Premier reveals expat tax details at West Bay meeting

The 10 per cent tax on expatriates’ salaries will be applied to workers earning $36,000 and more a year, Premier McKeeva Bush announced Wednesday.

Mr. Bush said at a public meeting in West Bay that, contrary to his earlier announcement that the payroll tax would be imposed on expats earning above $20,000 a year, instead work permit holders earning more than $36,000 would be subject to the proposed tax, which he said was being introduced as a “last resort”.

No separate income tax department would be set up to collect the tax. That remit would fall to the Immigration Department, which already has a database of work permit holders and details on their salaries, Mr. Bush said.

Government minister Rolston Anglin said the 10 per cent would apply to a “wide definition” of salaries and would likely include bonuses and other compensation. 

The payroll tax will not apply to non-Caymanian permanent residents or to non-Caymanian government employees, Premier Bush clarified.

Also, Mr. Bush said those being charged the tax or community enhancement fee, as he has termed it, would not be given a “discount” on the fee. In other words, there would be no $35,000 subtraction from an expatriate’s income before taxes were levied. Someone making $35,000 a year would pay no tax, but someone making $36,000 a year would pay the full ten per cent levy on their entire salary.

The premier also revealed the planned introduction of a 5 per cent additional fee, based on salaries, that would be levied on employers of expat staff in certain categories of employment.

Mr. Bush said that measure would be introduced as an incentive to employers to hire more Caymanian staff.

No demonstration was mounted at the meeting, but expatriate and Caymanian opponents to the tax made statements and posed questions to Mr. Bush about the proposed taxation measures, while a number of Caymanians voiced their support of the tax.

Check back for more on this story.

tax meet2

It was a packed house at Sir John Cumber Primary School.
Photo: Brent Fuller

tax meet3

Cayman’s ‘Jordanian ambassador’ Amjed Zuriegat speaks Wednesday night as Premier McKeeva Bush and Richard Parchment confer.
Photo: Brent Fuller

57 COMMENTS

  1. Oh my What is Mac thinking , where does he get his advise ? It’s easy for Mac and his crew to be blinded, after all taxing the x-pats will not affect their fat pay checks. Mac please take a hammer and hit yourself over the head real hard and wake up. I’m a retired Caymanian, I’m getting older by the day, hopefully I’ll be six feet under when this country has gone to hell.
    By the way, In what district is Hell located?

  2. Polomol wrote :

    By the way, In what district is Hell located?

    Thats the only good thing comming out of all of this… Cruise ship passengers won’t have to ask directions to ‘Hell’ anymore. The minute they set foot on the island… they are there !

  3. Pay for the privilege to work here. Yes, this will force more companies to offer more training and scholarships for Caymanians. If you want tax/fee breaks give back heartily to this country and I don’t mean a 1000 cheque annually to a local charity either. Mr. Bush you have your Caymanians backing you on this, even those that oppose everything else you have done, we support this fee. The compass and the rest of the media need to stop calling it a tax, it is a fee, get it right and stop the over sensationalizing of the issue. The international media will soon ignore it, as the few who picked it up has now gone on to another story as this is now stale news.

    God bless my country, my Caymanian people.

  4. I thought the headline this morning would read the governor should stay on his beach and sun his buns. This was a quote by the PREMIER! His supporters thought it was very funny.

    Then a small old caymanian lady ask a question which was against his tax idea and he told her to sit down Little Girl.
    My wife and I was shocked and the disrespect from a public figure.

    The premier thought he was doing a stand up routine.

  5. Beware Caymanians, it starts with expats and then it will expand to you!

    Governments are like weeds/cancer, they all have an indominable will to grow. Don’t let these weeds into your Garden of Eden!

    They should be cutting expenses not reaching into everyone’s pockets.

  6. No separate income tax department would be set up to collect the tax. That remit would fall to the Immigration Department, which already has a database of work permit holders and details on their salaries, Mr. Bush said.

    Makes sence right?… I mean… how difficult can it be to collect some taxes?

    Therefore Immigration will be handled by the port othority, because they already have the infrastructure in place handling illegal immigrants arriving on little boats.

    For driving licenses and Car insurence issues, please contact your local rental car company, because they are used to dealing with that kind of stuff

    Wedding licenses will be handed out by your local priest for a small fee, it only makes sense since they are already performing the ceremony anyway.

    Customs issues will be dealth with by the bagage handlers at the airport. No point in having luggage handled twice when you can all do it in one go!

    In order to smoothen the burocracy, liquor licenses for bars restaurants can now be bought from your local liquor store as you are there to buy the booze anyway!

    Traffic control will no longer be part of the duties of the RCIPS. From now on the tourguides awaiting the cruiseline passengers will deal with traffic as they are already standing on the streets.

    This way the Police can focus on flying the police helicopter as an ambulance service.

    As for the Government… this position is still open. There are no specific skills required. An IQ test will be necessary for all applicants to determine if you are not overqualified for the job !

  7. As a last resort usually indicates that all possible cuts to expenditures have been already made, one can only assume that the Premiere believes there is no waste in the current government, it is down to bare bones.
    I disagree.

  8. This here ‘fee’ thing, look up euphemism, or ask someone what it means – it is like yoo-fam-izem. It is a tax.

    Scholarships and training. All of the big firms here offer extremely generous packages to willing and able Caymanian youth, by big firms, I am pretty much referring to the large multi-national ones, non-Caymanian. The vast majority of your ‘local’ businesses do not offer these opportunities, it is far cheaper to get in foreign labour.

    You’re right about the international media soon ignoring it though; why would financial media need to bother with a country that is no longer a hub of major finance???

  9. Nobody have yet invented tax which can support government expenses growth twice higher the GDP growth. Good luck trying, Mr. Bush! Finance 101.

  10. Mr. Bush said that measure would be introduced as an incentive to employers to hire more Caymanian staff? Good idea.

    As above 36000 is targeted more to professional level salaries, Mr. Bush effectively said: Dear Caymanians. Don’t learn, don’t get certificates, don’t excel professionally, don’t compete, don’t contribute to business you work for, because this is not important. What important is that you are cheaper for business and if it still doesn’t work and business continues to hire expats I will put on some more tax to help you.

    That sort of people (with numbers sadly growing) who blame government for any personal problems got another confirmation that their attitude is reasonable. Thank you, Mr. Bush.

  11. I am glad that we can see who all the troublemakers are in this country. I hope we weed the entire bunch out and allow in those that are genuine and mean well.

  12. No separate income tax department would be set up to collect the tax. That remit would fall to the Immigration Department, which already has a database of work permit holders and details on their salaries, Mr. Bush said.

    Ok, hypothetical situation – e.g. we have a nice job with of 100,000 USD filled by Expat. After a few months Expat willingly signs a new contract with salary stated at 36,000 CI. Which department is going to conduct investigation trying to understand if there were some other payments not covered by contract? Immigration? Who is going to prove that this was illegal? Immigration? Very funny.

    Even more, on next work permit renewal employer publishes advertisement and reasonably puts salary of 36,000 CI in. So if in previous years they couldn’t find Caymanians willing to take this job for 100,000 USD, now they search Cayamanians for the same job for 36,000 CI. This will definitely help locals with employment.

    Who is going to prevent this from happening? No new structures needed – it can be done by headhunters, because they know reasonable level of salaries for each position.

  13. It is this type of ignorant leadership that needs to be corrected. Someone please vote Big Mac and his Fries out of this offive before The Queen has enough of this foolishness and takes control of this little screwed up island. Clearly England and the rest of the interested parties can see if Big Mac cannot submit a proper budget or balance what he has that he is not going to do any better with more funds no matter where they come from. Big Mac I say take some of the cheesse out of your pocket and put it in the offering plate that you are trying to pass around. After all You, Dart and his Chicken Nuggets seem to be so tight how much tax is he going to pay? I am sure there is going to be extra sauce on this deal that will eliminate his tax and his cronies.

    Sometihng is lost in the milkshake!!!! Aren’t all businesses 60 – 40 meaning that 60% is Caymanian owned??? Why then are the Caymanian businesses hiring epats??? Have they hired Caymanians and not found the skills or work attendance or work ethics they are looking for that will cause growth in their business? If Caymanians are the business owners then why arent they hiring thier own? Been there done that was the sign in the happy meal. Caymanians dont want other Caymanians to excel – jealousy is what it is called. I think it is one of the 7 deadly sins – like the cholesteral found in an order of Big Mac w/ cheese and fries – it hardens the arteries, stops the blood flow and causes heart attacks – exactly what this government is doing to this country. May we order a salad with low fat dressing for the next Premier – a salad – mixed with Caymanians, and Expats working together for the future and benefits of Grand Cayman and for our children. Don’t divide mixs us all together in a big happy bowl with some low fat dressing and see this country work together in harmony so we can all live in a Happy Meal!!!

  14. ….Also, Mr. Bush said those being charged the tax or community enhancement fee, as he has termed it, would not be given a discount on the fee. In other words, there would be no 35,000 subtraction from an expatriate’s income before taxes were levied. Someone making 35,000 a year would pay no tax, but someone making 36,000 a year would pay the full ten per cent levy on their entire salary….
    .
    So Mr Bush, assuming that this moronic plan comes into being, if someone earning 36,000 was to ask their employer for a 1,000 DECREASE IN SALARY, they will save themselves 2600…? Thats what you are saying, right? And note dear readers, especially MrsKnowitAll, Mr Bush calls it a TAX.

  15. The meeting and its responses were shocking to me yesterday. The leadership who presented the meeting showed much incompetence supported by ignorant and lack of knowledge followed by racial tensions. Uneducated.

    How can a premier like him get elected on this Island who is the main person in 2 police investigations?

    if this proposed regulation becomes reality, I will guarantee you that I will not pay a dime of taxes here and I will leave the Island and many will follow. It is a fact. Any future possible taxes collected will go into their own pockets.

    It is very unfortunate to see that this Island will lose their reputation and further impair the economy by doing this.

    The current leadership should be replaced by expats. LOL

  16. This man is watching too much American T.V. He is trying to create a class warfare situation. He wants to use the power of numbers to push his ill-conceived plan. Yes many people will support it but not those who see and understand the knock on effects.

    Remember a few months back that the civil service was up in arms when a 3% pay cut was considered from their salaries. Now we expect another segment of society to foot the bill to the tune of 10%. How does that make sense. Trust me if you are making 40k in this island you dont have an extra 4k to spend at the end of each year.

    Companies hiring expats will be forced to offer higher salaries to bring world leading talent to Cayman. In order to pay the higher slaries they will have to charge higher fees. This will increase the cost of living locally and make Cayman more expensive and less competitive globally.

    Top talent will leave the island quickly, just watch. The island will experience a brain drain of immense proportions.

    Lastly, this should not be seen as an opportunity for Caymanian professionals. Yes some will benefit but there arent enough of us to fill all of the skilled positions out there. Business will not replace top talent with inferior workers they will just relocate the job. To those caymanians who are offended by that last comment please dont be. There simply just arent enough highly skilled people to fill all of the jobs.

  17. Permier Bush,

    Please help us all out and sign up for course # ECO 221 (Principles of Microeconomics) and course # ECO 222 (Principles of Macroeconomics). You can sign up for both courses at our local university UCCI.
    This is a link to their website: http://www.ucci.edu.ky/class-information.php

    Course descriptions:
    http://www.ucci.edu.ky/syllabi/ECO_221.pdf
    http://www.ucci.edu.ky/syllabi/ECO_222.pdf

    If you had a better understanding of how the principles of basic economics, it might help you understand how to run this country a bit better. It would be in all of our best interests if you took these courses…. PLEASE!

    We all love this country but it is so frustrating watching this happen.

    If the average permit holder that you are targeting (36K) averaged 50,000 per year and there are in the range of 10,000 permit holders, you have to consider the following:

    1. They are losing 5% of their savings (match by firms for the pension).
    2. They will now save that 5% instead of reinvesting into the LOCAL economy.
    3. 2,500 per person muliplied by 10,000 permit holders equates to 25,000,000 in LOCAL spending that will disappear.
    4. More LOCAL business close.
    5. Higher LOCAL unemployment.

    Please just sign up for the courses, it really can’t hurt. Even if my numbers are way off, the 5% that will not be re-invested in the LOCAL economy is a fact.

    The phone number for UCCI is: 623-8224

    Pick up the phone and help us all! We love this Island…. Do you?

  18. Pebbles: Thank you for an insightful and humorous comment (the big one, although I like the little one too).

    MB: I heard the sun your buns comment on the radio. The sit down, little girl comment merely emphasizes the as yet unchanged sexist, condescending culture we still have here. I have never understood how Julianna O’Connor-Connolly can take pride in being aligned with that man. To my mind, those attitudes undercut her achievements.

  19. The payroll tax will not apply to non-Caymanian government employees, Premier Bush clarified. If we thought we had a large Civil Service before, just wait until this loophole starts being marketed.

  20. Well Done Premier, the Caymanian people are relying on you to look out for them FIRST.

    I know many of the comments made here are by the same person and the rating are from the computers. LOL… this is all too easy. I went to the meeting and I saw the Premier overwhelming support. Despite he was in West Bay, many people came from different parts of the island, and they all agree that they would rather see expats having to pay a fee than Caymanians having to do it and civil servants by the 500 to 700 of them being layed off, causing social unrest.

  21. A good fiscal policy is for the private sector to grow faster than the government (per Dan Mitchel, PLEASE read Mondays Forbes article ‘Cayman Islands Is Considering Fiscal Suicide’)
    We, (expats, residents, paper Caymanians and born Caymanians) need to UNITE and present a better solution rather than moan and protest! Present options instead of accepting this as gospel and debating the details.
    The TRUE answer is to cut ‘promiscuous spending other people’s money’. Cayman has a spendind problem and you do not answer that by digging anywhere to FIND or grab more fees or taxes- you CUT spending, do the painful part of cutting civil service, (even if it means losing an election and losing votes, someone has to be the hachket man)
    Cayman start by getting the 75% profits from the Port Authority they are not paying back into the coffers now, and find out why! there is 1 mill a year we could use.
    Then increase Revenue by outsourcing, even if this means legal gambling like in the Bahamas, or a VAT tax equal to all, but for the sake of our children, please please DECREASE government spending in the Cayman Islands. The spend has climbed twice as fast as economic output since 2000.
    lastly, it’s worth noting that the U.S.A income tax began in 1913 with a top rate of only 7 percent and it affected less than 1 percent of the population. But that supposedly benign tax has since become a monstrous internal revenue code ..
    Beware my fellow Island Inhabitants, regardless of what your passport labels you as today.. if this happens we will ALL being paying Taxes in Cayman before the next generation!
    God Bless a tax Free Cayman

  22. If there had been proper real nation building, amendment to Public management finance law to centralise hiring/auditing…….there could have been less civil servants hence less expenditure realistic levels of employment growth development; if immigration policy had been enforced Caymanians qualified willing to work would not feel disenfranchised expat workers would not feel so entitled, there would be greater respect for a country that maintained its laws to all expats fairly so that they knew laws upon arrival and not encouraged to think otherwise. The continued division needs to be addressed honestly fairly by all groups.

    In reference to disrespectful comments made from some locals and some expats, let’s be fair. Last night Mr McField made a comment re name calling by expats but with respect to all, I personally would like to ask our Premier to also remember that despite any frustration it really bothered me that he would call the Rooster talk show and say such disrespectful remarks to the Governor and no one called him out on that, at least not on air. SO I would like the Hon Premier to please try to respect the Queen’s rep, because I teach my son to respect the ‘office’ of the Governor, Premier etc and unless we have politicians and leaders willing to demonstrate ideas without attacking an individual, God help us if we HAVE to be independent. Remember if we become independent and have build a country of people who respect conventions, customs, procedures, processes there will be no way of having any control over corruption unfair practices

  23. Well Done Premier, the Caymanian people are relying on you to look out for them FIRST.

    I went to the meeting and I saw the Premier overwhelming support. Despite he was in West Bay, many people came from different parts of the island, and they all agree that they would rather see expats having to pay a fee than Caymanians having to do it and civil servants by the 500 to 700 of them being layed off, causing social unrest.

  24. This is so socially divisive. Only Nazi or National Front political movements would contemplate solely taxing immigrant workers.

    I really hope the Caymanian voters will see this for what it is, a desperate attempt by a corrupt politician to cling to power by appealing to the populist sentiment in some areas of the country that expats are in some way ‘stealing’ jobs from Caymanians.

    This is the most dangerous kind of politics.

    Now that the limit of this tax has been increased to CI36k basic maths indicates that the revenue that this tax will raise will decrease. How much does the government actually anticipate raising from this tax now? I’d like to see some statistics as I understand that the majority of those earning over this level are Caymanian or permanent resident holders, so I’d really question how effective and ‘sustainable’ this tax will be.

    Has the government considered the multiplier effect? The more people are taxed, the less they spend (therefore less duty for the government and less wealth for Caymanian businesses). This is basic economics and needs to be factored into any calculation of the net tax revenue that will be earned.

    What is the cost of collecting the tax? I’m not sure that the immigration department has the tax lawyers and accountants that would be necessary to put in place anti avoidance legislation to try and address the countless number of schemes that will be put in place by businesses to circumvent paying this discriminatory tax.

    The first principle of any taxation system is fairness. I am not adverse to paying tax. I am however opposed to paying a tax that is discriminatory and one that I believe will have an extremely damaging impact on the Cayman Islands.

    How will this tax impact the plans for the Cayman Enterprise Zone? The hope was that the CEZ would create circa 5,000 jobs. I presume people in that area would have tax exempt status, so that we’d end up with a 3 tier system: Caymanians, permanent residents and expat government workers not paying payroll taxes; expats in privileged zones not paying any taxes (no work permit fees, duties etc) and then work permit holders working for those companies that have long been part of the Cayman economy footing the bill?

    The cost of doing business in Cayman is already high: 22% duty, the highest work permit fees in the region and considerable business license fees. Yet on top of this the government wishes to levy a 10% payroll tax on work permit holders and an additional 5% fee on the businesses that employ them. This represents a significant increase in the cost to the private sector of doing business in Cayman. This a cost that we are unlikely to be able to pass onto our clients. Cayman will cease to be competitive.

    Cayman’s business model is fairly easy to emulate. Other jurisdictions in the region are already attracting business away from Cayman. The fund administration industry is one that has been gradually declining in Cayman as there are cheaper alternatives in the region and commercially given that most investment managers are off island, there is no real advantage to be being based in Cayman.

    The accountancy and law firms are also in a position to outsource much of the work that is done in Cayman to other cheaper jurisdictions. This will cause some logistical problems but the cost savings are likely to outweigh the down sides. These firms provide scholarship programs and training to young Caymanians, do a huge amount of pro-bono work for the government and charities on island, as well as employ numerous Caymanians. These firms will be forced to outsource certain areas to other cheaper regions e.g. most administrative roles are currently filled by Caymanians and these would be the easiest to outsource. These firm’s would also need to think carefully as to where other cost savings could be made and it is likely that training programs and pro-bono work suffer as a result.

    This tax really would be disastrous for Cayman.

    I am fairly certain that the UK will reject the budget and the proposed payroll tax as it is blatantly unfair and is in no way sustainable. The damage to the Cayman Island’s reputation as a stable, harmonious and pro-business jurisdiction will however have been done.

    The premier is not a stupid man, despite what some commentators have written. He knows that this tax will meet with objection from the Crown but he will at least have looked as though he tried to take a stand and this will probably be enough to get him re-elected next year. A corrupt politician will always do what he can to cling to power.

  25. Calling all Caymanians. Please do something about direct taxation, it is going to ruin this country. Get a PETITION together calling for no direct taxation and a democratic government in the Cayman Islands. After last night’s performance in West Bay you need to rally the troops and over throw this incompetent Government before it is too late! Caymanian business people get together and start to make a difference.

  26. correction to my last sentence please:
    Remember if we eventually become independent and have NOT built a country of people who respect conventions, customs, procedures, processes there will be no way of having any control over corruption unfair practices and poor governance.

    I feel strongly about freedom of speech boldness but not to resort to name calling in any relationship and disrespect for office of Premier, Commissioner and especially the local representative of the Queen. Respectfully.

  27. Basically Mr.Mac, Laissez-nous faire!

    And if you really do wish to save jobs and save money. make moves to Change your civil cervices in to a non profit organization.

    But,you know this already don’t you!

  28. Apprentice,

    It’s your country, so you have right to make it flourish or suffer. Or at least you can do it in proportion of your voice vs voices of other Caymanians. But I would really recommend to get some knowledge first – in this situation knowledge is important.
    StillFrustrated below recommended some good courses which might help you. If after getting the knowledge you still want to harm your home and you people – it is your right.

  29. Stan, I know that comment being made by you and the few others here are for one thing – your self-interest. The Premier has done well. He has put his people, the Caymanian people FIRST. No other country would put their people second.

    I went to the meeting and I saw the Premier’s overwhelming support. Despite he was in West Bay, many people came from different parts of the island, and they all agree that they would rather see expats having to pay a fee than Caymanians having to do it and civil servants by the 500 to 700 of them being layed off. Why? Because it would cause social unrest and increase crime.

    Remember Expats can always take the next flight out – For Caymanians this place is their home! Expats can always be replaced – But you can’t replace a Caymanian unless you hire an expat over him!

  30. Oh My is right! My goodness gracious! tax or fee, it doesn’t matter what you call it. It is morally wrong and a violation of International Human Rights to tax or charge fees only to one set of people (expats). Nevermind the ridiculous-ness of the entire concept!

    No one wants to talk aabout the Caymanian owned businesses and companies that actually charge expat workers for their WP fee. Like that practice isn’t rampant on the island! Nevermind that it is an illegal practice, but gladly overlooked, because it’s usually a practice that is levied only on the two largest populations of Expats on the island, who are too afraid to complain for fear of having the WP pulled…but who cares about them earning less than 400 a month. AND who cares if they send 300 off-island anyway? They are only doing the jobs no one wants anyway, and those employers LOVE that fact!

    Tax me if you will. I have zero problem with supporting the economy in which I live in. However, there will need to be certain terms as follows:

    1. YOU will tax EVERYONE, not just expats.
    2. I will have the right to vote.
    3. You WILL cut the Civil Service…from the TOP down where it is at it’s HEAVIEST and leave the bottom rungs alone. Those people work hard for their buck…Caymanian and Expat alike.

    (Side Note: Ask yourself this: where in the Civil Service is this 500-700 proposeed job cuts coming from? And where did that number 500-700 manifest from in the first place???)

    If you can meet those 3 simple criteria, then yes, I will gladly let you have my money. I will gladly support your plan. This scheme smells like a way to gather the voters who didn’t bother to show up for OMOV. Or a smoke screen to get everyone to stop talking about the budget, cruise ship berthing facility, CHEC, etc. And the list goes on…

    And don’t worry everyone. If this goes through, Mr. Dart won’t leave. He has paper status anyway so he won’t we subjected to this. Lucky him! Gets to keep all his in his pocket. Ahhh, but it’s the way of the world now isn’t it? The Rich stay RICH and the rest pay for it. Nicely done! Nicely done.

  31. Must be nice to have that British passport and the free benefits that come from it Mr.Apprentice!

    Sorry,how much tax did you pay to get them?

  32. Apprentice,

    That’s the problem – you will have nowhere to run after these decision backfires at Caymanians. Your children will be paying off government debts being created now. In such situation I would be more considerable about what it really means to put your people FIRST.

  33. The payroll tax will not apply to non-Caymanian permanent residents or to non-Caymanian government employees…nor will it not apply to red-headed, left-handed accountants who have a pegged legs. Can we be a little more discriminatory?

  34. The payroll tax will not apply to non-Caymanian permanent residents or to non-Caymanian government employees…nor will it not apply to red-headed, left leaning accountants who have pegged legs. Can the tax be a little more discriminatory?

  35. It’s time for Caymanians who are against direct taxation in our country to get a petition going with an eye to a referendum called by the people. Once a tax is introduced into any country, it quickly spreads to the entire population. This isn’t a caymanian vs. expat issue – it’s about democracy and forcing government to do something about the out-of-control spending. Let’s start a petition. It’s time to stand up and let this government know that direct taxation isn’t the way for the Cayman Islands.

  36. This is a very poignant letter posted on a socil media website by a Caymanian. It is not my place to disclose who they are but I am sure they will let you know if they so wish:

    Mckeeva Bush,

    I am a Caymanian and I have never faltered in my belief that our nation is full of kind, loving and hardworking people. For the first time, however, I lost sight of that belief after attending your meeting on Wednesday night. I found myself leaving that meeting not with an understanding of why direct taxation is the best way forward for the Cayman Islands, as you had promised would be the case. Rather, I found myself exiting the auditorium with my head in my hands apologizing to every expat I crossed for the way in which they were treated by my elected officials and your supporters.

    During this meeting I watched in horror as an expat sitting next to me, who came only to listen and not speak, was threatened with physical violence by a supporter of this policy who was voicing her opinions over the PA system. My horror was ex-acerbated as those who oppose this policy were constantly interrupted and not given the same opportunity …to have their voice heard. The nail in the coffin for me was when you yourself responded to the questions of a Caymanian woman not with an answer but with the words, little girl you’ve had your turn, now give the microphone to someone else.

    For you to accuse the members of a peaceful facebook group of being ill tempered and incapable of having a calm and measured discussion, then sit by the wayside as your supporters exhibit that very same behaviour before your eyes is outright disrespectful, never mind hypocritical.

    I would like to point out something which may have gone unnoticed at Wednesday’s meeting. Not once did an expat stand and say, I will not pay this tax, or ask why they should have to pay taxes to support our country. Rather they offered alternatives, voiced concerns about the way in which we are governed, and expressed genuine concern for the future of the Cayman Islands.

    There was however one person who stood before you and dared to say that Caymanians should share, if not bear, the burden of our current financial woes. This person was not an expat as you may suspect; rather a young Caymanian. I stand beside my fellow countryman in that belief, although I disagree that direct taxation is the way forward. As was so rightfully stated, this is our mess and we should be the ones to clean it up.

    That is truly the Caymanian spirit of which I have always been so proud.

    Our forefathers built this country through hard work and dedication, and that is a quality which still exists in most Caymanians today. Never once have the Caymanian people looked to take the easy way out of a tough situation. This is something which you yourself have commended us for when referring to the way in which our country was rebuilt after the devastation of hurricane Ivan.

    Why then, I ask, does the current administration so adamantly put forth their hand and ask for other people to pay our debts?

    Sincerely,

    withheld

  37. Stan, no where to run? I think you are EXAGERATING and personally I think making statements of destroying Cayman is ridiculous. What country has been destroyed by tax?

    I know that comment being made by you and the few others here are for one thing – your self-interest. The Premier has done well. He has put his people, the Caymanian people FIRST. No other country would put their people second.

    I went to the meeting and I saw the Premier’s overwhelming support. Despite he was in West Bay, many people came from different parts of the island, and they all agree that they would rather see expats having to pay a fee than Caymanians having to do it and civil servants by the 500 to 700 of them being layed off. Why? Because it would cause social unrest and increase crime.

    Remember Expats can always take the next flight out – For Caymanians this place is their home! Expats can always be replaced – But you can’t replace a Caymanian unless you hire an expat over him!

  38. Apprentice, you appear to be a slow learner, and I may be flogging a dead horse on this occasion, however I will give it a try.

    Suppose you went to your dentist with a terrible toothache and he told you that he could either perform a painful root canal on you, or you could go home and watch your neighbour walk around on hot coals. Now watching your neighbour walk on hot coals might entertain you long enough to forget your toothache for a while, but it does nothing to solve the root cause of your pain.

    Next you ask your dentist what you should eat to lessen the pain and he says that you can either eat rotten fish guts, which you may be able to get for free down town where the fishermen clean fish, or 100 per ounce caviar.

    I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt here, but I believe that you might begin to suspect that your dentist is a quack and the options that he has given you are not the only options available.

    You have a political quack in West Bay telling people that he is taxing expats in order to save 500 civil service jobs, but in reality he is desperately trying to cling to countless millions of dollars in a slush fund that he can use to buy votes in the form of solar panels, church land, paved parking lots, home repairs, etc.

    His story may go down well with a select few, but the majority of us in this country are not buying it.

  39. The proposed 10% tax on expats earning over 20000/36000 PA as certain brought out the best and also the WORSE!!!! of the Camyanian people . As I read the comments on the Compass and some of the blogs,I have seen how different people handle the news about taxes. It is good that we have freedom of expression which is essential in a democracy. One extreme case is a particular lady who set the terms and conditions to blog on her page. No expats are welcome(1) only pure blooded Caymanian ie no status holders(2) amongst other draconian conditions. Its a lucky thing this lady did not own facebook or CNS or the newspaper because only a few pure blooded caymanians who support the UDP could use it. So ppm, foreigners and UPD who do not agree with her could use the blog.some pronouncements by her are: foreigners are bleeding Cayman by sending their money home, They get lump sums of pensions when they leave here,thereby bleeding the country again while Caymanian don’t get this. They(foreigners) stay here and save up large sums and send home.She then mentioned the pension fund manager who was convicted of fraud as an example of the evils brought on Cayman by expats. To this lady I am saying :Blaming Games benefits little. Perhaps you have not read histoy or follow current events or you might be too young to see what this has caused to innocent people. In Nazi Germany Hitler and His National Socialists blamed The Jews for all the ills of the German People. Hitler himself was intolerant of groups of people he termed inferior race. As a result 6,000.000 Jews were burned or killed in death camps and numerous others deported.What if all Caymanians should take extreme views as those taken by you. I Pray for you and hope that you may learn, and if you are a young and upcoming politician you may learn more and gain more experience before you aspire for political office

  40. lets be honest here, most small firms either don’t pay 36k in wages or they will fudge it with travel allowances, housing allowances etc (I won’t even go into the companies that don’t pay pension etc). Persons granted PR don’t have to pay, persons married to Caymanians don’t need to pay, who does that leave?
    People in the financial industry mostly, big mac is like basil fawlty running a country it is laughable, the financial firms don’t need to be here, they could be anywhere, but , they like it here, whilst it is tax free, they will leave, believe me.
    Consider the targeted tax victims, they drive cars, they rent nice homes, some even buy nice homes, they eat in restaurants, oh and they pay hefty work permit fees, all that money will go and the tax return will be cancelled out by the reduction in income.
    Mac the knife will kill this lovely little place, last one out , turn off the lights!

  41. There are plenty of places in the world that would jump at the chance to host the activities that provide Cayman with its revenue base. First rollover, and now an expat tax. Cayman is well on its way to returning to a scrubby little rock in the middle of the Caribbean surrounded by dying coral and lion fish.

  42. So if I’m earning 35,999 and my employer is generous enough to give me a 10% raise, I should turn it down because I would will end up making 360 less than if I had not received the raise!!!

    35,999 10% raise = 39,599 (new salary after raise).

    39,599 x 10% = 3,960 (tax)

    39,599 – 3,960 = 35,639 (new salary after taxes).

    35,639 (new net salary)- 35,999 (old salary)= -360 (decrease in salary).

  43. The solution is obvious.

    CUT GOVERNMENT SPENDING.

    The burden of government spending has increased TWICE as fast as economic output since 2000.

    The Civil Service is bloated and inefficient. You have 4000 civil servants for a population of 55,000 (half of which don’t get a vote).

    That’s over 7% of the population in the civil service.

    That’s 16% of the native population.

    Crazy!

    And everyone knows most government departments on thihs island would have serious trouble trying to organise a swim at the beach.

    LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS CAYMAN. That is a lesson every adult needs to learn!!

    The Cayman Islands are headed for serious trouble with the short-term solutions of a CRIMINAL Premier who has the intelligence of a gnat!

  44. Apprentice…

    I have a few questions for you

    Do you believe that if this expat tax happens,as proposed, the caymanians will never have to pay direct taxes?

    Do you believe that the expat payroll tax, as proposed, will solve the economic situation and deficit of the Cayman Islands? (or at least contribute to an important part of it)

    Do you believe that the expat payroll tax, as proposed, will not harm the Cayman Islands in any way?

    Do you believe that Expats and businesses leaving the Island on a large scale (I am not saying they will – but let’s assume) would be beneficial for the Caymanians?

    Do you believe that Mr.Bush and the current government are capable of solving the issues at hand.

    Do you believe that Mr Bush and his governments first concern is your wellfare and personal growth as a Caymanian

  45. I am an expat with residency so the ‘tax’ won’t affect my salary. Many of the comments so far have been knee-jerk reactions and as can be seen so far by the Premiers remarks, the idea is still in a state of flux. The Cayman Islands are my home and I feel privileged to live here.
    There is something insidious however about Caymanians taxing a certain portion of the expat population only to pay for the lack of fiscal prudence by this and previous governments.
    I would be happy to pay tax as a resident if I had the ability to vote and have a say in the affairs of this country. The Cayman Islands needs business from the rest of the world to survive. If our shop window to the world now says we agree to ‘Taxation without Representation’ we are basically saying we discriminate here, which will turn the ‘shoppers’ away.

    Another interesting quote:
    A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman, of the next generation.

    We need Statesmen in Cayman!

    Further Reading
    Developing Leadership for Democratic Nations:
    Creating Statesmen Rather Than Politicians
    Dr. Gary I. Allen
    Delivered at the United Nations

  46. Mr Bush is responsible for the 2 pillars of the Cayman economy. This move has just made both the financial and tourist sector uncompetitive and handed advantage to other off shore countries.
    The expats may not have votes, but they do have dollars. Wonder…… This all seems to be about votes, perhaps the ex pats will contribute financially to the PPM and Mr Millars campaigns?
    Made me think about the story of the Cayman sailor far away from home on the ship, 6 months into a 1 year trip. The Captain of the ship called the single Cayman Sailor and told him, by the way, next week we are going to take 10% of your wages, it will be only from you and none of the other crew on the ship are to get the pay cut. The sailor asked why? This is because you come from Cayman, no one else will have to pay he was told. Is this what the sailor signed up for? Is this fair?

  47. The general economy is slow and it is quite likely that things will get slower if this tax is imposed. A business of say 6-10 employees will have several employees, Caymanians, who would make 30,000 to 50,000 total income. If the employer has 2 or 3 senior level expats on payroll, by terminating just one junior the employer can easily offset the extra tax paid on behalf of the professionals vital to the running the business. Mr. Bush may be creating a catalyst for a major jump in Cayman’s rate of unemployment.

  48. Stan, no where to run? I think you are EXAGERATING and personally I think making statements of destroying Cayman is ridiculous. What country has been destroyed by tax?

    I know that comment being made by you and the few others here are for one thing – your self-interest. The Premier has done well. He has put his people, the Caymanian people FIRST. No other country would put their people second.

    I went to the meeting and I saw the Premier’s overwhelming support. Despite he was in West Bay, many people came from different parts of the island, and they all agree that they would rather see expats having to pay a fee than Caymanians having to do it and civil servants by the 500-700 of them being layed off. Why? Because it would cause social unrest and increase crime.

    Remember Expats can always take the next flight out – For Caymanians this place is their home! Expats can always be replaced – But you can’t replace a Caymanian unless you hire an expat over him!

  49. Walk with me
    Break some bread here with me
    Enemy
    Why can’t you live with me?
    Who are you?
    What did I do to you?
    Wish I knew
    Why can’t I live with you?
    We are all born the same
    Then we seperate
    Then the world falls apart
    And blame turns to hate
    We must not contemplate
    How far apart we are
    There is always a way
    To that place in your heart.
    Hated one
    Just put down your gun
    Done is done
    Why can’t we live as one?
    Feel no shame
    The air we breath is the same
    Heal the pain
    Why do we live in vain?
    We are all born the same
    Then we seperate
    Then the world falls apart
    And blame turns to hate
    We must not contemplate
    How far apart we are
    There is always a way
    To that place in your heart
    No war!
    this is should be the song of the day (That Place In Your Heart. Ronan Hardiman):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTgwBWdYvNQ

  50. The 4 cents that is stolen on the street versus the bank 80 cents vs. 84 should be the governments cut.
    In the real world that 4 cents is going into someones pocket. understand ????????

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