EDITORIAL – Another ‘blacklist,’ another ‘hit list’ (Yawn!)

New brands launching in the Cayman Islands and entering the local marketplace are all very good news for Cayman’s real estate industry.

There they go again. Another group (this time Oxfam) produces another list of “world’s worst tax havens,” and they slap the Cayman Islands near the top — not because our jurisdiction lacks transparency, or offers anything less than full cooperation with enforcement agencies all over the world, but simply because Cayman itself has no direct taxation.

Never mind that it would be devastating to Cayman’s population and economy to attempt to introduce local income taxes at this stage, or that it would be highly inefficient, extremely expensive and practically impossible to enforce such coercive collection mechanisms in our diminutive islands.

None of that matters to the certain faction of like-minded individuals and organizations (including the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Financial Action Task Force, Oxfam, the Tax Justice Network, etc. ad nauseam) who continue to use little lists to threaten jurisdictions that have low taxes, or no taxes. What this faction wants is high taxes and, more importantly, tax harmonization (i.e. for the planet’s governments to come together and set similar tax rates across the board, across the globe).

What they are against is tax competition, where small territories and large nations are free to chooses their own methods (and magnitudes) of government revenue collection, and adjust rates to suit their individual needs and political desires.

While Oxfam and their cohorts continue to crank out cranky blacklists, graylists and whitelists in the name of globalism, countries are breaking out of this mindset and pursuing their own strategies to fund their governmental operations and energize their economies.

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For example, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is currently proposing to decrease the confiscatory U.S. corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent.

That’s antithetical to the “Big Brussels” attitude prevailing in Europe and among the “usual suspects” such as Oxfam and the Tax Justice Network, despite all the evidence pointing toward the success and resilience of efficient, low-tax and limited-government jurisdictions.

Taking a quick look at the others identified as the “world’s worst tax havens,” we recognize some of the “world’s best places to live and do business,” including Bermuda, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Curacao and Hong Kong. We couldn’t think of better company to keep.

In fact, Cayman has plenty to tell — and teach — the rest of the world about rational tax policy. Perhaps it’s time for Cayman to put together its own “blacklist” of the “world’s worst,” based on oppressive taxation and poor returns on massive investment in the public sector.

If that’s too “undiplomatic” or “politically incorrect” for government to pursue, well, the Compass has no such qualms.

We applaud Cayman’s Financial Services Minister Wayne Panton for speaking up and condemning the latest Oxfam hit list, and his observations were precisely on point.

“Once you’ve read the report, and particularly the methodology, government believes that the public will understand that certain organizations’ continued efforts to exploit misinformed public opinion, as part of an agenda to influence the public policy of G-20 countries, is unhelpful at best,” Mr. Panton said. “Indeed, it may be detrimental to the overall shared goal of combating criminal behavior and addressing income inequality.”

The only thing Mr. Panton needs added to his statement is more voices in his choir. We’ll contribute ours: Hear, hear!


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  1. In the UK OXFAM is regarded as a bit of a joke amongst anyone who has any serious interest in overseas relief work. Their left-wing bias has been blatantly apparent for decades and this is just the latest manifestation of it.

    In 2014 OXFAM was criticised by the UK Charity Commission for blatant bias after they published anti-government material that looked like it had come straight out of the Labour Party manifesto. In that same year reports revealed that 25% of donations to OXFAM (that’s the official figure – former volunteers and employees claim it’s actually much higher) went on salaries and running costs, including some fairly lavish entertaining.

    Although their CEO receives a comparatively modest (about £125K) salary that figure leaves out an undisclosed (it’s apparently confidential) package of perks that are rumoured to have included payment of private tuition fees in the past.

    Just this June OXFAM was attacked for using ‘boiler room’ tactics in their fund-raising drives, ignoring personal privacy and targeting elderly and/or vulnerable donors.

    This is a thoroughly nasty organisation that should have been put out of business years ago.

    • Quite so David.
      Oxfam needs to concentrate on feeding the hungry not making political statements.

      Last time I’ll donate a dime to them.

      Sad how many formerly worthwhile charities overseas have chosen to do the same.

      OUR locals charities, Meals on Wheels, LIFE, NCVO, Hospice Care, Enough Stuff to name a few do a fantastic job and really HELP our local people.

  2. What we need to do here in Cayman is to ensure we elect the persons we can trust to run this country next year. We have to not only consider the Rich and famous; but also the small businesses and the little man on the street.
    I am positively certain that we have Corporate Tycoons residing here who has an eye on the ball and know how to take care of those who threaten our way of life. I support Donald Trump and his move to make America Great Again, and his proposal plans to decrease the confiscatory US Corporate tax rate from 35% to 15% That is his country, he do what he feels like doing so long as he remembers this is our beach, and we ” WILL” get to the water.