Letters to the Editor: Chamber also against taxation

The
Chamber of Commerce acknowledges the resistance of its private sector members
and individual business leaders to the suggestion of direct taxation through a
recent letter developed and promoted by the National Investment Council.

The
Chamber of Commerce has on many occasions voiced its opinion regarding the
consequences of direct taxation for the Cayman Islands and has advised the
Government against this course of action. We are therefore extremely happy to
see the members of the National Investment Council and other private sector
representatives supporting and promoting many of the recommendations put
forward by the Chamber of Commerce over the past decade.

We
look forward to continuing our efforts and working in concert with the NIC and
the Council of Associations in our shared vision.

Direct
taxation is not the answer to remedy our budgetary challenges. As outlined in
the meeting of September 2009 and many previous meetings with Government and
Chamber Council Members, the following recommendations still hold true as the
most effective course of action:

Controlling
expenditure – on our recommendation, an independent review of all Government
services, departments and statutory authorities is under way.  These independent reviews should form the
stepping-stone for reducing the Government’s operating expenditure, which is
the most critical part of balancing our national budget.

Reducing Government debt – it was
recommended that debt can be reduced through the identification of assets that
can be sold outright or can be offered for investment through privatization or
the issuance of an initial public offering.

Controlling costs by reducing the
national debt and raising revenue from areas that would have minimal impact on
business development and residents.

The Chamber strongly opposed any
additional revenue measures, which would further increase the cost of doing
business in the Cayman Islands along with the introduction of any additional
general corporate or any form of taxes on income, interbank transactions,
payroll or property without a definitive plan to cut costs and reduce debt. In
terms of future business development, the Chamber expressed its support for the
development of cruise berthing and a mega yacht facility, relocation of the
cargo facilities, medical tourism development, convention facilities, waterfront
redevelopment in George Town and attracting the reinsurance and captive
insurance sector and additional private trust business.

The premier had agreed to meet with
the Chamber quarterly to assess the progress of the implementation plan and to
seek the membership’s views on key issues and we look forward to the next
meeting. We welcome the opportunity to continue our work with Government and
find solutions that will work for the community as a whole.

The
Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce supports, promotes and protects the
interests of its members and the wider community and we have carried out this
role for 45 years. From the beginning we have urged our political and
Government leaders to keep spending in check and to operate a balanced budget.
Government works best when it regulates the private sector fairly and
efficiently and creates a healthy and unbiased investment and business
environment for the private sector to thrive.

The
Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce

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