More than 87 per cent of Caymanians and residents of the Cayman Islands who responded to last week’s caycompass.com online poll said they did not support the government’s proposal to implement a payroll tax on only work permit holders. The government officially abandoned the proposal on Monday.
A total of 966 people responded to the poll, 406 of whom said they were Caymanian. Of the respondents who said they were Caymanian, more than 81 per cent of them said they did not support the implementation of a payroll tax on work permit holders only.
The largest segment of respondents - 408 people or 42.2 per cent of the total number of respondents - were non-Caymanians who said they didn’t support the payroll tax, which Premier McKeeva Bush called a “community enhancement fee”.
“It is a shame that people with no vote are expected to bear the burden for those that can,” said one person. “What’s next? Will we be expected to go cut the grass in Caymanian’s yards once a week? So much for Cayman pride.”
“No tax or we leave,” said someone else.
“This is the most divisive, economy-killing proposal ever,” said another person. “If the government doesn’t reconsider this, it will hurt the Cayman Islands severely.”
“Anyone who supports this tax fails to realise that in less than five years, all of Cayman’s residents will be taxed,” commented one person. “By that time, many businesses will have taken the view to move their jobs to lower-cost jurisdictions. After all, given labour pool and recruitment difficulties, some companies have already been moving jobs out of Cayman.”
“Any tax should be fair and equal for all and not aimed at a particular demographic; that makes it a form of racism,” said someone else.
“I’m non-Caymanian, married to a Caymanian with two beautiful Caymanian children,” said another person. “I worry for the future of this country. I can go to the UK with my children and pay 20 per cent tax, but for that I get free schooling for my kids, free healthcare, an electricity bill 10 per cent of what I pay here and groceries that cost at least 50 per cent less. I love it here and would love for me children to grow up here, but that option is looking slimmer and slimmer.”
“I always thought the UDP was a better choice than the PPM,” said one person. “Not any more. I’ll take incompetent over stupid any day of the week.”
“Whether or not you are Caymanian, this will destroy the economy here,” said someone else. “I’m prepared to pay more to stay here, but once the conveniences disappear, I’ll have to re-evaluate.”
“A better government alternative to sustainable income is to live within your means,” commented another respondent.
Another 406 - 42 per cent of total respondents - said they were Caymanians who did not support the payroll tax on expats only.
“This has nothing to do with fairness,” said one person. “It’s just something no one in Cayman should want, including the government.”
“The beginning of the end of an industry created through the brilliance of Sir Vassel,” said someone else. “Only a madman would orchestrate its destruction.”
“This is deadly serious for the Cayman Islands,” said another person. “Retract the proposal now or watch the Cayman Islands wither...quickly.”
“The Cayman Islands government needs to control spending,” said one person. “As inviting as it sounds to tax expats, if I don’t fight against this idea now who will fight for me as a Caymanian when it is my turn to be taxed. Sorry I don’t support any form of payroll taxes in the Cayman Islands.”
“We all need to share this burden and as Caymanians we have a longer-term interest invested in this national crisis,” said someone else. “If we are all to continue to survive, then it must be a shared burden. But five per cent is more equitable and fair or those who can afford to pay more should. If it’s truly a community enhancement fee, then why not a property tax?”
“Cayman’s financial industry is founded on being a nil tax jurisdiction,” said another person. “This is like the Pope deciding he’s changed his mind about God.”
“An ill-thought out proposal by all accounts, which will inevitably destroy the country’s economy,” said one person.
“I’m ashamed to be from this country right now,” said someone else.
Ninety-two people - 9.5 per cent - said they were Caymanians who supported the payroll tax on expats only.
“Should have been done 10 years ago,” said one person.
“Great news! A payroll tax on work permit holders - it’s a good move,” said someone else. “There should be no taxes on Caymanians.”
“There is no way to determine if expats are filling in the “I am Caymanian” block,” noted another person.
“I would prefer to have all foreigners deported,” said someone else. “Foreign workers in the Cayman Islands is very bad for the Cayman Islands economy. The Cayman Islands are over populated. The Caymanian culture and way of life we have enjoyed for decades is slowly vanishing. Foreigners are inter-breeding with our people and changing the beautiful people we are. Stop issuing the permanent residence papers. Save our beautiful Cayman Islands.”
“Should be more than 10 per cent,” said another person.
Twenty-four people - 2.5 per cent - said they were non-Caymanians but accepted the government’s decision.
“I’m non-Caymanian and regretfully, I accept it,” said one person. “After all, I would have to do it back home to the US.”
Another 36 people - 3.8 per cent - said they were non-Caymanians who didn’t live in Cayman.
“If a tax must be implemented, then it should be implemented on everyone,” said one person.
“I handle reservations from the United States for a resort on Grand Cayman,” said someone else. “I was on your beautiful island for two separate work permits and abided by all your laws. On a daily basis I communicate with prospective vacationers and try to get them to choose Grand Cayman over another island. I feel like you do not appreciate the tourists that come to spend their hard-earned money on/in your home. I once had a love for Cayman and its people and culture, but your attitude has become ungrateful.”
Next week’s poll question
Do you support the suggestion for nine two-member constituencies for the Cayman Islands?
Maybe, but I need more information
No because I like the election system they way it is.
No because I only want single-member constituencies
I can’t vote in Cayman