business.

    My staff have families, and children, they are like family to me.  It is so sad to think of losing even one of them, but we will have no choice – other than closing up shop completley.   One more person out of work, one more person not putting into the economy. 

    I realise that we need to raise revenues.  I have no objection to the 2% increase in duty.  It will effect users evenly based on consumption.  The more you spend, the more you pay.  I also agree with higher permit fees on those positions that can be held by Caymanians. (not for domestics, food & beverage servers, gardeners, ect, that no one wants to do).

    If funds transfers are going to be taxed it should be either at a small amount, ie a 1/4 of a percent capped at $100; or a fixed transaction fee per transfer on a sliding scale.  A transfer under $1000 a $1 fee,  Under $10,000 a $5 fee, ect.  The duty or tax should be applied to all transfers and wires, not just those coming from the poorest of the poor.  I certainly would be willing to pay an additional $5.00 for my business wires,  which I make several times per month, for my helper this 2% fee is dire!

    Just my two cents or 2%

  6. The Economist says:

    The punishing taxes just imposed upon the business driving the economy here is sure to extend the recession. 

    The lease tax alone means jobs will have to be cut.  Not for the top-end workers mind you,because they are the ones who generate the actual revenues the businesses need to survive (i.e. the accountants and lawyers), but those who will need to be cut loose are those in the supportroles: the secretaries and other non-income-generating staff. 

    Sorry.  Blame it on Mac’s cure for Kurt’s (financial) Kancer…

    • Anonymous says:

      Economy still in decline? Wow! At best Mr. Jefferson deserves and MBE for that observation. Or maybe even an OBE!

    • Anonymous says:

      The Economist is absolutely right.  (The poster not the magazine).  The added costs of leases and permits will lead to cost cutting, most likely in budgets like support staff, marketing, entertainment costs etc, all of which will have a knock on effect on the local economy.  The poster is also right that those that bring in cash to a firm will not be the ones to suffer.  It will be the non income generating staff.

    • Anonymous says:

      If you think the economy is bad now, just wait ’till the udp finish giving away the 9000 permanent residency grants to them Jamaicans, it started on the 16th of Sept & is continuing secretly (& you know which immigration company raking in the millions for processing it all)!!! It will get worse when the Water Auth is sold to them egyptians & their local partner (you also know who that is)!!! If we think that we suffering now, justwait until all this happens.

      • Anonymous says:

        oh yea, I’ve heard about it from several persons. It is supposed to be a covert operation with the plan that those 9000 Jamaican new Cayman permanent residents will be naturalized by the next election, & added to the already thousands that were given away in 2003 by keevie bush & the udp, there will be more than enough votes to keep the udp in power. I have been hearing this all over the place & I have heard that they have already given away many, but it is being done by politicans & not thru the legitimate process. I hope this is not true, but it appears that there is some truth to it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    CNS – We need to get the Insurance problems that we are facing out there.

    Please do a re-search and you too will see what am talking about. 

    Insurance is really high here in the Cayman Islands and we need someone to step up and do something.

    Please help.

    CNS: Perhaps you could start a new topic in the CNS public forum so people could talk about some of the problems they’ve had (Please don’t mention particular companies). That would be a good start.


  8. Anonymous says:

    Stop getting at the expat, we need them here, we alone can not get the job done.  So please stop and look to help and stop puting down each other.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you. Cayman needs more balanced, loving, and peaceful like you. Both sides are taking their blessing for granted. Worse, division and hatred will ONLY lead to failure and EVERYONE will lose. 

      • Anonymous says:

        You are very right 18:05! Division & hatred only leads to failure, & we have never had a leader & government that has preached & encouraged hatred & divisiveness more than M. Bush & the UDP. During the election campaign they continually encouraged foreign nationals to hate many Caymanians, M. Bush & the UDP actually begged foreigners to hate Caymanians. If that was not bad enough, this disgusting practice has continued AFTER the elections. They are encouraging foreigners to hate their own Caymanians. Now if that is not stupidity at it’s worst, then I don’t know (but I do know!!). This hatred & divisiveness is hurting Cayman & M. Bush & the UDP just do not care, & I agree with you 18:05, "Everyone will lose"!!!!!

        • Expat Observer says:

          Which election were you watching, friend?

          I was watching the one that just happened in the Cayman Islands.  

          I didn’t see any of what you describe.

          • Anonymous says:

            Not too observant then!

            • Ex Pat says:

              Please enlighten me as I am apparently not too observant either.

              I don’t recall any of this – care to expand on your statement and cite examples?

  9. gilly says:

    Why don’t you good old boys stop threatening to take your business and leave back to those bankrupt countries and huge deficits and high taxes  The rope and worthless homes and polluted environment statement really demonstrate why we do not need folks like you round ya. When it is all gone you will be the same folks who will be the first to abandon and criticise this place. Please feel free to carry out threat and take your clients so they can talk to your wonderful tax meat grinder system.

    • Anonymous says:

      KFFS – Kirkconnells, Fosters, Flowers, Scotts. As successful Caymanian families, who have worked hard to earn your money, why don’t you step forward and teach your fellow Caymanians, that you didn’t achieve what you did by having loser mentalities and blaming expats for everything? Or are you guys also considered expats since according the Caymanian logic only expats can reach the top?

      • Anonymous says:

        According to expat logic only expats can or should reach the top. Caymanians are automatically assumed to be incompetent.

        • Anonymous says:

          Pathetic bull crap! Grow up.

        • Anonymous says:

          The point I was making is that OBVIOUSLY there are hard working, intelligent and very successful Caymanians out there, KFFS. Therefore Caymanians CANNOT automatically be assumed to be incompetent. So, I’m uncertain what point you are trying to make. 

          • Anonymous says:

            I am making the counterpoint to yours. When you have figured out your point you will figure out mine.  

        • Jumping Jack Flash says:

          Thank you for your crass generalisation.  It is noticeable how Caymanians have concentrated capital in a few families rather than spread the wealth.  It is not just the expats apparently.

          • Anonymous says:

            "spread the wealth"? You are sounding like the democrats & liberals, sounding very socialist like, & we do not want or need that mentality here in Cayman! NO WAY THANKS.

          • Anonymous says:

            Actually I was complaining about a crass generalization. Apparently you only think it is crass when it is directed towards expats. 

            You clearly need a lesson in Caymanian sociology and history from either Frank or Steve McField about the Cayman merchant class. 


    • o.c.m. says:

      don’t you fret gilly, because soon enough, you or your children will soon be leaving as well.  with rising ocean levels, unless you walk like a duck, quack like a duck, act like a duck, and are a duck, you’ll have to find some higher grounds…most likely the wonderful tax meat grinder countries you speak of. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    It funny how the expat vs local argument has arisen again. We are all aware that expats have helped the island in many ways, however it is also a well known fact that many of them are being brought in to do jobs that could be done by the locals who have graduated not only from high school from colleges both here and abroad every year. Why bring in a corporate administrator or take out a work permit for someone to pump gas? Government has again decided to increase our cost of living when its almost impossible to live on anything under $3,500/month…and lets face it  not everyone makes that quantity of money…Why not implement a tax on the salaries of people who make $100,000 or more a year? People making $3/hour cant afford higher duties on food ect but people making $100,000 per year could probably spare 2%. Another way that government could save would be by re-assessing those who they give $550/month to. Many are not that needy, why support someone who is well enough to do drugs, or who is on government assistance with a child but continues to have more children? These people are getting a free ride at the cost of others and need a reality check – not a monthly cheque & fosters vouchers – but that just one opinion I’m sure that there are many more…

    • Anonymous says:

      "why support someone who is well enough to do drugs, or who is on government assistance with a child but continues to have more children?"

      Easy answer:   because they have the right to vote!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is madness. The unemployment rate amongst Caymanians is in fact approaching 20%. There are only about 15,000 Caymanians in the workforce (ie of working age) 1,000 (or so) are registered as unemployed – but well over a thousand more are not registered. They have given up looking or are unemployable. The ESO does not treat them as unemployed – but they are.  Meanwhile there is 99% employment amongst expatriates – who outnumber Caymanians in the workforce and so when averaged, misleading statistics arise.  People who are relying on these statistics are forming a wrong impression of the reality – Please stop blindly believing everything you are told by the ESO.


    CNS – perhaps you can investigate and report. I think people should understand how the statistics are sourced and what factors are ignored, before we rely on them.

    • Anonymous says:

      Where did you get these figures? Did you just make them up?

    • Anonymous says:

      Expatriates come here to do the jobs that Caymanians either cannot or will not do. This is the top end stuff which there are  a shortage of qualified Caymanians to do and the bottom end, the service industry jobs that Caymanians are unwilling to do.

      Without better schooling, attitude adjustment, getting rid of the small island mentality and getting some international experience there will always be a lack of Caymanians that can do the high end jobs that expats currently do. Replace good expat staff with incompetent local staff and the business sinks. Companies will go elsewhere to do their business if they cannot get good enough service locally, because they can only employ sub-standard incompetent caymanian staff.

      There are plently of jobs in the compass this week. However you will find it is only migrant workers that will do these jobs. Majority of Caymanians are not prepared to clean, serve or build. 

      There are jobs there if they wanted them, but they don’t, so in true Caymanian fashion they will blame everybody else.

    • Bully's Star Prize says:

      Unemployment figures should be limited to those actively seeking work, so the lower figure seems absolutely right in economic terms.  It would be even lower if we could discount those who choose not to apply for jobs they consider beneath them or render themselves unemployable through drink, drugs or crime.


    • frank rizzo says:

      Most of the world defines unemployed as out of work but ready, willing, and able to work. The official unemployment figure therefore does not include the unemployable, i.e. those not ready, willing, and able. You cannot count those who are unwilling to be counted. The ESO are using tested, verifyable, and standardised methods which will give consistent results regardless of the jurisdiction. What are your "standards"?

      • Anonymous says:

        My standards are "how many people are not in full time employment who want to be in full time employment?" Just like when I ask the question "How many people live here?"  I can get 2 answers – the statistical 57,000 and the real "about 70K".

        What happened to the several hundred students who just graduated and are not going to college. Do they all have jobs? No. – But because they have not yet registered as unemployed with the Department of Labour – are you suggesting that we treat them as gainfully employed and productive members of our community – because that is the way the present stats suggest we treat them – and that only masks the scale of our problems.

        I understand the ESO – for example – does not count someone on a Temporary Work Permit as living here. Nor do they count someone with less than 6 months to go on their final permit. Yet they have a home, drive cars, shop in the grocery strores and go to work every day. Statistically they do not exist. Thank heaven they at least place no reliance on that.

        We need to know and understand the reality – not the statistical version of it. We are small enough to determine the former – so why don’t we?



        • Anonymous says:

          Dear Anonymous,

          I would stay wholly anonymous if I were you because your moanings are wholly inconsistent with each other. 

          First you tell us at 10.44 that the figures are wrong because they do not include "the well over a thousand more are not registered. They have given up looking or are unemployable"  But now at 16:10 you tell us that the excluded individuals are those who have just graduated and have not properly started looking yet. 

          What difference does the non-Caymanian population figures make to the unemployment figures of Caymanians anyway?

          Whatever problems you have with the ESO at least they seem to maintain a consistent approach between morning and afternoon.  You can’t.

          • Anonymous says:

            I said no such thing – that it was left open for you to infer it . The point is in any event, is a 17 year old sitting outside subway every day for eight months with nothing productive to do employed or not? If you treat him as employed by relying blindly on statistics you remove any extra emphasis to get him employed and offer him a perhaps needed chance to learn, advance, and become productive . If you do not get him employed, there is an exponential increase in the likelihood of him becomming unemployable and turning to crime. I will still be here when in 10 years when he perhaps enters a bedroom (my bedroom) at night with a knife. I can help avioid that if I encourage intervention now – . I assume that your way to avoid that will be to simply leave before then – or retreat to a gated community with armed guards.


            Do you want him employed or not? Would he prefer to be employed and have a bright future or not?  Those are the questions we need to answer. You are denying a problem that plainly exists and not offering solutions. Treating him as employed is in reality no more than a convenient (and potentially very dangerous) lie, damned lie, and statistic.. 

            • Anonymous says:

              Has this 17 year old applied for a job at Subway?  Applied for a job anywhere?  Unemployment statistics, to be meaningful should only count those out of work and looking for work.  Not registered?  Not counted. 

              I never knew eating a foot-long sub lead directly to knife crime.  This is getting silly now.  You obviously have no idea how unemployment figures need to work to provide valuable economic data.


              • Anonymous says:

                Registration of the unemployed is a new thing in Cayman. It was never done previously. We are not like other countries where you can register and then go pick up your unemployment benefits every Monday. You are taking a foreign concept and applying it in a local context without taking into account local circumstances. Your lack of familiarity with such things is evidenced by the fact that you genuinely believe that the youth hanging out outside subway are eating sandwiches.


                To answer your question – yes my  imaginary 17 year old applied at Restaurant XX  but a 28 year old expatriate (Filipina) with a college education and two degrees (accounting and marketing) was hired 2 months ago ( 2 weeks before the high school graduation) for the position and has a 2 year work permit. It is cheaper to employ her because even though Restaurant XX obeys all the laws (unlike some others) no pension payments have to be made until she has been there for 9 months – so she is 10% cheaper to employ for much of the first year and far more qualified than the Caymanian. Never mind that the Caymanian is ready willing and able.  Perhaps he can try again in 2 years when the permit is up for renewal – if he doesn’t get bored and rip out your car stereo first. Actually, thinking about it, in 2 years the advert (and the job) will likely be for someone with a minimum of 2 years experience and who can speak Tagalog so as to cater to a large portion of the customer base. Selling drugs – that’s the answer. If that doesn’t work, property crime is next. 


                You starting to see the problem yet? What are you doing to solve it. You haven’t answered – is he unemployed or not?


                CNS: Even though you said the 17-year-old was hypothetical, I have changed the name of the business referred to hypothetically so I don’t get complaints.

                • O'Really says:

                  While I have sympathy for the hypothetical 17 year old, your attitude has me baffled. Why, having failed to get one job, do you consider the next logical step to be ripping out car stereos? Failing that selling drugs and then property theft? 

                  What happened to trying for other jobs? There were many times in my early life where I took any job going to be employed and I have found that If I was not too proud to take what’s offered, I was never unemployed for long. Maybe this kid should consider returning to some form of education, maybe catching up on what I assume he missed out on?

                  Please don’t tell me that you’re just reflecting the real world, because in my world no-one gives up on their kids this easily and decent kids don’t turn to crime at the first stumble, if ever. And if crime is such an easy option for this hypothetical kid, maybe he’s not such a decent kid and therein could be the problem and its not whether he is or isn’t counted as being unemployed.

                  • Anonymous says:

                    O’Really – you and I are really quite close in our perspectives on this one and we could actually come to agree with one another – the missing link is that you believe that entry level jobs and the ability to obtain them, freely exist, and I do not.   In the real world (outside of Cayman) school leavers tend to be better educated than they are here. We can blame the education system for this but not necessarily the youth who are just pushed through it. There tends not to be the same prevalence of single parenthood (migrant males are one contributing factor – as are absence of abortions and honest free access to contraception and sex education and a growing culture objectifying women) and so there is better guidance and a more stable nourishing environment available to many young people.  In the real world unskilled youth have entry level jobs available to them and do not have to compete with greatly over-qualified and experienced adults from other countries for entry level positions. In the real world (but not here) the law does not impose restrictions (here pension) that actually make it cheaper to employ a foreign national in the same position.   In the real world, young people get to work with persons and for managers with whom they can culturally relate when they are starting out, but this is not necessarily thecase here. In the real world laws designed to protect the workforce (of all origins) are effectively enforced, and there are minimum wages. In the real world  there are effective apprenticeship and vocational/technical  opportunities – but not yet here. In the real world the society treats "bad apples" with open disdain and pressure to conform to positive behaviours, from police to the rest of the "village" and the schools is prevalent – but in our fragmenting society those pressures are lacking.

                    If youth lose hope, want the stuff they see others with, and cannot (or for whatever reason will not) gain productive employment – they are more likely to turn to undesireable behaviours – and that is what we are seeing happen today. My whole position on this is based on the fact that to deal with this issue we need to identify this problem. If we rely blindly on statistics that take no account of it, then the problem is not on the radar. Government policy advisors rely on these stats. Their importance and  real world effect cannot be under-stated – nor can the damage that is done long term if the reality is not recognised and urgently addressed.

                    • O'Really says:

                      Well I see where you are coming from now and I can’t say I disagree with much ofwhat you write, although my focus is slightly different.

                      For example, I don’t believe that entry level jobs freely exist for all 17 year olds, but I do think they exist for those 17 year olds with the right attitude, a willingness to take what they can get, employment wise and an understanding that any foot on the employment ladder is good. Don’t forget that although the Cayman economy might be struggling now, for many years past it was very upbeat and in my view if a 17 year old remained unemployed for long, the reason was unlikely to be a shortage of entry level job opportunities. Who couldn’t get a job as a labourer on a building site after Ivan, a job I did several times in my youth?

                      The real problem then is with the 17 year olds, or rather the whole group of Caymanian young people, who don’t have the right attitude or who are borderline. You have identified some of the problems to be faced in dealing with this group and in general I’m with you on all the points you raise, but there are ways in which I see things differently.

                      I sometimes watch my adult children and marvel at the mannerisms and attitudes they have picked up from my wife and myself which were never expressly taught to them. They picked them up over years of daily exposure and I have come to realise that this istrue also for more important issues such as a belief in education, an intrinsic sense of honesty, a good work ethic etc. or, depending on the example set, the reverse of these character traits.

                      So if a 17 year old does not take advantage of the education system, my first thought is not to blame the system, but to look at the parents. Similarly the moral code which accepts illegitimate children without stigma comes from the parents, handed down through many generations, to be sure. I could on, but I think you get the point.

                      If Cayman is to counter poor parental guidance in some sectors of Cayman society, then politicians need to step up to the plate and be brave enough to acknowledge shortcomings. As an example, did it do anyone any good when the first claims by teachers over a decade ago that gangs were developing in schools, were met by blind refusal to acknowledge the problem by both politicians and the education authorities? 

                      Which brings me to your concern over the statistics for unemployment being understated. I don’t know if this is the case or not, but I have a strong suspicion that the powers that be know the real facts, it’s just not politically expedient to address them in an appropriate and forthright manner. How often here is it more important to save face, build monuments or cover your behind, than do the right thing?



                    • Anonymous says:

                      O’Really – we do agree – and I  thank you for staying engaged. I think the discussion has been fruitful and hope is serves as a reminder to many posters on this site that no matter what distance appears between positions – open honest discussion can bring ideas together – something we need more of in Cayman right now.

    • Mozzie Fodder says:

      "Meanwhile there is 99% employment amongst expatriates"

      Should that not be 100% seeing as an unemployed expat should leave the island or should not be here in the first place?

    • Excuses, excuses says:

      The only unemployed Caymanians are those who do not want a job.  The true unemployment rate of Caymanians is 0%.  Stop whingeing and making excuses. 

      New graduate?  Want to be an accountant?  Get a job in a bar while the economy turns around – that is what graduates all over the world are doing right now.  Stop being so precious!

      Drunk?  High on crack?  Want a job?  Put down the crack.

    • Anonymous says:

      I can remember reading on this very board or in the compass how the number of work permit approvals was a couple of thousand lower than this time last year. So thats a couple of thousand less expats living here.

      So don’t talk rubbish about only Caymanians being laid off. I know plenty of expats that have had to go home because their contract wasn’t renewed or made redundant.

      • Anonymous says:

        Work permits have decreased. But the numbers of work permit holders no longer requiring permits has increased for a variety of reasons including – because they marry a Caymanian, get PR, apply for PR and get a WOL stamp, have a permit denied, appeal, and get a WOL stamp, go and work for government, obtain status, overstay and work unlawfully etc..  You didn’t take that into account, did you?   See how statistics can lie? A reduction in the number of work permits does not purely translate into a reduction of expats living here.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Government’s usually lower taxes ( duty & fees) to stimulate growth no raise them. The measures taken may very well cause the economy to decline much more than is already projected. At the very least it will hit hard at those who can ill afford it.

    • frank rizzo says:

      Duties and fees were increased to raise revenue, not stimulate the economy.

      • Anonymous says:

        If the economy is not stable these measures will have a negative effect. Raising fees can slow down an economy even more and begin a full recession.


      • Anony says:

        But if the economy declines further there is less for fees adn duties to be levied on and hence less money in the Govs coffers.

      • frank rizzo says:

        Both of the comments below are true, I was merely refuting one of the statements by the commenter above. Once the victims of the increased fees and duties find a way to curcumvent them and the economy slows, as it inevitably will, the expected revenues will decline and create the need for additional increases in fees and duties. CIG better make the most of this basically one-shot deal.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Most other countries would kill to have an unemployment rate of 5.5%! In the UK it stands at 7.9% and in the US 9.8%. Indeed, some economists would call that full employment. Whist in Cayman, unemployment is projected to fall to less that 4%, in the US it is predicted to carry on rising to above 10%.

    Caymanians – quit bitching, you don’t know how lucky you are.
    • Anonymous says:

      As a U.S. citizen, living in the U.S. at present, I can disagree with your unemployment statistics. In fact, to give a good example, Detroit Michigan’s unemployment rate is 28%.

      In the state of California, they are saying the unemployment rate is about 11%. IMHO, this is just politics at best. Wow, it’s so bad here, that illegal/legal immigrants are finding other states to go, or, returning home.

      There are a lot of homeless Americans. They are not being counted in the statistics. The food banks have been running on empty. Homeless shelters are turning people away….

      In the U.S. we are still bringing in immigrants on visas to fill jobs that we (citizens) can’t get. We (citizens) have to go through background checks, drug tests, supply I.D…., then it’s always "you’re overqualified, not qualified… I think, it’s all in the name of cheap labor.

      One thing I have to say, you guys have a leg up on the U.S., you will start taxing money sent home by foreign workers. Billions of dollars have left the U.S. tax-free, charged just a fee by the business.


      • Anonymous says:

        US Unemployment 9.8%

        But obviously there will be local variations which make people doubt the national figure.
        As for your reports of US nationals being discriminated against in favour of foreigners, it is happening in the UK too. I know that doesn’t help much, but we feel your pain. The IT industry has been particularly badly hit by the use of Intra-company transfers (ICT), or rather their abuse. Cheap workers from India are shipped in to replace British workers. Often those being replaced had to train them – talk about digging your own grave.   It is a massive fraud. Everyone knows it including the Labour government, and not only will they not do anything it, in the case of the bailed out banks – they actively encouraged it.
        As much as the Caymanians complain about expats taking ‘their jobs’, in reality the Cayman Islands has, on a comparative basis, extremely strong local labour protection laws that are very actively policed. I know it doesn’t feel like that to most Caymanians; I can identify with and support your viewpoint.
        • Anonymous says:

          "in reality the Cayman Islands has, on a comparative basis, extremely strong local labour protection laws that are very actively policed".

          That is absolutely incorrect. Whileon paper the Immigration Law appears to offer protection the reality is quite different. The system is constantly manipulated and absued. It is not actively policed. That is a part of the problem.  

  14. noname says:

    Cut our population! Lessen the demand & stress on our Infastructure,economy and environment manage the exsisting resources properly instead of expanding Cayman out of control be smart Cayman Islands do the right thing by our children.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good idea, lets take all the unproductive Caymanians and send them overseas to work in third world factories or to get a real education and international business experience. They are not capable of doing the technical jobs needed on the island and the small island mentality damages the islands businesses…..

      Oh, thats what not what you meant? You meant kick out all the expats etc etc.

      Believe me you’d be in a far worse position when the expats leave and take their investments, business and clients with them. Your house would be worthless, you would have no job, neither would your whole family. You’d be back to making rope and fishing the last few fish out of the polluted sea.


      • Anonymous!!! says:

        When are you people going to stop this name calling crap. expats you are as guilty as the locals when it comes to this, you throw out your slurs and expect that it will stay there and no one will pic k up on it, WELL, I AND MANY MORE ARE TIRED OF IT"

        • Anonymous says:

          I agree with you 100%. I am in the U.S., and it saddens me that some of the expats are saying things like, "we are doing jobs you don’t want to do." This is what happened in the U.S. Everyday, we (citizens) heard, "these are jobs Americans don’t want to do."

          It also saddens me to hear these comments, because it’s hard for me to travel without facing anti-Americanism. This caused me not to travel since 2005, due to people not liking Americans.

          I also agree when you say, "expecting no one will pick up" –  I believe, not only do people pick it up, but, it causes people to hold animosities, and lose trust, and become more protective of their islands – you have every right. 

          Every visit to the islands, the Caymanians have treated me very well.  

          • Anonymous says:

            Sir, thanks for your comments from the USA. Unfortunately they are pretty much irrelevant as the situation is entirely different here in Cayman.

            As a tourist you will probably have received warm service from these islands, usually from fellow americans. Unless you have worked here you aren’t really in a position to comment.

            I have worked in countries around the world as an expat, including the USA, Hong Kong and Australia, in each place there have been good and bad points, but generally I have been appreciated. I do a fairly specialised job and my skills are highly sought after. In cayman this is not the case.

            Having worked in Cayman for two years, I have noticed that there is a great divide in the Caymanian people. There are half of them that have usually experienced life outside the islands and see the bigger picture. They work hard, are highly skilled and completely understanding of the employment situation in their country. The other half are born withan entitlement mentality, most of whom left school with a criminal record and no qualifications, but expect to get executive jobs due to their sole qualification which is being Caymanian.

            I hire a lot of employees and most of the work is unskilled and low paid. Every time I advertise I get sent some Caymanians by the government who are, they claim, looking for work and interested. Most of them don’t turn up to interviews, those that do often take phone calls during the interview and show no signs of wanting the job. Any that do seem interested quickly lose interest after a couple of weeks and start pulling sickies and eventually stop turning up at all. If I am unable to find Caymanians and I look to get in some expats, they are always more willing to do the job, they NEED the job to support their families and work hard and are always willing to work hard and extra hours as required.

            I find the Caymanians feel the job is beneath them and merely apply to appease the labour board so they can keep on getting their bills paid by the government. I would love to employ Caymanins, they would save me a fortune in work permit costs and provide long term security but nobody is interested.

            • Anonymous says:

              BTW, I am a female. I definitely feel the frustration you must feel based on your comments. By all means, I was not trying to ‘muddy the waters.’ I just understand both sides.

              I am retired, I’m in my forties, and I am bored not having anything to do, besides shop. I retired in my thirties, and it’s been a long road.  I have applied for jobs just to have something to do. I have an excellent work history. No small children, nor husband that would have prevented me from coming to work – but that wasn’t enough – or I was overqualified.

              As far as the islands, I know the double-edged sword. Expats (resident based on income) cannot work unless they have a permit. A suggestion, although I know it’s not my call, would probably be to allow the people already there an opportunity to work (like family members). Maybe all of them don’t need the money, but, this is just an idea.  I’ve heard of lots of expats that would like to work, but are not allowed. This would save on workers permits, it would also help with the economy because the workers are already living there. This would also save on employers having to pay for relocation/accommodation.

              Again, I was not trying to anger you or any employer. However, I feel saddened to read comments like that appear to put people down. To be more specific, as a reader I sense, "you’re nothing without me." I see the comments, "if we leave, you’re islands will be nothing…." As a guest in any country that I visit or have visited, I am grateful to be there, and never try to feel better or superior to the citizens. Again, I’m not trying to be rude, but, I have traveled to Europe and the Caribbean, and I have to say, of all my travels, Cayman was by far the best trips I’ve had. I was treated very well by Caymanians, not Americans.

      • frank rizzo says:

        No, I think he meant "shoot us".

        • Expat #1633259811452114 says:

          They’d need to tax us to raise the price of the bullets.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you have any idea how fast the economy would fall apart if they cut the population? 

      Property values would crash, the local banks would pull out or fail and all local businesses would contract or fail.

      • Anonymous says:

        Isn’t this happening already? Didn’t it start with the rollover?