The Teather Report commissioned by
Cayman Finance as well as Mr. Anthony Travers’ comments to the Netnews appeared
about the same time as my letter advocating direct taxation by this administration;
although my letter had actually been written more than a week prior.
Mr. Travers must be commended for
his stance on the need to reduce excessive government expenditure, however his
views on the harmful impact of taxation to a country generally, makes him one
sided and reveals his own economic self interest. I remember quite well when he
arrived in the Cayman Islands and the stagnant state of our economy and
development and I respect what he, as part of a team of Financial Service workers,
has done over the years to change our GDP.
But let him not forget that we have
not all benefitted equally from this progress and that many of Government’s
problems stem from a false belief that growth was sustainable without social
and economic considerations and management. The private Financial Sector did
very little over the years to challenge many of the false and misguided assumptions,
which have taken us to this point and provided very little in cooperate
sponsorship for our social and physical development.
I appreciate that the world as a
whole is experiencing great challenges, but we are not the world and our
difficulties are unique; in fact I believe that the Teather report and Mr.
Travers’ comments enlighten us to this reality when they say Cayman cannot
print money to solve economic problems.
The case made by both gentlemen is
that taxation runs away investors and ruins economies generally and would do so
even more specifically in Cayman. But this is not necessary supported by all
studies. A study done by The New Economic Foundation in 2009 makes contrary
assertions and challenges mainstream thinking on economic, environmental and
social issues. Mr. Teather and Mr. Travis are part of the mainstream think
tank that would suggest cutting the wages and salaries of the public sector
because that sector is always regarded by them as inefficient, as or less
efficient than the private sector, although there is no proof for this
Are teachers, policemen, nurses,
doctors and garbage collectors less useful to a society’s existence than
cooperation managers and knowledge workers? Should their already low wages be
cut and corporate Cayman’s high paid partners give up nothing, although
they have had so many years to earn money tax free? Let us not forget the
social value of the public sector workers who are never rewarded in line with
their true value to society. Are these cooperate bosses leaders? Are they
following the premier’s example and taking a 30 per cent reduction is salaries
and bonuses? I bet not because they believe they are the only individuals
entitled to a feeling of entitlements.
I am not implying that those people
who view the contribution of money and profits to a society as the most
important if not the only benefit, will stay around or use our jurisdiction to
avoid or evade their social responsibilities, if they have to experience an
increase in the cost of services caused by direct taxation. I am making the
point that the well established corporations that have made good profits over
the years should now also sacrifice something for the general good; not their
I understand and accept the
important role of off-shore jurisdictions is facilitating the development of
production outside the developed nations and that part of their motive to operate
outside developed Europe and America was to find cheap labour and low taxes.
But this unregulated greed, which accepted no social responsibility, has
created a world where the thirst for money and consumer products has made
global destruction by one means or another, a reality in this century. We must
only think of global warming and climate change, terrorism, narcotics politics
and gang wars to understand that greater efforts have to be made worldwide to
reforms humanity’s social consciousness.
Cayman has had three earthquakes in
as many months and perhaps it is not a sign of the end of time but it certainly
is in my humble opinion a sign that we are all running out of time to correct
our misguided notion of production for the sake of profits and not needs,
regardless of who pays in the future. These gentlemen worry about the debt we
will leave the future generations and I worry that there will be no future for
Governments globally must become
more responsible in leading their people toward a future where choices are not
based on how much money we produce but the quality of life we are able to
create and sustain for the majority not the few. And I am positive that
although these wealthy individuals criticizes America, the UK and other develop
European states for their high taxes they maintain their affiliation with
the social and cultural institutions developed and maintained by the public
purses of these “failing” states.