Fees up for foreign workers

| 15/01/2010

(CNS):  Employers will start to feel the pinch when it comes to work permit fees as early as Monday, 18 January, as government attempts to bring in some CI$22.5 million of additional revenue over the next twelve-months. The fees have been increased through an amendment in Cabinet and not through the Legislative Assembly, so there has been no public scrutiny of the changes. However, the new schedule has been placed on the immigration website for employers to check how much more their foreign labour is now going to set them back.

The plan to increase work permits has drawn criticism from a number of quarters, but the government has insisted that, given the choice, it is better by far than direct taxation. In the latest sitting of the Legislative Assembly the government said that, when the country’s finances improved, the UDP administration would be willing to look at the possibility of reducing these fees as well as others that have formed part of the 2009/10 budget.

However, while businesses will be hit hard by these increased fees at a time when profits are harder to come by, fears are mounting that the downsizing and reduction in many workplaces means that immigration revenue will still be considerably less than hoped for.

The new schedule reveals that several categories of employment are facing significant increases, as much as 50%, and there are already complaints from the private sector that fees for some jobs are disproportionately high. For example, one industry source told CNS that the increase for a senior auditor to $12,500 was inordinately high in comparison to salaries.  

“The large accounting and legal firms pay an additional charge per professional on top of this,” said Steve McIntosh from CML Offshore Recruitment. “It will be interesting to see to what extent this cost merely gets passed on to clients, as this would represent a double whammy to the fund administrators and captive managers, whose fees have also increased.”

He said the disparity between fees for accounting and legal is still an anomaly — a problem which arose when trying to tax job titles. "It makes no allowance for companies or industries that have already been hit hard by the recession, no allowance for small companies or new companies and no allowance for part-time staff.”

McIntosh suggested the fee increases could not have come at a worse time with an already -declining financial industry and unprecedented competitive pressure from other offshore jurisdictions. “These increases could well be counter-productive, resulting in a reduction in total work permit fee revenue, as we pass the tipping point on Cayman’s very own version of the infamous Laffer curve," he added. Business will simply cut staff, the recruiter said, so instead of collecting 50% more the government will collect 100% less on that permit fee.

An advocate of a direct payroll tax, McIntosh said the current system is inconsistent and in some cases "downright unfair".  McIntosh admitted that there were no easy solutions regarding the budget deficit which the government has inherited but he added that it had also inherited an overly-complex fee schedule which was already full of anomalies.

During the original budget debate when plans for the increases to work-permit fees were first announced by Premier McKeeva Bush, he stated that the law requiring employersto pay employee pension contributions would be amended to allow for voluntary rather than mandatory contributions by employers and employees. So far, however, government has not made an announcement regarding any changes to the Pension Law.

Copies of the new fee schedule, which is contained in the Immigration (Amendment) Regulations, 2010, can be viewed or downloaded from the Department of Immigration website. 

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Great.I applaud this move by UDP get the citizens back their rightful positions in their society and employment. Too much outright discrimination.



  2. Anonymous says:

    Well done Mac, this is just what companies like Maples need to change their minds and bring the services they have shipped off island back to Cayman…… 

  3. Sole Provider says:

    "The plan to increase work permits has drawn criticism from a number of quarters, but the government has insisted that, given the choice, it is better by far than direct taxation."

    Once again the government is forcing the people to make a false choice.

    My friends, dont be fooled.

    The government’s decision not to retrain the existing residents and bring in new work permit holders instead is a recipie for disaster. If the solution to fixing an economy was so simple every country in recession would be in a rush to India and China where they could import as much highly educated cheap labour as they need. Our problem is an excess supply of labour in Cayman right now. Importing more labour will not solve that problem, it will only put downward pressure on wages.

    As for the direct taxation comment, with rising unemployment that wouldnt even make sense as you cannot tax the unemployed.

    Also, the 312Million borrowed by the government to balance last years budget still has to be paid back…with interest! By accepting this cash advance, in effect all the government did was delay its debt to a year when we have taken in even less revenue.

    Instead of solving the problem, this borrowing made it worse!

    The only true choice is to reduce government recurring expenditure i.e. cutting the civil service staff, reducing the excessive wastage such as blackberry’s for so many and the numerous government owned and operated tourism attractions and a national airline with major annual losses.

    Hint: Dont give up on collecting outstanding garbage fees. Make it easier to collect by including it on the water bill as so many have suggested.

    Businesses are wealth creators, but they need a profit motive to operate. These new taxes will only serve to  deplete the incentive for businesses to operate in Cayman.

    On the other hand, government taxes are wealth destroyers. No government has ever taxed its people into prosperity.

    Instead of raising taxes the government needs to reduce taxes on business and encourage local business to invest in Cayman which will in turn create jobs. Do not only give outside businesses incentives to expand in Cayman.

    Mr. Premier, how about going on a local Road Show drumming up local investment?

    Dont fall for it Cayman.

    Until the government reduces expenditure we will forever be in a state of financial disarray and unable to solve our mounting social problems and infrastructure needs. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Has anyone heard if the pensions will cease 18th January 2010, when the Work Permit increase takes effect?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Everytime something does not go the way the expat on this island they threatened to abandon this island to thatch rope and turtles Well you know something please feel free to carry out you threat and take your big money deal to other wonderful welcoming places i will tell you what their dynamics ain’t oneside as ours You going to pay ya dues deh old burly bwoy!

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is bull-shit!!! how can the goverment allow this…so after all what I assume that the goverment is trying to is to keep the foreing off this island…if some of these lasy ass caymanian will  have the ambition to work they won’t be bullin down the place for work.


    95% of Caymanians are saying that because foreigners they cannot get no jobs…THA’S BULL-SHIT they feel like they can get  a job today come in as they pleased, do as they pleased and because they ‘re caymanians you should allow they slackness and the lasyness.

  6. Anthony Montana says:

    As a Caymanian, this issue does not directly affect me now.  But it will one day.  Because the way to increase revenue in any successful business is not by increasing every fee under the sun.  Would you go to a store that does that?  If one day you bought eggs for $20 and the next day you went in and the same eggs cost $40, would you keep going to that store?  If a store has no customers, it will soon close. 

    The secret to a sucessful business is to lower operational costs.  Streamline your business and you will keep customers happy and your staff will have a job.  Many private businesses are closing doors and Caymanians are getting laid off work.  Government needs to seriously cut its spending rather than simply raise every fee it can think of or Cayman will not have a future.  

  7. Anonymous says:

    Fees are effective Monday 18th.Is that the reason for the immigration closing at 12:30 on Friday 15th????!!!.

    • Anonymous says:


      • Pathetic says:

        Closing earlier was another pathetic attempt at money grabbing.  Many businesses are now having more and more interference on their hiring from Immigration.  They are causing more trouble than Cayman is worth.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      The "fee system" is so antiquated for a sophisticated country like Cayman. It is obvious that the voters and the politico’s are willing to accept no reduction in CIG costs, salaries, civil service, no privitization etc etc.

      To continue to just increase fees every year will to TRY to cover costs will just erode the professional infrastructure.

      "Bite the conch shell"….out source to objective professionals to lay out a program for a consistant tax for the CIG …ie land tax…..

      This will keep the professional services in Cayman AND attract new business AND it will allow the leaders to not have to stand up and face the Civil Service which is what they want.


      • Joe Bananas says:

        Right again but only for the people not the bush Goverment.  Big difference.  The people of Cayman have spoken loud and clear to cut goverment spending,  Proffesionals have recomended it.  The U.K. has recomended it. BUT THE CAYMAN GOVERMENT WILL NOT DO IT PERIOD.  This is not a goverment for the people.  It hasn’t been for a long time now.  Get used to it (till it falls) or change it.  Asking, telling, begging the goverment has not worked so far. So the choice is fight it or live with it.  Or?

  8. Anonymous says:

    S. 16 of the Legal Practitioners (Students) Regulations (2008 Revision) states that "A person shall not be eligible to register articles unless he has attained the age of eighteen years and (a) possesses Caymanian status within the meaning of that expression in the Immigration Law (2007 Revision); or (b) has attained the consent in writing of the Governor to his registration."

    I note with interest from the list of work permit fees posted on the Immigration’s website that the work permit fee for an Articled Clerk (trainee attorney) is CI$7,500 (in Grand Cayman). 
    It would be very interesting to know how many work permits have actually been issued (if any) for Articled Clerks, given that there are quite a few Caymanians currently seeking articles.
    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, not so stupid. This covers persons with PR who will get permission to be Articled Clerks but must may an annual fee. It also allows immigration to assist law firms in exchanges under the LPL so that a Caymanian can go to a Dublin office for some training, and an Irish person can take their seat here. Everyone benefits.

      • Nonnie Mouse says:

        All work permit fees for those with PR are illegal and the UK is in breach of its rights obligations by failing to stop them being charged.  Permanent residents cannot be discriminated against in legislation in the employment market by reason of their nationality (i.e.by not being Caymanian). A lovely and substantial class action claim or test case in England will come along sooner rather than later and I don’t know where the CIG will come up with the cash to repay the fees.

        Any employers who don’t want to pay WP fees for their PR staff?  Just write to the Governor and the FCO and say that the UK is in breach of its obligations and that if the fees aren’t waived you will sue them.  A government human rights lawyer in London will set in motion steps to end these illegal and disgusting fees.


        • Anonymous says:

          You may be right – but if you are you would force us to accept the Bermuda model – and that would not be good for anyone.

          • Anonymous says:

            No we won’t.  Britain will never let another OT set up on a similar basis as Bermuda.  And that is not a good reason to justify breaching human rights.

            This will be a decision taken in London not George Town.

            • Anonymous says:

              Then you will force independence

              • Anonymous says:

                The inevitable churlish response to any argument that as part of the price of benig an OT Cayman has to sometime accept things it does not want.  The two toys out of the pram arguments are "we will go independent" or "there will be slaughter in the streets". 

                If the UK has to impose human rights norms on Cayman then it should do it.  If Cayman wants to become the next Jamaica then that should be the choice of the properly constituted electorate of Cayman, which is a whole other human rights debate for London, as the current consititution is not rights compliant in terms of political rights either.

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe the government is intending to repeal section 16, which after all does not meet internationally accepted human rights & non-discrimination standards, would be illegal in other civilised jusrisdictions and does nothing but bring the entire Caymanian legal profession into disrepute.

      • Anonymous says:

        Rubbish. There is nothing in s. 16 that infringes and international human rights requirement.

    • CaymanLover says:

      Expats can’t article here, I think you have to have permanent residency at least.  The PPC used to be the same way I think, not sure if that’s currently the case.  There are no work permits issued for articles.  Law firms who say theyre not taking on clerks say its because of the economic downturn and clerks are a liability etc etc.  its not impossible though, may just have to re-adjust your sights (assuming you were making a bee line to Maples or Walkers)

      • Anonymous says:

        On reading the law it would seem that expats could article here so long as they have the consent of the Governor? Why have that exception/proviso in the Law then?

        • Anonymous says:

          As a discretion exercised by a UK official, the Governor would have to give consent to any permanent resident who was not Caymanian as to do otherwise would be illegal.

  9. CaymanLover says:

    Bollox, the lot of it!  Employers will pay the increased fees.  Or, the alternative is to magically re-word the job titles/role of their current expat employees.  For example Senior employees will have the "Senior" removed.  They’ll be doing the same work, get the same salary, but a essentially be ‘demoted’ to save the employer money!

    C’mon you all act as if this stuff doesnt happen!  Next you’ll be telling me that employers don’t keep their rolled over employees on staff and just have them work from home – and secretly work when they come here ‘on vacation’….

    go pull someone else’s legs, mine are long enough.

  10. Just Do It says:

    Cut the civil service by 20% and cut those remaining costs by 10%.  28% saving. Just do it.  What are the moaners going todo?  Leave their jobs?  Good!

  11. UniqueCommonSense says:

    Dang! Big Whopper Mac surely knows how to scare the companies away!!!!!!!

    In addition to him opening his mouth of shuffle his feet and causing reputational damage to our financial industry by broadcasting to the international financial public that the Cayman Islands is bankrupt and now have the investors in Hedge Funds pulling out their monies, do you not think he’s responsible for a large part of the business leaving Cayman?????????

    Its such a sad situation when people cannot think for themselves; believe every word that is spoken, fail to conduct their own research to establish the facts, analyze & summarize the facts vs. fiction and those that sacrifice the stability of our country for handouts and personal opportunities……….these are the type of people we mostly have here in Cayman…….those that you can fool ALL the time.

    I now wonder what kind of calculator he and his entire team are using cause the sum of the equation is not adding-up to the ESTIMATED PROJECTED INCOME!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    This is easily the beginning of the end for professional small business in Cayman.

    As a small business owner, I’m troubled by the fact that my work permit fees for existing workers will literally double this year. If this hit comes at the wrong time for my business (which I’ve just began to plan since the fees have been posted), there is no question that I’ll have to face either finding a way of putting off payments to local suppliers or simply closing the doors. Maybe there is another country where small business innovation is welcomed, no matter what nationality of the people who drive that innovation come from.

    The irony is that my business generates income from other businesses in Cayman who will have to make a similar choice. For that, we’ll all be at a disadvantage.

    I understand the government’s need for revenue – taking it from struggling entreprenuers on the island is not the way to do it. I’d propose a sliding scale for permit fees depending on the size of business instead of the current flat fees. 



    • U aint foolin me says:

      Why dont you hire Caymanians then and stop moaning. For too long companies have thrived here while the Government and (people) had to suffer. Pay your fees like a good little resident and hush….


  13. Anonymous says:

    Triple work permit costs, ok so lets raise the cost of doing business further and chase away all remaining potential investors…

    Destroy the Hotel industry and drive costs up , means businesses will not provide top level services because they cant afford to employ people – Managers Chefs F&B Directors etc…

    The only way to solve Caymans problems is to implement a consumptive tax based on making the least impact to Caymanians and Cayman business’s.

    If you want nice schools better roads and a better Cayman , then someone has to pay for it…Noted by initial reactions that Caymanians are patriotic up until the point they have to contribute something to their own country…

    A VAT needs to be introduced, this would no affect salaries, would not affect property purchases, It would be exempt on personal Electricity Bills, Water and Rent below CI$1500 per month. You would exempt basic foodstuffs (necessities to assist the poorer people – cooking oil, rice flour, locally produced foodstuffs including fish to encourage and support local growers and fisherman).

    A 10% VAT would be a fair tax, the person who spends 10 dollars in the supermarket would pay 1 dollar in tax and the wealthy person who spends 100 dollars in the supermarket pays 10 dollars. This is a fair system that generates fair revenues based on consumption making it easy for Government to accurately predict revenues. The rich spend more ergo they pay more taxes, the poorer spend less therefore they pay less tax…

    We have cruise tourists buying goods in Georgetown , and the Government generates nothing from their spending in Restaurants and shops, the VAT would mean we could generate revenues from these people…Currently Hotel guest pay a 10% accommodation tax, but pay nothing on there Bar Bill , Room Service, Guided Trips, Car Hire, Restaurant Bills and Spa treatements.We could generate plenty of revenues from these sources…Without hurting Caymanians and business’s…

    A fair consumptive tax added to a restaurant bill such as 10% VAT , is acceptable and practised in most civilised countires, so the Tourists will not mind , neither will the expat workers and expatriate residents, because to them Tax is normal.

    Cayman needs to lower cost of doing business to attract the right investment – don’t cook the goose that lays the golden egg…

    Be smart…we need to start contributing to our own country and our own future. This is called social responsibility and patriotism…

    Cayman is not unique in being in this position there are countles S.I.D’S that have been here before and made the smae errors and some learned from others mistakes and where smart, lets hope the Governement chosses the latter…

    • Anonymous says:

      This does sound like a fair basis for a tax system, if one is required.  We definitely have to do something, and soon, before our lifestyle as we have come to know it is long gone.  Sign me a "Concerned Caymanian".

    • Cut spending says:

      VAT is a regressive tax as a greater proportion of a lower earners income is spent on VAT-able items than a high earner.

      The solution to Cayman’s problems is the same as in most countries: governments have to drastically cut back on the bloated spending they have been using to buy votes.

      It really IS as simple as that.

      • Anonymous says:

        Not if you exempt Rent under 1500 CI , First 200 dollars of electricity bill, fierst 75 dollras of water bill…Exemption on 20 basic foodstuff commodities, exemption on local producers such as farmers , fisherman…This encourages to buy local and helsp local businesses, as you say the large majority are not wealthy, well know you give them the choice to buy fish or Beef or vegetables at the supermarket and pay VAT or to buy from a local supplier or market and not pay VAT , allowing local producers to compete against importers and supermarkets etc…

        The spin off is if this effective, you will see more local producers and supermarkets may reduce prces to compete…

        The idea is you give the poorer the exemption and the choice , so you do not affect them…

        The Vat alows us to generate revenues off commercial leases, restaurants and Hotels, allowing us to shoulder a large portion of the VAT burden on the wealthy companies, Tourists and Expats who do not mind paying it…

        VAT in this model works

    • Taxman says:

      This little table from Denmark shows what tends to happen to VAT once it is introduced.


      Year Tax level (Denmark) Name
      1962 9% OMS
      1967 10% MOMS
      1968 12.5% MOMS
      1970 15% MOMS
      1977 18% MOMS
      1978 20.25% MOMS
      1980 22% MOMS
      1992 25% MOMS
      • Anonymous says:

        Denmark is a very socialist country, with a very different economic model…Apples for Apples…Look at the history of taxation and ecomoic models from S.I.D.S – (Small Island Developing States).

        We are not looking to fund our Health System, Education, Transporatation System and Social welfare system – like Denmark…

        Just to raise some revenues without pissing off too many people and losing the attraction of Cayman ie: tax free corporate business environment and personal lifestyle.

        VAT is regressive dependent on the economic model, for Cayman it ceratinly fits the bill…

        • Anonymous says:

          You miss the point.  VAT once introduced tends to become higher.

          • Anonymous says:

            Agreed but only in certain economic models  ie: if everyone wants free housing education and health care… As economy grows so does tax base , as long as you keep government spending under control, this is an non issue as Vat collection will follow inflation – as prices go up so do Vat revenues, the key is to get Govrnement spending to do the same…

    • Ben Dover says:

      So we are no longer the tax haven that made people come here… RIGHT.

      Get over it – if you want to be different – ie not a TAX jurisdiction – you need to find ways to DISGUISE the taxation.

      Better yet – MAC DADDY – CUT THE F-ING SPENDING – this is our problem.

      Or Spend, tax and die – glad I got the option to go elsewhere – day by day it seems this is our option…


  14. Anonymous says:

    Like I said, this way of balancing the budget, will only hurt us in the long run. I am not saying that we should just sit down and rely on revenue. I guess it is too late for that now! But if our leaders had only focused on reducing the size of government years before this, we would have been better off. Now, we have the UK threatening us about direct tax. I just hope now that government cut some of its arms and legs, and allow for a freer market, protecting Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      To cut off the "arms and legs" of government.

      So what shall such a government do?

      May I suggest government be acountable only for the essential services of the country, which protects the country and its environment, and see to it that no harm comes upon man and nature. Other than that, allow Cayman’s business community to grow without governments interfering in their affairs. Allow and stop these foolish laws and regulations, providing that workers and consumers are protected from harm.

      But "let-do as much as possible" would be my motto. Then you will see Cayman once again, become prosperous and businesses created for the benefit of all!

  15. Anonymous says:

    The result of this new tax increase that penalizes local businesses in the middle of the worst recession that the country has experienced for decades – will mean less net income for Govt. Less foreign workers will be employed resulting in less Customs Duties, less rentals and accomodations, less gasoline, food and other consumables being needed. I really cant understand why they dont just reduce Govt spending until this economic downturn passes.

    The sad part about this is that once taxes are increased they are never decreased again. So the next round of taxes should be income taxes and property taxes – to finish wipe out the economic stature of the islands that took decades to build. Good work guys. Your economic planning is brilliant.

  16. 'nuff said says:

    Why don’t you just employ more Caymanians? Not as silly as it sounds. The banks/law firms/accountancy practices make high profits and can afford higher work permit fees. Other smaller businesses are more suited to local staff.

    • true dat says:

      As any business will tell you that you need to employ someone who has the ability to do the work needed to continue the business.  Not as easy as it sounds.  If there were more qualified Caymanains then businesses would not have the expenses of work permits.   Thinking Caymanians "can do it" just doesn’t make it happen.  Better education would be the best help but Cayman has never put much effort into that.  Both goverment and parents.  Just face it already. The "typical" Caymanian worker can not measure up to the work ethic and intelligence of the "typical" expat period.  Get over it already or better yet prove me and every business owner on the island wrong getting a job and doing better than an expat would.   Your life would be better,  the attitude towards Caymanian workers would be better and the island would be better for everyone.  Get it yet?

      • Anonymous says:

        Caymanians CAN do the jobs and are hard working; most "expats" i have worked with have had to be trained by a Caymanian and their work ethics are poor indeed; their laziness is at the top of the list.

        • Anonymous says:

          You obviously do not own a large business, most of the Caymanian business owners here in Cayman hire expats, because the exact opposite is true?

          Most expats actually have to have international qaulifications to get a work permit – so your arguement is really dumb…

          I have a lot of Caymanian friends and I own a business here, cant even get the Caymanians to show up for the interview never mind showing up at work…

          There are good Caymanians and bad, good expats and bad – lets make this easier there are good and bad people, lazy and hard working of all nationalities….This should not be a them and us scenario – this is about getting the business the staffing requirements they need and skills they need to make their business work…

          Bad comment , discrimination is the start of social decay…

    • Joe Bananas says:

      Watch and be totally amazed as businesses close up shop on Cayman and leave rather then hire Locally.  Keep watching and be totally amazed as food, gas,cable,cellphone bills, and unemployment keep rising as more money dissapears into the Cayman Goverment black hole.  Watch and be even more amazed as your Premeir tells you not to worry as he will once again go forth into the world to fix everything at home.   Just keep watching.  Your world is an amazing place is it not? If its not then just watch some more as the same ones who distroyed your world try to fix it.

      We are totally amazed as we watch you continue to be amazed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Quite a generalization. You need to elaborate on the premise that non-financial sector businesses are "more suited to local staff".

      All the immigration laws in Cayman favor qualified Caymanian workers first. So there’s a problem with your statement just based on the fact of the number of expats that exist: Either Caymanian workers are not qualified for certain jobs (I’ll assume that’s your argument regarding the financial sector…), Caymanians don’t want the jobs that exist in the market, or there is something wrong with immigration law enforcement.

      The solution to any of these issues is certainly not to raise what now becomes arguably a penalty in recessionary times for having foreign workers. Hiring a Caymanian only because one doesn’t get penalized is not much of an incentive.


    • Slaughter that Golden Goose says:

      You would be surprised at the limited profitability of many of the financial services practices in Cayman.  The real parties paying for these fees will be the clients of Cayman Plc who are probably going to think that this is all getting a bit silly and it is time to move on.  Did someone say XL?

  17. inside job says:

    time will be the judge of this. my bet is that in a year from now, permits will have been dramatically reduced and along with it govt revenue and unemployment will actually climb.

    the world is flat and the sooner the govt realizes that my (and many) jobs can be done remotely from anywhere, the better. i earn money here and spend money here (to the benefit of cayman in general), but can do that from pretty much anywhere.

    this is the fundamental problem with a democracy – time always judges the elected govt, but politics is tilted toward shortsightedness over the long term good.

    history judges the success of an administration, but many times, the outcome is not known until years later.

    i predict this will be looked on as an error in judgement in the longer term.

  18. Anonymous says:

    When it was said Work Permits would go up, at the sametime it was said Pensions would be stopped for foreign workers????? Work Permits went up, but what about pensions?

    • Columbo says:

      That’s when it officially becomes an expat tax (at 4.76%), as the expat is then funding his work permit.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good point. We could bring back slavery as well, that would be cool. Screw the foreign workers – especially the majority of them who earn a pittance.  

  19. Concerned about Cayman says:

    Even President Obama has said that raising taxes in a recession is tantamount to economic suicide.  Punishing job creators by raising the cost of  . . . well, literally everything through myriad tax and duty increases— so that the Cayman administration can continue to spend money on non-sustainable government programs— makes no economic sense at all.  In a recession, when many employers (i.e., investors in Cayman— maybe not as wealthy or as influential as Dr. Shetty— just small business owners who are here and now contributing to the Cayman economy) are already struggling to keep the doors open and their staff employed, increasing already high taxes and duties means layoffs: the employer’s increased tax burden has to be paid from somewhere. And of course, when the tax burden gets too high local businesses shut up shop,  and inward investors pick up and leave; and when they go they take along with them the jobs they provide and the taxes and duties they pay.  Ironically, to attract new employees to the country, employers must offer higher wages to offset the higher income taxes and the cost of living; increasing not decreasing the ever widening wage gap between the “wealthy” and the “poor” in Cayman.  Punishing, with higher taxes and duties, the hard work and ingenuity of local entrepreneurs in a period of recession is financial folly and does not bode well for the health of the Cayman economy.

    • Anonymous says:

       It would have been nice to borrow money instead but…

      • Anonymous says:

        . . . but Cayman does not have a prudent revenue model which would allow such borrowing and the UK, quite rightly, does not wish to take on a contingent liablity for a part of the country that does not wish to ise direct taxation or reduce public expenditure.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

       The CIG as to keep and will keep raising fees because they will not reduce CIGcost and no one has the coconuts to look at what is really needed which is a land tax.

      • anonymous says:

        I have news for you. This is one of the only thing that Cayman really does not need ever, a Land or propertyTax. Its one thing losing a job because of illness, or some other tragedy in a family. Not being able to pay the bills including  morgage and property taxes would be the end result. But the audacity of Government iimposing a Land or property Tax on its people who need to keep a roof over their head is a nightmere, and inhumane.No human being should have to endure this. Homeowners should at least be able to freely keep a roof over their heads for their family without government imposing or demanding fees to do so.

        Speaking of a Land tax, its a dirty word. Any kind of tx is a dirty word.

        Land Tax means, if you have a job or not, if you’re lying on your sick bed, and not able to work, your bills, including your mortgage, and your property taxes remain unpaid, YOUR HOUSE IS AUCTIONED OFF BY GOVERNMENT BECAUSE YOU CAN’T PAY TAXES. 

        Are you crasy? a Land or property tax is a tsunami that sweeps the very life out of asociety. I am not convinced that you understand the meaning of land or property tax. Or the consequences.B

        • Crasy Legs Crane says:

          I am crasy.

        • Lachlan MacTavish says:

           With all due respect I believe that understanding the base situation is paramount.

          IMHO ….don’t look at the issue with today’s challenges…..sorry…try to look at the big picture.

          All Caymanians are paying for the CIG through fees, duties and taxes….

          The CIG will not address reducing the size of the CIG.  So every year you as a tax payer will continue to see increases to pay for the CIG which =’s less money for you.

          A "flat tax"……ie Land tax …….will allow the middle class and the "normal people" to know what is happening year from year. NO INCREASES EVERY YEAR TO PAY FOR THE NEW CIG REGIME.

          Just think about it.

  20. Listen says:

    Listen you can hear the sound of calculators working out another reason to move business from Cayman.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      Just heard of one group folding up. Apparently about 100k in fees to the CIG. 

  21. Lachlan MacTavish says:

    Government says, "increased work permit fees" or duties or nuisance taxes are better than direct taxation. How do we know. We have years of unbalanced CIG accounts. Was a study done to show in black and white to the tax payers of Cayman that it is costing them less with the present system than with a new system. I say no study was done so the GIG is only avoiding what the elected members feel would be a politrick suicide decision…….just a thought.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Wow this is just WRONG!

    Cayman is always reactive and never proactive.  If you cut out the number of permit grants you should have built another way of recovering the lost revenue!  Any good business practice knows there are reactions to every action taken and plan accordingly!

    It is not the business community fault Immigration and government decides to refuse permits!  And who is going to bear the ultimate price for this?

    What good are elevated, unreasonable high fees if businesses cannot afford to operate?  Cayman you are pricing yourself out of business and Caymanians are going to suffer more!

    If you are traveling now you better have "skid marks" in your underpants and deodorant on your shirts as proof you wear clothes abroad or immigtation is going to charge you what they want!

    Look out for oxygen tax next so government can continue to spend spend spend, but we still don’t know for who’s benefit! Certainly not mine!

    You can’t get blood out of turnip!

  23. Anonymous says:

    well it beats tackling the over paid, overstaffed, wasteful civil service!

  24. durrrr says:

    "An advocate of a direct payroll tax, McIntosh" clearly has no idea what he is talking about.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Somebody has to pay for Beloved Leader’s chauffeur and the private chef and the private housekeeper and the first class travel for cronies and family. Surely no one would expect BL to cut back on his extravagance or trim the civil service to fit the funds available.

    We should all rejoice at the sacrifices ordinary people have to make to keep our new king in the style he claims he deserves.

    • Anonymous says:

      What is this complaining about, he pushing your agenda so now you understand there is no free lunches pay the man and stop complaining . Double the fees for complainers El Premiero

    • Anonymous says:

      Paying for the Premier’s Chauffeur I can live with. Paying so much for that Chauffeur’s Premier is really what causes gravest concern.