It is apparent when one examines the proposed budget one can see that expatriates are the considered the best source of cash flow.
It is already a very expensive country in which to live in especially for expatriates.
On average it cost $15,000-$25,000 in non-recoverable startup expenses for such things as housing, transportation, utility deposits and basic necessities during the first year of a permit.
The current proposals for an increase in permit fees will have a negative impact, if not dampen the current hiring practices of companies who are already strapped and in desperate need of additional staffing.
In essence the average company will have to double its budget when looking at renewing permits for professionals and could have to reduce the number of staff already on hand to accommodate this increase.
Consider the amount of income spent in this country by those living here temporarily and consider the ripple effects that spending has on the economy as a whole. It is very likely these budget proposals will help to dampen the spending habits on property investment and within the retail goods sector.
Higher income earners provide for the bulk of residential investment on Grand Cayman, which are the bread and butter of many development construction and real estate companies all of which provide for income to Caymanians.
Why were the permit fees on domestic help not increased from an average of $150? Why wouldn’t one consider a slight increase in fuel costs at the pump or vehicle licenses to help pay for the infrastructure upgrades; after all it is the number of cars and SUVS on the roads driving the need to increase roadways and roundabouts. Perhaps the billions of dollars, which are funneled in and out of the country via the numerous banks on the island, could absorb a few fees in the form of hidden taxation? Maybe the banks that charge ridiculous rates on loans could explain why they shouldn’t be persuaded to contribute to the government treasury?
Maybe we should ask the CUC, which has some of the highest electrical rates in the industrialized world to consider generating additional income for the national treasury?
Continuing to target professionals who bring a wealth of education and experience with them to the people of this country is not the correct path.
One could think many professionals could have second thoughts about accepting renewed permits here especially if one relates the cost of living, which is continually rising to that of their own country.
The competition to attract experienced and educated individuals is growing at a fast rate all over the world. It is not the free flow of cash that fuels an economy but the people behind that engine that fuels an economy.