Tories tell Mac they’ll back the Cayman Islands

| 11/11/2009

(CNS): The former Chief Whip of the Conservative Party, David Maclean, (left) has told the Cayman Islands premier that his party would immediately seek to rebuild Britain’s relationship with Cayman and other Overseas Territories if it is elected to government in the forthcoming UK election. At a meeting in Westminster in London on Tuesday, McKeeva Bush said the current Labour government had soured the relationship between the UK and Cayman. Bush, CIMA Chairman George McCarthy and Cayman Finance Chairman Anthony Travers met what was described as a “delegation of influential Conservative MPs” led by Maclean in the Shadow Cabinet room.

At the meeting, which was organised by Cayman Finance, Premier Bush said the Labour government had attempted to micromanage the Overseas Territories and that it had been detrimental to the relationship between the Cayman Islands and the UK. He emphasised that the Cayman Islands was an international business centre, not a tax haven.

“The relationship between the Cayman Islands and the UK has not always been fraught, quite the contrary, but the current Labour government has chosen to sour relations in order to use Cayman’s tax situation as a distraction from their own,” Bush told the Tories.

Anthony Travers told the MPs that it was a matter of some regret that the truth of the position has been obfuscated by the political grandstanding and the blame deflection of the current Labour government.  “The mischaracterisations that have resulted are not merely unfair to the Cayman Islands but if they persist would provide an unsound basis for United Kingdom’s tax policy,” Travers said. “The truth of the position is not difficult to ascertain. The reports from the onsite investigations of the IMF, Financial Action Task Force and even the US General Accountability Office corroborate the position beyond all doubt.”

According to a release from Cayman Finance, the delegation of the UK’s political right wing assured Bush that he would see a transformation inattitude with a Conservative government, with one MP even stating that the current administration was merely jealous of the Cayman Islands tax regime, noting that tax competition was both desirable and healthy.  Another unnamed MP allegedly pointed out the irony of the Labour government giving Overseas Territories British citizenship then treating them as foreigners, recalling their lack of support in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan in 2004 as one such example of this, the release said.

“It was unanimously agreed that the current UK government does not appreciate or understand the value of the Cayman Islands or the other Overseas Territories and that a ‘more grown-up’ attitude was required,” Cayman Finance stated.

Maclean called for the UK to get back to the previous relationship they had with the Cayman Islands – one of friendship and mutual respect and an appreciation of the vital role Cayman plays in the global financial markets.

A Conservative member for Penrith and the Border since 1983, Maclean will not stand at the next general election, which must take place by 3 June 2010, as he suffers from multiple sclerosis. The safe Tory seat, which is the largest in England in terms of land size but one of the least populated, will be contested by Rory Stewart. With around six months to go before the election is likely to be held, polls and pundits are predicting a Conservative win. However, during the Conservative party conference, leader David Cameron urged members not to underestimate the scale of the task ahead of them due to the voting system. At the last general election in 2005, the Tories earned 32.3% of the vote with Labour gaining 35.3%. This translated to only 198 seats for the Conservatives and 365 to Labour.

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  1. Beware the Mafia of the Mediocre says:

    Unless new start ups are no longer forced to carry a significant percentage of high maintenance deadweight staff with low productivity and limited opportunities for their removal, the "mafia of the mediocre" as it was referred to in a previous few threads, there is little chance of new business coming here and staying. 

    Yes, by defintion, the mafia are Caymanian, but they represent only a small percentage of the total Caymanian workforce. Hoiwever these are bad apples destroying the barrel.  Other countries have those in the labor market who are similar, but they are simply never employed or sacked promptly.  Here the mafia complain to immigration and waive that least impressive of threshold "suitable qualification" and demand a job or worse promotion.  It is that mafia which is being pandered to by the pied piper that is Ezzard Miller "I will rid George Town of these troublesome foreigners". 

    We also need to apply the same freer laws to those already here – HSBC, Goldman Sachs, Maples Finance, Maples and Calder have all moved jobs from Cayman in the last year because of the negative business impact of labor restrictions.

  2. Paradise lost says:

    into a corner?!?

  3. Anonymous says:

    You bunch is something else, the other day you were cursing out Mr. Travers for putting forward the idea of getting raid of the 7yr rollover and look ya now una thanking him.

    I say in the next year and a half Mr. Travers will get that 7yr rollover policy overturned.

    Watch Cayman

    my 2cents

    • Anthony Travers says:

      A misunderstanding and not, therefore, worth quite two cents (but nor is any anonymous comment.) .The recommendation made by me is not that the rollover be relaxed across the board but only relaxed in relation to a new specific category of investor who brings to the Island a specified level of capital investment to establish and run a financial operation  not from London or New York or Hong Kong but  from within Cayman thereby establishing a substantial presence that should militate also against the next  and predictable  OECD attack .These forms of trading and management  across a broad range of activity will involve high levels of capital investment and sophisticated financial engineering of the sort that has not historically been undertaken in the Islands to any great degree.  So referencing this recommendation against the historic pattern of Caymanian integration  (which in some areas left a good deal to be desired)  is flawed.The following may assist. If you take a fund that invests proprietary  and investor capital based on the expertise and established  track record of the board of the general partner it is illusory to suppose that the financial architecture will ever admit to that expertise being replaced. That I am afraid is the real financial world .Nobody not even in Cayman gets to rewrite those understandings . The benefit to Cayman  is that a successful operation of that sort, if based in Cayman, will create significant  revenue in the public and private sector and job opportunity .The mistake that a number of  posters continue to make is rooted in the misunderstanding that job opportunity in  financial industry is a zero sum game.It is not. Increased financial activity boosts economic benefit and job creation  across a broad spectrum .So there is only one question .Does Cayman want to expand its financial industry, or not? Or ,put another way ,Is it worth bringing in one expatriate with a greater degree of permanence if ten Caymanians are thereby employed . Those  who express opinions in the negative should not expect me to take that opinion into account unless they have an alternative revenue and job creating proposal that does not involve fishing and waiting at tables.  That I continue to believe would do the next generation of Caymanians a grave disservice.

      • Anonymous says:

        "The recommendation made by me is not that the rollover be relaxed across the board but only relaxed in relation to a new specific category of investor who brings to the Island a specified level of capital investment to establish and run a financial operation  not from London or New York or Hong Kong but  from within Cayman thereby establishing a substantial presence that should militate also against the next  and predictable  OECD attack". 

        On the face of it I see nothing wrong with that recommendation. Surely an investor would already be entitled to apply for permanent residence on that basis. However, when you say "investor" are you referring to the all of the foreign employees of a firm or company?

        Instead, what we are hearing from the govt. is that if you are said to be a "senior employee" then you will automatically be a ‘key employee’ and not subject to rollover after 7 years. The present system, where the onus is on the employer to establish that an employee is key, is already subject to abuse. Where the presumption is that anyone put forward by the employer as a "senior employee" is key the potential for abuse is exponentially greater. Predictably what is happening is that firms and companies are busily re-designating mid-level employees as "senior". Who will be in a position to contend that they are not in fact senior? If a Caymanian employee does so, he will likely be dismissed. 


      • Tim says:

        It is not just proprietary trading firms that could operate from Cayman, but analysis firms as well. I have hopes of doing that myself (I’m an ex-trader, now doing analysis) once I have some personal issues settled.

        The point is, with a bit of lateral thinking together less blocking of investment and recruitment there are plenty of opportunities for Cayman and its people to prosper.

    • Anonymous says:

      You find it difficult how you can agree with someone on one point but not on another?! Sounds like you are accustomed to the heavy hand of a dictator where it is all or nothing.    

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thank God that Mac has the brains to go and build bridges. 

    The posters here could learn from watching constructive behaviour, maybe during a break from writing destructive and divisive posts on CNS.

  5. Caymanian says:

    Mac, (can’t even call you "Big Mac" anymore, looking good man)  i’d put some money towards their campaign.  Just tell me where to sign!! Im sure theres a lot of people out there that feels the same way and would love to help their country as much as you do!  Good Job Mr. Premier!! Keep it up!

    Ps One more thing Mr. Premier, try not to mess up relations with Mr. Travers, keep him as a close advisor and listen to everything he has to say, instead of the rest of those jokers that believe and pretend to be advisors!

  6. O'Really says:

    While having the UK government  more onside must be a good thing, it might be worth remembering that Bush and co. are in London to attract investors, particularly hedge fund managers, to set up shop in Cayman. The impetus for fund managers to leave London is a combination of both high levels of personal taxation and high levels of red-tape in running funds.

    A Tory government is quite likely to revisit high income tax rates and seek to reduce red-tape. It seeks to be more pro-business. There is a danger that they will be friendlier but more effective competition. You might want to hold off on the cheering until this becomes clearer.

  7. Anonymous says:


    Mac, Ellio and rest of the UDP keep up the fundraisers, and donate funds to these guys elections – we have never been involved with International Affairs but its about time we do so.

  8. Anonymous says:

    All Gordon Brown and "Captain Underpants" and the rest of the Labour cronies are doing, is taxing everyone until their eyes bulge out.

    It is true what Premier Bush has said. We once had a good relationship with the UK but this all went very sour in the last few years.Let’s all hope there is positive change coming on the horizon for the benefit of all.

    God Save The Queen !!!!


  9. Lachlan MacTavish says:

     What else are The Tories going to say……."no we don’t want to build relationships with The Cayman Islands". This is breaking news.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Let’s hope there are lost of postal votes from British expats on not just Cayman but all Overseas territories and The Commonwealth. It’s good to know that somebody still recognises we have an important role to play.


    Well done to our Premier for entering the lion’s den and well done to Travers & Co for making it happen. 

  11. Anonymous says:

    Surprise! Surprise! Of course they will, considerering that what is being offered to them is to the advantage of their people and a clear disadvantage to Caymanians. This in itself is a bad sign folks.

    And no, I’m not PPM.That bunch don’t even have the backbone to take a stand against  this so don’t associate me with them, please.

  12. Anonymous says:

     The most recent polls put the Tories at 42% and Labour at 28% .If Cayman Finance are positioning for  a Tory Victory they look spot on.

  13. anonymous says:

    Although I am not UDP, I must commend McKeeva for getting out there and getting something done on a real level. While we all see some crazy things that the UDP have done since taking office they are doing more good than bad.

    Mr. Travers thank you for arranging this. The people of the Cayman Islands have always been supportive of our relationship with the UK up until the last 10 years where the UK Government really has meant no good in my opinion. Gordon Brown et al will continue to tax their citizens to leave and not look back.

    Can we donate to the “Torries”?? If not, surely the English that reside here must be able to. let us get a change in Government in the UK, one that will respect both sides of this relationship.