Work-permit fees to double

| 07/10/2009

(CNS): The business community was given a glimpse of the steep increases that they could face on work permit fees when the financial secretary gave a couple of proposed examples of the new rates that employers will be required to pay. In his response to the budget debate in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday morning, Kenneth Jefferson said that all fees, with the exception of nurses, teachers, religious ministers and domestic workers, would be increased. The scale of increase would range from a 50% on the lowest cost permits to almost 200% on others.

Referring to the permits at the bottom of the scale, such as those for gardeners as an example, Jefferson said they would increase from $250 to $375, but paralegal permits, on the other hand, would be more than doubled, increasing from $2,750 to $8,000. Although the financial secretary did not give any further illustrative examples, he warned that all work permits in the professional category are proposed to be increased by $3000.

He said government hoped to generate a further $11.29 million from the work permit increases, which, when added to the existing revenue raised from permits, would bring $45.79 million for the treasury. Jefferson also stated that the designation for key employee application processing fee would move from its current level of only $250 for all applications to the equivalent cost of the work permit for the position the key status is being requested. The financial secretary said that, based on the number of applications processed last year and the number currently being processed, the increase will realize $1.2 million more for government in this fiscal year.  He also said that work permits charged for people with permanent residency would increase in line with general permits bringing in an extra $2.47million.

Meanwhile, during his unexpected rebuttal speech on the revenue measures to the opposition’s statement in the budgetdebate, Leader of Government Business McKeeva Bush said that employers may face permit increases but they would be able to reduce their pension burden as a result of the government’s decision to remove their obligations to provide pensions for work permit holders.

“The government felt that the increase to work permit fees across the board is supportable only by the removal of an existing employer expense such as the pension obligation for work permit holders,” he said, adding that this would mean the cost of doing business would not necessarily increase. “Pension contributions for non-Caymanian employees or both the employer and employee would become voluntary.”

Bush said employers would be able to fund the fee increases by stopping their employee’s pensions. “In the case of unskilled and trade workers, the employers’ existing pension obligations would typically be higher than the projected increase in permit fees.”

He said employers were paying a $1000 per year on pension contribution for a worker on an annual salary of $20,000 but would likely see a permit increase of $500 and therefore the permit would result in a net benefit to the employer of small Caymanian businesses.

He also said that the custom duty increase, which he referred to again as 2%, although in real terms it is 10%, would be offset by the elimination of the annual garbage fees. “In an effort to keep costs down for our residents the government will terminate the annual garbage fees and consider the increase in duties as replacement for collecting garbage fees.   

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  1. Anonymous says:

     Fee’s should be increased across the board no exceptions – so that applies to nurses , teachers domestic staff etc – 

    It is ridiculous to hit the very industry that cayman revolves around 

    • Seriously? says:

      The reason wp fees are being increased in the first place is to raise money for the government.  If teacher and nurse wps are raised this would increase the revenue of the government.  

  2. Anonymous says:

    Caymanians with qualifications and experience do get passed over by foreigners with no qualifications and less experience. The health services in this country especially both the hospitals are hiring foreigners to do jobs that they are not qualified for and displacing caymanians. I know for a fact that this is happening as I have a family member who has college qualifications that has been displaced by foreigners with no qualifications. PLUS the immigration department knows about this and nothing is done and the labour department is a joke in this regard especially job placement – what a laugh. AND THIS CAYMANIAN IS NOT UNEMPLOYABLE so cut the crap and stop saying that it is not happening.

  3. Joe Average says:

    In my career  I STARTED AT THE BOTTOM!!!! 

    SO THERE!!!!!

    and i like it here.

    it’s much less stressful and i meet much nicer people.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I guess we can forget about “The Fight to Employ Caymanians” because the government needs to make money, so every permit submitted will most likely get passed. Good game strategy Mr. Bush, once again you sell out your own Caymanians to collect the mighty dollar.  If you would only look at the bigger picture and realize the graphically the island is not going to get any bigger so stop trying to fill it up. The more people you bring here the more public services you have to offer such as road works, schools, health care and the list goes on, costing the government more money to come up with.


    At the end of the day who are we building all of this for?


  5. Anonymous says:


    Can you please start a separate forum for Caymanians that are seeking employment that they may post a brief note?    I have a few fellow caymanians that are out of work and eager to find something and some are willing to do anything.  So perhaps if you could allow some space to express their employment seeking, I think that would be beneficial.

    (you dont have to post this as a comment on the subject.  just thought I’d ask for a little space on behalf of those seeking employment.)

    Thanks and Have a great weekend!  🙂

    CNS: We have categories in the Classifieds section to post job opportunities and resumes. I’ll find a way to highlight this but in the meantime it’s easy to post, it’s free and it appears immediately. Just click on "Place an ad". If anyone has any ideas how to improve this email me here.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Everyone has to be trained to some extent when starting a new job.  The only problem I have with this that is, most of the people that are suppose to be assisting the new employee by training them in areas they don’t have experience in, forget that they were there once too and someone did train them. 

    It is not just about an education but getting the experience in the work place.  If you had to learn everything in college in order to get a job and just "do it" without any training or guidance then we would be in college FOREVER.

    We are living in 2009 and everything is changing everyday, so therefore there will be people out there that know more than you, and those people should be proud to share that knowledge with everyone and not hold them back.   

    Remember everyone started somewhere and I’m sure some training was involved.  Not every workplace does everything exactly the same as the others!  Not every workplace has the same policies and procedures.  Not every workplace has the same IT technology.  Not every workplace as the same organizational culture.  This is why you train people!!!!!!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    I just want to be a voice for our generation. Unfortunately there are many out there that believe that if you are unemployed, it’s only because you don’t want to work or because you’re stupid. I have a job because I was one of the fortunate ones that came in contact with people who didn’t know me but was willing and took the chance to see my potential. But there’s only so much waiting one person can take. Like a song says: bills don’t care about your status they still stack up. Those who feel it know it. It’s sad when there are decent hardworking people, who lose there jobs to some that don’t have a say in this country. i.e. some of them on work permits. Do you know how many of them are here working and cannot get paid? and at the little pay they receive you might as well say they go unpaid. You’d be surprised. They are treated cruelly and forced to keep quiet because they don’t want to go back home. And on the other hand there are those that are overpaid when you compare it to what they actually DO or know. Those are the one’s that can afford to live life here on our island. They come and want to take over, not really caring about the island or its traditions. Their main purpose is to live as comfortable and ‘sophisticated’ as possible. And by some of the comments that people are making are clear examples of that. It’s all good to think that you know it all. Thinking that the law wants you to come to Cayman to teach us how to do things, there are also many of you who come here will very limited knowledge and experience and learn from US. But don’t get me wrong, there are also those humble and down to earth people who simply come to make a life for them and their families, respectful and causing no harm to society- regardless of how society may treat them.

     We cannot allow our people to go by suffering whilst people overseas are being enticed from there own country to come here and make a better life for themselves. I am not disagreeing that we do not need foreign workers here or even that Caymanians are not grateful for your skills. Because they are. Even if they don’t know it (or show it)- WE ARE. At least to an extent.
  8. Anonymous says:

    How can anyone say that Caymanians have never stepped up, and said that they have been passed over for an expat? Are you the one that the complaints go to?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Yes UCCI offers Professional courses. (What don’t they offer nowadays?) Atleast when I was enrolled there there was a program for ILEX, and the classes were of young Caymanians, mostly women, but nevertheless. Many of them have graduated and have a certificate qualifying them. I have worked for a law firm, and to me it’s unfortunate but I felt that what they really focused on was your typing speed. This may be a little far fetched but if you can type 80 wpm you could get the job, regardless of you having common sense.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually that is a little far-fetched as you can get by on 60 wpm provided you have 95%+ accuracy.

      I’d also add that the ILEX accreditation here is a strictly paralegal/secretarial qualification and not to be confused with the original ILEX Certification in the UK to become a qualified Legal Executive which is a similar qualification to a Solicitor/Attorney but with less rights of audience in court.

  10. Anonymous says:

     I have lived in the Cayman Islands seven years.  During that time I have heard countless claims that Caymanians are being passed over for jobs in favor of expats.  All that time it has been the law that Caymanians be preferred for jobs for which they are qualified, yet time and time again I read that does not happen.

    I believe that qualified Caymanians SHOULD be preferred for jobs over expats.

    What is a bit puzzling is that in the entire time I’ve lived here, not one single person has stood up and said I applied for a job for which I am qualified and was passed over for an expat.  Not once has a specific charge of breaking this law been laid.  It’s all been generalities and vagueness.

    If this is happening, stand up and expose it.  Right the wrong.  Fix the system.

    Not once in seven years.  Not once.

    • da wa ya get says:

      Well one recent and very public example was that of Theresa Lewis-Pitcairn (Caymanian lawyer)…she also has very specific knowledge of this happening to others within the law firms over the years, and spoke of it on her campaign trail.

      • Poopa Scoopa says:

        How’s that lawsuit coming along anyway?

        • da wa ya get says:

          Not sure actually, I’d love to hear from Theresa or the firm on what’s happening or what happened.

      • O'Really says:

        You are of course right about Theresa bringing a claim for discrimination as a consequence of her being denied promotion to partner, but in the interest of completeness maybe you should point out that in the same year Wanda Ebanks, a Caymanian woman, was admitted to partnership in the same firm.




        • Anonymous says:

          How do you define Partner and Partnership?

          • O'Really says:

            As any good lawyer would, however you would like me to define it.

          • Anonymous says:

            Interested in what O’Really has to say but something to do with owner of the business – carrying on business in common with a view to a profit … pretty much equivalent of director/shareholder in company.

            • O'Really says:

               I could elaborate, but then I’d have to bill you at an exorbitant hourly rate!

              • Anonymous says:

                You did offer

                • O'Really says:

                  Why do I feel there’s more to this exchange than meets the eye?

                  • Anonymous says:

                    Smoke, mirrors and subtrefuge. Is that not the immigration game. Making something appear to be the case when it is not in fact true?

      • Anonymous says:

        I am the poster at 7:31.  That’s the kind of info that should be publicized more.  If everything is swept under the rug, nothing will change.  These incidents should be publicized so that the offending companies are known and monitored for compliance.  If jobs are filled illegally, the person hired should be let go and the position at least re-advertised.  Posting rants and raves will do little in the way of bringing about achange in the job market, if these transgressions against Caymanian workers are not brought to light, examined, and dealt with in a way that insures such discrimination does not happen again!

        • da waya get says:

          I agree with you.

          However, I think that for many Caymanians the postings will help them take the first step in fighting this type of discrimination. For years Caymanians have been told to brush this stuff under the rug because they would probably be put on the job market blacklist; and in many instances that proved true. These blogs have given a voice to Caymanians in a way they never had before, and I think that Caymanians are fighting against these illegally filled jobs like they haven’t before. I do hope that each incident will be publicized, as that will undoubtedly bring about the necessary change in the job market.

          Thank you for your post.

      • Example? says:

        This is only an example of Caymanian leaving a firm without being made a partner in a firm.  It is not necessarily of a suitably qualified Caymanian being denied partnership in a law firm, as that was in issue in the law suit.

  11. CatMan says:

    RE: The Budget

    I wonder if this budget was ever really in play.   It is so outragous that it defies logic.  CatMan wonders if the whole thing wasn’t a ruse, so that when they put in the real – albeit awful – budget we are happy in comparison. 

    Think about it…If they had come to us and said there would be a 30% increase in work permit fees we would all have a heart attack. BUT if they say there will be a 200% increase in work permit fees, and then drop it down to a 30% increase we would be greatful. 

    I just have to wonder, as no one in their right mind could ever conceive of this current nuclear option budget, so there must be more going on behind the scenes.

  12. Anonymous says:

    UCCI does offer a paralegal course and in Cayman Brac to boot and so does Matrix and others. Get with it folks – Caymanians need to take advantage of what is being offered

  13. apapercaymanian says:

    the current immigration system has failed Caymanians – that much should be obvious to them all – plowing on with more of the same system is lunacy – yet this is what is being done

    its biggest failure is the culture of entitlement it inadvertently created – this has fueled most Cayman companies desire to circumvent the law – which they do with impunity thanks to the petty nepotism and influence peddling that is carried on by the various committees


    the new fees will only exacerbate the issue as firms recruit unmotivated Caymanians and then seek to avoid giving them work for fear they will lose clients – businesses will suffer on the international playing field they compete on – less profits means less expansion which means less opportunities for Caymanians (and even for the expats that are the cornerstone of the economy and whom the Government according to this article see no need for)

    is that in anyones interest other than the bloated ever expanding inefficient Government – the largest employer on the Island

    I am a paper Caymanian but I wish my fellow Caymanians would open their eyes to their best interests and the truth and ignore Government’s racist propoganda designed to throw them off the real issue and better themselves – a new immigration system that actually benefits them! We will all benefit from that. Caymanians need to accept the real reason they are discriminated against – it isn’t some sinister plot by evil foreign employers but the simple fact that they are perceived (rightly or wrongly) as not being able to do the job properly. To change this will take a huge effort on their part – a cultural paradigm shift – there is no easy fix. 



  14. Joe Average says:

    Holy $**t !!!!!!   does every thread on here, every topic, everything we discuss ,or comment on, have to degenerate into hateful and stupid rhetoric about "Expats" and "Caymanians"????

    LISTEN.  I live here too.  Everything that happens affects me. That may sound selfish but this is my home.  And I have a right to be here as long as I – abide by the laws, – show respect for my fellow residents, – and support myself.  And I try to make room in my heart for everyones’ points of views and I don’t have to agree but this kind of shite drives us all backwards.  What’s that quote?? 

    "you cannot shake hands with a clenched fist"

    And as far as getting up on a pulpit and using religion to vent or as a way to feel "special" forget it.  Until you do unto others.

    Someone’s frowning on you and me.

  15. CatMan says:

    A little Econ 101: Increases in prices lead to decreases in demand.  If you raise the cost of leasing a business, you shift the demand line, and lease fewer units. Simularly if you raise permit fees you will see fewer permits.

    The thing this plan most obviously fails to account for is the impact of the multiple extreme cost increases all occuring simultaniously.  Just one of these tax measures would surpass the thresh hold at which government will see declining revenues. Combined these measures effectively act to cripple small business and massively contract our economy.  Many of the merchants I have spoken to are planning on cutting staff, and not just the ‘evil expats’.  It is going to be across the board.  There is no way a business can sustain a 10 to 20% rise in operating expenses in a declining economy with out cutting jobs. 

    Also note that the "Occupancy charge" of 10% was to replace the stamp duty on leases as it was not being effectively collected.  I paid mine, on my 4 year lease it worked out to 1.25% p.a.  In the media the stamp duty has been quoted as 5% p.a on leases under 5 years.  It is not 5% p.a. rather 5% of the annual lease for a lease of less then 5 years.  Which is 1% p.a. on a five year lease.  To increase it to 10% p.a. will make small business wholy unable to remain competitive with the large businesses who own there premises.  Diversity is a good thing, but we are legislating it out of existance. 

    • Jump The Shark says:

      But Cayman is the best.  Our offshore product is not cost sensitive.  For every expat here there are two just as good wanting to get here. 

      Is the word "complacent" not in the dictionary here? 


  16. The NeutralMan says:

    The government has to do something to sustain the economy. Whereas other countries can implement ‘quantitative easing’ i.e. print money to bail out their economies and create stimulus packages Cayman cannot do so so it is inevitable that revenue measures and borrowing has to be the options adopted. Use the borrowings now and leave the revenue measures until the economy recovers. It is nonsensical to be hitting companies and individuals the hardest in times of recession. Bad economics I say, the long term effects will be detrimental to Cayman

    The developed world will implement their spending cuts and efficiency measures well into next year when growth is expected so why is Cayman doing it now when they should be looking to stimulate the economy, attract tourism and spend government money to train caymanians to benefit from the upturn when it does come.

    I believe everyone should be playing their part in tightening belts, not just the expats but also the locals and unfortunately the people who will be hit hardest are the unskilled and semi-skilled workers. Personally I would be more than happy with increased road tax, import duties and whatever other indirect taxation the govt has at it’s disposal however I am really peeed off with proposals to make pension contributions voluntary for expats. DISCREMINATION!!!!!!!!!!!!


  17. Anonymous says:

    How sad, yet another gap that is only growing larger between the "belongers" and "non belongers" How sad are those terms, yet that is what we are becoming…….

    Pensions now optional?? for yet again only the expat employees, wow don’t I feel special yet again in a place I have called home for 17 years!  So can someone tell me, when all of the expats stop paying into their pension, when do they get to collect what they have paid into for the past oh what has it been now about 10 years ?  Or will this be yet just another pie in the sky illusion that the funds are available, who knows by that time there may be a new "fee" for trying collect like a 100% penalty for yet again being an expat! The Goverment is creating this rift, let us not fall prey to it!!!

    This dischord going on between the expats and the "Caymanians" especially on this site is really the saddest thing to come from all of this…………yet it smells again to me like all of the good church goers who find it their place to judge & not our Lords??? Please explain to me, is there more than one God? one for expats & one for Caymanians….sure is starting to sound that way to me. Wake up folks and try to remember we are all children of God, not just  Caymanians!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Wow…paralegal permits to be doubled, increasing from $2,750 to $8,000!!!  I guess firms now need to get their Caymanian employees trained by the work permit holders for these types of positions….something that has been in the law for years, but never enforced. When these persons are granted permits,it has always been with the expectation that a Caymanian will be trained to take over the post. This will hopefully pave the way for some Caymanians to move up into better positions within firms.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am trying to understand this one,

      So you’re saying that when an employer hires say a Lawyer with experience, that Lawyer has to make time to train a Caymanian that would like to become successful Lawyer, then take over the position?

      And you wonder why it was never enforced? "Come here with my hard earned knowledge, give it away to some one that will take my job" Gee, let me think real hard here to figure it out

      • Makam says:

        The main problem is the attitude of a lot of my  fellow Caymanians… that they do not need to learn the job…. that it should be theirs by right of them being Caymanian…. not that they can do it!

        • Anonymous says:

          You don’t know how right you are, that has been my observation as well, now don’t get me wrong, there are some Caymanians that do deserve it and are capable and hard working, but they are very few compared to others with the point of view you described.

      • Anonymous says:

        Note the post said "…these types of positions".  A paralegal position is very different from that of a lawyer and obviously demand and supply comes into play. The only reason work permits are granted in the first instance is because there is no Caymanian qualified or available to fill the position. How is a Caymanian to become qualified and/or gain the relevant experience necessary to hold such a position if not by being trained by a lawyer with experience and given the opportunity to gain that experience??  Why should one be granted a work permit to make all the big bucks and be stingy in sharing their hard earned knowledge?  How can Caymanians move into positions, such as a paralegal, if they are all held by work permit holders?? The right thing to do is for the work permit holder to train a Caymanian for the position. At the end of the day, it is not a job guaranteed for life for the work permit holder. After all, do you know how many Caymanians end up training work permit holders to do their jobs???

        • Anonymous says:

          How is a Caymanian to become qualified you asked? Why can’t they do it like every one else, work their asses off to reach somewhere instead of waiting around to bespoon feed?

          I was hired to do my job that I am qualified in, not to waste time spoon feeding someone else. Sounds to me like you are suggesting that because the person is a Caymanian everything should be handed to them.

          As far as Caymanians training Expats to do their jobs, I will call that stupidity on the part of the employer; last I checked I believe a Caymanian must own 60% of the business? One love for your country man?


          • Anonymous says:

            How did you become qualified. Anyone teach you and help you to get a start? Show you the ropes…? Or were you just born knowing everything?

            • noname says:

              Just feeling the need to point out that "qualified" in the context of a Paralegal or Attorney cannot be simply obtained by being trained for any amount of time by an ex-pat lawyer… that only gives you "experience".

              "Qualification" is earned as a result of years spent at college/university/home studying for a Paralegal/ILEX/Law Society certification, prior to gaining said experience.

              • Anonymous says:

                Agreed. Then if being qualified isn’t helping, how do you get experience?

                • Anon says:

                  by starting at the bottom and working your way up, not immediately trying to get a senior or management position.

                  • Anonymous says:


                  • Anonymous says:

                    Good – and you started working in your father’s place. What if you didn’t have a father? What if you did, but he didn’t have a place? What if you were starting out in an environment where lawyers with 14 years experience are in secretarial positions (see example above). How would you get your experience then? 

                • Anonymous says:

                  Re-read my answer – I think you will find I already answered that question.  What you was describing was work experience not qualification.  I was trying to help clear the mud is all.

            • Anonymous says:


              How did I start? After high school, I worked in my father’s shop (wood working) saved my money and started using the internet for research, buying one or two books here and there, eventually i attended a technical college get some certifications with the savings I had and help from my parents, studied my ass off (I was always interested in information technology) I caught the eye of one of the instructors at the school because of how knowledgeable I was and, got hired as a junior technician, took it upon myself to study extra to and utilize the labs after hours and on days off, eventually I caught the eye of the manager, I was then given a class to teach after obtaining several certifications, got good reviews from to students so I continued to teach whiles making dam good money. Continued to further my education, now I am an engineer making lots of money J
              No one handed me anything, i had to do alot of work, I must admit whiles at the technical college, I meet some teachers that I admired because of their vast knowledge and I took it upon myself to study to become as good or surpass them all together, it gives me more gratification doing things for me self. and yes these same teachers were responsible for me getting my first job in the school, but i worked for that my friend.
              That’s the short version. Hope it answers your question. I got a lot of Caymanian buddies in IT here I actually trained a lot of them when I first got to the island cause I worked at small trained facility at the time.
              Don’t get me wrong, training some one that is eager and loves what they do is totally different to spoon feeding some one that believes they deserve a better job.
      • Anonymous says:

        It’s easy. You train the Caymanian. The Caymanian moves to your level. You go to Partner. You retire, the Caymanian goes to Partner.

        Alternatively, you train the Caymanian, the Caymanian thrives and is put in a position to help you grow the business, the business grows, the Caymanian is promoted, and there is still plenty of room for you.

        Alternatively, you train the Caymanian but despite your best efforts the Caymanian is not cut out for the position and with the benefit of your honest and dedicated mentorship goes and works somewhere else, made better for their time with you.

        Everyone is happy.

        That has always been the law until very recently and you agreed to it. It was a condition of your permit. Instead, as the hallowed honest professional and officer of the Court  which you are you pretended to train the Caymanian,  lied to immigration authorities,  got Key Employee/PR/Status , then having not really trained the Caymanian you decided they were now no good and  made them redundant, became a partner, and then hired a replacement for the Caymanian from the UK who had been trained by someone else. That replacement then did what you did.

        Now you sit there smugly in your gated community wondering why the Island people treat you with hostility.

        If only you had the integrity dispayed by the accountancy firms then all could be playing nicely. … but then, you are a lawyer.

        • Walter says:

          How do I respond to this?

          A)  You can take a horse to water  . . .

          B)  Why are you so bitter?

          C) And I thought talent was the key to doing well?

          D) Dear client by reason of the sheer passage of time I am passing your file over to someone who got their job through sheer nationality.

          E) You have to love those gates.

          Please cast your votes at

          • Anonymous says:

            A) Yes you can  – but did you? – and I believe "Lead" to be the appropriate term.

            B) Because sharing opportunity is not part of your make-up, and when you promised to share the naive Caymanian believed you, not least because you are a member of such a hallowed and venerable profession.

            C) Talent and opportunity. There are lots of excellent potential astronauts in sub-saharan Africa. Any of them ever going up? Why not? No opportunity.

            D) Dear Client, by reason of my organisations arrogance and misleading of various people (including in Government which is an offence under the law) I am having to pass on your file to another lawyer because the last one had his permit denied on renewal and his Key Employee designation revoked… and all because of nationality.

            E)  The Gates suck, and just cause people to dislike you more. The funny thing is you still have to leave them every day. What kind of world will you be driving through?

    • O'Really says:

      Here we go again. If the partners who run law firms see a Caymanian capable of becoming a paralegal, that person will become a paralegal. If the Caymanian is not capable of being a  paralegal then increasing work permit fees will be irrelevant. There is too much riding on getting it right to worry about $5250.

      This has little to do with training Caymanians and a lot to do with how much the expat partners who run the main law firms are perceived ( probably with good reason ) to earn. What’s $500,000 less profit to the major law firms? Actually, what it could be is 1 or 2 less new Caymanian partners as the existing partners protect their own earnings. Damn that law of unintended consequences.

      • Anonymous says:

        What Caymanian Partners? You assume them toexist.

        • Anonymous says:

          Don’t play dumb, all firms and companies have to have Caymanian partners here. They give them positions not through merit but because they have to to keep government happy. This is one of the sacrifices they have to make to do business here. It’s already an expensive sacrifice as they have to pay top wages to the best Caymanian, which unfortunately 98% of the time is completely uncompetent to to the job, which is why you find so many Caymanian silent partners. They are paid well but because they are stupid they basically stay at home, or do nonsense paper shuffling roles then get rolled out for photo opportunites or when the company needs a work permit and they can go and speak to  a cousin in immigration.

          It’s not right, but the Caymanian talent pool is not deep enough. Those Caymanians who have the silnt partner roles do the rest of the country an injustice by happily playing along for a big pay cheque for doing little.

          • Anonymous says:

            Not Law firms. Many have (at best) a single Caymanian partner.

            • Caymanians for Caymanian Law Firms says:

              This post brought to you by the number 1, being the only number this poster knows and hence the reason that all of us Caymanian partners keep being counted by him as "1", over and over again.

              • Anonymous says:

                Name them.  Just the top 2 firms.

                • Anonymous says:

                  There is only one top firm, and I assure you there is more than one Caymanian partner there.  I’ll let you sort out the rest.

                  • Anonymous says:

                    And now you will roll out the names of persons who used to have work permits no doubt. What of the Caymanians that have been in the firm since qualification.

                • Evidence? says:

                  So the implication of your post is that the two most succesful law firms in Cayman have the most limited Caymanian participation?  Shows it is a better business model rather than to dilute the partnership by making up someone who is not up to the job in order to keep immigration happy.

                  A popluation the size of Cayman’s workforce can probably be expect to produce a handle of top quality international lawyers.  Anyone who can pass a alw degree can do a bit of rough and tumble conveyancing or divorce work, but managing the top work of the different firms is beyond 95% of those who attend any law school.

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t you mean if the partners of Law firms see a Caymanian with the potential to be a partner, they make them a paralegal?

        • O'Really says:

           Well, only of they’re good enough.

        • noname says:

          Err hmmm… Paralegal means part legally qualified.  A part legally qualified person cannot ever become a partner.

          A Fully qualified solicitor with partnership prospects therefore cannot by definition, be placed in a Paralegal position.

          • Anonymous says:

            Oh yes they can – and they are. This is true for Caymanians and Expatriates. In fact there are even fully qualified solicitors in secretarial positions.

            • Anon says:

              LOL, why would a fully qualified practicing solicitor take a job as a secretary?

              there are even soliciors working in the post room and cleaning the toilets at some of these big law firms, and the corridors are made of gold!!

              • Anonymous says:

                LOL!  That was a personal decision which turned out to be a good one for me.  I chose life over career.  I guess you’d have to be in my shoes and my personal circumstances to understand.

                I started out from leaving school going to a tech college and getting a business and secretarial qualification (my parents saved to put me in there, Uni was out of the question we were too poor).  I remember sitting at an old finger-basher (manual typewriter) with all the keyscovered up so you couldn’t see the letters and doing my first speed test – 40 wpm.  I also got shorthand, business accounting and other useful qualifications including Pitman shorthand.  I then got a job as a clerical assistant.  In truth it was more akin to tea/cofee, lunch/snack and general errand runner for the rest of the office – very little real office duties other than photocopying, typing forms and shredding paper now and then.  They gave me crappy tasks to do and treated me like crap too.  Then I got a job as a real secretary in a law firm working for 2 busy lawyers.  From the start I took a natural interest in the job and learnt how to assist my lawyers to the point  aftera couple of years where they delegated their work to me (so they could then do more).  I could do certain jobs automatically and they trusted me to do it to a high standard without supervision.  I took on so much in the end that I decided to have a go myself so I studied law, and passed exams and over the years, became quite a senior lawyer in my field of expertise.  But you see, In the US and UK there’s a certain work ethic required of you – you have to justify your existence always by working long hours, billing 4-5 times your annual salary,never making mistakes (they are costly to the practice), work long hours in order to achieve your billing target, multitask and meeting many conflicting deadlines even if it means going without sleep for a period of time, keep your clients happy (god help you if you get a complaint) and basiclly dedicate your life and your love to ‘the firm’.  And so much red tape and pointless meetings about meetings about meetings when all you want to do is sit at your desk, bill your required daily amount and get home.  I practiced law for 15 years in total and then threw in the towl.  I worked 14 hour days and drove for over an hour (each way) to get to work and back for 15 years.  There’s only 24 hours in a day and already I have less than 8 to eat dinner, socialise with the family and/or friends and get some sleep.  There’s chores to be done at home, etc.  You get to see things pass you by and realise you don’t want to miss out on them … I think you get my drift 🙂

                Its not like that at all the firms, but it is the general rule, and personally I found it invaluable experience.  I can’t tell you how different it seems here in comparison.  Here it seems you still work hard and sometimes long hours, but you are not expected to be running constantly for hours on end like an overheating production line!  I have seen ex pats and Caymanians alike with bad work ethics – the difference here (or so it seems to me) is people seem to get away with it, without consequences and this was something I initially found hard to get used to.

                So its these kind of lawyers (productive, efficient and hard-working who earn 4-5 times their salary and are prepared to work long hours) that the law firms seek, and any person of any nationality who can do that will do well and easily find and maintain work with the prospects of promotion, not to mention a very wealthy lifestyle – here or anywhere.  This work ethic is drilled into these lawyers from day one – its practice for US & UK law firms to expect their lawyers to achieve targets of 4-5 times their salary.  It breaks down like this:  the fees you earn from your clients over the year must be sufficient to pay your salary and that of your secretary, plus overheads and still a large element of profit for the firm.  Most of you will have gotten the picture now – you are effectively paying yours and your assistant’s wages through all those hours of slogging relentlessly to meet those targets – not the law firm. And if you don’t bill sufficient hours, or produce work to tight deadlines, or you disappoint a client or you make an expensive mistake or oversight, or you are not as efficient as they expect you to be, or even if your face simply doesn’t fit – you’re going to either have a hard time and/or get fired – there’s plenty others out there seeking work and willing to conform.

                In addition, many of those very highly paid lawyers have clients who won’t part with them.  The clients come to rely on them – they like the way the lawyer works, consider him/her efficient, timely and cost-effective.  They dont feel their fees are unexplicably wasted they feel their money is well spent and their lawyer always ‘gets it right’.  Any law firm anywhere in the world would want to recruit such a lawyer for a hefty price tag.  With that lawyer comes those clients and an  instant boost to the firms profit margins.

                Productivity, accuracy and efficiency is the key and I encourage all young Caymanians to strive for this, take pride in your work, and take your rightful places at work here.  People who can do this, regardless of nationality are like gold dust to commercial organisations.  They are bound to succeed.

                I really hope I have not offended anyone with this posting.  That was not my intention but it seems to easy to do on these forums!  I make no comment about anyone else I am just trying to respond to a question, and atthe same time take an opportunity to try to explain how many of these mysterious law firms operate and what they expect of their staff, hopefully to give insight and a deeper understanding rather than cause disagreement of any kind.

            • Anonymous says:

              Only if that was the position they applied for.  I am a qualified lawyer currently working as a secretary as I got sick of working 14 hour days for years and no extra pay or appreication.  I applied to be in that role.  Under their employment contracts, and by law it is impossible to change a person’s job description to that extent without either the person’s consent or the person actually physically applying for that position, i.e. choosing to do so as opposed to being forced into the position by their employers.

              As a secretary, I might be earning less, but at least I can claim overtime if I work late and I can have my personal time back when I don’t.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow…. Great point.

      BUT! only if the firms decide to continue to do business in this juridication.

      Watch what happens over the course of the next couple of years….. dont throw those fishing rods away, just yet…….

    • Barely legal says:

      We would have recruited them already if they were qualified, educated and motivated.  But there are a lot of wannabee paralegals who are walking liabilities.

    • Anonymous says:

      It should be a given that UCCI should offer paralegal training!

  19. Double Entry says:

    My busy will be cutting support service staff and stopping non-necessary recruitment to meet the massive added costs of the rent tax and the increase in permit fees.  This will cost Caymanians jobs not the fee earning expats.

  20. Janelly says:

    and another thing, with taxing the churches??? the person that wrote that is a complete BONE HEAD! wtf would you wanna charge the churches they’re preaching the words of the Lord, maybe the churches from expats should be charged.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe a few dollars in the swear box……

      What are ‘churches from expats’?

    • Anonymous says:

      "maybe the churches from expats should be charged."

      The expats don’t have churches; they are the spawn of the devil. They dance naked around fires and eat Caymanian babies.
    • Anonymous says:


      I love your comment “wtf would you want to charge the churches, they are preaching the words of the Lord” WTF in the same sentence….. J
       I see no reason why they shouldn’t have to pay something, infact it’s a pretty interesting idea. At Least someone is giving an idea to try and assist with the financial problems this island is in at this time, I don’t see you giving any but having to swear.
      Lets look at the churches, we are expected to give a donation when we go, if we do not we are really not welcome, aren’t we being taxed to go to church. Ok it’s to pay for the up keep of the building and expenses (which I have no problem with). I would do to know, from all these donations received, how much of these funds stay in Cayman? OOOHHH I’m now going to Hell for asking this question, I thought the Bible says we should ask questions. “Of course not, we are in Cayman” and of course how many pastors on this island wear gold, nice watches and of course drive an SUV? Again I’m going to Hell, please pray for me.
      For the writer who says he should just close his business. Just say your business is a church and you will pay no permit fees and duties, all you do is say you are selling it for the Lord and keep the profits. OOOPPPS I’m going to Hell again.
      For those religious fanatics reading this, please pray for this lost sole. Thanks a lot. J
    • Jump The Shark says:

      Apparently "the churches from expats" (sic) don’t teach the words of the Lord.  Bad expatchurches.

      Tell me this post is a wind up.  Please.

  21. Janelly says:

    ‘Lil Miss’ im soo 100% with you, caymanians are here suffering no jobs! and we have to make way for ‘expats’ dont think so, a few weeks ago i was here making a comment and some no-sense person made a comment about i probably didnt have any education thats why im just a getting a job! like hello, i went ALL DAY way in my school life, still was the hardest f****** thing to do, was to get a job, i was almost two years without a job but yupp what they’re doing is a little fair maybe caymanians might get jobs and go back to the way it was!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Has anyone got a clue what that post is on about?

    • Anonymous says:

      Just looking at the way your comment is written, it might help your case if you could show that you are able to put a well written letter together.  Many of the jobs require staff to, amongst other things, be able to draft and send out business correspondence, edit and proofread documents for grammer and spelling, have very good telephone skills, be able to deal in a busy environment and be able to multi-task during the day in order to get things done in a tight timeline.  Maybe the government should be looking at implementing better schooling for the local community or extra programs for people who would like to increase their knowledge in good business writing and operations.

      • Rachel says:

        Maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to judge people, grow up and actually think about what you are saying.  I was born and raised in Cayman and went through a local school, from primary straight through to tertiary Law School.  Whoever you are – maybe the Government should look into asking CNS to ensure that peoples real names are actually posted on comments so that the next time you run to any Government the Cayman Islands has in force – that they will remember who you are and treat you the way you treated them – with disrespect.  I really hope that you are not a Caymanian because -we definitely don’t need people like you in Cayman, it’s people like you who bring this country down and I think it’s pathetic.  The Cayman Islands offers phenomenal education at every single school, which is one of the many reasons you are actually here.  By the way – the lady you were responding to clearly has a Caymanian accent just like most Caymanians and is chosing to write that way just for so – if you’re not Caymanian – don’t forget how all of you try so hard – with your little fake funny accents – to fit into the "local community".  Get over yourself, and the fact that it probably took you 3 hours to draft a petty paragraph and to make it seem as though you actually know how to write much less what you are even talking about.  Deal with it. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Rachel, I understand your desire to go out and persecute everyone who says something you don’t agree with. It’s those damn expat scum who are ruining the fabric of our pure society. Maybe we should force expats to wear a little gold badge or something (in case they try to pretend to be Caymanian like us) so they won’t get away with this nonsense anymore! Or, you could respect the policy of CNS to allow anonymous postings because otherwise people will not be able to freely express themselves for fear of discrimination for their viewpoint. (A belief well-founded as the first part of your response aptly demonstrates.)

          Congratulations on attending law school, but apparently you missed out on a case study of the Nuremburg trials and what led to them. As for whether there is a phenomenal education system here, I’ll concede that point to you. It’s phenomenally bad. Have you seen the exam passage rate? I wouldn’t exactly think that’s an applaudable figure…

          • Rachel says:

            Oh you’re one of those- someone that jumps to conclusions.  Did I say it was every expat?  No – I said that it was ‘people like you’ – disrespectful and full of attitude – that brings our country down.  And if you read this properly you will know that I’m not referring to you personally – I was quoting what had previously been said.

            Just like yourself – I have my own opinion and I am entitled to it, maybe that’s something you really need to consider, if you can’t handle others opinions and simply agree to disagree, I don’t know what to tell ya!!  I’m not ‘persecuting’ anyone – I’m voicing my concern and opinion.  Just like you!

            So on point and discussion – I think it’s terrible that people who were not educated in the schools here have the opinion that the education in which the schools offer are ‘phenomenally bad’- because they aren’t- it’s those attending the school that chose their fortune at the end of theday.  It really disappoints me to hear that – simply because of my own view and experience  – that’s all. 

            Just like anywhere else in the world you have good and bad apples, those that suceed and those that don’t, it’s a persons own choice.  And that’s all at the end of the day.  Don’t you agree to this at all? You telling me what cases I have apparently missed…….. etc etc etc – doesn’t mean anything to me – because NO I have not read EVERY SINGLE CASE IN THE WORLD, and YES, I may have missed out on a few important ones…  which I’m PRETTY confidant in saying that it’s like that for most people.

            I do in fact respect the policy of CNS to allow anonymous postings – my bad, I didn’t mean to offend anyone who isn’t confidant using their name – and I say this in the nicest way possible.

            • Anonymous says:

              Do you even know what the Nuremberg trials were? It’s not an obscure case that only lawyers might recognise. I suggest checking a history book, but apparently one that you didn’t seem to cover with your education. Try checking out the time period immediately after the fall of Germany in WWII. Or you know what, just google it….

        • Anonymous says:

          Maybe ‘Rachel’ you would post YOUR full name. I am sure that your employer would love to know that you hold the view that you do. Your overt distain for free speech would get you disbarred as a lawyer in most of the civilised world. Go on post your real name – you would be out of work yourself with 48 hours.

      • Anonymous says:

        Think like an expat, talk like an expat, look like an expat, got to be an expat.

      • Anonymous says:


        Just looking at the way your comment is written, it might help your case if you could show that you are able to put a well written letter together.  Many of the jobs require staff to, amongst other things, be able to draft and send out business correspondence, edit and proofread documents for grammer and spelling – Grammar not "grammer" at least you spelt "spelling" correct – perhaps you should proof read as well smart a$$, have very good telephone skills, be able to deal in a busy environment and be able to multi-task during the day in order to get things done in a tight timeline –  just like you spending time writing this during your paid office hours? .  Maybe the government should be looking at implementing better schooling for the local community or extra programs for people who would like to increase their knowledge in good business writing and operations. – you are such an intelligent hard working expat – you’re an id*ot  – now get back to work you slacker


    • Entitled? says:

      Nope, it won’t make a damn sight of difference. Caymanians will continue to get the jobs they are deserving of, qualified and experienced enough to do. Those seeking their entitlement will continue to sit on the roof, trying their damndest to chisel a hole in that "glass ceiling"

      • Albe T. Ross says:

        "Caymanians will continue to get the jobs they are deserving of, qualified and experienced enough to do."  Plus some will get a job they don’t deserve because of their passport just to be on the safe side and us sods on the bottom of the pile are left to deal with the mess.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not too sure what your post is about as the spelling and grammar is bad even by Caymanian standards. I tried reading it backwards to make sure but still made no sense? Anyway, presumably you answered your own question, ‘Oh yes, that is why the expats get the best jobs, because a lot of locals can’t read or write’

      If any Caymanian was qualified to do a job, had the right skills and some experience and showed the right attitude at work and in job interviews etc then they would get the job straight away over any expat. It is much cheaper and a lot less hassle and government red tape. Unfortunately they often have a much higher view of themselves than is the reality and therefore won’t apply for appropriate jobs that suit their skill levels but instead complain that they get beaten to senior positions by qualified expats.



    • Anonymous says:

      If that is how you write then you would never get a job in my business.  Try using an apostrophe once every so often, it helps.  Does someone want to do one of those error counts?  This could be a record breaker.

    • Dick Shaughneary says:

      Should we have a look at the evidence?  There is more to education that just turning up to school.  Learning something helps.  Anyone with a basic grounding in grammar would be to ashamed to post gibberish like this.

      Let’s take one sentence:

      "and[1] we have to make way for ‘expats’ [2] [3] [4] dont [5] think so, [6] a [7] few weeks ago i [8] was here making a comment and some no-sense person made a comment about [9] i [10] probably didnt [11] have any education thats [12] why im [13] just a getting a job!"

      [1] Capital "A".

      [2] No need to put quotations around the word "expats".

      [3] Missing full stop.

      [4] Missing subject of sentence.

      [5] Don’t – it is a contraction.

      [6] Missing full stop.

      [7] Capital "A".

      [8] Capital "I".

      [9] Missing verb.

      [10] Capital "I".

      [11] Didn’t – it is a contraction.

      [12] That’s – it is a contraction.  Better form would be "which is why".

      [13] I’m – it is a contraction.

      All the best in your new employment. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Also …….

        [1] Starting a sentance with a conjunction ‘and’

        [5] Missing ‘I’

        … and so on. 

        I know that this is an informal forum, but if you want to communicate, you have to make effort. Writing streams of unintelligible gibberish only backs up the opinion that Caymanians are unemployable.  

        • Diceman says:

          They misspelled f******!

          How lame is that?


        • Dick Shaughneary says:

          Thanks.  I did think about addressing the hopeless style issue too as you point out, but tried to limit myself to the abuse of basic grammar.  The serious substantive point is, as you say, that this type of post, coupled as it was with a complaint about difficulties experienced in the job market by the poster, does not aid the cause of debunking the entitlement jibe.

          For what sort of job was she applying?  If it was job which involved written communication with customers or clients I could understand her difficulties.

          I post with typos in the text all the time.  Most people do, especially as CNS does not have spell check.  I am not trying to be the spelling police.  But there does come a quantitative point at which the errors in a post detract from the poster’s qualitative ability to express a point. 


      • Gram "the speiln natzi" Arian says:

        Hi Dick.  

        I tink the spelin natzi gon com fer u cos demfarkin boostairds pestin mi ohf agin bout dis spelin.  don du it man.  jus don du it…


        "He’s not dead; he’s just stunned!"

  22. Anonymous says:

    When will the increase in fees and option for pension come into effect? 2009/2010 or 2010/2011?

  23. Anonymous says:

    I am glad that this is an area that government has forseen to be a money making section. As I believe that the expats are coming to this island and making a great living and sending a lot overseas out of the country that has a strong conversion value and building fortunes at there proepective homes. I also feel that with this they are in return giving back to the country that made them thousands / millions of $’s. Thanks Mr. Jefferson for you forsight.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think your missing the bigger picture here;

      (1) Expats don’t pay permit fees, there Caymanian bosses do, so technically expats are not paying anything on that point

      (2) lets say the Caymanian bosses decide that its now to expensive and let some of there expats workers go or manage to find a Caymanian to fill the post, that’s one less cheque being paid to government which equals less revenue generation, and seeing the reason for all these fees is to allow the broke government to make money, I don’t see it working very well

      (3) Something else to consider is that pension is now optional for expats, which might make them cheaper than actual Caymanians as it’s still a mandatory contribution.

      Just my 2 cents.


      • Carl says:

        THANK YOU Anonymous – three very excellent and very true points!!!  It’s time for everyone to take a look at the bigger picture!!!  Is this fee increase really going to get the government where they want to be?  Will it meet all of the expectations of so many of the people posting here?

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL why else would expats come to Cayman than try to earn some money for their future? They are only allowed to stay for 7 years.

      Maybe trying to save for the future is a foreign thought to you.

      ANd the US dollar (strong currency ha) is garbage at the moment and is sent to devalue further.

      Unreal do actually still believe in slave labour and expats should only work for food and board and the lovely beliefs of people like you?

      What incentive is there but to save for the future when you’ll get kicked out?

      Ever thought that you should also pay back to the country that has educated and brought you up as well or is that just the responsibility of those nasty, evil, satanic (or Hindu) expat furners?


      • Anonymous says:

        Two Words – "KEY EMPLOYEE"

        • Anon says:

          leading the way to a revokabel at any time PR and then maybe a hated and despised "paper" Caymanian, the bane of all B & B Caymanians

  24. Anonymous says:

    CNS, could you do a brief follow up interview/chat with Mac or K. Jefferson to find out whether the voluntary participation change will apply to employees only or both the employee and employer, and then update the article? I think that the distinction and clarification would really inform the public of how this might affect local businesses and the public. Thanks!

    CNS: The answer is both employee and employer.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for clearing that up!

      • The Expat Economist says:

        OK, it’s official:

        The government gets more money;

        The employer pays less money; and

        The expats pay the 4.762% "tax" to make it all up.

        What’s that poking sensation again???

  25. Anonymous says:

    As a small CAYMANIAN business owner it looks like this will cause me to shut my business down. We are already struggling in a tough economy. To double my fees means crippiling me. I haven’t paid myself since June this year to cover our expenses…doubling them means more debt for me.



    • Anonymous says:

      sounds like you had a lot of expats on work permit…try hiring caymanians.  It works I assure you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Wrong I have more Caymanians, when I say small we have 8 employees total – 5 are Caymanian, 3 permit holders. If those permits double that means CI$18,000 a year plus the 10% on my commercial rental – so another CI$2,400. Making the grand total for my small business CI$24,000 per year that goes to government… That’s a salary… where does it go? With the economy the way it is I would dream of making any kind of profit this year – let alone CI$24000! With this in mind Caymanian or not we will all be out of work at my small business.

  26. Anonymous says:

    What about the employment contracts that exist with pension contributions already?  These should still stand until expired.

  27. anonymous says:

    if government would reduced the civil servants private sector would find the qualified caymanian persons they need .

  28. Anonymous says:

    Well I hope they are going to increase work permit fees for church’s and for profit schools, these 2 areas do not pay any tax at all not even import duties.

    • Anonymous says:

      Your post is a disgrace and doesn’t warrent any futher comment. God save this soul from his/her ignorance!

      • Anonymous says:

        If the Church is so involved in the political sphere (preaching is one thing, but action another – like the CMA having a representative in the constitutional talks, etc.), they shouldn’t be considered tax exempt. But God forbid (haha) they have to contribute to the community financially as well as morally.

      • Joe Average says:

        Not to disrespect churches and/or their ministers but…

        "The God I believe in isn’t short of cash."     – Bono

  29. Anonymous says:


    Well as said above the pension is now a choice, knowing my staff I do not foresee any of them on work permits wanting to cancel their pension so that savings is out of the window… All I am hearing is spend spend spend on more new fees.  Does the government realize that we are in a recession?  This downward earnings period will not last forever, do they realize that in a couple of years the revenues of recent times will return and then we will be generating far in excess of what the country needs…but of course this is the plan, they will then wave their flags and say look at the surplus that I created in my term as leader.  
    What they need to realize is that all of these fees will be put directly to the people.  A business cannot simply absorb all of these fees at the expense of keeping its doors open; it must increase the costs of its goods.  So while the annual cost of living will increase at a 2% rate as usual we will have an artificial increase of likely near 10% while most employers are either not giving raises or making cuts.  Are you ready to absorb a 12% increase in the costs of living in Cayman?  Can we really afford all of these “revenue” generating measures as a people?  What they fail to point out to everyone is that almost every penny they forecast in addition for revenue will be paid eventually by the people.  Sure they say the businesses, but no business would survive if they did not pass all of these fees along to their customers. Retail and professional services alike, whether we are charging more for groceries or legal fees we are basically out pricing ourselves and like anything in life people have choices.  If they can reap the benefits of a tax haven for lower fees in a nearby territory why would they keep doing business in Cayman, likewise if an expat can earn a similar wage and enjoy a much lower cost of living why would they opt to come to Cayman.
    Revenue revenue revenue…they will generate more in the short term but in my opinion this is the beginning of the end as they will in one fell swoop take an already expensive place to live and make it thee most expensive place to live and do business.  Small businesses beware, life is about to get very interesting, consumers beware your pay cheque is about to evaporate into cost of living, Professional businesses beware your fees will now likely price you out of your markets…
    A concerned Caymanian.
  30. Anonymous says:

    Cost saving…Maybe next we will have to remove the Labour Board? I don’t know. Maybe its the employers that need to stop slaving people into doing jobs that they were NOT hired to do. Personal things and things that other staff feel that they are too high and mighty to do, but yet still rake in the benefits. After all its always the under-paid work slaves that do what is asked and NEVER bitch.

  31. Anon says:

    There will be few expats willing to optionally give up 5% of their remuneration, it doesn’t make much sense.

    It looks o me like it will be optional for your employer to make any contributions, and optional for you to make your own.

    No employer is going to look that gift horse in the mouth

    Also if we are forced to lose the 5% does that mean we can withdraw all our pension two years from our last contribution? that could mean not much left after two years to anyone remaining.

    At least it means that those bad employers deducting pension from employees andnot paying to the pension board will lose out on their stealing


    • Joe Average says:

      Interesting topic.  700 cases at one point.  It may be less now.  The scenario:  Employer makes deduction.  Does not submit it.  Six months later…. employee receives statement.  Notices something wrong.  Makes enquiry.  Told to speak with employer.  Employer holds work permit. 

      That’s where it ends.

      How many people from Nicaragua, Honduras, Cuba, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad….have left here AND left portions of their wages in a pension plan?  Only to wait two years.  And wait.  And wait.  And wait.  But their "pension" doesn’t appear.  And no contact is made because noone knew.  Now what should they do??

      You’re right.  If contributions are optional at least employers who were pocketing it will no longer be able to continue.  But sadly that is hardly an improvement.  Just an acknowledgement.

  32. Anonymous says:

    About the pensions.. can we prove that they were ever being paid?

    • Joe Average says:

      To answer your question:  You can do so by examining your pension statement under the heading "total contributions made by you and your employer(s) and refer this to your pay statements.  The totals should be the same.  The problem becomes when pay statements are not retained.  Deductions are or should be recorded.  This is your only proof.  So please keep them.

      Another problem is apparently if contributions have ceased the pension administrators often assume the person has left their present employment or left the island. 

      They therefore do not follow up and do not cross reference with work permits.  A simple task but apparently beyond their capabilities.

      This gigantic loophole has in the past allowed some employers to continue making deductions. Not submitting them. And in the process lowering their overhead.  It has not been pursued very dilligently because and hopefully this isn’t true it only affects expat workers who are stuck between a rock and a hard place…..allow deductions to take place…or make an enquiry of their employer and risk losing their employment. 

      The most ridiculous problem is the two-year wait.  Because if you have already left and nothing appears.  How is one supposed to do anything about it?  Long distance phone calls?  From where Nicaragua? Honduras?

      Keep your pay statements.  And if they are not supplied showing your deductions.  Demand them.

      And if they are then not supplied contact on an anonymous basis either the pension superintendent’s office (NPO) or the employment relations office of the government.


  33. Lil Miss says:

    I am so tired of people talking as if it is only the "expats" in this country that have any damn sense! Hello, they are a lot of intelligent and qualified Caymanians out here. I do agree that there may not be enough, but lets face it, the number of “Caymanians” are steadily increasing. With babies being born every other day, foreigners marrying Caymanians to get papers, 3000+ status grants… Let’s face it. Too many employers are taking advantage of this whole work permit thing, so I have no objection to the fees being raised, especially when there are so many unemployed Caymanians kicking around with nothing to do. Fees may be a little high but.. Employers need to stop singing this song that Caymanians are lazy and don’t want to work crap. Not all people are the same. I am positive that the colleges here are packed with students that are trying to better themselves. And there are many that have graduated with degrees that still can’t find work. Many overseas coming back with degrees. This is absolutely ridiculous. If Caymanians were not interested in work then why do they go to the Employment Relations office and do their hardest to find it? I know of many many persons that everyday, continue to submit applications to organizations and never hear anything back. Those companies that do have the audacity, it seems, to get back to applicants send out a standardized letter saying sorry… blah blah blah. (Because they either already have a person in mind or because they are waiting for a work permit holder). Standardized- meaning that they send these letters out to every applicant only with a change of address and name. There are also companies that might ask you to come in and do a test. You never get the results and you never hear back. And for the person below that says they would love to hire locally but never get any applications- why not put your company name? Let some of these unemployed people see that you are willing.

    It just seems like people rather have the Zyed’s of the world working for them. Come to Cayman with a fancy suit and jargon like whoa, bring your fake certificates and references. Sure to get a job. It’s only the poor us, that everybody know ‘who we fa’ and what school we went to, and where we live, and what we did last night that can’t get a job. Between US and the ‘not important’ people that rarely go out and don’t have friends in high places… Because the way I look at it, it seems like its who you know rather than what you know that lands you the job. Between that and what that person can do for YOU.  When these unemployed figures go down then you all can itch and complain about fees being too high.
    Some of the lower level expatriate workers in Cayman are hard workers. There is no way that we can work for $5 p/h and expect to survive. Which is why these people have numerous jobs, they have to share accommodations and face all kinds of conditions that are just stressful.  

    Something needs to be done. I guess all we can do is waitto see if these changes will actually bring change.

    (LOL at the poster about the SUV’s. I think we’ve all established that those have been paid for.. from 2007. Or atleast I would hope so!)

    • Mr. Big says:

      Cost savings idea: All Caymanian employees simply do the job they are hired to do without bitching and complaining and making excuses. Thereby we eliminate entirely the need for an Employment Relations Department in the first place.

      • Their Bosses says:

        Judging from the time stamps on these posts, it would also help if they would stop surfing the net and posting comments on CNS during business hours (as good as CNS is), and get the hell back to work!!!

        Just a thought…

      • Anonymous says:

         right on!

    • anon says:

      Get a degree at a proper university, get some experience in an overseas company for a few years and you are guarenteed a job upon your return. Its very simple.

      Just because someone has a degree from a second rate university does not mean they are going to be allowed to run a hedge fund or advise on a multi billion dollar takeover – it does not matter where they are from. The reason ‘Zyed’ gets the job is because he has the required proven experience. If Mr Caymanian had the proven experience he would get the job. Not a difficult concept to get your head around.

      and as for saying ‘it seems like its who you know rather than what you know that lands you the job’ – well the companies have no idea who the expats are that they employ but can pretty easily find out about the caymanians so am not quite sure what you are saying? The only thing they knowabout the expat is ‘what they know’ – please explain your thinking on this?

    • Anonymous says:

      Lil Miss, I agree with you 100%. This is sooo disrespectful to the Caymanians. Some of the posters keep yelling, "we’ll go here and there." They have no clue what happens in these other countries. For example, WalMart thought they’d venture into India. Turned out, the government told them they will not open retail stores in that country, sonow, they can only sell their good wholesale – restaurants, hotels…. BTW, it was in the newspapers about a year ago, a businessman from Italy wanted to close his business there, some of the workers beat him to death with pipes.

      Go to some countries, and because you are a foreigner, the cops make you pay money. In addition to paying off some of the government officials.

      Ahh, but the grass is greener on the other side!!!!

      I would like to know, why "these brilliant minds with their fancy degrees" didn’t speak up when they knew (or allegedly knew) what some of their friends were doing to tank the world’s economy. As far as investments, not anymore, I can’t trust "these brilliant minds" as far as I can spit. I make better use of credit unions, because the banks are taking on fees, raising interest rates and don’t want to loan. These "brilliant minds" want to pay less-than-average wages, yet, the CEO’s, CFO’s and board members are still averaging million+ paychecks. I shop only for necessities and watch some of these big-corps slash prices because they know, some of us is not going to take it anymore!

    • Anonymous says:

      Aren’t the owners of these businesses that like to hire these expats Caymanian?

      Also let’s say more businesses hire more Caymanians now due to the super hike in permit fees, who exactly is going to fill government coffers after the cheques for work permits stop coming in?

      I think there was a reason the UK insisted on sustainable income, I don’t think these measures are very sustainable.

      I live here with lots of investments in the island for many years now and I wont just pick up and leave because times are tuff, I like living here, but I have this funny feeling that we (Cayman) is about to jump off the cliff without parachute, and come next year when all the budget predictions falls short and the UK steps in with a big smile on its face to “”save us”” it wont be good for anyone living here.


    • Anonymous says:

       Commenting on" I’m so Tired of people…."

      Why so much anger? so much hate?  You are obvioulsy a Caymanian who hates expats and whoever comes in your country.

      What you do not realize is that not ALL expats have a very good position! Have you been to Kirk’s supermarket and Fosters lately? well, if you had you would have noticed that the vast majority of the people at the cash desks are from the Philipines or South America. Do you despise them too?They are here to make a better living, so what? There are a lot of Caymanians who also decide to migrate to great Britain, Canada or the United States. It is their right. They are left alone to do whatever they want. they are not criticized or hated by the country that welcomes them.

      Look at the world around you, you’ll see that everywhere in the world people move from one country to another. EVERY SINGLE country in the world has a percentage of immigrants.

      Be a bit more mature and less hateful and don’t make this important debate a Caymanian versus expats thing. Make  this debate more constructive and intelligent! That’s how it should be on an island claiming to be Christian .



  34. Anonymous says:

    Well if my employer isn’t going to be contributing to my pension now I am certainly not going to. Not in Cayman anyway. That’ll be a bit more money I’ll be saving from working in Cayman to send home ready for when I move on. Thats 10% less of my funds being invested locally.

    The principle of effectively taxing me an extra 5% to bail out lazy caymanians has annoyed me a little bit too so it’s made be more eager to save harder and spend less in the local economy. I’ll be buying more overseas and giving less back to the local businesses. I’ll be donating less to local charities and sponsoring less local kids.

    As these islands become less and less welcoming to expats, more and more of them will be coming here just to rake in as much cash as they can, spend as little as possible and then clear off with a bag of loot. You won’t stop them coming here and working but you will make them more focused on saving hard, spending less locally and much less inclined to get involved with trying to improve the islands or their communities.


    • Anonymous says:

      Helloooo….That’s the way it has always been with the expats here. Did you just wake up from a coma? Why don’t you just pack your bundles and leave now. The telephone number for Cayman Airways is 345-949-2311. Make a reservation and go….for good.. hurry up now!

      • Anon says:

        It’s funny how all the "pack your bags and leave" posters assume everyone will leave on Cayman Airways.

        • Anonymous says:

          I do like those "why don’t you pack your bags" posters too.  The traditional response is "Not yet, I have not finished my pillaging"

      • Anonymous says:

        Why on earth would I use Cayman Airways? The service is appalling and they only go to a couple of places. Stick to a prestigious carrier like American or British Airways.

        Why would I leave now, midway through a very lucrative contract? I’ll take as much as I can before the island goes bankrupt.

        Anyway, if I left now you would be outof pocket as you’d lose out on washing my car. Your wife would miss me too, not just the money but I think she likes the lovin.

        Maybe it is you that should leave and let the British re-assert their control on their colony.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Expats! Consider yourselves lucky. Now you are no longer forced to line the pockets of our Pension Providers while they squander the money on stupid investments.

    I think the Caymanians are the losers here, because they will still be forced to give their hard earned money to useless Pension Providers who take a monthly fee for squandering their money.

    I retired in 2004 with a small Portfolio, and decided to put my pension in an IRA. Boy! Was I stupid.

    The Pension Provider helped themselves to fees and squandered the rest.

    Instead of having a pittance for my old age, I now owe the Pension Providers fees after they squandered my entire Portfolio.

    • Anonymous says:

      You don’t know how right you are, there are allot of Caymanians here posting good job for the fee increase, but I don’t know if they read all the other things that come with it, it is actually worst of for a Caymanian getting  job,

      Just the fact that pension is no longer mandatory for expats, that is a monthly savings for the employer, making it technically cheaper to hire an expat than a Caymanian as they have to find pension contributions monthly for each Caymanian worker.



  36. Amazed says:

    Another alternative of course is that neither Caymanians or Expats will benefit as an overall group; many companies will have to shed staff from both groups to keep their costs down, & this serves to give them another reason to justify it.

    Govt.: cut waste & costs. All countries overspend, waste & so tax more. Don’t make the same mistake. Spend wisely & efficiently & keep taxes low.

  37. Anonymous says:

    So some one lives here for 7 years, gets rolled over, comes back, lives here for 6 , marries a Caymanian. Lives here until retirement.

    They now don’t have enough in their pension plan. They get social security payments from Government.

    Good long term view there Mac.



    • frank rizzo says:

      Nice one, thanks.

    • Anonymous says:

      Then I guess that means they would have made a stupid decision to not contribute to their pension fund. Now they will have a choice, so it will be their own damn fault if they make poor decisions.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Cayman to be another Cuba.

    If the Caymanians want the expats to pay for their governments bad decisions and lack of responsibility then you know what??? we will all leave and take our wealth, educationed skill and investments elsewhere.

    With the G20 breathing down the neck of the offshore tax havens, Cayman as it once was will be a thing of the past. All the benefits of Cayman will be gone as the CI Government bends over to the US and Europe. the writing is on the wall, and Cayman is dying a slow death.

    The best thing that can come out of this whole mess is that with all these fees the expats are paying, they will have the right to vote on certain issues. To have a border-line dictatorship in Cayman where 2 guys switch hats every election is nothing short of insane. There is zero accountability and an open door to massive coruption at the higher levels. It is completely inconceivable that this government can not show the people an audited financial statement or how mush is spent on civil servant salaries yet have the audacity to demand more money. I really think the best thing is for the UK to come in here and remove the government and start from scratch.

    If caymanian believe that they are better off with the expats gone, they will be glad when their wish comes true and they have no job, and their house is worth 1/2 of what it is now.

    Have you ever seen the show "Life after people"? well that is what is going to happen here. there is going to be a mass exodus of capital and a massive decrease in residency. Corporations will go elsewhere and they are already doing so.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow, what is this? A verbal spanking! I’m hoping you don’t talk to your subordinate employees this way – if so, maybe that’s why you guys have a hard time filling vacancies. People have problems as it is, do you really think people want to come to work and hear this all day.

      And this throwing these comments in people’s faces. Go figure! Anyway, let’s hope karma doesn’t hit you where it hurts. You’re constantly talking about going to this country and that country – I hope you have ransom insurance, and finally start respecting a country’s customs and traditions. By the way, this reminds me of the show "locked up abroad." People are venturing in, and when they see the conditions at the jails and prisons abroad, for instance, toilet is a hole in the floor – they thank their lucky stars to make it back to their homeland.

      As far as I can see, the Caymanians have treated you guys very well. I see the appreciation they get in return, accusations of reprehensible personal characteristics. That’s really classy!!!

  39. TruthBtold says:

    So the government finally found a way to introduce a tax that will only affect expats…. Well well well, who didn’t see this coming…..

    • The Economist says:

      Actually it affects the employers directly and not necessarily the expat, since the employers are prohibited by law from passing the cost of the work permits on the the employees. 

      As an aside, notices of job cuts are already circulating in the financial services sector.  We’ll have to see how many Caymanians end up out of work from this as the employers keep both the fee-earning expats and Caymanians, but make up the increased cost of the expat work permit fees by laying off non-fee-earners, who are more likely to be locals. 

      It’s a simple truth – there are way more fee-earning accountant and lawyer positions here than there are Caymanians to fill them, so those expats must stay (with all the professional fee-earning Caymanians of course) to keep the business going.  The cuts will get pushed over to the non-fee-earning employees, likely meaning our locals. 

      It’s not like the employers have a choice – this is a simple application of the laws of economics which the employers can’t fight.


      • The Economist says:

        Just to round this out, presuming the obligation to match payments remains for those expats opting to keep up the pension contributions, the expat accountants and lawyers should on any rational economic assessment opt to stay in since even a very poor performing pension fund would have to lose a full half of its value before it stopped being a benefit to the expat (since half the money is free!!). 

        Plus, accountants and lawyers typically can afford to make the contributions.

        • O'Really says:

          I haven’t read anything yet that supports your  presumption that employers will be forced to match voluntary payments from employees. Do you know something most of us on here don’t? 

          Based on information available at present, it strikes me that an employee being able to force an employer to match contributions is completely at odds with BigMac’s desire to appease local businesses for work permit hikes. 

      • Anonymous says:

        The economist obviously doesn’t know much about economics or didn’t read thestory or he would have understood how this hit expat employees hard but not the employers.

        The employers have to pay more for work permits, but they save 5% of the expats salary by no longer having to contribute towards the pension for expat employees. Of course they still have to pay for the Caymanians. Effectively as the expat is no longer getting this pension payment they are losing 5% of their salary (or strictly 105/100).


        • The Economist says:

          Please see the "rounding out" below, posted about half an hour before your comment, on the condition following the uncertainty of the continued requirement to match contributions.

          By the way, it’s 5 over 105, not 105 over 100, being 4.761% not 5%.  They are taking away $5 from what used to be a $105 payment.

          In any event, the government is taking money out of the flow, and the fight will be over whether the employer or the employee takes the hit.  If I can force my employer to match my contributions I will and my employer takes the full hit.  If I can’t force my employer to match my contributions then I take the hit.

          • Anonymous says:

            No you can’t force the emplyer to pay your contribution hence the words optional, meaning to have the option to pay or not to pay. Obviously they will choose not to pay until times improve.

            So back to the original point, yes it will be the expat employee taking the hit of 5%. Call it 4.76% if you like but its around 5% you pedantic little prick. If you put the same effort in to the rst of your life you wouldn’t be such a fookwit.

            • Anonymous says:

              Such bitter anger can only come from someone who knows they are not and never will be bright enough to hold a job where 4.76% amounts to more than the price of a beer.  

              Whether the employer can be forced to match contributions is also a matter of contract law, but I expect you hadn’t picked that up by the time you "passed" grade 6 (meaning "moved along" because you were already 18) and dropped out to start your "business" mowing lawns on weekends.  

              It’s not our fault that the education system failed you.  

            • Anonymous says:

              Sounds like you ended up on the wrong side side of a pink slip.  Don’t worry, you will have lots of time for remedial mathematics before you start your next career.

              My office uses a delivery service you should apply to. That line of work requires neither math skills nor a personality – your dream job!

  40. Anonymous says:

    It is apparent that whoever prepared this Budget, did so with a pencil sharpened on both ends and that figures were just taken out of the air without any due consideration for spreading out the fees so that no one area would bear the brunt.

    However 10 percent tax on commercial rent is now a good incentive for businesses to own their business properties.

    This Budget certainly offers a lot of incentives for people to exploit the loopholes in order to survive.

    It will be interesting to see how many new commercial buildings will spring up with a view to selling the units rather than renting them.

    I still can not get a full understanding if someone renting a mini warehouse solely for the purpose of storing personal things will be subject to the 10 percent tax.

    • Anonymous says:

      You are partially correct. They did indeed prepare the budget with a pencil sharpened on both ends. It is rather sad to know that the staff of the BMU will put any figures they are told into the budget, and still add CPA to their name. They should be ashamed of themselves. Unfortunately, it did not start with this government. The Governor refuses to use his reserver powers, that is if he even knows what they are, so the best that we can hope for is that the new guy at the FCO will demand the government of the day (and as previously stated it should have been done before) provide evidence that the budget is realistic. It is not. The people who know provided accurate estimates, and the politicians demand that they be changed so they can present the best possible budget, then thousands of us have to listen as they so eloquently debate a pack of lies.

  41. Anonymous says:

    " Our Government has to do, what they have to do to bring back our Country to the standards it once was."    "I myself always believe that  Immigration in Cayman  were charging these expats too little, compare to the hundreds and thousands of dollars  legal and Illegal aliens have to pay to get a green card alone in places like America!

    "Our Government knows what they are doing, so give them the chance to do their jobs.  Unless you all want to end up like the Jamaicans going independent and selling on the roadsides?  Just to make a living."  Do you all see the state Jamaica is in now? Duh!

    "Caymanians for once stop thinking stupidly!  Let Government do their jobs to keep our culture rich and flowing."


  42. Anon says:

    Lets cut the BS, new Cayman taxes in

    Expats are due to pay a payroll tax of 4.76% (105/100) on all their salary to a cap of  $73,170.

    • Expat Taxpayer says:

      The math is actually 5/105 x 100, being the tax divided by the pre-tax earnings and multiplied by 100 to convert it to a percentage, and you are otherwise absolutely correct about the Expat Tax of 4.762% on our salary up to the cap.

      Ouch, what’s that poking sensation in my backside?  It feels like I’m getting XXXXXX!!!  Ouch!!!  Stop that!!!

  43. Anony says:

    So expats funding the new WP fees, nice.

    And a nice 5% reduction in remuneration, this is going to be a very bitter pill to swallow, let’s hope it isn’t going to be regurgitated

    They could have just called it the new $12 million expat tax

    or just a 5% payroll tax on furiners

    • Anonymous says:

      Expats do not pay their own work permit fees. The law requires that it is paid for by their employers.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, and now in order to fund the increase in fees payable from the employer, the employer no longer has to pay the employee’s pension contribution. So the employer should be in the same position and the permit holding employee is 5% out of pocket, which is going to the government, so it is effectively a permit holder only payroll tax. Did they honestly think no one would notice?

        • Anonymous says:

          As our employers need not contribute and the incentive for us to contribute is gone, can all us expats have our money back now please?

      • Seriously? says:

        "Expats do not pay their own work permit fees.  The law requires that it is paid for by their employers"

        In the real world yes, employers do pay the work permit fees but unfortunately there are numerous cases on Island where the employee pays for the fee (more often than not in the construction industry etc) because the employer knows that employee is desperate for the work and there are hundreds of other potentials who will pay the fee.  With the new increase in permit fees I can’t really see those already illegal operations now turning over a new leaf and paying for the permits.  Immigration is sadly not managing to police the job it has now so I’m not sure how it will cope with the demand of these new rules.

        Whilst writing, has anyone else considered the rise in food costs with the 2% … or is that 10% … increase in duty?  Living on this Island already costs an arm and a leg and its about to get worse.  The financial sector will survive (well those that remain anyway), its the "little" people that are going to be hardest hit.

        Time will tell I guess.

      • Ex Pat says:

        LOLOLOL!  In theory yes, but in practice, particularly in the construction industry, the employers pays the permit fee and then deducts the cost from the workers salary over the following year.  I know several ex pats working like this.  Most of them dont have their statutory pensions or medical cover either.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Just try to step back from the smoke and mirors. The people didn’t cause the deficite govt did. They spent more than they had . To correct the problem govt has to spend less just as you a citizen would. It is very simple govt is too big and costs too much. Live within your means ;do not blead the public to death. Start cutting govt now.

  45. the rest of the world says:


    Cayman Businesses: Our accountants and british-trained lawyers in India are standing by to take your outsourcing, each for less than the cost of your secretary.  All the major UK firms are doing it for the massive savings.  Don’t be late to the outsourcing party!  You do the quality control and high-end work, we’ll do the heavy lifting with the work your juniors would usually do.  

    And your secretary?  We can do her work too.  Let us show you how.

    Avoid Work permit fees and all costs altogether.  

    We’re only a mouse click away.

    • Cayman Financial Services Industry says:

      Outsourcing Accounting and Lawyer Jobs to India

      Can I please get the name or phone number for these folks?  I need to cut a whole bunch of Cayman staff.

      • Anonymous says:

        You had better have a read of the proposed Legal Practitioners Law before you get too excited.

        • Your Friend in India says:

          That law doesn’t apply in Bangalore my friend, only in your country, and our staff will not be coming to the Cayman Islands.  I am thanking you greatly for this opportunity.  We have been providing such wonderful service to your friends in London, we hope you will give us a try.

          • Anonymous says:

            As I said – read it. It does apply – and any attempt to bypass things and get a local lawyer to be your post box will just get him or her arrested.

            • Bridge Martiner says:

              That might give the lawyer greater access to the Cayman judiciary.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why bother!!! Sounds like you are one disaster away from having a bankrupt business. If you can’t afford these fees, can you afford to make necessary trips to India on a moments notice? BTW, if it’s too good to be true, I’m willing to bet it is.

  46. Anonymous says:

     if they do this, theyre big idiots

  47. Anonymous says:

    expats just got cheaper….

    .increase in permit fee is less thancost of pension……

    • Anonymous says:

      Not in the diving industry which hires professionals but does not pay them particularly well. If a divemaster is paid $1800 per month (which is probably above average), it will cost the company $420 more per year.

  48. Illegal says:

    Discrimination between residents on pension rights on the basis of nationality is contrary to the Government’s obligations under the ECHR.  It is not covered by the immigration exemption.  The Governor cannot sign off on this without exposing the UK Government to a massive damages claim which ultimately will be payable by the Cayman government.

    • Anonymous says:

      As far as I can tell, an expat employee will still have the right to opt in to the pension system, and the employer will still have to make a matching contribution. The only difference between now and before is that an expat employee can now choose to not contribute to their pension fund ever and keep the full 100% paycheck (saving their company the matching amount they would have been paying) if the employee chooses. And I thought expats were given the option upon being hired of opting out of the pension system for the first 9 months of employment anyway, but with this change they can (foolishly, in my opinion) opt out indefinitely.

      How exactly is giving people a choice a violation of rights? Personally, I would choose to contribute to my pension fund, since I’d end up better off in the long run, but others might not want to make that decision, and I would think that if that’s what they wanted to do, it should be their decision to act upon it. The voluntary part is about the employee, not the employer… Businesses will only save money if their employees decide to opt out, which might not always be the case.

      • Poster 03:22 As far as you can tell.

        Well I think that you are one of the few that listened and got the info right, any one that do not want to contribute it is their priveledge to do so, in so saying, if I was a young person working here I would do it, but again thats my choice. How can anyone say that this is wrong, you want to take home 100% of your pay go ahead and do it, thats what freedom is all about.

        Employers should be happy.

      • Anonymous says:

        Unfortunately, the pension fund here or anywhere is not always a good investment. I have personally been shocked to find out that my pension over the last 7 years is now less than has been put in by company and myself. Due to market rates and recession. This money would have done a lot better somewhere else.

        • O'Really says:

          This is undoubtedly true, given what has happened globally to most financial markets.

          But there is another way of looking at it. Is the value of your pension still greater than your individual contribution? If the answer is yes, then you are better off than you will be under the revised laws that allow an employer to opt out.

      • Double Entry says:

        If that is how it is structured then it won’t be discrimination against ex-pat, provided that that authorities ensure the choice is a real one, but it could be discrimination against Caymanians who are not given the same choice.

        • frank rizzo says:

          Doesn’t the Pensions Law require Caymanians to participate? If an employee has no intention of retiring in Cayman then perhaps pension should be optional. A Caymanian who one would expect to retire in the Cayman Islands ought to have some sort of pension at the very minimum at retirement. Otherwise, some retirees could become totally dependent on government. I’m having a tough time getting my head around a claim of discrimination towards Caymanians. Perhaps giving Caymanians a choice of opting in or opting out with the understanding that they will have no recourse to social services if they opt out would be fair and preserve the intent of the Pensions Law. At the same time, we all know that if a Caymanian opts out of the pension scheme (foolish, in my opinion) and becomes indigent in the retirement years, then government will most likely step in and provide some assistance.

          • O'Really says:

            Whether or not an employee retires in Cayman is hardly the point.  All employees expect to retire somewhere and it is the nature of pension programs to build up over an employees life to fund retirement years. If there is an enforced period where no pension contributions are made, by the employer at least, then long term planning for retirement becomes an issue and something that prospective employees looking at Cayman will take into account when deciding to accept or not accept a position.

            If I limit myself to the financial service industry, because this is what I know best, I expect that the state of the global economy at the moment is such that there will be a number of applicants from overseas for any given position. But this will not last. Economies around the world will rebound and demand for professionals will increase. When this happens, you may be surprised to find out just how uncompetitive Cayman has become and the choices to address this will be very limited.

            As for discrimination, I’m not sure if I would classify it as for Caymanians or against expats, but either way, when an employer has to pay 5% contribution by law for a Caymanian, but does not for an expat, its discrimination of one kind or the other.


      • O'Really says:

        I will concede that so far all I have been able to find out about the pension issue is included in the article above, so it is possible that you have access to information I do not have. Having said this, based on the CNS report, there is nothing in it to support your view that an expat who choses to opt into a pension plan effectively forces anemployer to match contributions.

        Bush is reported as saying “Pension contributions for non-Caymanian employees (f)or both the employer and employee would become voluntary.” No mention here of the ability of the employee to bind the employer by opting in.

        In any event, it is clear that the underlying concept is to pass increases in work permit fees onto employees. Given the example Bush uses, in fact employees will actually be worse off and their employers better off, than if the Government had simply taken the increased fees straight out of the expats pocket. Government does not expect locally owned businesses to swallow these increases. Good employers may chose to suffer the permit increases, but I wonder who they will be? 

        In accordance with the law of unintended consequences this now makes many expats less expensive to employ than Caymanians, so for those Caymanians here cheering BigMac sticking to expats ( again!), I would wait to see how things develop. 


        • Anonymous says:

          I’m going off the article as well, but also past experience with how "well" Mac understands existing laws and how to change them when he makes announcements. It wouldn’t require a large effort to change the law to allow employees the option to indefinitely opt out of a pension plan, but it’s far more tricky to change it that an employee can contribute without a match contribution from their employer based solely on nationality and immigration status. My guess, and I admit is only a guess, is that Mac will have to settle for only being able to make it voluntary from the employee’s side, especially if he wants to bring about this change quickly. I agree there’s not really an indication in this article of it being the only possible outcome, as the poster you reponded to feels, but it may be the more likely one. That being said, how likely are lower-level work permit holders to contribute to their pension if they make so little already and would now have the option to opt out? I foresee in that event the scenario you talk about playing out, with the cost of the permit being somewhat covertly passed on to the employee. For higher-level permit positions, it might not play out that way. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.

  49. Anonymous says:

    I am wondering, with that kind of precipitated decisions, if the government had time to order or at least consider, a study on the impact on the cost of living?  I can only assume that the customer will pay the bill at the end of the day.  Will the rise in work permit fees be beneficial for the stimulus of the local economy or are we creating a bigger problem by applying a temporary band aid on the actual financial crisis?  Temporary solutions don’t work.  It only creates more confusion and chaos. The future of Cayman should not be seen as a four years term but as a long term vision for the future generations. 

  50. Anonymous says:

    This may be what pushes me to go forward with my plan to outsource most of my work, i will be able to keep more money and dont have pay for 4 of my employees workpermits. My yearly fees will go from 10,000 to over 25,000. I suspect that other companies will start looking at outsourcing work.

    • Anonymous says:

      Money, money, money!!!! There’s a famous saying, "money is the root of all evil."

      • Anonymous says:

        Sorry to burst your bubble but money is NOT the root of all evil it is the LOVE of money. And Yes, it can be found in the Holy Bible.

        " For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
        1 Timothy 6:9-11 (in Context) 1 Timothy 6 (Whole Chapter)

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, the saying is "the LOVE of money is the root of all evil".  There is nothing wrong with money in and of itself.

        • Anonymous says:

          But if I were willing to smoke Satan’s xxxxxxx for $50, but it was not for love of the money, can I still go to heaven?

  51. Anonymous says:

    Love to hire locally —where are they when I place ads?

    • Anonymous says:

      What professions did you need?  Or maybe you wanted the work done for free.

    • Not looking, waiting for you to give a hand, better to complain than do something constructive, Immigration should stop protecting these so called people that say they are looking for a  job when they want the job tailored to suit  them, the good Caymanians are already working.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Goodnight Cayman, your time is over….

  53. Anonymous says:

    it has always been more expensive to hire expats, which really does mean either:

    1) Expats fill the roles there are not enough qualified Caymanians for (ie accounting) (10% of CIASA are Caymanians);

    2) I would rather not repeat usual cliche as in most cases I have encounted it is not true.

    This is going to make doing business in Cayman even more expensive, which will aid our competitors, BUT

    this is the price we will have to pay for not paying direct taxes, time will tell if it is the right choice (I believe it is)

  54. Anonymous says:

    What the government should do is completely get out of the hiring process and allow companies to hire expats without any interference.  Simply keep raising the work permit fees until you get the desired amount of Caymanians in the work place.

    I think companies would actually hire more Caymanians if they could get rid of them for non performance as easily as they can Expats.  It would also help young Caymanians out, many of whom are really disadvantaged by the employment protections.  If you want international grade workers you need to force them to work on as level of a playing field as possible.  It is these protections that are at the heart of so much of the Caymanian vs Expat frustrations.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Oh well ! There go the final nails, brutally slammed into Caymans coffin.

    Now watch this economy take a real nose dive, businesses failing, components of the financial sector quietly sneaking out the back door, along with a property crash and another up surge in crime.

    I have to admit, I had some faith in the current adminstration, but now it has completely evaporated.

    What a shame!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      What would you suggest? Imposing taxes?

      • Anonymous says:

        I would suggest there should have been an effort to get every component of the economy, to make a small sacrifice and make their contribution to the current downturn. Both public and private. Instead of government introducing policies that will ‘ take a little bite of every sector’, they are effectivley taking ‘ a bit bite out the private sector’.

        What you need to understand isthat the private sector ‘ pays for ‘ and supports government. Small businesses are the life-blood of any thriving economy, yet this administration seeks to continue its extravagant spending. There are sections of the private sector, that are currently on their knees financially, talk about ‘ kicking them’ when they are down. These policies will end up causing irrepairable damage to the economy, you wait and see. And Mr. Financial Secretary better start revising those revenue streams now, in fact, he better half them.

        10% tax on duty, 10% tax on Commerical Property?, additional fees on cars, and hammer the work permit fees. And hey government, away we go again, spend spend spend. The Cayman community is going to rue the days these policies were introduced, you watch Cayman sink now.

        Government CUTS, must be introduced now!!!!!!! Starting with a salary reduction of 10% across the board, including the MLA’s

  56. Anonymous says:

    Is this to pay for the new SUV being driven by one of the ministers?

  57. Yah wha? says:

    Smoke and mirrors…. Smoke and mirrors…

    Step on over to my tent, gaze into my crystal balls – I got a tub of snake oil out back I want to sell you…

    On the other hand, Mac, THANK YOU!!!  One more reason to hire expats – you just lowered my effective cost.

    Now, my fellow Caymanians, if you would just clentch up your fists, aim the top of your hand towards you and raise the middle finger…



  58. Anonymous says:

    Big picture on the Budget, 20% price increase: 10% for residents and 10% for overseas (financial services) clients?


    – $100mln of new revenue measures on $500mln existing revenue base.

    – New revenues: 50% from domestic market, 50% from overseas clients.

  59. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps this might cause all those companies who love to hire expats to now now consider hiring Caymanians. There is lots of money to be made here, unfortunatley, there is only a small section of the communty who is doing so.

    • Anonymous says:

      Or to reduce operations/size. And while Mr. Jefferson makes it sound like making pension contributions voluntary will benefit the employer, he should keep in mind that the employee can still ask to partake (since it’s basically a forced savings account with matching contributions). Still, I suppose something had to be done for revenue, so I can’t knock it entirely. I just have some hesitation in reading this.

    • Anonymous says:

      thank you, so true thats a good way to get them to hire caymanians and also our island will have a good chance to returning to old cayman

      • banging head against a wall says:

        Oh my god, how many times does this need to be repeated until people get it, THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH CAYMANIANS WITH APPRORIATE QUALIFICATIONS. it is not difficult, If i found a caymanian with work experience from a London or New York investment bank i would hire them on the spot and pay them an excellent salary. The problem is that the few that have this experience are already very highly paid in excellent jobs on the island. In the US or London if you want a job at a top end financial institution you leave your home town and move to London or New York for a while at least. Hence no matter how expensive they decide to make an expat, if there are NO caymanians who can do the job then the employer has NO choice! Question – do you want a bank teller with a degree running a multi million pound fund?

        And at the other end of the spectrum there are plenty of manual labour jobs that many under educated caymanians could do but won’t.

        • Anonymous says:

          You are right – but how does a Caymanian get the right qualifications. Many Caymanians work for multi-national organisations here and despite being willing, do not get posted to overseas offices. Expatriates from those overseas offices however get posted here all the time. What is a Caymanian to do? Should  it not be reciprocal?   Do you have any Caymanians on staff with potential? Are you willing to ask a buddy in New York or London to take them on for 18 months?                                                       

      • Makam says:

        Making rope? catching turtles? no phones? no electricity? no city water? No a/c? No supermarkets? no Cayman Airways? NO MONEY

        Yes lets get back to the old Cayman, maybe time will forget us again!

    • Anonymous says:

      My reading of the above tells me that employers will now have an incentive to hire expats since they will be less costly than caymanians.

    • Thinair says:

      There just aren’t that many Caymanian professionals.