Just a handful of civil servants
who work for the Cayman Islands central government managed to avoid a 3.2 per
cent across-the-board pay cut in July.
But some might have wished they
were taking the small pay reduction, rather than face the possibility of more
austere budget measures or higher taxes in the United Kingdom.
For instance, Mary Chandler-Allen,
Cayman’s acting representative at the government office in London, said her
staff did not have to take the 3.2 per cent pay cut at the beginning of this
“Staff employed in the London
office have deductions from salary for employment tax and national insurance,”
Mrs. Chandler-Allen wrote in response to Caymanian Compass questions on the
matter. “The rate of tax varies between 20 and 40 per cent.”
“Consequently, their take-home pay
is considerably lower than their counterparts in the Cayman Islands.”
Mrs. Chandler-Allen also noted
other expenses, such as cost of living and travel, as well as the imposition of
value-added taxes on purchases and council taxes on their homes that Cayman’s
UK-based employees face.
“As a result, the 3.2 per cent pay
cut was not extended to staff in the London office,” she said.
In the Cayman Islands, certain
UK-related jobs were subjected to the 3.2 per cent pay cut while others were
not. Whether the pay cut was applied is essentially up to which government pays
the individual’s salary.
Governor Duncan Taylor, for
example, is paid out of the Cayman Islands government budget and had to take
the 3.2 per cent pay cut. All members of the governor’s residence, including
his social secretary, house manager, chef and two housekeepers were required to
take the 3.2 per cent pay reduction.
However, four employees who are
paid by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office including the head of the
governor’s office, a staff officer, personal assistant, and an assistant
management officer are paid by the British government and therefore didn’t have
to take the pay cut applied in Cayman.
In its response to an open records
request from the Caymanian Compass, the governor’s office noted that its
UK-paid workers would certainly not be getting any salary increase considering
massive budget cuts England recently adopted.
“Although those members of this
office who are employed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office did not have to
take a 3.2 per cent pay cut, with the change of government and as part of the
UK spending review all salaries have now been frozen,” according to information
provided by former staff officer Andy Holbrook.
All Cayman Islands central
government employees were required to take the 3.2 per cent pay reduction at
the start of this budget year on 1 July.
Investigations by the Caymanian Compass
have revealed that dozens of civil servants received pay increases – a few
received more than 20 per cent of their salaries – around the time the 3.2 per
cent pay cut was being discussed and implemented.
The Cayman Islands Civil Service
Association has since asked for a complete explanation from government for all
salary increases that were given around that time.