Bush defends $1million PR

| 23/02/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman headline news, Cayman permanent residency(CNS): Following a considerable amount of opposition to the government’s proposal to sell Permanent Residency to wealthy individuals for $1 million, the premier has defended the policy and said it was a special grant for a limited number of rich retirees that require a second jurisdiction for “their own purposes". Mckeeva Bush said it would enable government to earn money for what it has been giving away for years. “It is not a grant of citizenship or Caymanians status,” he said.  The opposition, however, have said the proposal would allow foreigners to set up local businesses without a Caymanian partner.

“For years we have been giving away permanent residency for as little as $400 in some instances,” Bush said in an audio statement released on Monday prior to the PPM public meeting where they had said they would be discussing the proposal.

“So in these times of crisis and insecurity we felt it was prudent to establish a new category or PR that would attract a limited number of wealthy retirees that want a second jurisdiction for their own purposes. We would be foolish not to finally gain more economic benefit from people wishing to have a presence in our islands.”

He denied that the grant would allow people to open competitive businesses in Cayman. “It will not entitle the person to work or own a business,” he said, accusing the PPM of misleading the public about the purpose of the grant.

However, in an Associated Press article which appeared in USA Today last week, Charles Glidden, the premier’s new press secretary, said exactly the opposite and indicated that not only would the grant simplify business transactions for those who travel often to Cayman, “it could eliminate the need to obtain a Caymanian business partner". Glidden added that those granted the new PR “can come and go as they like. They would not have to be on a work permit."

Alden McLaughlin told CNS in a recent interview that, as there already was a route by which wealthy people could gain PR through investing $¾ million in the island in property or businesses, this sale of residency seemed an odd proposal and must have an ulterior motive. He explained that in return for that investment people could apply for a 25 year permanent residency certificate for $20,000. This, he explained, could achieve exactly the same goal as that offered in the new million dollar PR, but for less.

Speaking at the PPM meeting in South Sound on Monday evening (22 February), McLaughlin latched on to the comment by Glidden and noted that this would explain the motivation behind this new special category. He warned that if those granted the million dollar PR were allowed to operate businesses in the jurisdiction then they would have considerably more resources with which to compete against local businesses.

“There will be no control over what these people can do once they are granted PR,” McLaughlin said. “And these significant changes are being made without any discussion.”

See USA Today article

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I think it makes perfect sense to eliminate the requirement of a Caymanian partner for a trade and business license and have govt. impose a 20% annual tax on revenue generated by that TBL. This will then spread that wealth to all the people in Cayman for better health services, roads, police etc.. and not into one Caymanians pocket. If you are blessed with Caymanian status then you are exempt from that 20% annual business tax if you own a business.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Excellent suggestion.  I concur.  There are many Goverment authorities that are bleeding Governments kitty.  Government needs to take a real look at the productivity of some entities.  No loss of jobs and real savings. Perfect.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Reduce non-critical government depts from 5 to 3-4 day work weeks.  You can address the reality, nobody gets fired, gov’t continues to work, and those with a shortfall can seek part time work, or start a business. 



  4. Adam Smith says:

    "At the PPM meeting last night (Monday) it was shockingly revealed that no Caymanian will be needed to partner the 1 million dollar Permanent resident in opening a business in Cayman. WOW!"

    Oh no!  More open markets – oh the humanity.  New job creation – it is a disgrace.  Better services – what about our heritage?.  Lower prices – heresy.

    You complain about the lack of jobs.  You complain about increasing costs of living.  Well, the best way to fetter the market and to increase prices is protectionism and oligopolies.  Free up the market and see what happens – it won’t be a shock most of the rest of the world has been trying it for some time.

    One day a potential investor in Cayman won’t have to be told that their trade and business licence application has been refused because local business objected that a new entrant might cause, oh the very word horrifies me, competition.

    • Anonymous says:

      How would you like it if you were a local entrepreneur and someone from overseas came in with huge amounts of capital and caused you to go out of business, after you have worked diligently over the years in building up that business?

      Local businesses  generally do as well as can be expected in the prices they offer, considering the huge amount of overhead expenses incurred.

      We should be proud of local businesses such as Foster’s Food Fair and A L Thompson’s for example, which can hold their own to any supermarket or home supply/hardware store respectively in Canada or England I am sure and probably in the USA as well

      • Adam Smith says:

        "and caused you to go out of business" – this will only happen if the new entrant offers better services, goods or prices.  All good things.  What you are defending is oligopolsitic profits for the wealthiest 5% of Caymanians a the expense of the consumer who represents the other 95%. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh really, Smith? As a foreigner with no love or attachment to Cayman I would expect no different than your ignorant views. But put your yourself in our position & see if you would like it!
      We are a small country with a small population, & therefore we accept that we cannot compete against large foreign companies, that is why we have always had the 60/40 agreement in place to protect us. It is unfair for you or Mckeeva Bush to expect us to compete against large million or billion dollar foreign companies. Large multi million dollar companies can afford to sell goods cheaper than us for years so as to put us out of business. We cannot compete with that Smith, not that you care, but please take your sarcastic comments back to where you come from, because I am sure you care more for your countrys future than ours. Bye

      • Cleo Shay says:

        And the CNS Oscars for vituperative rant with gratuitous invitation to "fly home if you don’t like it" goes to   . . . .

  5. miss positive says:

    …it’s up to the people to make up their minds and realize that although we might have many difficult issues in front of us, that it shouldn’t deter us from working hard, keeping a positive outlook on the future and pressing on towards the ideal that this is one of the few places on earth where potential can be found around every corner. we only need turn on the right switch in our heads that say + not – .    now is the :      small businesses, it’s up to you.   

  6. Anonymous says:

    Oh what a tangled web we weave…

    The people aint had enough lying to?  Why talk of cutting jobs or selling this or doing that but no talk of MLA pay???

    Maybe I shouldrun for office… I would have no problem keeping the same pay I currently make (which aint much) but I can live on it.  At least I’d have some economy to spend it in…

  7. Anonymous says:

    There is nothing new about this at all. Why are people getting so upset? In all the time I have lived here it has always been the case that rich people could obtain PR without a right to work.  Basically they just had to show that they had a substantial net worth. The fact that they were bringing significant funds to the island and were not a drain on the infrastructure made it non-controversial. Now Mac says he wants money for Government coffers for this and everyone complains. Bizzarre.

    • Anonymous says:

      To Anon 08:24, you quite rightly point out that as it stands now "people could obtain PR without a right to work." Did you read that? WITHOUT A RIGHT TO WORK!! Get it? What the Cayman people are angry about is that the new PR gives a person the right to obtain a work permit, AND THAT PERSON CAN START A BUSINESS WITHOUT A LOCAL PARTNER! That is what has us angry!

  8. Anonymous says:

    "We would be foolish not to finally gain more economic benefit from people wishing to have a presence in our islands.”

    Here we go again, the Premier chasing the almighty dollar and has the audacity to boldly infer from the above statement that we don’t care who those wealthy individuals are or what their intentions are, we only know vaguely that they want to be here "for their own purposes", all we need to makes sure of is that we are getting financial benefit from it.

    For a long time I gave the Premier the benefit of the doubt and truly thought that he meant well and he had intentions with only the islands’ best interests in the fore front of his mind but now I am convinced that he has strayed far off the track. He wants to be known as the person who "saved" Cayman from this "financial mess."

    His quest for power, recognition and validation does not allow him to see past his nose. He reaffirms this every time he opens his mouth.

    My question is still why would an individual pay a million dollars for something that he can easily qualify for under another scheme that would be cheaper, it makes you really wonder what exactly is the person is actually buying with that million dollars.

    I believe the Premier has indicated that he is a humble christian. Perhaps he needs to read Proverbs 3: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding"

    The Premier is leading your country down a slippery road. 



    • $$$$ says:

      When you are a Government that can’t find money to even cover their operational expenses is it not the dollars you need to keep the country going……or do you think we can do it with casava???

  9. Anonymous says:

    The UDP Administration’s Public Mtg last night was pathetic. They are trying to spin everything. Guess what? People know the truth…you have been trying to mislead us! You have been lying about the new government buliding, the new permanent resedency and the key employee thing! We have it in black in white! I’ll never vote UDP again! Time to get rid of this set who said don’t even have enough respect to meet their own Caymanians, the protesters of the march. Plus Mac called us HOOLIGANS! Charles Clifford, I never had much regard for you in the past…maybe that’s because I was a UDP supporter, but I support you on that march and I will be there.


  10. Marek says:

    I arrived at my destination but sat in the car and listened to the entire speech with an open mind. The postion our government is in is not unique to Cayman and in fact … compared to many of our global neighbours … we’re not so bad in terms of overall debt load.

    The UK saber rattling is in fact, because their debt situation is actually three times worse than ours… by trying to force us to impose taxes… they are hoping to increase thier own income.

    But one thing I did pay attention to was the number of civil servants. In his speech he said that it would be necessary to lay off up to 25% or 1,000 people if a financial solution were not found.

    The thing is, if everything is slower, planning, immigration, labour, finance, import/export… port, etc., etc.. then shouldn’t the size of government be accordingly reduced.

    Locally businesses who have seen a slow down have had to lay off staff and reduce their spending… whereas typically a governments approach seems to be … lets see where we can get more money so we can continue to spend.

    A financial solution, is not to borrow to maintain a higher level of spending.

    The obvious question has been, what do we do next year… and it is a very good question. If income does not go up and expences do not go down then a year from now we will be in the same place.

    Instead of paying 1,000 people you don’t need… $45,000 a year in salary and benifits … maybe you should give those 1,000 people… $45,000 as a severance  package… so you would have a ONE TIME COST…

    Those 1,000 former civil servants could now take that $45,000 and perhaps band together into groups of 2, 3 or 4 with investment funds of between $90,000 and almost $200,000.

    They could build affordable housing, they could open businesses and employee local Caymanians. The newly sized government would have he necessary 3,000 employees and as the financial markets and our economy return… then the government would have lots of new positions for young Caymanians to fill… as the 1,000 recently departed would now be successful business owners.

    Thats… a financial solution that … works… and doesn’t create the need to have to go back to the pay window again… and again… and again.



    • anonymous says:

      Great idea.  Now what house are you building with $45,000?  What will happen to those 1000 people?  Will Social Services support them?

      Here’s my solution: 

      1. Stop makimg civil servants the fall guy.

      2. If we are broke stop travelling all over the world with your entourage

      3. Julianna stay in your own house instead of Alexander Hotel

      4. No housekeeper.  His wife should be able to clean the house and cook.  After all, he’s never home.

      5. All the bodyguards are policemen.  They have crimes to solve not carry packages.

      6. The clean up crews are making buckets of money yet they can’t buy their own lunch.  Cut out the lunches. 

      7.  It’s amazing how many things government has money for but use civil servants as an excuse.

      8.  The supervisors are making $20+ an hour to watch other people work plus they were working on holiday.  That’s double pay.

      9. Start cutting salaries from the top.  MLAs first. 

      10.  Matter of fact, they shouldn’t get paid at all since  Mac is controlling everything anyway.

      • Scrooge McDuck says:

        All of your suggestions make sense except for the one stating the civil service is the fall guy. With over 50% of government expenditure needed for wages and benefits I wouldn’t say it was accurate and it isn’t a matter of a fall guy being created.  It’s has become a necessary budget reduction for something unsustainable.  

        On the other hand, it isn’t ultimately the civil service’s fault.  It is whoever gave them the money when they needed to increase their voter base.  As they were allowed to create unnneccessary and duplicate positions.  With outrageous and unsustainable benefits.  And, with no accountability for minding their separate budgets… because we haven’t seen any. 

        Of course they went ahead and hired friends and acquaintances no questions asked.  All aboard the gravy train.

        Now the people who created that situation are having second thoughts as the public are saying "wait a minute here."  "Why do I have to pay for my pension and health insurance?"  "Why should I pay for this excess?"  "Why have I just had my hours reduced?"  "Why are all the fees going up?"

        To answer your other statements:  The mindset that created that situation sees nothing wrong with chefs, chauffeurs, personal assistants, bodyguards and living in hotels because they are, in fact, the top civil servants. So why shouldn’t they?

        We are just asked to pay for it, that’s all.  Have a great day.

        • noname says:

          … the public are saying "wait a minute here."  "Why do I have to pay for my pension and health insurance?"  "Why should I pay for this excess?"  "Why have I just had my hours reduced?"  "Why are all the fees going up?"

          Damn right we’re saying that.  And in doing so I am also saying, why do we have to pay not only our own pension and health insurance, but (as a tax payers) also footing the pensions and health insurance bills for all civil service employees?  Make them pay their own pensions and insurance the same as everyone else here – level the playing ground and make it fair across the board for all of us.  That in itself would be a worthy cost-cutting exercise.

          • Fuzzy says:

            To 13:17 02/24/2010,   Are you also in favour of bringing salaries of civil servants up to compete with the private sector before deducting pension and insurance payments.I just wonder how many of you are aware that civil servants have not received a merit raise in over ten years,or that cost of living raises given to civil servants have consistently been less than the actual increase in the cost  of living.This means that civil servants are already making sacrifices to help government balance its budget.Think about it;are you in favour of being laid off when it affects your family?

      • Anonymous says:

        the civil service is not just the fall guy…..it is crippling the economy of the country, if you don’t tackle this then we will have to bring in direct taxes or/and sell assets

      • Anonymous says:

        I like what you have to say  very much.  I am a civil servant and far from making a huge amount I also live from pay day to pay day just to make ends meet.  50% of government’s monthly expenditure may be on civil servants salaries which I am sure also includes the salaries of the elected members of government.  If they were to cut their salaries by half each month they would still be making way more than an ordinary civil servant and more than enough to live on.  It would also be a great decrease in government expenditure per month.  Like you said, start from the top.

        • You asked for it says:

          We need less civil servants who are perhaps better paid.  Cut the civil service in half and increase the salaries of those that remain by 30%.  Better productivity would ensue and the wage bill would by 35%.

    • GDP says:

      "The UK saber rattling is infact, because their debt situation is actually three times worse than ours.."  But the long term prospects are far worse for Cayman.  The UK is in cost cutting mode and has a economic base to grow out of debt.  Cayman is not cutting is massive civil service costs and it’s fiscal base is precarious as the offshore industry is on a knife edge.  I would rather be the (next) Chancellor than the Premier of Cayman.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I just watched the UDP Spin Machine at work on Channel 27 and the only think I could say think afterwards was "how pathetic". It is alost amusing to watch them as they try to wriggle out of the jam they have placed themselves in through play of words but instead I felt embarrassed as a Caymanian. McKeeva and the UDP and Kurt and the PPM ar both a tired duo that needs to be replaced.

    • Anonymous says:

      replaced with what?

      • Scrooge McDuck says:

        Replaced with what??   Good question.  How about….

        -A government than can find it’s a## with both hands?

        -Someone with financial expertise to handle financing?

        -Someone with a clue how to run a country?

        -Someone who knows about diplomacy?

        -Someone who is aware of our circumstances now?

        -Someone who has a plan?  Any plan.

        -People who know what they’re talking about before they speak?

        -Someone who is realistic?

        -Someone who looks to the future?  Has actual policies?

        -People who will base their salaries on how well the rest of the country is doing?

        The list could go on but you have the drift.  ANYTHING would be a better. This is like being the passengers on the Titanic.  And these guys are the band.

        Women and children first.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The inconsistensies in what the Premier and his other UDP ministers and members have had to say in relation to this issue is alarming! How many sides of their mouths are they talking through? What is going on here is an insult to me and to my Caymanian people and I sure won’t forget it as I did nto forget the status grants by this same party in 2003.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I do not  get it.

    How does the government lease the building from a third party without selling it to them first?

    Sure Mac says that the government are going to lease it and eventually own it, but who will own it during the lease.  What are theowners going to charge in rent and what are the new owners going to pay for the building, never mind the value for the prime land that it sits on.

    The auditor general better keep a close eye on this arrangement for I worry about hidden fees for consultants, lawyers and such XXXX.


    • anonymous says:

      Consultants, lawyers, and  WHICH REAL ESTATE COMPANY?

      Is Big Mac going to get any of the commission money from this sale?

      What is in the contract.Is it a blank one with no checks and balances.

      Are they selling the building for $2million and buying it back for $100 million thats how the real estate game is played out in this region. You give it away and if you want it back you pay with your blood.

      Big Mac show us the real deal !  and I mean the truth . We don’t buy this.

      PPM tell us what is your plan of action, we want to make some sense here.


  14. A Noni Mouse says:

    Does anyone know whats really going on?

  15. Cayman is not all that says:

    Why would anyone chose to spend $1m for the ability to live here when a) it is not that great a place and b) they can come and go as they please anyway?

    Stop being so precious you bunch of whiners.

  16. Anonymous says:

    MacKeeva is on stage right now by the court house,contradicting what Chalo went out in the world and was quoted as saying.  He said he dunno where the PPM got that propoganda from.  He must had forgot what he told Chalo to say, because it is printed for the whole world to see.  Ms. Cowan also said the immigration law was to attract wealthy retirees, but that’s not what I am reading.  I believe it is anyone with 10mio and more.  Anyone!!  That includes the Mafia, the drug dealers, the Madoff’s and even the man with that plane loaded with money on CSI Miami last Night, heading to the Cayman Islands.  Hollywood taking it and running with it too. So Sherie you better be careful what you are saying too. Birds of a feather flocks together, remember that!!!! 

  17. Anonymous says:

    I really want to see if the people of this country will sit back and watch this happen…

    Our children will pay for this mess if you all make this happen, you mark my word today February 23, 2010.

  18. Anonymous says:

    At the PPM meeting last night (Monday) it was shockingly revealed that no Caymanian will be needed to partner the 1 million dollar Permanent resident in opening a business in Cayman. WOW! 

    Why doesn’t the Press Secretary keep his mouth shut? This wasn’t meant to come out yet!

  19. Anonymous says:

    My people..!   think small and worry big

  20. Kman Strong says:

    I love when I see a Caymanian succeed and become wealthy, through hard and honest work and there are quite a few that I could mention but wont right now, but what gets me on the wrong side of someone is when they have to use politics to get anywhere in life.

    Caymanians have become wealthy through many industries, like construction, accounting, lawyers etc., but anyone who could not make a living in whatever field they persued and have turned to politics to become wealthy, has no place in Cayman.

    The Cayman people have suffered drastically while certain politicians continue to grow in wealth at the expense of Cayman and The Cayman people.

    It is time that these kind of politicians stop with the free fans and washing machines give aways just to ensure reelection and continued wealth even with policies that are selling out Cayman, like the $1million Permanent Residency sales XXXX. 

    • Anonymous says:

      My people…!  think small and worry big

    • Anonymous says:

      How can anyone in their right mind defend this new category of PR? In fact, how can anyone who loves their country, the Cayman Islands, defend this? Now that it has been exposed that this new category will not require the recipient to have a work permit Or Cayman partner to start a business in Cayman, I cannot see how for the love of GOD or country ANY Caymanian can think this is a good thing! NO WAY! How can it be right that a person can pay $1 million to obtain PR which allows that person to start a business in Cayman without a local partner? This is going to be disasterous for all local businesses, but especially small businesses! THIS IS SOOOOOO WRONG!

  21. Anonymous says:

    The official published government documentation offering the new government building FOR SALE is wrong says Mac. Mac says that the building will be sold for less than it is worth, then the government will pay rent for the building, and then magically the country will own the building again in the future. 

    The UDP Media Relations person tells one of the largest circulation magazines in the US that the $1 million form of residence will allow people to do business and work in the Cayman Islands without work permits or a Caymanian partner – Mac says the opposite is true.

    Clearly we have an out of control Premier and Government that do not even have control of the facts, or even a consistent story. Cayman needs a change of leadership and we need it urgently.